Could Ford be playing fast and loose with its most important product; the 2021 F-150? Scores of owners of brand new F-150 trucks are complaining about them rusting excessively underneath. They say just days after purchasing their F-150 their driveways have rust stains to show for it. Many are repeat customers to Ford’s best-selling vehicle. But will they stay that way after this?
Adam Daily told the Detroit Free Press that his $75,000 2021 F-150 has heavy rust on its axles and other components underneath. Now there is a further disappointment. “I’ve been getting ghosted,” he says. “Ever since I got this truck nobody knows anything.” He’s contacted his local Ford dealer about the issue with little to show.
“This thing looks like it’s a few years old and driven in heavy snow”
“My 2016 F-150 had 65,000 miles when I turned it in, and it didn’t look like this,” Daily said. “This thing looks like it’s a few years old and driven in heavy snow-like conditions with salt on the roads. I didn’t know what to expect but I didn’t expect people to get ignored.”
If you look at Facebook and F-150 forums it is happening across the country. As of now, there doesn’t seem to be a difference whether the pickup was made at Dearborn Truck or Kansas City Assembly. For its part, Ford has given some case numbers but was told there is little that the company can do.
At this point, Ford doesn’t know if the issue stems from the parts installed already rusty, if storage in wet areas is the cause, or if it is happening during transit. Ford spokesperson Said Deep says, “We’re looking with our suppliers into questions raised.” But many of the concerned new owners say foot-dragging has left them resentful and feeling ignored.
“Just try to make it better, at least”
Some owners told the Freep they don’t understand why this isn’t considered a warranty issue. They say dealerships could just sand down the rust and then paint the components that are rusting. “Just try to make it better, at least,” said Daily. He has only 1,350 miles on the odometer of his F-150 Platinum PowerBoost Hybrid with Pro Power Onboard.
He bought his truck in December. Records show it spent time at the Dearborn Truck plant for quality control issues before delivery. When his Ford dealer saw photos of the rust it said it would have rejected the truck. But since Ford has been shown the same photos it has not responded.
Andrew Wong traded a 2018 Silverado for his 2021 F-150.”I was told these axles can live for 80 years with rust on them and not be compromised from a structural integrity standpoint. That’s Ford’s line: Integrity is not compromised,” Wong told the Freep.
“Surface rust and appearance is an obvious product quality issue”
“I’m not questioning the integrity of the axle. The surface rust and appearance is an obvious product quality issue,” he 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?”
Wong says Ford won’t cover the rust under warranty. “I know (Ford CEO) Jim Farley is trying to cut warranty costs and there are two ways to do that — build a better product or just stop paying for warranty repairs. I’m disappointed in Ford’s stance on this. A couple of hours of labor and a can of paint will make your customers happy. The F-150 makes, like, 120% profit for the company. The F-Series trucks are the company’s cash cow. Stand behind the product.”