Should the Federal Investigation Into the Ford Bronco’s V6 ‘Catesrophic Failures’ Worry You?

The Ford Bronco must be one of the most anticipated cars in a long time. People cued up to reserve them in 2020, but once the chip shortage began and Bronco waitlists got over a year-long, people really lost it. Now that many people have grossly overpaid for the coveted Bronco, reports are flooding in of catastrophic engine failure from the 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost. Although there have been enough reports to warrant the NHTSA opening an investigation, should Ford Bronco owners be afraid?

What’s going on with the Ford Bronco’s V6? 

Although the NHTSA is the official investigative body, these 32 reports aren’t the only unhappy Bronco buyers. Complaints continue to emerge on Facebook groups, forums, and Reddit as well. 

Ford has yet to discover why the Ford Bronco engines are experiencing this failure. However, based on the customer complaints, the issue seems to be that the Broncos are dropping a valve. The complaints all end the same way. Once they got the truck back to Ford, the only fix was to replace the engine with a brand new unit. 

“We are aware of a select number of engines with this concern, and we are investigating,” Ford told The Drive in April. “If any customers are experiencing issues, they will be covered under the vehicle’s 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.” 

Is the Ford Bronco reliable? 

A red 2022 Ford Bronco Wildtrak model with option HOSS 3.0 parked on a snowy off-road trail in a forest
2022 Ford Bronco Wildtrak | The Ford Motor Company

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According to Carscoops, multiple 2021 Ford Bronco owners reported catastrophic engine failure from the new V6 Bronco. So many were reported, in fact, that the ​​National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just opened an official investigation into the V6 Broncos. 

“Under normal driving conditions without warning, the vehicle may experience a loss of motive power without restart due to catastrophic engine failure to a faulty valve,” the safety regulator wrote in a document describing customer complaints. 

So far, the organization has received 32 complaints from V6 Bronco owners claiming that they lost power while driving down the road and then were unable to restart it. That said, Ford has sold 36,000 Broncos year-over-year. The NHTSA says 25,000 were made in the manufacturing period to be affected potentially. Given the math so far, the failed engines make a small sample.

Is the Ford Bronco dangerous? 

Ford BRonco Raptor jumping
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor | Ford

Anytime you have a catastrophic engine failure, there is a certain amount of danger involved. For instance, if you are on the highway going 60 mph and you drop a valve, it could easily tear up other metal bits inside the engine.  

That being said, considering that there are only 32 reports from over 36,000 sold that match the spec, there still isn’t too much cause for concern. Remember, the NHTSA investigating potential defects is ultimately better for the model. It’s also important to keep in mind that there isn’t a recall, at least as of now. 

The NHTSA’s main goal is to keep America’s drivers safe by creating better regulations and systems of accountability for manufacturers. 

Sorry again, Bronco owners

Even though affected Bronco owners get a new engine out of it, Broncos are already massively backed up. Having old Broncos showing back up for new engines will further gum up the works. 

Maybe one day, the Ford Bronco will have an easier time getting to customers. In the meantime, I guess we’ll just keep watching people pay $80k for a truck that MSRPs for $55k, and that might also blow up within as little as a few hundred miles. I guess when I put it like that, buying a Bronco right now seems like a pretty bad idea. 

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