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Ford’s recall woes continue. Another instance of Ford warning Bronco and Ranger owners to stop driving their vehicles is part of this latest recall. Today the automaker issued a recall of 2023 Broncos and Rangers due to instances of wheels coming detached. It’s not that there is a possibility of it happening, there are reports it already has. So before you venture out in your Bronco or Ranger, check your lug nuts first.

Why are wheels coming off Bronco and Ranger vehicles?

2023 Ford Ranger production at Dearborn plant
2023 Ford Ranger and Bronco production at Dearborn plant | Getty

This is the second do not drive recall for the Bronco in the last 30 days. The first on March 6 was over steering gears locking up. Ford says the origins of this recall started in February. A robot tasked with torquing down lug nuts shut down at its Dearborn manufacturing facility that makes the two models. Ford’s backup plan was to manually torque the nuts. 

For whatever reason, the backup plan didn’t work as well as hoped. Lug nuts on the driver’s side are not set to the proper torque specification, necessitating this recall. The robot was down from February 9 to February 11, which translates into 442 Rangers and almost 1,000 Broncos. Of those, Ford estimates around 20% could have loose lug nuts. 

The automaker says in the recall filing that it is aware of one warranty claim and two reports of wheels detaching. One of the reports describes a detached wheel causing damage to an adjacent vehicle as well. So this is not hypothetical.

What does Ford say about the recall?

2023 Ford Ranger production at Dearborn plant
2023 Ford Ranger production at Dearborn plant | Getty

Ford warns not to drive your Ranger pickup or Bronco until the lug nuts are set to the proper specs. It is a rather easy task for owners to do themselves, with torque specifications available in the owner’s manual. If you don’t own a torque wrench or prefer that Ford do it for you, it has mobile repair teams that can come to your business or residence to tighten the lug nuts. Unfortunately, owners who torque the lug nuts down must still see a dealer to confirm the procedure. 

“Certain 2023 Broncos and Rangers are equipped with lug nuts on the driver’s side that may not have been properly tightened to specification,” Ford said in a statement to Carscoops. “We contacted customers and instructed them not to drive their vehicles until they can verify the torque of the lug nuts. For owners that want to and have the skills to verify the torque on the lug nuts, instructions were provided for torque verification.

“Owners performing this procedure must still schedule an appointment with their dealer for an inspection as part of this recall. Ford is helping connect customers to their local dealer to have their vehicle inspected and repaired through mobile service or a scheduled pick-up and delivery or arranged tow at no cost.” If you have questions or concerns about your Ranger or Bronco you can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or Ford’s recall center for more information.


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