Problematic seatbelts are causing a headache for Ford.
The automaker is recalling 176,000 Ford Bronco SUVs from model years 2021-2023 as difficulty accessing the seatbelts could result in passengers not wearing them, which increases the chance of injury in the event of a collision.
“The customer may experience some dissatisfaction or be discouraged if they are unable to easily access the seat belt latch in its stowed position,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wrote in its recall report.
The recall impacts only the five-door version of the Bronco. To date, there are no reports of any accident or injury. This problem was discovered by the NHTSA after a routine examination of the vehicle.
The Ford Bronco has been subject to a number of recalls in the past few years. Earlier this year, it was among several vehicles recalled because of issues with lug nuts that put certain models at risk of the wheels falling off. And some 2022 models were recalled for a malfunctioning child safety lock.
Year to date, Ford has been the subject of 24 recalls, some of them substantial. In January, nearly 383,000 vehicles were recalled due to issues with the rearview camera. Another 98,000 were recalled in February because of a problem with the passenger side air bag. And 1.3 million were recalled in March after the NHTSA found that a brake fluid leak could extend the distance needed to stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Owners of affected Broncos will be notified by mail and will not be charged for a fix to the problem.