WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into an estimated 250,000 2011-'12 Ford F-150 pickup trucks equipped with the 3.5-liter GTDI engine for brake vacuum pump failure.
"Consumers allege multiple incidents of increased brake pedal effort at cold start and extended stopping distance while driving in traffic, resulting from failures of the electric brake vacuum assist pump," said NHTSA in its problem description.
It noted that there are "no warning indicators or diagnostic trouble codes."
NHTSA said it has received 32 complaints, including two crashes. There are no reports of injuries or fatalities.
"Two reports alleged crashes due to increased brake pedal effort required to stop or slow the vehicle," NHTSA said. "The complaints show an apparent increasing trend, with approximately 60 percent of the complaints received within the past nine months."
Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker told Edmunds the automaker will cooperate with NHTSA in the investigation.
Federal safety regulators have opened a preliminary evaluation into the matter. Such an action sometimes precedes a vehicle recall.
Edmunds says: Owners of these vehicles will have to wait for NHTSA to finish its investigation before taking any action. But if you have an immediate concern, it's best to contact your Ford dealer now.