But the Blue Oval is not responding to concerned owners.
The completely redesigned 2021 Ford F-150 is now in dealerships across the country and the automaker went to great lengths to ensure build quality prior to delivery. It learned its lesson following the numerous problems that plagued the launches of the latest Explorer and Lincoln Aviator nearly two years ago. Unfortunately, Ford might have overlooked something critical for its best-selling truck.
The Detroit Free Press has spoken to several owners in different parts of the country who are experiencing heavy rust and significant corrosion on critical components like the axle. For example, one owner from Michigan discovered water dripping off the metal components under the vehicle which left dark stains on his garage floor only days after taking delivery. The guy spent just over $75,000 for this truck, his third F-150. The 2016 F-150 he traded in had no such corrosion even after 65,000 miles.
Fellow owners with the same problems have been actively engaged on Facebook and other online forums discussing the matter and trading notes. Aside from the rust and corrosion, they all share another common annoyance: Ford isn't listening. A majority of owners - an exact figure is unknown - have submitted their complaints to the automaker but have been issued little more than case numbers. They were also told little can be done.
A Ford spokesperson claims there is no problem. "While some F-150 underbody steel components may show signs of surface rust, this will have no impact on part performance or life." It's certainly possible the supplier sold rusty parts to Ford. Other potential explanations include whether these parts were stored in moist conditions or if the corrosion happened somehow in transit. The spokesman added Ford was checking with suppliers.
Assuming the rust and corrosion is truly not a problem, the issue is still leaving many of Ford's best customers feeling ignored and resentful. They simply don't understand why this is not covered by the warranty or, for example, why dealers couldn't do something like sand the components. Some have justified concerns because the corrosion, in at least one case, has reached the front axle joints. Affected owners are also equally troubled by potentially decreased trade-in values. Even if safety proves not to be compromised, quality control is being questioned.
"I'm not questioning the integrity of the axle. The surface rust and appearance is an obvious product quality issue," another disappointed new owner said. "There is no way Ford doesn't know about rusty axles going down the assembly line. They're shipping a sub-par product out. If Ford is allowing a compromise in quality that's extremely visible, what about things that aren't visible?" Time to step up, Ford.