The Ford Bronco is being recalled because people may get ‘discouraged’ trying to use the seatbelts

CNN Newsource Pristine Villarreal

New York (CNN) — Ever have a car with a difficult-to-reach seatbelt? This recall is for you.

Ford is having to recall 176,000 of its Ford Bronco SUVs, model years 2021 to 2023, because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivers and front seat passengers can have difficulty reaching the metal portion of the belt when it is in the retracted position.

“The customer may experience some dissatisfaction or be discouraged if they are unable to easily access the seatbelt… in its stowed position. Driving without the use of a seatbelt increases the risk of injury in a crash,” said the notice from the federal safety regulator.

The recall involves only the five-door version of the Bronco.

Ford didn’t have any comment on the recall except to say that the problem is only when the front seats are in one certain position, not all positions, though the company did not specify the offending seat position. The issue can be addressed by putting a barrette clip, or a sliding clip latch, on the belt itself to keep the latch portion of the belt in position.

Most recalls are due to complaints being filed by car owners to NHTSA or the automaker itself. But in this case the problem only came up during a standard examination of the Bronco by NHTSA.

“Ford is not aware of any customer warranty or field reports of seatbelt… accessibility concerns,” said the agency’s notice.

The problem is far less serious than many other recalls, including another one with a group of 1,400 2023 Bronco SUVs and Rangers pickups that could have had the lug nuts on the driver’s side improperly tightened, creating a risk that the wheels could fall off.

Ford is aware of one case in which the wheel came off, although fortunately no one was injured in that case.

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