NHTSA Investigating Ford Bronco over Complaints of 'Catastrophic Engine Failure'

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver
  • NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation is looking into complaints that owners' 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs suddenly stopped running and would not restart.

  • The cause is believed to be a possible valve defect in the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, which is standard on the 2021 Bronco Wildtrak and optional on most other models.

  • The safety agency received three separate petitions in March 2022 requesting the investigation, which could lead to a recall if the results warrant one.

The ultra-popular Ford Bronco is now being investigated for a possible recall after 32 owners complained that their 2021 model SUVs stopped running suddenly and would not restart. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation is currently at the stage of reviewing three separate petitions filed in March asking for an investigation into the issue.

According to the agency's documents, the problem is believed to relate to a defective valve in the 2021 Bronco with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine. That engine is standard on the Wildtrak (pictured above) and optional on all other models except the Everglades and Raptor, on which it's not available. NHTSA describes the problem this way: "Under normal driving conditions without warning, the vehicle may experience a loss of motive power without restart, due to a catastrophic engine failure related to a faulty valve within 2.7-liter EcoBoost engines."


Ford told Car and Driver in a statement: "We are aware of a select number of engines with this concern and we are investigating. If any customers are experiencing issues, they will be covered under the vehicle's five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. We will cooperate with the NHTSA as we always do."

NHTSA says 25,538 Broncos are potentially affected, although there is no recall on the horizon at this point. Owners can check the NHTSA recalls site to see if their vehicle becomes subject to a recall.

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