Ford’s new Bronco is the subject of yet another recall. This time around, the impacted population is rather small — even relative to the number of Broncos Ford has been able to deliver so far. Just 343 examples will have to visit the dealer, all of them 2022 and 2023 Wildtrak and Raptor models. Ford traced the problem to a steering gear assembly tool that was improperly adjusted and damaged some ball nut retainers during the production process. The damage can cause interference in the steering gear operation, and binding forces can cause the steering to lock up completely.
“A broken steering gear ball nut retainer can allow balls in the ball nut assembly to displace and wedge,” Ford’s defect report to NHTSA said. “Continued steering wheel movement can further wedge the balls and displace the retainer, resulting in increased steering effort. Should this continue and the balls do not transition back into the return guides, the ball nut may not be able to rotate. As a consequence, the driver may not be able to rotate the steering wheel while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.”
If your Bronco’s steering starts to grind, bind or otherwise act up while you’re in motion, chances are you’re impacted by this problem. Ford says the issue was first discovered during a warranty claim early in March of 2023 and the company’s supplier was able to trace the issue to two separate batches produced in July, 2022 and February, 2023. No other vehicles should be affected. Ford will send notices to owners starting this month.