Ford's CEO Admits Quality Problems Will Take Several Years To Fix

Industry News / Comments

Jim Farley is open about the Blue Oval's widely publicized quality issues but has a plan to fix them.

The quality of Ford products has been on a slow decline for years, but its CEO, Jim Farley, is well aware of the problem and is intent on fixing it.

Ford Authority reports that Farley recently made a statement at the Ford Retired Engineering Executives (FREE) group, which is a fairly tough audience to talk to. Members of this esteemed organization include Ford Motor Company retirees that used to be in supervisory or higher positions.

"Fixing quality is my No. 1 priority," Farly told FREE. "It is the most important initiative in the whole company. And it's going to take several years. We didn't lose it in just one or two years. Until we fix quality, nothing else matters."

2021-2023 Ford Bronco Sport Front Angle View Ford

In short, Farley admitted that the quality problem is endemic and that it didn't simply start overnight. We respect a CEO who can admit to his company's flaws, but there's still an open-ended question about how it happened.

One theory is that it's the result of dedicating billions to developing EVs while allowing legacy products to slip, even though these same quality problems often haunt even the new arrivals.

The 2022 Consumer Reports reliability survey was published in late November, and Ford suffered quite a bit. Most notably, the Mustang Mach-E lost its coveted "recommended" rating because it fell short in the reliability department. This leaves the door wide open for Hyundai and its Ioniq 5 since reliability is supposed to be one of the positive attributes of an EV. Contrastingly, Consumer Reports also recently found that the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf are the most reliable EVs you can buy.

2021-2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Front Angle View CarBuzz

The top-selling Ford Bronco Sport also lost out on its "recommended" rating, and it's a high-volume car. In addition, the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Navigator scored low marks. In total, Ford dropped four spots in the survey.

To fix the problem, Farley hired former J.D. Power vice president Josh Halliburton to serve as the new executive director of quality. According to rumors, some of the well-known issues will start to subside in 2023.

Given Farley's comments about the process taking several years and the sheer number of high-profile recalls this year alone, Haliburton has a massive task on his hands.

Is it possible to turn quality around? Sure, it is. Mercedes-Benz went through a quality slump in the early 2000s, and it set billions aside to get it back on track. Theoretically, Ford can pull it off, but only by investing large sums of money in all the right places.

2018-2021 Ford Expedition Driving Front Angle Ford 2022-2023 Lincoln Navigator Front Angle View CarBuzz
2018-2021 Ford Expedition Driving Front Angle
2022-2023 Lincoln Navigator Front Angle View
Source Credits: Ford Authority

Join The Discussion

Gallery

2018-2021 Ford Expedition Driving Front Angle 2022-2023 Lincoln Navigator Front Angle View 2021-2023 Ford Bronco Sport Front Angle View 2021-2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Front Angle View
4
Photos

Related Cars

Back
To Top