Following reports from multiple owners, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into the Ford Broncos, equipped with a 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine.
“Under normal driving conditions, without caution, the car may lose motive power without restarting due to a faulty valve catastrophic engine failure,” the safety regulator wrote in a document describing the customer’s complaint.
Its Office of Defect Investigation said it had received 32 complaints from owners claiming to be affected by the problem. Some complained that their SUV lost power while driving on highway speeds and they could not restart it.
Read more: Owners of Ford Bronco with 2.7L V6 engine can drive a ticking timebomb
Complaints from owners have spread beyond the NHTSA website. We reported last month that owners are making similar complaints on forums, Facebook and Reddit.
The final cause of the problem has not yet been discovered but, based on the owner’s complaint, the engines appear to be dropping the valve. The amount of damage is such that the owners of the Bronco have reported that their engines need to be completely replaced after this problem has occurred.
“We are aware of this concern and are investigating the number of engines selected,” Ford told Drive in April. “If a customer encounters a problem, they will be covered by the car’s 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.”
Complaints of drivers losing power while traveling on highway speeds, however, have a concern beyond the financial one. Accidental, catastrophic engine failure on the highway can increase the risk of accidents.
The NHTSA’s probe is not about withdrawing, but it is now looking into the matter and could finally make a start. If it does, the potential population of 25,538 vehicles could be affected.