NHTSA investigates Ford Bronco 'catastrophic engine failure' reports

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Ford's sixth-generation Bronco is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over reports of "catastrophic engine failure." The federal agency wrote that it has received three petitions requesting a probe into the alleged problem.

Assigned NHTSA action number DP22001, the investigation stems from petitions that claim some Bronco models powered by the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 suffer from a valvetrain-related problem that manifests as a loss of power at highway speeds. Starting the engine is then reportedly impossible due to what is described as "a catastrophic engine failure." There's no mention of precisely which component fails.

"This defect petition has been opened to evaluate the issue and determine whether to grant or deny the petitions," the NHTSA wrote on its website. That means the investigation is not a recall, does not force Ford to issue a recall, and does not acknowledge an issue with the V6.

Enthusiast forum Bronco6G has been documenting cases of engine failures since Bronco deliveries began; as of writing, 50 of its members have reportedly experienced the issue described in the NHTSA's documents. Some describe it as a dropped valve, a problem which usually damages the cylinder and the head, and many of the affected SUVs have received a new engine. Ford said that it's aware of the issue.

"We are aware of a select number of engines with this concern and we are investigating. If any customers are experiencing issues, they will be covered under the vehicle's five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty," a spokesperson for the Blue Oval told The Drive in April 2022.

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