EMI in Ford Focus Hybrids

Ford today announced that noise due to electro-magnetic interference (EMI) from two neighboring wires triggers its brake control module on Ford Focus hybrids to disable its brake-by-wire and switch to the traditional hydraulic brake system.

Two aspects stand out:

  1. The brake control module (BCM) checks for noise (likely resulting in state changes) and thinks the brake-by-wire is encountering problems.  A software fix takes care of this.  Newer Ford Focus hybrids (and Milans) already have the fix.
  2. There is a mechanical backup system as  a fail-safe mechanism.

It would be interesting to know whether the brake-by-wire system continues to work (close to) normally if it did not declare itself faulty.

Ford had put in a built-in fail-safe mechanism.   That was a good design choice.


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