Oil Sludge Might Be Disabling the Evoque's Power Brakes

TL;DR

Early model years of the Range Rover Evoque's 1st generation can experience a sudden loss of power brake assist. The engine-powered brake vacuum pumps need a constant supply of oil to avoid overheating. It appears oil sludge in Land Rover's engines are to blame for the pumps shutting down and dangerously increased stopping distances.

A pressure manometer with the arrow pointing to zero
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#investigation #brakes

Most power brakes rely on a vacuum pump to provide additional power to slow down your vehicle. If that vacuum loses its seal it can suddenly make pushing on the brake pedal a lot harder, dangerously increasing the distance it takes to stop when you're least expecting it.

A sudden loss of power brake assist is a common problem in the early model years (2010-2014) of the 1st generation Range Rover Evoque.

The early years use a single-vane rotary vacuum pump powered by the intake camshafts of the 2-liter gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) engine.

The pump, which is supplied by Magna International, requires a constant supply of clean oil to avoid overheating or busting a seal.

Oil Sludge is Busting the Pumps

It's believed that the pump is getting blocked by oil sludge forming in the GTDI engine. Once clogged the pump loses its vacuum and owners lose the ability to reliabily stop.

Oil sludge is a thickening of the engine oil that can be the result of poor maintenance or a defect within the engine.

Like most automakers, Land Rover is trying to pin this problem on owners not following the recommended oil change intervals. But it's likely that the GTDI could join a growing list of engines that are pre-disposed to this hell stew.

Federal Investigation

The National Highwaty Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary investigation of the brake pump failures back in December of 2018.

The investigation focused on claims made by 2012-2014 Range Rover Evoque owners.

The claims all souned similar. For example, one Evoque owner in New Jersey said he suddenly lost his brakes while driving down the highway. His wife and kids were in the car and he was only able to come to a stop after shiting into NEUTRAL and pulling over to the shoulder.

His quick thinking was critical, but he was also lucky as he had plenty of room to come to a stop. Not everyone has that same luxury.

Investigation expands and reaches one step closer to a recall

The investigation was upgraded in September 2020 once safety regulators learned that roughly 200 warranty claims had been filed related to sudden brake failure.

Peer vehicles added to the investigation

The following vehicles have been added as "peer vehicles" because they have the same 2-liter GTDI engine and single-vane rotary vacuum pump supplied by Magna International.

  • 2012-2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
  • 2013-2015 Land Rover LR2
  • 2015-2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport
  • 2013-2015 Jaguar XF
  • 2017 Jaguar XE

It's unclear if any of these vehicles would be involved in any potential recall.

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA