NHTSA Investigating Ford Bronco Engine Failures
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into multiple reports of ‘catastrophic engine failures’ at high speeds in 2021 Ford Bronco models, the the the wall street journal report today.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a filing made public this week that it is opening an official investigation into a series of reports involving 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs experiencing a loss of power at highway speeds. The probe covers nearly 25,500 vehicles, NHTSA said.
NHTSA said it has been considering whether to open an investigation into the potential defect since late May, when the agency said it received several petitions from Bronco owners regarding the alleged defect. In a meeting last month with Ford Motor, NHTSA staff learned that the alleged power loss was the result of catastrophic engine failures due to engine valve failure, the agency said in the filing. .
This action comes after 32 complaints Bronco owners were submitted to NHTSA’s Bureau of Defect Investigation. “Some barely avoided serious injury when their vehicles suffered a complete loss of power at highway speeds in traffic,” read one owner’s petition. According to NHTSA, no accidents or injuries have been linked to the alleged engine failures.
Ford would have refined the “root cause”, by WSJ, but did not respond to the publication’s request for comment:
Ford identified the root cause of the alleged fault as valve-piston interference in 2.7-liter EcoBoost engines, which can cause the engine to stall, NHTSA said. The regulator has identified 26 reports related to the Bronco’s alleged defect.
Jalopnik has also reached out to Ford for comment, and we’ll update this article with any response we receive.
Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Ford Ccommunication Manager Jiyan Cadiz replied to Jalopnik with the following statement:
We are aware of a number of early launch engines that had this issue and are investigating. If any customers have any issues, they will be covered by the vehicle’s 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. We will cooperate with NHTSA as we always do.
The Bronco comes standard with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo engine developing 300 horsepower; The 330-hp 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 at the heart of this flaw investigation is an optional upgrade engine (standard on the top-of-the-line Wildtrak model). NHTSA says up to 25,538 vehicles may be at risk for a fault, where pistons can collide with valves and cause total engine failure at high speeds.
For now, Ford has not announced a recall campaign, although this investigation could most likely be the prelude to it. It’s unfortunately not at all a new routine for Ford lately, which had to announce reminder after reminder across much of its lineup, especially as the company ramped up manufacturing of its most anticipated new models, like the Mustang Mach-E, maverick and, of course, the Bronco.