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NHTSA Opens 2021 Ford Bronco 2.7L V6 EcoBoost Failure Investigation

A select number of 2021 Ford Bronco owners began having valve-related issues with their twin-turbocharged 2.7L V6 EcoBoost powerplants several months ago, and in early June, three of those owners filed petitions seeking an investigation into the matter by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in addition to around a dozen complaints filed by other owners. These problems are so bad that in some cases, owners have experienced total engine failure. Now, the NHTSA has indeed opened an investigation into 2021 Ford Bronco models equipped with the 2.7L V6 EcoBoost.

The investigation pertains to an estimated 25,538 2021 Ford Bronco models, while the NHTSA has received 26 complaints related to the matter thus far. Those that petitioned for the investigation – which is in the preliminary stages – have experienced a loss of power at highway speeds after which the vehicle will not restart. Following a meeting with Ford, NHTSA discovered that this alleged loss of power is a result of catastrophic engine failures due to the engine valves failing.

Ford has identified the root cause of this issue as the valve “keepers” not holding the retainer in place, which allows the valve spring to detach from the valve, resulting in interference between the valve and piston. This interference can cause an engine lockup. Based on an initial review of the applicable materials, the NHTSA has decided to grant the petition and open this preliminary evaluation to assess the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.

As Ford Authority previously reported, the 2.7 engines present in these troubled Broncos utilize cheaper, sub-optimal valves that were acquired from a new supplier that didn’t properly validate the components. In addition to the faulty valves, the Bronco’s version of the 2.7L V6 EcoBoost also utilizes a less than optimal oil pan design as well, which allows the oil pickup tube to become uncovered and suck in air, which in turn can destroy not only valves, but bearings as well, particularly during spirited or erratic driving when oil is sloshing around inside the powerplant.

We’ll have more on this as soon as it’s available, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Bronco news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Dee Hart

    I think the world record for a Bronco engine failure is 900 Miles from new… I would say a rather dubious record… Let’s see if Ford puts on its “Big Boy Pants” and deals with this correctly.

    Reply
  2. JDE

    Those 2.7’s sound terrible in the F150 too, got to wonder if they are all bad? First I had heard about the oil starvation thing though. is that just daily driving or more when used off-road?

    Reply
    1. Michael Scarpelli

      The 2.7 has been used in the F-150 for years without these problems. Each vehicle line gets their own version of an engine offering. Seems like they failed to validate the valve supplier for the Bronco 2.7 and the engineer who failed to design an oil pan for an off road vehicle are the culprits here.

      Reply
  3. Nedim

    Not saying all Ford products are bad or that everyone’s experience is the same; however, my experience with Ford made vehicles has been pretty bad in terms of reliability. My 1994 Ford Taurus literally fell apart. It’s almost as if it was made out of paper, every single thing on that car was substandard. I really like the new Bronco, and want to buy it but am a little reluctant due to my experience with Ford long term vehicle reliability.

    Reply
  4. GENARO CORONADO BONILLA

    Pick up tube of unsuitable oil pan. Mainly is the trouble maker to point the finger to. Ford ‘s engineers underestimated the concept of off-road vehicles featuring engines without a dry sump. As enthusiasts of off – road driving test their vehicles at high speed on rather bumpy roads so oil sloshes inside oil carter devoiding mechanical components (valve train) from vital lube. Another massive recall to jeopardize Jim Farley ‘ s reign ? What a misconcept of an off- road vehicle..

    Reply
  5. philip tilley

    I am sorry to say all these things should have shown up during testing? and I still think they should scrap that engine and use the Explorer engine.

    Reply
  6. Pat Neary

    Luckily, I hope, my experience with the 2.7 liter V6, EB, is satisfying! I bought a new Ford F-150 p/u truck,…with this engine! Fair gas mileage! Great grunt!

    Reply
  7. Rob

    Are the oil pan and valve failures limited to the 2021 model 2.7? I ordered a 2022 in February 22 and don’t want to proceed unless the design and component problems are resolved … hopefully by early 2023 when the bronco might be delivered

    Reply
  8. B-Rizzle

    25k units and an investigation is opened but over a million 1.5L ecoboosts had coolant intrusion which could cause life threatening fires and nothing ever came of it? This is hilarious.

    Reply

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