NHTSA closes Ford Police Interceptor SUV investigation

Improper repair procedures may have led to premature brake-hose failure in 18 vehicles.

Ford has dodged a recall of its Police Interceptor Utility after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed its investigation into brake-hose failures.

After analyzing field data, component inspection and test results, the agency has failed to identify any evidence of a defect in the hose material, manufacturing process or vehicle installation.

A lab determined that hose failures in at least 18 Interceptor SUVs could be blamed on excessive bending stress, however subsequent tests on a suspension motion simulator determined that the hoses "far surpassed" Ford's performance specifications.

"No root cause was determined for the reported Explorer PI jounce hose failures, but Ford identified improper service repair procedures (e.g., hanging the brake caliper from the brake hose during brake pad replacement) as a possible contributor to higher than expected rate of front brake jounce hose leaks," the NHTSA notes.

Despite closure of the initial investigation, the agency will continue to monitor complaints and field data to determine if further action is eventually warranted.

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