Ford Dealers Are Facing An Annoying New Problem

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But the corporate office claims everything is resolved.

For the past few months, dealerships have faced a common struggle: falling inventory. The coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of production facilities worldwide and without them up and running, new vehicles couldn't be replenished on dealer lots. Trucks were a particular problem as sales of the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500 still remained solid throughout the pandemic. Only in recent weeks did their respective plants reopen, although not always at full capacity. Many of America's Ford dealerships are now currently struggling with another supply-related problem that continues to frustrate them and their customers alike - and yet Ford corporate claims the matter has been resolved.

Automotive News reports a number of Ford dealers have been waiting weeks for replacement parts for the 2017-2019 Ford Escape and 2014-2019 Fusion powered by the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine.

2017-2019 Ford Escape Front Three-Quarter Left Side View Ford
2017-2019 Ford Escape In Motion Ford
2017-2019 Ford Escape Rear Three-Quarter Right Side View Ford

Last April, the automaker issued a technical service bulletin regarding the issue of coolant leaks in the engine's cylinder head. The fix is to replace the short block and gasket head. Sounds simple enough, right? It is, but some dealers have been waiting weeks to receive those parts. Ford, however, says otherwise.

"There were disruptions in parts supply in early May due to supplier closures caused by Covid-19," the company said. "Upon reopening, parts production and delivery was expedited, resolving shortages by late June. Ford is not aware of any significant parts delays currently impacting dealer ability to repair these engines."

Not true, according to some dealer managers, most of whom requested to remain anonymous.

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2017-2019 Ford Escape 1.5L I4 Turbo Engine Ford
2017-2019 Ford Escape Dashboard Ford

One service manager described the situation as a "nightmare" because there are half a dozen Escapes just sitting there unrepaired. One dealership even spent five figures to provide rental vehicles for owners whose Escape or Fusion remain unrepaired. Clearly there are still some supply issues Ford needs to resolve, but the good news is that customers have generally shown understanding and patience.

2019-2020 Ford Fusion Sedan Front View Driving Ford
2019-2020 Ford Fusion Sedan Side View Ford
2019-2020 Ford Fusion Sedan Rear Angle View Ford
2019-2020 Ford Fusion Sedan Dashboard Ford
Source Credits: Automotive News

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