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Friday
Feb052010

Regenerative braking glitch

Ford has instituted a "customer satisfaction program" for people experiencing a softness in the regenerative braking of the Ford Fusion Hybrid.  Apparently one Consumer reports driver ran a stop sign when the regenerative braking switched unnecessarily to conventional braking.  The brakes were working but required more pressure to engage them.

Cars that are affected were built before Oct 17, 2009.  A software update to fix this will be available at Ford dealers.  See this article for details.

Have any of you experienced this?  I have not.

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Reader Comments (15)

Thing is, that momentary lurch when the car transitions from regen to hydraulic braking is a predictable behavior-- In the course of getting used to the car, the owner can learn to anticipate it and compensate for it. Ditto the traction control momentarily cut off regenerative braking over a rough road surface to protect the Power Split Device's MG2 electric traction motor/generator from overloading.

Which is why it really gets me POed when EVERY article in the press calls it a "problem." I'm used to the way my car behaves (totally predictable) and have no problems operating it safely. Maybe if dealerships had a short "training program" for new hybrid owners to show them these behaviors, it might not have been a "problem" in the first place!

February 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterQuincy

@Quincy, any idea what the software "fix" is for this "problem"? You have to wonder if there's something to it given that it took the Consumer Reports driver by surprise, presumably they had some experience with the car.

February 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterBill Wood

I have had my FFH since May and have not noticed the "feeling" that has been reported. If it stops fine and it feels fine to me. Should I get the software fix that is being talked about? I am very pleased witjh the vehicle

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I just heard about the "customer satisfaction program" on the radio tonight. Just under 12,000 miles and I have not had any issues with the brakes. In fact I haven't really noticed any real noticable difference between regen and hydraulic braking except at very low speeds.

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill W

I have four months and 4800 miles of experience now with my FFH. I am very pleased with the performance and quality of this car. I have not experienced anything with brakes that is noteworthy. Driving a FFH hybrid, even though Ford has done an excellent job of making it transparent, is about new sensations. ICE on or off? CVT transmissions without shift points. Clicking relays especially on a cold start.(If you listen carefully with Climate control off on a cold start in EV mode.) I especially enjoy the shift from Drive to Reverse and back. No clunk! Great power! Looking forward to a plug in Escape hybrid for a stable mate.

Gordon

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGordon Snow

I agree with previous posts. I may have noticed the transition previously in hard breaking, but I knew what was going on and did not consider it a problem.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

This is probably old news to any FFH owner by now, but the letter I got from Ford makes this sound like it's more than just a matter of the brake feel. I would definitely go ahead and get the update.

The description of the problem in the letter states that the regenerative brake system can get into a conflicting state with the anti-lock system. The regenerative brake detects a fault and disables itself, leaving you with just hydraulic braking until you restart the car.

Now note this is fail-safe behavior and doesn't indicate an actual fault in the car's braking system, but the software fix should resolve the problem entirely.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSomeGuy

@SomeGuy Interesting, I will definitely get this fixed when I bring the car in for first service. I have noticed occasions when the green circle indicating regenerative braking does not appear, although generally it starts working again without my having to restart the car.

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