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Ford is getting a bad rep for the flood of recalls it issues. Though previous Bronco recalls have been voluntary, the one announced today is the first logged recall. The good news is that the recall only affects 553 units. But that may partly have to do with how few Broncos have been delivered so far, or that many are awaiting in fields for new tops to be installed. 

Ford’s Bronco recall is airbag-related, but not related to the Takata airbag issues

A blue 2021 Ford Bronco is parked.
The 2021 Ford Bronco | Scott Olson via Getty Images

This recall is airbag-related but has nothing to do with the massive Takata airbag debacle. An inflator for firing off the airbag may have been packaged incorrectly. The result could be an incomplete or complete deployment during an accident.

“The front passenger airbag may have been incorrectly folded during manufacturing,” Ford said in a statement to its dealers. “Incorrect folding may cause improper deployment of the airbag, increasing the risk of occupant injury during a crash.” 

So first off, dealers are prohibited from delivering any of the affected Broncos by the NHTSA. But Ford goes further; it doesn’t allow dealers to allow test drives in any open recall vehicles. So this results in many a Bronco that will have to sit in dealer lots until Ford sends them the replacement components. 

Ford will issue its Bronco bulletin to dealers sometime before the end of the year

Ford Bronco
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

A bulletin from Ford outlining what to do won’t be sent until toward the end of the year. All we can say is if we had waited until our Bronco was delivered, only to have it sit at the dealer, we wouldn’t be happy, to say the least. 

This follows an unfortunate string of bad Ford launches. Some delays were unavoidable related to COVID-19 shutdowns. But both before and after COVID delays and issues have plagued Blue Oval launches. 

From the 2019 Explorer to the new F-150 and now the Bronco, it is astounding that Ford continues to trip up around its launches of new models. While we hoped to see the Bronco launched cleanly once it was finally launched, that isn’t the case. With the top issues and now this, it is apparent this is a systemic problem. 

Will this be it for Bronco recalls?

Kevin Bacon and Jay Leno standing next to a blue 2021 Ford Bronco Sasquatch
Kevin Bacon, Jay Leno, and a 2021 Ford Bronco | Jay Leno’s Garage

The amazing thing is that Ford has been launching new models for over 100 years. Yet recently, each time a new launch is initiated, problems tend to bubble up. We know that with CEO Jim Farley at the helm, we were sure that the days of a bad Ford launch were behind them. Apparently, they may not be. 

Whether due to bad follow-up, poor engineering, or rushing to production, it is happening with increased frequency. We hope that this is the beginning and the end of Bronco woes. As for this recall, owners can expect recall notices to begin to show up around November 15. 


How Do You Know if Your Car Is Scheduled for a Recall?