Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 175,000 Bronco sport utility vehicles because of malfunctioning seatbelts, the automaker recently announced.
Seatbelt buckles can become so hard to reach that they do not satisfy federal regulations, according to Ford. The company told regulators that the seatbelts may be too hard for drivers and passengers to find.
“The customer may experience some dissatisfaction or be discouraged if they are unable to easily access the seat belt in its stowed position,” Ford said in a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Driving without the use of a seatbelt increases the risk of injury in a crash.”
Seatbelts save nearly 15,000 lives every year, according to data compiled by NHTSA. More than half of all people killed in passenger vehicle accidents each year are not wearing seatbelts at the time, NHTSA says.
The recall covers certain 2021-2023 Ford Broncos produced between September 2020 and May 2023. Ford said it is not aware of any injuries caused as a result of the defect.
The company plans to alert owners of recalled cars by July 6, Ford told NHTSA.
“Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have a sliding clip latch stop (barrette clip) added to the driver and front passenger seat belts, Ford said in the filing. “An Owner’s Manual addendum with instructions on appropriate use of the sliding clip will also be provided.”
“There will be no charge for this service,” Ford added.
Ford: A Frequent Recaller of Vehicles
Recalls like this are sadly old hat for Ford and anyone who drives one of its cars.
The company issued more recalls than any other auto manufacturer last year.
Ford announced a total of 67 separate recalls in 2022, NHTSA data show, far surpassing the 45 recalls by the next closest manufacturer, Volkswagen.
While Ford is a leading recaller, it is not alone. Major auto manufacturers call back millions of vehicles every year over a wide range of defects that pose real safety threats.
How the California Lemon Law Protects Ford Owners
Ford and other car owners in California have some important rights and protections when it comes to defective vehicles.
The lemon law forces automakers to do various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also requires the companies to buy back cars that they cannot or simply refuse to properly fix. That includes covering the purchase price, financing fees and other related expenses.
An auto manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle under the lemon law. It is up to the owner, however, to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
Speak with a Lemon Law Attorney
If you are locked in a dispute with a car manufacturer over a malfunctioning or defective vehicle, a Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
We have successfully assisted car owners across the state. Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer at our firm today.