Owners of certain 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs and 2021 Ford Ranger trucks will be returning to their Ford dealership to fix a problem affecting the forward collision avoidance system. According to the defect report, a misaligned radar module may prevent the vehicle from maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles when adaptive cruise control is active. In addition, the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system may react slowly, or not react at all, during a pre-collision assist braking event.

Back in July 2021, a problem affecting the alignment of the cruise control radar modules was brought to the attention of Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG). An investigation was carried out to understand the potential effect of an incorrect calibration and how it could vary on the vehicle configuration and ride height. They found that radars aligned with the incorrect programming could be up to 2.6 degrees lower than design intent. Numerous reviews were conducted to understand the effect on vehicle Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Pre-Collision Assist (PCA) features as part of the Advanced Automatic Emergency Braking system.

The ACC and PCA features use information from the vehicle’s forward-looking radar and camera sensors to detect and track objects in the host vehicle path. A misaligned cruise control module radar can cause the vehicle to have a closer-than-expected following distance when using the adaptive cruise control feature, or the automatic emergency braking system may react late resulting in a sudden loss of speed during an automatic Pre-Collision Assist braking event. As a result, the Pre-Collision Assist system’s effectiveness to detect a potential frontal collision may be compromised and could increase the risk of a crash.

Dealers will correct the problem by adjusting the angle of the cruise control radar module. Ford’s number for this recall is 21S52 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-982.

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