Earlier we covered the saga of the new Ford Bronco left in a snowstorm toward the end of last year. According to Tyronne Raddi, the owner, the factory soft top was on it the entire time, with all of the attachments secured. A blizzard ensued, with the results you see here. The Bronco6G forum has multiple posts from Bronco owners with similar results. Though it looks like Raddi didn’t even have the top on, those forum posts prove this was no isolated case.
What does Ford have to say?
Once the images hit the internet, Ford was forced to respond. A spokesperson told the Drive, “We’ve only seen something like this when the roof has been left open or unlatched. The customer should flag this concern with their dealer to inspect what might have happened in these photos. If there’s an issue, he would be covered under warranty. However, until an inspection is completed, this is all speculation.”
When you see the images it is hard to believe there was anything covering the Bronco. Looking at the engine compartment, it looks like the hood had been left open as well. But just like with the top the hood was also closed and latched.
The Bronco forums have similar stories
So what’s going on? From other accounts, it appears that the Ford soft top just doesn’t do what a top should do. That is, to seal off the inside from the elements. Some forum posters say that the latch at the middle of the top won’t latch if the front is latched, or vice-versa.
So the middle latches seem to be an issue in properly securing the top. There is even a video of a top that was not secured in the middle, during a storm, with estimated 100 mph winds. The force ended up almost ripping the top off of the Bronco and it flexed the windshield enough to crack.
But there is more evidence. Based on the forums, winds around 50 mph are enough to lift the soft top, creating a draft. So a blizzard, with those high winds, is going to get into the Bronco interior.
Why can’t Ford make a hardtop?
The big question is, Why can’t Ford make a top like every other vehicle made? Why is the Bronco’s hardtop persona-non-grata, while the only alternative; its soft top, is not up to the task? It has been the Bronco’s Achillies heel.
All Broncos built today have the new and improved hardtop. Those who have taken delivery of a Bronco with the earlier hardtop can have them replaced free of charge by Ford. And those with the soft top?
Ford says either the dealer will fix them under warranty, or, you can always buy an aftermarket top. There are a number available from places like CJ Pony Parts. They’re not cheap, but we expect they work like a top is supposed to.