Ford's Bronco SUV delayed by plastic roof problems

DETROIT, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said production of versions of its new Bronco SUV will be delayed because the plastic roofs could fade in hot, humid conditions, a problem the automaker said won’t affect safety.

Ford said it will replace plastic roofs already shipped, and the roof’s supplier, Webasto, will build a new facility to increase production of the removable hardtops to help Ford catch up with demand, Ford said in a statement. The automaker said the costs for the action are not material.

In the meantime, Ford said customers waiting for Broncos will get gifts of Bronco gear and access to events. Customers could switch to order a soft-top model, or wait for a 2022 model year vehicle.

Ford’s action was reported by Automotive News.

Ford has said it has 190,000 orders for the Bronco, designed to evoke memories of the popular 1960s SUV and grab customers from Stellantis NV’s Jeep Wrangler.

Broncos with fold-down fabric soft tops are not affected by the problem with the plastic roofs, that have color molded in.

Ford has delivered just 4,078 Bronco SUVs in total since the beginning of the year. Production of the vehicle was also delayed because of shortages of semiconductors. (Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Nick Zieminski)