The passenger braking problem we uncovered in the Fiat 500 does not extend to the latest-generation Ford Ka on which it’s based – despite the mechanism on both cars being the same.
In Issue 1,169, we revealed our engineer had tested a reader’s 500 and discovered it could be brought to a halt by a passenger pressing down on the floor.
During the inspection, Mark Brown of Banwells in Nottingham found a protective plastic cover stamped by Ford, leading him to believe the Fiat’s sister model, the Ka, might be affected. But Mark tested a current Ford model for Auto Express and told us: “Access to the bar is restricted by the design and shape of the dash. The passenger would not be able to get a foot on it.”
A Ford spokesman said: “The unique design of our console ensures passengers are not able to get in direct contact with the brake link shaft mechanism.” Fiat is currently testing reader Sharon Brook’s 500, and has promised to report back with its findings. The Government’s vehicle inspection agency, VOSA, will also investigate the matter.