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Ford just issued its fourth recall for the 2023 Bronco this year. This comes on the heels of seven Bronco recalls last year. The latest recall involves over 175,000 five-door Broncos built between 2021 and this year for seatbelt issues. Ford led the way in recalls last year with 67. 

What is the reason for the Bronco recall?

2023 Ford Bronco in open terrain with rocks surrounding it
2023 Ford Bronco | Ford

One reason Ford held back the 2024 Ford F-250 production launch until just last week is due to Ford’s abysmal recall record. The automaker spent extra time making sure that potential F-250 issues were addressed before it went into full-blown production. The Bronco did not have this luxury, apparently. 

This particular recall is a bit strange because it only affects five-door Broncos, not the three-door. That’s because the problem is with there not being enough room between the seat back and B-pillar trim, making for what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says is a violation of its “Latch Plate Access” safety standard. 

Which Ford Bronco SUVs are affected?

A blue 2023 Ford Bronco off-road
2023 Ford Bronco | Ford

Basically, this means that it is more difficult for the driver and passenger to grab the seatbelt latch from over their shoulder. While it seems like a bit of a stretch to ding an auto manufacturer for a slight inconvenience, the concern is that if it is difficult to reach around for the latch, drivers won’t use the seatbelts at all. 

The recall is expansive, affecting every five-door Bronco built between September 23, 2020, to May 9, 2023. That means 39,302 2021 models, 88,704 2022 models, and 47,544 five-door Broncos so far this year. But possibly a larger issue than the recall itself is how this problem flew through the development stage unnoticed. Ford is said to be investigating that now.

What should Bronco owners know?

A blue Ford Bronco ascends an off-road hill. The Ford Bronco offers three engines to consider.
2023 Ford Bronco | Ford

Fire Risk: The Ford Bronco Sport Has Another Annoying Recall

Affected Bronco owners will begin to be notified at the end of June. Owners will need to return the Broncos to their local dealer for the fix, which is the attachment of a sliding clip to the belt. The clip will position the belt in the legal position. A supplement to the owner’s manual will instruct how to use the clip. 

Owners wanting more information or having concerns about the recall can contact Ford’s recall center, called On-Line Automotive Service Information System or OASIS. Refer to recall 23C16. They can also contact Ford Customer Service at 866-436-7332, or the NHTSA’s Hotline at 888-327-4236. The NHTSA recall identification number is 23V358. 

With recalls being a reflection of a vehicle’s quality, it continues to hamper Ford. For years its slogan was “Quality Is Job One.” It seems that lately, it has forgotten this basic tenant.