So I was driving home the other night on my 50mi commute from work when part way through the trip my dash lit up with more popup alerts than an infected Windows computer. I'd clear them and they'd keep coming back. Adding to the concern factor were lots of yellow icons that I normally only seen when starting the car. I stopped at the next service plaza and shut off the car thinking a reboot might resolve the issue. It was to no avail. It took me some time to figure out what all I lost, but it was apparent most of my advanced driver assist technologies were on the fritz.
Here's what I lost:
- cruise control
- collision avoidance
- lane keeping
- hill start assist
- back up assist
- advanced trak
- air bags
Just about the only advanced features I had still operating was BLIS and the backup camera. the hill start assist was the most annoying alert because it alarmed every single time the engine kicked in, which on a road with rolling hills is very frequently.
Although I lost the systems this past Thursday, today (Thursday) was the earliest I that the dealer had an availability and I had the ability to bring the car in. When I took the car in this morning the service representative took one look at my dash lights and said I'd need a loaner. When I asked if it was just for a day or two she gave me that "you wish" look. Without even plugging in any diagnostic device she said she was pretty sure my restraint control module had failed. She then said they had seen this issue quite a few times on Fusions and some other models recently and that it must be a pretty systemic problem because the modules are constantly on back order. When I asked how long the wait was she said sometimes a month or longer.
A few hours later she called to confirm that it was the restraint control module that had failed and that they would try to get one as quickly as possible, but was not overly optimistic about the time frame.
This means I've gone from driving my awesome 2013 FFH that is consistently getting me around 52 mpg on my 100mi round trip commute to a 2011 Fusion SE that is getting 29mpg and has none of the advance driving and comfort features I've become so used to.
At least this happened while I was under the full warrentee. But I am very bummed because I'm only about one tank of gas away from finally achieving a lifetime fuel economy rating of 47MPG. If I lose use of my FFH for a month, we will be into October and I will be running out of high MPG driving days before the coldness of fall sets in hard and my MPG starts dropping dramatically. Of course this is assuming that something doesn't happen to cause my lifetime MPG to get reset as part of the fix. I did take pictures of my dash, and could get an approximate lifetime by comparing the pre and post RCM transplant averages, but this wouldn't be the same as finally getting to see the big 47.0 appear for the full lifetime MPG after 30,000 miles of very careful driving.