The Bronco’s 2.7-liter engine is under scrutiny due to possible catastrophic engine failures.

NHTSA is investigating 2021 model year Ford Bronco SUVs due to reports of catastrophic engine failure. The failure point allegedly stems from valves dropping into their respective cylinders and causing serious internal damage. This issue could affect over 25,000 Ford Broncos equipped with the engine.

Ford’s Bronco might have been one of the automaker's biggest revivals in company history, but it seems like the Bronco might be facing some problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation of 2021 model year Ford Bronco SUVs that are powered by the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. The investigation centers around the engine’s valve-train, which can cause the engine to fail and render the turbocharged off-roader inoperable. This NHTSA investigation relates to more than just the 2.7-liter engine’s valve-train. The root cause of this issue appears to be that the valve keepers, which lock the valve spring retainers to the valves, are failing. This can cause one or more valves to drop into a cylinder, and cause a significant amount of damage.

Of course, this is an NHTSA investigation and not a recall. The agency is simply looking to "assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of the alleged defect." The NHTSA report cites 26 Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) complaints about the issue.

While that’s a relatively small number of complaints, this could affect over 25,000 Bronco owners, according to the NHTSA report.

It is worth noting that this 2.7-liter V6 isn't exclusive to the Ford Bronco. This turbocharged V6 sees use in Ford’s ever-popular F-150 pickup. As odd as it seems, there doesn’t seem to be an investigation for the engine in that particular application.

This could springboard into a recall, though the vast majority of these Broncos are probably still under the factory’s 60,000-mile warranty.

Still, it’s hard to say what the outcome of this NHTSA investigation will be until the investigation wraps up.

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