The revived Ford Bronco is getting its first recall. The passenger-side airbag can open prematurely when it deploys. This put the SUV out of compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 208 regarding occupant crash protection.
This recall affects 553 examples of the new Bronco. These units have build dates from July 18, 2021, through August 17, 2021. Dealers will replace the passenger airbag to fix the problem.
Gallery: 2021 Ford Bronco: First Drive
According to the chronology in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documentation, Joyson, the airbag's supplier, found an example that opened before the activation of the micro gas-generator during a routine lot acceptance test. The company brought this issue to Ford’s Critical Concerns Review Group on August 12, 2021.
Further testing showed the premature opening only happening in airbags folded by one of six workers. Joyson found a person who started in this position in late June, and the worker was adding an extra fold to the bag. Previous lot acceptance tests had never randomly selected the bags folded by this person.
Ford did tests to evaluate the effects of an airbag opening prematurely. The automaker found a risk of not meeting crash standards and decided a recall was necessary.
The company has no reports of injuries related to this problem. Joyson has modified its process control and detection methods to avoid problems like this in the future.
Ford will contact affected Bronco owners by mail starting November 15 to tell them about this recall. Customers can then schedule the repair with their local dealer. Also, showrooms can't sell any in-stock Broncos with these faulty airbags until the problem is fixed.
While not a safety recall, Ford has also pledged to replace the hard tops on affected Broncos. The original panels had quality control and fitment issues. Deliveries of the new ones should finally begin in October.