NHTSA Opens Investigation Into Ford Bronco Over Catastrophic Engine Failures


What’s happening

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation that seeks to learn more about reports of Ford Bronco engine failures.

Why it matters

The Bronco is an immensely popular new SUV, and potential engine failures are always a cause for concern.

If enough owners complain to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the same problem, the feds will open an investigation that seeks to get more information about any potential underlying causes. It’s an important step that can precede a potential recall, and the latest such investigation is pointed right at Dearborn, Michigan.

NHTSA last week opened an investigation into Ford and the 2021 Bronco SUV over complaints related to a loss of motive power. According to NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation report, drivers may experience a loss of power “due to catastrophic engine failure related to a faulty valve.” This investigation covers 25,538 examples of the 2021 Ford Bronco, all of which are equipped with the automaker’s 2.7-liter, twin-turbo, V6 gas engine.

Thus far, NHTSA has received 32 complaints along these lines. According to Motor1, the valve problem is potentially a supplier issue: A bad batch of valves made it into production engines and can possibly become brittle under the stresses of the combustion chamber. It’s unclear how many of the 25,538 vehicles under investigation actually contain any potentially faulty parts. At this time, the investigation is limited to the Bronco, although other Ford vehicles do utilize the same V6.

“We are aware of a select number of engines with this concern and we are investigating,” a Ford spokesperson said in a statement. “If any customers are experiencing issues, they will be covered under the vehicle’s 5-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty. We will cooperate with the NHTSA as we always do.”



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