July 28, 1999
Aftermarket Brake Hoses May
Fail on Ford SVT Mustang Cobras
WASHINGTON, D.C. (SafetyAlerts) -- Owners of 1994
through 1998 Ford SVT Mustang Cobras are warned of the possible
danger of front brake hose failures occurring as a result of
equipping their vehicles with aftermarket high performance front
brake linings and then driving under severe high speed conditions on
a race track.
Ricardo Martinez, M.D.,
Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said today "To
date we have learned of 21 brake hose failures in 15 vehicles. Two
of these failures led to crashes on racetracks, one in which the
Cobra was a total loss." "Safety is President
Clinton's highest transportation priority, and this warning is
intended as a caution to owners to protect their safety."
Except for one of the Cobras
that had a front brake hose leak, all of the Cobras that experienced
a leakage or separation failure of one or both front brake hoses had
been driven at high speed in a "race track event" with
non-Ford high performance front brake linings. Fifteen separation
failures occurred while the vehicle was being driven on a race
track, and three hose separations occurred on public roads after
race track use. The other failures occurred or were discovered
during brake system maintenance.
This information was
developed during a NHTSA safety defect investigation and revealed
that two failures were brake fluid leaks from the hose, and 19
failures involved the separation of the rubber brake hose from the
metal end fitting at the brake caliper. Such a separation leads to a
partial brake system hydraulic failure and a loss of about 70
percent of the vehicle's braking capability.
Ford says the hose failures
are a direct result of brake caliper/rotor overheating following
replacement of the Ford production brake linings with high
performance aftermarket metallic brake linings and use of the
vehicles in a race track situation.
Ford has published an
article in its "SVT Enthusiast" magazine, to address this
problem. The magazine is mailed to over 34,000 Cobra owners.
The article informed owners of the issue and indicated that a new
front brake hose incorporating a steel section between the fitting
and hose to dissipate heat is available at Ford dealers. Ford has
released this hose, which is also used on the 1999 Cobra, for use on
1994 through 1998 Ford SVT Mustang Cobras and will remove the
earlier versions of these front brake hoses from the stock of its
Owners who have equipped
their vehicles with non-Ford high performance front brake linings
and plan to drive their vehicles in a high speed "race track
event" can purchase the new hoses from their Ford dealers.