Ford Faces Scrutiny as U.S. Auto Safety Regulators Expand Probe into Engine Failures Affecting 709,000 Vehicles

In a recent development, U.S. auto safety investigators have intensified their inquiry into Ford Motor Co. engine failures, encompassing nearly 709,000 vehicles in the process. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not only expanded the scope of its investigation but also elevated it to the level of an engineering analysis, signaling a step closer to a potential recall.

The investigation now encompasses a range of Ford vehicles, including the popular F-150 pickup truck, as well as Explorer, Bronco, and Edge SUVs, along with Lincoln Nautilus and Aviator SUVs. All these vehicles belong to the 2021 and 2022 model years and are equipped with 2.7-liter or 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged engines.

The NHTSA’s concerns revolve around reports of engine failures that result in a loss of power under normal driving conditions, attributed to alleged faults in the valves of these engines. The initial phase of the investigation was launched in May of the previous year, following three letters of complaint from vehicle owners, initially focusing on the 2.7-liter engine in Broncos.

Since then, the situation has escalated, with Ford reporting a total of 861 customer complaints, warranty claims, and engine replacements across the various affected models. Fortunately, no accidents or injuries have been linked to these engine issues.

Ford responded to the NHTSA’s concerns by stating that the defective intake valves tend to fail early in a vehicle’s life, and the majority of these failures have already occurred. Furthermore, the company informed the NHTSA that it had implemented a valve design change in October 2021.

In response to these developments, Ford issued a statement on Monday, expressing its commitment to cooperate fully with the NHTSA during the investigation process.

The NHTSA’s future steps involve evaluating the frequency of these engine failures and assessing the effectiveness of Ford’s manufacturing improvements designed to rectify the problem. This thorough evaluation will help determine the necessity of a potential recall and its scope.

The expanded probe has cast a spotlight on the importance of vehicle safety and the role of regulatory agencies in safeguarding consumers. With hundreds of thousands of Ford vehicle owners potentially affected, the investigation is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of these popular models.

The Ford F-150, renowned for its performance and versatility, is a staple in American households and businesses. The Explorer, Bronco, and Edge SUVs cater to a wide range of consumers, offering various options for families and adventurers alike. On the luxury front, the Lincoln Nautilus and Aviator SUVs are known for their refinement and premium features.

In recent years, the automotive industry has seen an increased focus on safety, with advances in technology and engineering aimed at minimizing the risks associated with driving. Manufacturers are continually working to improve the quality and reliability of their vehicles, striving to provide consumers with peace of mind.

As the NHTSA delves deeper into the Ford engine failures, both the automotive industry and vehicle owners are eager for a resolution. A potential recall could have a significant impact on Ford and its reputation, while also serving as a reminder of the importance of rigorous safety standards and continuous quality control in the manufacturing process.

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