Ford has announced a recall of 2023 model year Bronco and Ranger units due to a potential problem in the lug nuts on the left-side road wheels. The defect could result in the lug nuts not being properly tightened and potentially lead to wheel detachment, creating a road hazard and increasing the risk of injury or crash. Of the 1,434 potentially involved vehicles, it is estimated that 19 percent have the defect.
The root cause of the defect was found to be an assembly process error at Ford's Michigan Plant, where the automated tool used to torque the road wheel lug nuts on the left side of the vehicle was down for repair.
Gallery: 2023 Ford Bronco Heritage Edition and Bronco Sport Heritage Edition
During that mentioned error, a manual backup process was in place, which led to the lug nuts not being torqued to specification on the left front and rear road wheels of some vehicles. Loose lug nuts may lead to vibration and noise while driving, providing a warning sign to vehicle owners. It could potentially lead to wheel detachment, which is obviously a safety risk.
Ford has identified that 992 Bronco and 442 Ranger units are affected by the said recall, produced between February 9-13, 2023. The Blue Oval company is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the condition but is aware of one instance where a detached wheel allegedly contacted another vehicle.
Ford will notify owners and advise them not to drive their vehicles until the torque has been verified on the front and rear left-side wheel lug nuts. Owners will have the option to arrange for mobile repair at their location or have the vehicle towed to the dealership for inspection and necessary repairs.
In the meantime, instructions will be provided to owners for torque verification should they have the desire and capability to do so. However, Ford recommends that all affected vehicles must be inspected by a dealer for torque validation, component damage, and repair completion.