Suddenly, mysteriously, and anywhere at any time, a Ford truck parked on an incline would roll away on its own. At first, the consequences were minor—a dented bumper, a dinged garage door. But one day, at a secluded cabin in rural Pennsylvania, a Ford F-150 pickup rolled toward a crawling baby. Its rear tire caught his tiny arm, pinning him in place, then rolled over his head. A year later, and with many accidents in between, a spontaneously moving F-Series truck claimed as its victim a three-year-old playing outside his home in Elko, Nevada.
Throughout this time, the Ford Motor Company rejected the notion of a hazardous defect in the parking brake of the world's best-selling vehicle. But when some of the victims’ families grew suspicious and hired attorneys to investigate, the truth was revealed. Ford’s brakes were bad, dangerously bad. But proving it in court was another matter. Nearly fifteen years were spent trying to obtain justice for one family in a single case. Years later, a Ford parking brake—a new-generation brake—would claim yet another victim: a Pittsburgh husband and father of two, operating a Ford tow truck on the last day of his life.
In Bad Brake, Robert Zausner tells the true story of three horrific incidents caused by one of America’s automotive icons and the legal dramas that followed, in the process issuing a stark warning of the risk that still exists to anyone downhill of a Ford F-Series truck.
About the Author
Robert Zausner is the author of Two Boys: Divided by Fortune—United by Tragedy. He is a former journalist with United Press International and The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered government and politics.