In a recent development, U.S. auto safety investigators have broadened their ongoing investigation into engine failures associated with Ford Motor Company, now encompassing nearly 709,000 vehicles. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has elevated the status of the inquiry, classifying it as an engineering analysis, which is a crucial step toward a potential recall.

This comprehensive investigation now casts a much wider net, affecting various 2021 - 2022 Ford model vehicles equipped with either 2.7-liter or 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged engines. These include the popular F-150 pickup truck, as well as the Explorer, Bronco, and Edge SUVs. The investigation also includes Lincoln Nautilus and Aviator SUVs as well. The issue revolves around these engines potentially losing power under normal driving conditions and "catastrophic engine failures" allegedly stemming from faulty valves.

The investigation originally began back in May 2022 when NHTSA received letters of complaint from three vehicle owners, primarily focusing on the 2.7-liter engine used in Broncos. Subsequently, Ford disclosed a total of 861 customer complaints, warranty claims, and engine replacements. Notably, no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of these engine issues.

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Ford's response to NHTSA's inquiries includes an acknowledgment that defective intake valves tend to fail relatively early in a vehicle's lifespan, with the majority of incidents already having occurred. Additionally, the company informed NHTSA of a valve design change implemented in October 2021 to address the issue.

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Moving forward, NHTSA has expressed its intention to assess the frequency of these engine failures and thoroughly scrutinize the efficacy of Ford's manufacturing improvements aimed at rectifying the problem.

[Source: NHTSA]

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Gallery Credit: Beth Mowbray