Explorer Brake System Failure!

My 1998 Ford Explorer in in immaculate condition from all points visible both on the body and undercarriage. However, I just had a brake line rupture. Where the rupture occured is at a clamp over the transaxle, the one
place my mechanic missed when he did a safety inspection of the vehicle last year. The rest of the brake lines look like brand-new. Just this one spot, hidden inside the clamp, must have rusted through. The vehicle is only 7 years old, but still looks like less than a year old. No rust visible anywhere, not even the frame underneath. Now I have had numerous trucks and autos over my lifetime, and had none with a brakeline failure that was less than 20 years old. And the vehicle was pretty rusted out by the time it did fail. I have a Mitsubishi that is 16 years old, has 300K miles on it, and still on the original brake lines. I have never seen a brake line fail in just seven years. This is a serious issue, and I intend to write Ford Motor Co. about it. Driving a fairly new vehicle (actually, the newest vehicle I've ever owned, and I've two more years of loan payments on it), one is generally confident about the mechanical safety of said vehicle. Had this been my wife driving, possibly down the big hill (40% grade) the goes from our mountaintop location to downtown, the likelihood of a serious tragic ending would have been high. Had this been in traffic on the highway, where traffic suddenly stops, to have your brakes fail, means colliding with the car in front of you, pushing that car into the next and the next into the one in front of it, resulting in tremendous damages and litigation for me!
I am writing a letter to Ford now, but I want to CC it to the government agencies responsible for auto safety regulation. I'm rather upset that my "new" vehicle could have killed me because of a defect in design of the brake system. There is no reason why the brake lines should not have been made of a non-corrosive metal, like stainless steel. This is a driver's life we're talking about here.
Which government agencies should I contact about my vehicle's safety problem?
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . DVD MASTERING . AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . DVD MASTERING . AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 22:41:00 GMT, "Mark & Mary Ann Weiss"

ya foctard did ya flush the system every 2 years as recommended by ford??
its YOUR fault
foctard h u r c a s t

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On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 22:49:52 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Ford does not recommend flushing the system every two years.

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wrote:

And even if you DID flush it, every year even, it does not prevent rust from the outside in, as occurs under clamps. North American manufacturers use a lot of bare steel brake line. Most of the imports use either coated steel (plastic tube over the steel core) or alloy lines, which DO last longer.
Can't say I'd call it faulty design, but on a 7 year old vehicle these things need to be checked a little more closely than they so often are.

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On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 22:40:05 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca wrote:

lmfao proper care and maintanance includes WASHING is that fords fault again that you focked up you drove in abomormaly salty conditions and never washed
LMFAO
tard blame your govt school buses are pulled after 5 years in some areas and japan requires a complete refitting
LMFAO
TARD
hu r c a s t

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wrote:

bwhahahahahaha wanna bet

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On Sun, 26 Jun 2005 04:44:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Don't need to. I'm right. Ford's position is that a flush at the time of normal brake service is all that's needed.

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Since some of the responses were off-base, I'll reply genericly:
I washed the undercarriage whenever the temperature was warm enough to run the garden hose (a couple times in January and March), and my vehicle's frame has not a trace of rust on it. Most of the visible portions of the brake lines are bright and shiney and look like new, as does the rest of the vehicle underneath. The vehicle gets regular maintenance.
Contrast with:
My 1948 Dodge pickup My 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne My 1964 VW beetle My 1968 Cadillac Sedan DeVille My 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 My 1989 Mitsubishi Galant
...which never had the undercarriage washed, and each has lasted more than twenty years without a brake line failure (excepting the Mitsu, which is only 16 years old and still in great shape). I've had my VW fail, but that was much over 10 years old and the whole car was a rotted pile of junk by 1980 when it let go.
Talked with my mechanic, and he surprised me to report that he's been finding line failures on vehicles as new as 2000 model year! He attributes the problem to use of recycled metals in brake lines of new cars.
I'm paying extra to have all lines replaced with stainless steel.
If you're driving a "new" vehicle, you could be in danger and not even know it! My 7 year old Explorer is like new (newest vehicle I've ever owned), yet the brake lines failed as if the vehicle were 20 years old and neglected. New vehicles have shorter brake line life, according to my mechanic, based on the trends in repairs he's been doing.
The federal government needs to mandate stainless steel brakelines. This is a serious safety issue. This failure could have resulted in a tragic multicar accident with millions in litigation at worst. Fortunately for me, it occured just as the tire company was taking it off the lift and driving out front of the store for me.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . DVD MASTERING . AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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On Mon, 27 Jun 2005 20:59:03 GMT, "Mark & Mary Ann Weiss"

big fockin deal looks like ya missed the parts that rusted LMFAO quit exposing it to corrosive material and the dont clean it FOCTARD
h u r c a s t
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I am writing a letter to Ford Motor Co. about the poor quality brake line/safety issue. I also want to CC copies to federal agencies that oversee vehicle safety.
Would someone recommend the names of agencies that would be concerned with brake system failures?
PS: I've blocked the particular person who can't control his foul language, so I can't see his posts anymore.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION FILM SCANNING DVD MASTERING AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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Okay, here's one group.:
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq /
Any others I should also contact?
If everyone that has lost their brakes because of a failure to use stainless brake line tubing by the manufacturer reported the incident, we might be able to get something done about the problem.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION FILM SCANNING DVD MASTERING AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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--WebTV-Mail-30920-6117 Content-Type: Text/Plain; Charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit
Mark & Mary Ann wrote: - Okay, here's one group.: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ Any others I should also contact? If everyone that has lost their brakes because of a failure to use stainless brake line tubing by the manufacturer reported the incident, we might be able to get something done about the problem. ........................................................................... You have the right place. Sounds like a serious problem! That said, I am not a truck or SUV person, but, don't all late model trucks and SUVs (like cars) have a dual hydraulic system (front/rear) to preclude complete brake loss in the event of a leak in one portion of the system? Would not have mentioned this except for your intention to report this failure to NHTSA, so your letter should reflect the problem as accurately as possible. - Bill
--WebTV-Mail-30920-6117 Content-Description: signature Content-Disposition: Inline Content-Type: Text/HTML; Charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit
<html><noembed><body bgcolor="#CCCCCC" text="#000000" bgcolor="#CCCCCC"></noembed></body></html>
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You have the right place. Sounds like a serious problem! That said, I am not a truck or SUV person, but, don't all late model trucks and SUVs (like cars) have a dual hydraulic system (front/rear) to preclude complete brake loss in the event of a leak in one portion of the system? Would not have mentioned this except for your intention to report this failure to NHTSA, so your letter should reflect the problem as accurately as possible. - Bill
Based on my observations with the vehicle at the time of pickup (I had brought it in for new tires to be mounted), I observed that the Brake warning light was illuminated and that the pedal went all the way to the floor. She was gushing fluid with each press of the pedal. At first, I thought that they had done something with inspecting the brake pads (I had asked them to take a peek at the pad wear while they had the old tires off), so I pumped the pedal three times, but it did not firm up like it normally does after manually forcing the calipers open and pumping the pedal. Since the system cannot apply brakes without fluid, I'd say this resulted in a complete loss of brake system function. I remember in the 1970s that some cars had "dual diagonal" braking, with two separate systems, however, when my '64 VW ruptured a line, I had zero braking power after the first pedal down. I'm rather skeptical that dual diagonal works that well in practice. As for the Explorer, a line connects the left brake cylinder to the right cylinder, so if there is front/rear, that might be the way it works, but I would have expected some pedal resistance. I had nada for brakes after the fluid pressure dropped. I intend to produce a detailed account of what happened, and I've instructed my mechanic to clearly state on the invoice for repairs what the nature of the failure was. I will send it to someone high up at Ford and CC it to the NHTSA that way Ford understands the gravity of the situation and will hopefully take prompt steps to correct this problem before someone gets seriously injured in a pileup on some highway due to loss of brakes.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . DVD MASTERING . AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

besides as u put it FOCTARD he said it rusted from under a clip holding it to the frame .why is this guy always so quick to point out his own stupidity... Welcome to the new cars with newer thinner metals that rust quicker.
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