In May 2022, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) opened a defect petition (DP22-001) to evaluate whether to grant or deny three petitions requesting a defect investigation into an alleged defect of the "valve-train" on certain 2021 Ford Bronco vehicles equipped with the 2.7L Eco-boost engines.
The petitioners alleged that their 2021 Ford Broncos vehicles are experiencing a loss of motive power at highway speeds with no restart. It is suspected that the alleged loss of motor power is a result of catastrophic engine failures due to the engine valves failing. Ford identified the root cause as the valve "keepers" not holding the retainer in place allowing the valve spring to detach from the valve resulting in interference between the valve and piston. This interference can cause an engine lockup.
ODI has identified 26 vehicle owner's allegedly experiencing defects in their vehicles. Based on ODI's review of the reports, the NHTSA has decided to open this Preliminary Evaluation to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.
Below are a few owner complaints:
“While driving approximately 45 MPH he heard a ticking sound coming from the engine and then a grinding sound before the vehicle stalled. The contact stated there was no warning light illuminated. The contact stated that after coming to a complete stop there were several unknown warning lights illuminated. The contact had the vehicle towed to a dealer. The failure mileage was 2,812.”
“Engine locked up at 1,255 miles. Seemed to be running fine, then heard a noise and the vehicle started to decelerate and started clicking. Tried to restart and would not start. The starter would stay engaged with the foot taken off of the brake. Had the unit towed to the dealership and the engine was replaced.“
“While driving at an undisclosed speed, the vehicle made clicking sounds and then lost motive power. The check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed with engine failure. The dealer informed the contact that the engine needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 923.”
“While pulling up to a yield sign the vehicle lost all power and shut off causing it roll past the yield sign and come to a stop in traffic blocking the roadway. The vehicle was towed to the Ford dealership and after being diagnosed it had a broken valve that caused catastrophic failure to the engine head and caused the head of the engine to be replaced."