We’ve chronicled the ongoing issues that Ford Motor Company has had in launching vehicles. And we’ve kept you abreast of the multitudes of recalls involving all of its vehicles. Now, a prominent industry observer is saying what nobody else dares to say, that Ford has become the worst in the industry for recalls, warranty work, and successful new product launches.
Which Ford vehicles have had the most problems?
With all of the hype and interest in so many of Ford’s new releases, like the F-150 Lightning, Maverick, Mustang Mach-E, and Bronco, there is an undercurrent of problems. Some, as with the Bronco and Lightning, have partly been the effects of the pandemic, and the subsequent supply chain and microchip issues. But there is more than just these issues.
According to John McElroy, host of the Autoline and Autoline After Hours webcasts, it is costing Ford billions of dollars to rectify. He says the financial industry looks at these added costs as “unforced errors.” Forced errors are business mistakes that resulted from companies being forced into making changes to products due to competition, poor sales, or lack of capital.
What “unforced errors” has Ford had?
Unforced errors, on the other hand, means as a company, it blew it. It had the capital, expertise, and history for making the right call. So it is the fault of the company in general. It could be from losing focus, rushing products into production before necessary, or deviating from the proven success of similar previous actions.
“Ford has cited in earnings reports the troubled launches of its 2020 Explorer and Aviator,” says the Detroit Free Press. “And the launch of new vehicles, including the award-winning electric Ford Mustang Mach-E and the popular Ford Bronco, has not been without drama.”
Does Ford have a lot of recalls?
You only need to look at recent recalls and media reports. There is an ongoing investigation of the catastrophic engine failures of certain Bronco engines. So far, buyers have reported 32 incidents.
Then there is Ford’s decision to “stop delivery” of its 2022 Mustang Mach-E over a related recall for 2021 and 2022 models losing power while being driven. This could last through the third quarter. Ford is hoping to have a fix sometime in July. The Mach-E has seen several recalls this year alone.
And there are the spontaneous fires in 2021 Ford Explorers and Lincoln Navigators. Ford hasn’t found a solution to the problem. This has forced owners to file a class-action lawsuit against the automaker. There are also various recalls for the Bronco, including defective child safety locks. The optics speak for themselves.
New vehicle releases have also plagued Ford
And the recent new-vehicle launches over the past several years have been plagued with assorted issues and setbacks. The Explorer launch in 2019 is especially notorious. SUVs had enough issues when assembled in Chicago, that Ford delivered every one of them by car haulers to its Flat Rock facility. There, a makeshift line fixed various problems before the Explorers went to dealers.
In all, Ford must do a better job before the taint of inferior, poorly-engineered vehicles, becomes its symbol. And before it scares off investors weary of the bad news and sinking reputation exposure.