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Federal officials recently started an investigation into whether the brakes on particular Ford F-150 trucks are safe. These pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in the United States, including in West Virginia. The investigation into brake malfunction stems from what National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials said people have described as the complete and sudden loss of braking.

The affected vehicles are pickup trucks from the model years of 2016 and 2015. The vehicles have V-6 engines that are 3.5 liters in size. The agency reported that it had already received 10 reports about brake trouble on the 2015 vehicles, as well as 15 reports regarding the 2016 vehicles.

The agency’s investigation covers more than 280,000 pickup trucks. In the complaints related to the 2015 vehicles, consumers alleged that the brake pedal went to the floor of the vehicle and completely lost its effectiveness. Similarly, the complaints about the 2016 trucks indicated that the drivers lost their brake function and that there was no illumination of the brake warning lamp, along with no indication of a low level of brake fluid. A recall has not been issued for these pickup trucks.

Brake malfunction in a vehicle can quickly lead to an accident resulting in serious injuries or even death. If a person in West Virginia is injured as a result of this type of auto defect, it is within his or her right to seek damages through the civil court system. Likewise, the loved ones of a person who has died as a result of a defective vehicle may file a wrongful death claim and demand monetary damages.

Source: USA Today, “Feds probe ‘complete loss of brakes’ in Ford F-150s“, Nathan Bomey, Oct.4, 2016