The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on October 2 that it was enhancing and broadening its investigation into 708,000 Ford trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) related to catastrophic engine failures tied to a faulty valve.
The agency says under regular driving conditions, vehicles without warning may experience a loss of power due to catastrophic engine failure related to a potentially faulty valve in 2.7 L and 3.0 L EcoBoost engines. The investigation includes vehicles from the Ford Bronco, Edge, Explorer, and F-150, as well as the Lincoln Aviator and Nautilus model years 2021 and 2022.
NHTSA began a preliminary evaluation in July 2022 into 25,000 vehicles after opening a defect petition in May following a request from some owners and is now upgrading the probe to an engineering analysis, which is a required step before seeking an official recall. Moreover, 487 warranty claims and 328 consumer complaints relating to the vehicles are under investigation.
The agency stated that the probe data supplied by Ford “revealed that the alleged defect is present across the ‘Nano’ engine family, which includes both the 2.7L and 3.0L EcoBoost engine variants.” Additionally, the “Silchrome Lite” alloy, which Ford claimed was used to make the faulty valves, can become “excessively hard and brittle if an over-temperature condition occurs during the machining of the component.”
Ford said, “The intake valve’s substance underwent a design revision in October 2021 that used a different alloy.” Ford continued, stating, “Defective intake valves commonly fail early in a vehicle’s life and has suggested that most failures have already occurred.”