Another Recall for the Ford Bronco
You know things are off the rails when typing “2023 Ford Bronco” into a search bar on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s database returns results with the words DO NOT DRIVE THIS VEHICLE in angry bold letters outlined with a red box. Oh, dear.
While that missive from the NHTSA may be a bit over-alarmist given it is for an easily remedied – but admittedly dangerous – issue of loose lug nuts from the factory, it remains true that Ford has issued yet another recall for its popular Bronco off-roader.
Other recalls have surfaced in the past, such as the lug nut issue and a flap about steering which affected a small number of vehicles. This time around, the focus is centering on certain 2021 – 2023 Bronco SUVs built with the five-door body style. Apparently, the first-row seat belt latch plates may be difficult to access from their stowed position, putting the things in violation of a particular health and safety standard. According to the tall hats, difficulty accessing the seat belt latches may result in occupants not wearing their seat belts, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.
Fair enough – but if someone who is bound and determined to wear their belt is likely to spend an extra 5 seconds fishing the latch out of whatever crevice the NHTSA has deemed to be a problem. On the flip side, even a plainly visible latch will not entice the most ardent seatbelt hater to buckle up. According to the recall’s description, the stowed position of the latch plate, as determined by the seatbelt webbing sewn loop, seems to be in such a position that it does not have much space between the seat back and a piece of interior trim, thus potentially preventing “unhindered access” to the latch plate. This author will note he has never noticed this deficiency on any of the multiple Bronco 4x4s of various trims he has driven over the years.
Dealers will add a sliding clip latch stop to the driver and front passenger seat belts, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 30, 2023. In total, roughly 175,000 Bronco SUVs could be part of the recall. Have a Bronco and are wondering if yours is affected? Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 23C16.
[Images: Author, NHTSA]
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