With the current frenzy surrounding the brake problems confronting Toyota, it looks like Ford Motor has some of its own. Ford says it is will send out notices to all the Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion gas-electric hybrid owners because its regenerative breaks gives drivers "the impression" the brakes have failed.
Ford says the problem occurs during transition between the regular braking system and the regenatvie braking system, but at no time are drivers without brakes.
Ford spokesman Said Deep said the vehicles maintain full braking capability, but “some people may perceive that condition as a loss of brakes.”
The company has developed a software fix that changes the pedal feel so it doesn’t drop, Deep said. That software change is already on all vehicles produced since Oct. 17.
Regenerative brakes capture energy from braking to help recharge a hybrid's battery.
I guess the 49 auto journalists who recently voted the Ford Fusion Hybrid the 2010 Car of the Year, didn't mind the sketchy brakes.
Ford said this affects 17,600 vehicles and said it plans to send customers with affected vehicles a notice in the mail to have the software reprogrammed by dealers at no charge.
The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid was on display in November at the Ford Product Design Center in Dearborn, Mich. (AP Photo)