Stop Safely Now Warning

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Dec 6, 2012
After charging my FFE at work yesterday, I got in to go home and pressed the start button and got my first stop safely now message. I tried restarting the car numerous times to no avail. The car was towed to Downtown Ford in Sacramento. My FFE has 2000 gas free miles on the clock. Today, the dealer called me and said they are still doing testing. I wanted to start this tread totally dedicated to this problem. Thanks in advance for any input you can offer.
Read the forums. There are lots of posts about this issue. I, fortunently, have not had any messages, but many others have.
Rats! Spoke to the dealer and he said a rat got up on top of my motor and chewed a high voltage wire all the way through. Fortunately my insurance company is going to pay for the damage. They are going to replace the wiring harness that contains the wire as they don't want to splice the wire.
I'd push for Ford to pay for it. If it's appetizing to a rodent, what's to stop it from happening repeatedly?
Got the estimate from the dealer, $2800 for the harness and $1000 for the labor. I could have done it my self for about $5, but Ford is recommending the harness and so is the insurance company. Since it is a lease car, I probably have no say in the matter. I would have removed the pins from the connector, soldered new wires to them, then reinstalled them in the connector and spliced and soldered the new wires to the old ones with heat shrink, a little electrical tape and some flex tubing to finish off the repair and called it good.

Have a cat at home, but this happened at work while charging in our shop garage. I normally charge outside, but a fellow jealous coworker complained that the charging cord was a tripping hazard, even though I ran the cord next to a curb. You would have had to intentionally cross between the car and a curb to be able to trip on the cord. The tripping hazard claim was exaggerated! My bosses solution was to charge the car inside the shop.

The rat also chewed a water hose on the expansion tank of our Ford F550 truck.
I have had problems with rodents eating insulaton off of wires. But fortunatly it was only a grounding wire on my 1987 Shelby CSX. I would set up traps, or use rat poison to cure the problem.
I had the same issue, minus the rats. Got into my FFE this morning to take kids to school and then go to work. It was fully charged. Went about 2 blocks and it stopped. Really sucked. Had to get pushed out of the intersection. While in the intersection I tried to restart it but it wouldn't go. About 5 minutes later all is well. Drove it to work and back with no issue, about 40 miles. It has 1250 miles. I called Ford they said I can bring it in. Not sure I will unless it happens again. Anyone else had a similar issue?
Please take it to the dealer. The on board computer may of logged a fault code. It also may be that the car no longer sensed the key was in the car. If the car is ready to drive a green car with a double ended arrow below it will be shown on the dash. If you don't see this the accelerator (gas pedal) will not work.
It did it again yesterday morning. I will try to bring it in this weekend. Started fine this morning. That key thing may be it. It doesn’t seem to recognize that the key is in my pocket when i get close to the car as it did before. I will try the other key today. Thanks for the insight.

If the key in your pocket wasn't identified by the vehicle when you started, you should have received a message saying so on the left hand dashboard screen. I think it says "key not detected in vehicle" or something like that. IF you get that message, the manual recommends holding the keyfob on the righthand side of the steering column when pushing start.
If the car stops detecting the key while you are driving, it's not supposed to stop driving. I don't think it constantly looks for the key when driving. However it does look for the key whenever a door is opened and closed. If the key is not detected with car running and a door is closed, it double-honks and I think a message shows up on the screen but it should still drive. Anyway I would second jeff's suggestion to take it to the dealer to check out.

Leo said:
I had the same issue, minus the rats. Got into my FFE this morning to take kids to school and then go to work. It was fully charged. Went about 2 blocks and it stopped. Really sucked. Had to get pushed out of the intersection. While in the intersection I tried to restart it but it wouldn't go. About 5 minutes later all is well. Drove it to work and back with no issue, about 40 miles. It has 1250 miles. I called Ford they said I can bring it in. Not sure I will unless it happens again. Anyone else had a similar issue?

This is freaky. Mine did it today, same scenario, and (wait for it)--the mileage on it was exactly 1250 miles. What are the chances?
I got the stop safely Now warning together with an image of a spanner. The car refused to shut down.
Then the problem mysteriously disappeared. however. for a moment there was another icon-of a pan with drops falling in. Anyone have any idea what this is?
All of the dashboard indicators are explained in the owners manual (for both the Focus Electric, and the conventionally powered Focus).

Been reviewing the owners manual while I wait for my order to complete. The FFE's owner's manual is very detailed (including how to replace the exterior lamps and aim the headlights).
I purchased the Focus Electric at the end of last year, it's got ~ 1200 miles on it (I think) now.

I've gotten this message once and so has my husband. I started the car to head home from work and immediately got the "Stop Safely Now" warning. I turned off the car, started again, got the same message. Then, I turned it off again, and pulled out the manual. I tried starting it again, same problem. Then, I opened the door, shut the door, and tried to start it again and it worked. So, no problem, I thought. Then, earlier this week, my husband was DRIVING :shock: the car and got the message, luckily he was in commuter traffic and was able to pull over. The car just stopped working. He said he tried to start it a few times before it finally worked. I'm not sure what would have happened if he was driving in little traffic on the interstate, going 60 MPH, and the car just stops... worrisome.

I've been very happy with the car but this is troublesome :(

I'm going to go by the dealership this weekend.
An update:
it's unclear if I had two separate problems, or one problem that magnified. But one thing that clearly was wrong, in conjunction with the "stop safely now" warning, was a drained 12V battery.

Now, it's possible that the hard shut down I described helped to drain the battery. But it seems likely that the battery was already low.

The dealership reminded me that the 12 volt battery does not charge off of the large battery. It does not charge off of the plug. It does not ever charge, in any way, except off of the wheels, during regenerative braking. If you do a lot of coasting (rather than accelerating and braking) you may starve your battery, depending how high your use is. (I was aware--had been told--that it didn't charge when the car was off, but I didn't remember quite how limited the charging was.)

Things that drain the 12V battery: pretty much anything electrical that does not show a "hit" on your mileage for the big battery. I believe this includes

* lights, including flashers and cabin lights

* sound system (like listening to the tail end of a radio program or song after parking)

* navigation?

* voice interaction

* checking in via your phone app, which apparently wakes the car up for 20 min or half an hour each time (!) [This is a bad design choice--especially if they are going to promote leaderboards, showing the interface to friends, etc.]

* possibly, those annoying moments when they car tells you, yet again, that it's cold, even if you have not checked in with it (and even if there's no way to plug it in, to make it stop complaining).

* start button

In theory, I see no reason that the car could not keep driving with a dead 12 V battery, and a fully charged big battery. But it seems like that's not actually the case. In theory, it strikes me that, seeing they have a "low 12 V battery" warning, it should come on long before the battery level interferes with driving. But maybe that's not the case. In theory, it seems to me that they should be able to have a connection in the car where you can press a button and charge the 12 V battery from the big battery (but this does not exist). In theory, several of the things that run off of the 12V battery should probably be reconfigured to run off of the big battery (either by default, or optionally). In theory, if 12V depletion is a big problem, they could have a 12V charge port/plug and sell the car with a 12 V plug in converter/cable.

Anyway, my current working hypothesis is that my "Stop Safely Now" problems are linked to draining the 12 V battery, and that good 12 V battery "hygiene" should be able to avert at least one major cause of "stop safely now" warnings.

I was also told that "some clips were loose, and some other stuff." They were prepping the full list of what was done (diagnosis and repairs) for Ford, and will mail me a copy, at which point I should know more, and will post another update. I have to say, my local folks were very good about this, though it was totally new to them (and therefore took a while). So, a shout-out to Day Ford (if I'm allowed to do that.)

I don't know if "Stop Safely Now" causes downstream faults that can only be rectified at the dealer, or if a plain old jump to the plain old 12V battery might fix the problem. (I'm not too keen to be the guinea pig on that, unless Ford OK's it... but if anyone has tried it, please share the experience.) Having had several cars from the the 1960's (the generator era, where you also had to drive to recharge) I know that if a 12 V spends much time drained (or if your generator is bad) the battery doesn't hold charge very well when it is jumped (that is, a standard 12V car battery really isn't a rechargeable battery).

Anyway, if you are worried about "Stop Safely Now," keep your 12 V battery happy (it can't hurt) and have pretty much anyone check the health and strength of your 12 V battery if you're been drawing hard on it.
NB we have (at least) two threads on the same topic. More details over at the "sudden power loss while driving" forum.
I have been fortunate that my car has not experienced this problem. I thought I had read in the owner's manual that the high voltage battery does charge the 12 volt battery. I took a look and found the following text from the Roadside Emergencies section on jump starting the 12 volt battery (page 301 of the 2012 manual):

"After the disabled vehicle has been started and the jumper cables removed, allow it to dwell in Ready to Drive mode for several minutes so the high-voltage battery can continue to recharge the 12–volt battery."

If the manual is correct, it contradicts what the dealer has told you about the battery only charging from the regenerative braking system. It would be interesting to see if this problem can sometimes just be corrected by jump starting the low voltage battery, since the low voltage battery (I believe) powers the contactors for the high voltage battery. If the contactors are not engaged because the low voltage battery is drained, the high voltage battery won't provide any power.