By on February 19, 2021

Ford

Ford has announced that 1,666 2021 Ford Bronco Sports are being called back for jiggly rear suspension modules. Seems that someone in the Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant didn’t secure the rear suspension module to the subframe, which could affect the vehicle’s stability.

Bronco

1,640 Broncos in the U.S. and its territories are affected, another 24 in Canada, and two in Mexico. These loose or missing bolts could increase the risk of an accident, and injury due to a reduction in rear-impact collision performance.

Bronco

The build dates at the Mexican assembly plant were from July 22, to November 24, 2020. Ford dealers are being asked to check the bolts, tighten them if possible, or to replace them if it isn’t. The number for this recall is 21504. There have been no reports of any accidents due to rear suspension modules which have the wobbles.

[Images © 2020 Tim Healey/TTAC; Ford]

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58 Comments on “2021 Ford Bronco Sports Called Back for Jiggly Suspension Modules...”


  • avatar
    Nick_515

    In fairness, I’ve been known to be ok with “jiggly rear suspension” at times.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    There is one fix to your ford – don’t buy it

    • 0 avatar
      LINCOLNguy

      Well ..when it’s been called the BEST small SUV in its class by EVERY REVIEW out there ..we are gonna check it out. We did an bought one on the spot. It’s excellent in every way. We love our Badlands edition ’21 Bronco Sport. We’ve owned Explorers an those have excellent as well. Stop trolling.

      • 0 avatar
        C5 is Alive

        Congrats on your purchase and best of luck with it. There are plenty of recent examples, though, of how Ford build quality hasn’t just slipped; it’s flat-out cratered. This is one reason why I’ve advised several friends to steer clear of the Blue Oval for now.

        Please keep posting, though! I’m sure I’m not alone in being genuinely curious how the BEST small SUV in its class by EVERY REVIEW holds up in the real world.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        its class is subCUV, meaning it competes w/ the Crosstrek

        it’s a subcompact

        as for the Explorer

        2020 Ford Explorer | Who Is Responsible For This?
        Savage Geese on Youtube

        bottom line, he thinks it’s a hot mess, at least for the 2-3 years they will need to fix it

      • 0 avatar
        1337cr3w

        “it’s been called the BEST small SUV in its class by EVERY REVIEW out there”

        Your appeal to authority does not change the fact that these vehicles are being recalled.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Quality is Job One.
    QC, not so much.

  • avatar
    LINCOLNguy

    Yes it’s very well built. We love ours. Stuff happens with all new models..ask: well EVERY automaker in existence. Ours waa not part of this TINY recall and we are enjoying it immensely. Job well done Ford! The powertrain is amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @ LINCOLNguy Sir, Grandpa bought an F! truck in ’48. He had numerous biggest Ford sedans with the biggest V-8s until her went to Towncars Mom drove a 56 T-Bird to college, has a continental in her garage. I’ve had seven F-150’s, 2 Rangers, and 2 Mustang GT’s. Not correctly attaching various bits where they belong is an assembly failure. Ford should’ve caught that but didn’t. When things are that wrong you call in outside help (inspectors) to make sure things are screwed together correctly. This isn’t a “my phone didn’t synch properly” issue; it’s an old-school build quality issue.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    EBFlex is going to have a chubby!

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Not really. Ford having abhorrent quality is not exciting it’s just expected.

      Someday Ford will take quality seriously but not until people wake up and stop throwing their money away on garbage.

  • avatar

    “someone in the Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant didn’t secure the rear suspension module to the subframe”

    Someone you mean robot? Mexican robots are as committed as Japanese ones. It is all in software.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      When it’s software, you get what you pay for. If it’s low-cost and outsourced to a third-world country, you’re probably in trouble. Those outsource countries with low wages have produced some of the best coders I’ve ever seen, but those guys head for the USA and are making top dollar here. There can also be communication issues as well. That being said, I’ve had issues with US vendors myself.

  • avatar
    C5 is Alive

    This is a far better effort than Sakurai’s ridiculously atrocious Bolt article, which has since been pretty thoroughly cleaned up (er, “updated” in TTACspeak.)

    That said, unless the rear suspension modules have suddenly gained sentience, opposable thumbs and voting rights, the use of “who” in that last sentence is rather unfortunate.

    • 0 avatar
      C5 is Alive

      “There have been no reports of any accidents due to rear suspension modules which have the wobbles.”

      Nice correction, but still wrong. Read up on defining versus non-defining clauses.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Ford is playing 4D chess. When you want to compete with Jeep, you need Simulated Death Wobble.

    https://youtu.be/07yvJuhnUYM?t=11

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      LOL…Fair. I haven’t had a Jeep, but my last FCA product made 3 trips to the shop in 4000 miles. So far as I know, the passenger side window still leaks.

      My Ford’s are/were solid. However, I would not buy one right now that didn’t start with F and end with 50 and even that one I’d likely give a couple of years given recent launches. What a crapshow. I loved my Fiesta ST. This sort of BS is why I returned it at lease end however rather than rolling the dice.

      I have always preferred Ford, but their crap quality in seemingly every launch and their acting like Facebook with my data gives me pause.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      LOL. They took going after Jeep seriously right down to poor build quality.

      @Art Vandelay – agreed but then again all I’m interested in are trucks, offroaders and motorcycles.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Do recalls count as reliability failures in the JD power surveys? BMW and Ford seem to recall cars every 5 mins whereas I can’t remember the last product by JLR or Fiat to be recalled. Just an observation but something I’ve often wondered.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I still see the old boxy escapes on the road. If Ford could match the (relative) price and durability of what it was doing 20 years ago, I’d be buying one today. SUV/CUV were meant to be square designs, with bumpers, big windows and manual transmissions……..

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      That was the plan. But then the Germans decided everything must be a 4-door coupe, and darned if the other automakers fell in line, even with “utility” vehicles.

      The government didn’t help, with emissions and economy standards that forced makers to design swoop into even the subcompact CUVs. Along the way, they ruled front ends must be “pedestrian-friendly”.

      They’re well on the way to replacing the back window with cameras. The Germans also led the way with high tech headlights that blind oncoming traffic, and cost as much as an engine overhaul to replace.

      OTOH, I saw a 1970s vintage Suburban with a sticker that read: “GO AROUND. Don’t expect speed from a vehicle designed to look like a brick”.

  • avatar
    probert

    Fro all those complaining – FORD DOESN’T OWE YOU ANYTHING!!! Courtesy of the State of Texas public policy commission.

  • avatar
    downunder

    Is it just me or do I see Range Rover/Landrover in the pictures of the blue Bronco? With that “clamshell” bonnet (hood) line and ignoring the 3rd/4th window line….. Seems that JLR DNA still permeates through Ford design centers. Or the Rover design is still an ageless classic.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    $28,000 base price, and for that you get a turbo 3-banger.
    Ford, I will not be your customer anytime soon. I know this is more than a tarted up Escape, but it’s still a vehicle more about image than substance.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ I know this is more than a tarted up Escape, but it’s still a vehicle more about image than substance.”

      Unfortunately it’s really not though. It’s an Escape with a butch body. But under the skin it’s just an Escape even down to having huge quality issues.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Never forget Ford is a global company that has to meet various standards different from American ones. The original Escape was co-designed with Mazda and was sold in Europe.

        The second generation catered more to American tastes and regulations, and wasn’t sold in Europe. The latest Bronco is intended to be a global market vehicle, and compromises were made, especially for European standards.

        For subcompact vehicles, Americans have to realize they can’t be designed exclusively for American desires, they have to meet other emissions and safety standards than our own, as well as $6/gallon equivalent fuel costs in much of the world. That’s where the 3-banger came from.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The story talks about “rear suspension module to the subframe”.

    Would the subframe be a separate assembly therefore it could be a supplier or sub-assembly fault as opposed to a main assembly line fault?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Only someone familiar with the factory build procedures can probably answer this authoritatively. Even before I retired 12 yrs ago most all this stuff was either done by robots or manually operated torque controlled electric drive guns, both with data logging.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Yes, the data logging should have flagged this issue before the vehicle made it to the next work cell – not when there are 1666 out in the wild.

        This error occurred in the engineering or coding office, not on the shop floor.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          Back in my time many years ago at GMAD, I remember that we had data too. I also remember running to final with that data and a list of jobs that a robot screwed up because it was in the process of calibration. They told me to forget about it that the dealer would take care of it.

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          @SCE to AUX I would think the plant used electric torque controlled guns–and data logging should have flagged the issue, and stopped the car from going to the next station.

          That’s in the plant. Why would you say that’s a engineering error?

          The automakers probably (and grudgingly, I’m sure) cast a wide net to make sure that they can inspect all of the POTENTIALLY defective vehicles.

          Perhaps it was only 1 or 2, but there are issues with the data in the plant, so they want to be sure.

          But either way, it’s a BIG screw-up. At best, it’s very embarrasing. At worse, the rear subfame is in fact not secure, and will come off at the worst possible time, with potentially tragic consequences.

          I agree with your point below–the economics of car manufacturing, as car makers try to squeeze out cost. Serviceability can cost more, or affect appearance, or both.

          On the other hand, if one wants to squeeze cost out of one’s life, just don’t buy insurance! Chances are, you’re paying for something you won’t need.

          How prudent is that? How prudent are the car makers?

          How much more are they ‘short-cutting’ now, compared to 1995-2010. A lot of those vehicles are still on the road. Perhaps vehicles ARE innately better, hence serviceability is not as important?

  • avatar
    Yankee

    The recall itself doesn’t mean it’s a bad vehicle. I’m a big fan of Toyota and Honda, but they’ve had their fair share of recalls too. I’m more concerned about how a 1.5 liter turbocharged engine holds up over time. But even this is probably not an issue, being that very few people hold on to vehicles for a long time anymore. It’s the second owner vehicles that me and my buddies see in the bays, and the results across the board have not been encouraging. Over the last 10 years or so, cars have become more and more disposable. We’re seeing more and more vehicles of all makes being junked because the cost of the repairs (sometimes just the parts) easily exceeds the value of the vehicle. It’s sad that even foreign brands seem to be taking their cues in the US market from domestic brands, who build cars that are designed to last 3 to 5 years and then be traded on the new model. Buyers who maintain their vehicles regularly and hold on to them for a long time are not the buyers the automakers want, and they are not building vehicles for this purpose.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      It costs more money to build a car that can be serviced.

      Besides, with the more prosperous economy over the last decade, people can afford to have others do the work, not to mention buying up to higher trim vehicles they don’t intend to keep. Alternately, they lease forever, and the middle age issues become someone else’s problem.

      It’s just about economics and shareholder value – there is no point in building a tank when the other mfrs will undercut you with a cheaper car that’s 90% as durable.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would not buy the first year of any new model or redesigned model. It takes time to iron out any bugs whether it be on the assembly line and/or new redesigned parts. Hopefully some the these defects will be worked out on the Bronco Sport before the release of the Maverick compact pickup which shares a platform, parts, and assembly plant. Ford needs to get this vehicle and all their vehicles right because their future and profits depend on these new vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve had several (more than 6, I think) first-year cars. Some were great; some not so much. Perhaps the worst car I ever had was a *last* year car.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      My last two cars were first year vehicles (2003 & 2014). Only one of them (the Japanese one ironically) had problems that were corrected in later years. So it’s been hit or miss for me, but in general I agree – don’t buy first year NEW vehicles as there are way too many unknowns. Once these same vehicles hit the used market they become a safer buy since all the recalls will have been performed and the forums will be full of how-tos on any gotchas.

      In fact this is one of reasons I prefer used vehicles, you know what to look out for and not going in blind. Others claim to buy new because of the full warranty but design defects and multiple return trips to the dealer (even for free fixes) do not make for an enjoyable ownership experience.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Yankee–True but if a manufacturer makes something too disposable and continues to raise prices then that manufacturer risks losing future sales from a bad reputation. I don’t expect any vehicle today to last forever but if it cannot make it 10 years without major repairs then it is not a quality product. There should be a higher standard for a car and house than for a toaster or hair dryer. I would be concerned about the 1.5 and 2.0 engines in the Bronco Sport especially with an enclosed water pump with timing belt.

    • 0 avatar
      Yankee

      @Jeff S: I couldn’t agree more with what you say. I’m lamenting the current state of vehicle design. As a mechanic, I also share your concern about enclosed water pumps. Just bad design as some customers with blown engines have found out. My point is that they are only building cars to last as long as the average American holds on to a car, which is not nearly as long as you or I or other enthusiasts who take care of their vehicles and don’t want to live with a perpetual car payment. As a result, I think our choices on the used market are going to continue to be more and more of a gamble as cars continue to be made more and more cheaply when new.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Basically most of the top sellers you can still buy new/newer, if you gotta, and keep in perpetuity. Lower trim levels, least gadgetry, avoiding turbos when possible. There’s strength in numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Vehicles and almost every other major item is being build more and more like disposable items. One doesn’t repair components, you replace them or you just buy another one.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have seen that with home appliances as well especially washing machines, stoves, refrigerators, ovens, and microwaves. Just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it will last longer. The last time I bought a new washing machine and dryer I bought the cheapest model because my more expensive front loader was falling apart after a few years. I did get over 10 years out of it the front loader but with constant repairs. So far the base lower price washing machine and dryer after 5 years has had zero repairs and both are still going strong. As for repairing and replacing Lou you are correct. I have always been one to maintain what I have and have in the past gotten many years of use out of items that others have either tossed or just broke. This is not true of items made today and it is futile to try to maintain items that are made to be disposable.

    I was going to wait and buy a new Maverick compact truck when they came out because I wanted a compact pickup but after researching the 1.5 and 2.5 engines in them which are used in the Escape and the Bronco Sport I decide not to along with the shorter almost nonexistent bed and only coming in a crew cab the Maverick was less appealing. I found a 2008 Ford Ranger regular XL base cab with air, automatic, power steering, power brakes, rubber floor, crank windows, and bed line with a 2.3 I4 for 3k with 101k miles. The mechanics were solid but it need a new rear bumper and a paint job which I got done along with used rims and new tires. Bought the Ranger on Craig’s List and put a total investment of $5,800. The Ranger is mechanically sound just needed a new paint job and a major cleaning which I cleaned it myself. I could have afforded a new truck but I didn’t want to buy something that was going to require costly repairs in the future. Also the Ranger is not my primary vehicle and I just needed a truck to haul things in that was not too big and that was easy and inexpensive to maintain but not too old.

    • 0 avatar
      Yankee

      Jeff S: I think that was money well spent on the Ranger. I did the same thing with a 2001 Nissan Frontier (130k, 2WD, manual transmission) for the same reasons. Spent 3 months going through it, cleaning and renewing/replacing every wear item, and had a friend who is a body man repair and repaint the one rear fender that was bad. Bought it for $1,200 and have right around $4k total in it now. I have gotten tons of compliments on it and people think it’s a lot newer than it is. The biggest problem is that if someone playing on their phone crashes into us, we will get next to nothing due to the age/mileage of our trucks, regardless of condition. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take for the sake of reliability. My mailman bought a brand new Silverado a couple years ago when he retired and numerous things have broken in the few years he’s owned it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Yankee–Hopefully no one crashes into you but you are still ahead of the game with a paid off vehicle that has reached the bottom of depreciation. I had a 2008 crew cab Isuzu with low miles I gave to my nephew’s wife–my nephew is a mechanic. I also had a 99 S-10 for over 20 years that was in perfect condition that I gave to my nephew who wanted it because it was a manual. My nephew has a couple of buildings where he has a lift where he can work on vehicles. He just restored my granddad’s 63 IH pickup with three on the tree and a straight 6. He gave my Ranger a going over with new brakes, new tires, and undercoating the bottom. Maaco repainted the Ranger and put the new bumper and mud flaps on it that I ordered on Amazon. I bought the Ranger last June before the price of used vehicles skyrocketed and plan on keeping it for a long time. Runs good and has cold cold air.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Wasn’t going to get rid of the Isuzu but she nagged me for it and I wasn’t using it that much. The Isuzu had heated leather seats, tow package, fog lights, tonneau cover, chrome running boards, and only 31k original miles that I put on over 12 years which I bought new for only 21k. I had promised her the truck but I wanted to wait but after I found and bought the Ranger then I gave it to her. As little as I drive a used truck makes more sense but I was interested in the base Maverick until I read that it had the 1.5 and 2.0 engines with the enclosed fuel pump.

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