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The last thing the Ford F-150 or other drivers want is loud, ear-shattering static while driving. It can be painfully distracting. But the speakers in the 2021 – 2023 Ford F-150 models seem to have a mind of their own as unwanted static fills the entire cabin. 

2021 – 2023 Ford F-150 trucks struggle with static 

2023 Ford F-150 interior and dash overview
2023 Ford F-150 interior | Ford

A few 2021 – 2023 Ford F-150, F-150 Lightning, and Ford Expedition models are facing a loud issue. At random times, deafening static blasts through the speakers, which frustrates and possibly impairs drivers. Imagine just trying to have a relaxing ride after work only to be jolted by ear-piercing static. 

This audio defect is dangerous and distracting. Reportedly, a few drivers have had to pull over because the static makes it difficult to focus on the road. This makes sense because the phantom issue is called “the sonic boom”. 

Some drivers have been able to cut the noise off quickly, but others have struggled with getting back to normal audio levels. The blasts of static can last for up to 15 minutes or more, even when their trucks and SUVs are turned off. 

One owner allegedly measured 109-decibel spike due to the static, and others have reported readings over 100 decibels. This means that the cabin gets as loud as sporting events, and we hope drivers are not experiencing hearing damage or loss. 

Is Ford correcting the static issue? 

Currently, there is no known cause of the sonic boom in the Ford F-150, Lightning, or Expedition. We imagine that the lack of a specific cause or issue could make the problem harder to fix. 

However, Ford shared that the problem could be related to the power amplified in the affected vehicle’s audio system. A technical service bulletin for the F-150, Lightning, and Expedition notes that owners can bring their vehicles to a local dealership for a software update. 

The update involves using the same amplifier to filter out or block the unreasonably loud static. Also, the potential solution is available as a convenient over-the-air update. It’s unclear if owners must pay for the service in person. 

While Ford has received over 100 complaints related to this problem, it hasn’t released how many vehicles could be affected by the sonic boom. 

Why isn’t there a Ford recall for the sonic boom?

The 2023 Ford F-150 off-roading in a field
2023 Ford F-150 | Ford

Reportedly, Ford shared that this Ford F-150, Lightning, and Expedition issue isn’t large enough to prompt a recall. Perhaps it’s time to launch an investigation into this issue because some recalls are issued when as little as 15 vehicles have a dangerous problem. 

And the sonic boom is distracting and dangerous. It makes some people feel like they can’t safely operate their vehicles, and it could be a severe health concern. It’s unclear if any particular Ford F-150 trim is affected more than others.

Phil Floraday shared that while driving his 2022 Ford F-150 last fall, his truck’s audio system randomly emitted a blaring sound similar to braking glass before blaring static took over. 

He thought that a neighbor must have hit his truck window due to the similar sound of shattering glass and its sudden occurrence. Also, his ears were ringing for days after the event. 

The sudden shock and impairment caused by the loud static seem like they could increase the risk of accidents and injuries. 

Stay tuned as we track this story for updates. It could turn into a full-blown recall. Also, if your speakers are emitting static, be sure to download the OTA update or visit a local dealership for service.