Notice of Decision – Ford F-150 Brake Vacuum Assist Failures


This notice is to advise of the Minister of Transport’s Final Determination in the matter of Ford F-150 brake vacuum assist failures. This is an update to the Minister’s Preliminary Determination published on November 20, 2016.

On May 5, 2017, Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited (Ford) issued a notice of safety defect (a recall) to the Minister of Transport advising that Ford will notify owners of certain 2011-2012 F-150 trucks that the vehicles contain a defect in the brake vacuum assist system which may result in an unexpected extended stopping distance.

Given that Ford has issued a recall as sought by the Preliminary Determination, the Minister of Transport wishes to advise that he has made a Final Determination that is it not necessary to order a recall.


Transport Canada opened a defect investigation after receiving 8 complaints from vehicle owners who had experienced problems with a hard brake pedal feel and extended stopping distances. Both Transport Canada and Ford identified a problem with the electric vacuum pump (EVP) on some F-150 models equipped with the 3.5L GTDI EcoBoost engine. The pump provides assist to the power brake system, however has a design issue that can lead to a buildup of moisture that causes internal corrosion. This can result in a failure of the pump. Although Ford released a Customer Satisfaction Program in February 2016 to provide customers with an extended warranty on the electric vacuum pump, the pump would only be replaced if it failed.

Transport Canada received and documented over 150 complaints involving electric vacuum pump failures on the vehicles described above. Within these complaints, there were 93 reports involving a sudden unexpected increase in stopping distance. Although there were no serious injuries or deaths reported, there were 12 complaints which alleged a minor collision and 27 reports of ‘near miss’ events.

The Transport Canada investigation concluded that this problem is a safety defect that can cause a temporary reduction of power assist to the brake system. Testing and analysis demonstrated that, while the problem did not result in a complete brake failure, the brake pedal effort required to stop the vehicle increased. The department believed that if a driver did not quickly detect the problem and react to it, by pushing harder on the brake pedal, an extended stopping distance may occur.

The Minister of Transport issued a Preliminary Determination that it may be necessary to order Ford to issue a recall. The department reviewed and summarized all of the data received both before and after the Preliminary Determination and provided its final position to Ford. Ford subsequently issued a safety recall to address this problem.

Why this is important

On May 5, 2017, Ford issued a recall to address this problem. You may find further details about this recall on Transport Canada’s website: Transport Canada Recall No. 2017-246.

Next steps

If you own a 2011 or 2012 Ford F150 equipped with a 3.5L V6 GTDI EcoBoost engine:

  • Ford will send you a safety recall notification letter by mail to advise you how to fix this problem.
  • If you have a problem with your vehicle, or if you are unsure if Ford has your most updated contact information, you are advised to contact a local Ford dealership or contact the Ford Customer Relationship Centre at 1-800-565-3673 or 1-888-658-6805 (TDD for the Hearing Impaired)
  • Consult Transport Canada’s publication “The Importance of Having Recalled Vehicles Repaired” for general information about recalls.

If you have any concerns on this or any other vehicle safety issue, you may submit your comments to Transport Canada by:

Date modified: