Even a small defect can lead to injuries or even death.
The Ford Bronco's return after 24 years hasn't been smooth sailing as it is faced with various component woes, with the company recently warning owners that the wheels could fall off due to improperly tightened lug nuts. Now, the midsize SUV is facing another recall over a small design flaw found on the seatbelt.
A report by the NHTSA says that the seatbelt latch plates for the front occupants may be hard to reach because there isn't enough space between the backrest and the interior trim, hindering access to the latch plate.
In turn, passengers could get discouraged from using safety belts (if they can ignore the warning sound), which could lead to injuries or even death in the event of an accident. The report also said the faulty latch plates fail to meet safety regulations, hence the recall for 175,550 Ford Bronco units.
Ford reported 39,302 units of the 2021 five-door Ford Bronco are affected, while 88,704 units of the 2022 model year are included in the recall. The rest of the 47,544 units are the latest 2023 models. Occupants will naturally not receive any advanced warning due to the nature of the failure mechanism.
It was on May 5, 2023, when Ford opened an investigation into the concern. The Blue Oval is not aware of any customer warranty or field reports related to the issue. More importantly, the company didn't show any reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue.
To fix the issue, Ford or Lincoln dealers will install a sliding clip latch stop (barrette clip) to the driver and front passenger seatbelts. Owners will be given an owner's manual addendum with instructions on how to use the sliding clips. The service is, of course, free of charge.
Ford will start sending recall letters to owners on June 30, 2023, and is expected to be completed by July 6, 2023.
It seems like the company still couldn't catch a break dealing with faulty components after issuing more recalls than any other automakers in the US last year.
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