Ford F-150 master cylinder problems


Ford F-150 built between the years of 2013-2018 are equipped with master cylinders supplied by Hitachi.  Ford previously used master cylinders manufactured by Bosch.

The Hitachi master cylinders have pistons fitted with a single cup seal responsible for containing pressurized brake fluid.  Normally master cylinders are usually fitted with two cup seals to ensure that fluid does not leak out of the master cylinders.  When master cylinders lose their brake fluid, front brakes can suddenly fail.  This may cause the vehicle to fail to stop, or rolling through stops signs, and even roll into objects.

According to a lawsuit that was recently filed, pistons fitted with a single cup seal is unusual.  Pistons in master cylinders are normally made with two cup seals thus ensuring that fluid does not leak out of the master cylinders.  Master cylinders made by Hitachi supposedly place twice the sealing loads on its single piston cup seals.  Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim the design moves the usual placement of the cup seal from the piston to the master cylinder’s bore where the single cup seal rests in a groove made into the bore of the master cylinder.

The plaintiffs also allege this defect involves failure of the piston cup seals.  The seals roll and become removed from their grooves and losing the seal.  That allows pressurized brake fluid to escape from the master cylinder and back toward the brake booster.  The lawsuit also claims that Ford knew about this danger and concealed this from the truck owners.

A preliminary investigation was opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) regarding reports of brake fluid leaking into master cylinders in 2013-1014 Ford F-150s with 3.5 liter engines. Ford issued a recall in May of 2016 for loss of front brakes in these trucks.  But the truck owners that filed the recent lawsuit state this did not include all 2013-2014 trucks or the 2015-2018 F-150s that use the same master cylinders.  The plaintiffs are also claiming that the recall remedy replaced the defective master cylinders with the same defective master cylinders.


Please remember : if you have a vehicle AND it is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are entitled to fair treatment and getting the problem fixed in a timely manner. In many cases, the manufacturer will repurchase your vehicle, and may even have to pay civil penalties and or reimbursement of your expenses. It helps to understand your rights as a consumer, and the California Lemon Law expert is here to help you or someone you may know who is in this situation. If your vehicle is not functioning properly and is under warranty, you have rights under the law that you need to thoroughly understand. Call us today for a free, no charge consultation at 916-672-8443.


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