Thursday, December 8, 2022
News The NHTSA is Investigating the Ford Bronco due to Several Cases of...

The NHTSA is Investigating the Ford Bronco due to Several Cases of Engine Failure

Ford and the NHTSA are both investigating a series of Bronco 2.7L engines that destroyed themselves in less than 10,000 miles.

  • The Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) has received 32 customer complaints

  • The 2,7L EcoBoost V6 engine in the Bronco has failed in at least 50 vehicles, most of which have less than 10,000 miles

  • Ford is also investigating the issue and a recall will likely be announced

The new Ford Bronco is one of the most popular vehicles on the market right now, whit considerable waiting lists and delivery delays.

Struggling to meet demand can sometimes lead automakers to cut corners in order to increase production and it appears that Ford might have done so since the NHTSA is now launching an investigation into numerous cases of engines that failed with less than 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) on the clock.

As of now, the Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) has received 32 customer complaints about failed 2.7L engines in the new Bronco and internet forums have compiled a list that includes at least 50 different occurrences.

Catastrophic problems like this usually happen to early production units of a new model when the kinks have not all been ironed out of new technology, but this is not the case.

Indeed, the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine that is the subject of all of the complaints is not a new engine, it has been used without major issues in Ford trucks since 2015 and the current version has not been significantly modified since 2018.

One theory that could explain the engines destroying themselves so rapidly, in one case with only 3 miles (4,8 kilometers) on the odometer, is that Ford could have used a bad batch of valves made by an outside supplier.

2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak 4-door | Photo: Olivier Delorme

This theory has not been confirmed, but it seems plausible since the explanation is that the metal used to make the valves is not resistant enough to the heat generated by the engine and it becomes brittle in normal use.

In addition to the NHTSA, Ford is also investigating the issue and the automaker released a statement saying that any engine problems will be covered by the standard powertrain warranty, at no cost to the owners.

This is reassuring, but it’s little consolation to the at least 50 owners who have waited many months for their new vehicle, only to have it become undrivable only a few weeks after delivery.

When the cause of the problem is confirmed, a recall will most likely be launched and it might include other models in addition to the Bronco since the same engine is also used in some versions of the F-150 pickup.

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