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Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation into 20,000 2013 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor SUVs that may have a faulty part that could lead to braking problems.

In a notice posted Tuesday, NHTSA said it received a report from a metropolitan police fleet that reported 13 brake hose failures in 11 vehicles out of a fleet of 46 Ford 2013 Explorer Police Interceptor vehicles. The hoses are also known as “jounce hoses.” The problems took place between December and July, said the police department — which was not named by NHTSA.

NHTSA said inspection of the failed hoses showed small splits in the hoses near the body side of the hose assembly. NHTSA doesn’t have any reports of crashes or injuries linked to the issue. The problem could result in longer braking distances.

Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said it is “cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do.”

DShepardson@detroitnews.com

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