With the popularity of the Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle, Ford has promised to ramp up production as quickly as possible. However, some folks expected to take delivery of a new Mach-E or Ford Maverick truck while qualifying for the $7,500 federal tax rebate may no longer qualify.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is having seat belt problems
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Ford recently told some dealerships there was an issue with the seatbelts on certain Mustang Mach-E vehicles. Ford alerted dealers that some Mach-E vehicles built between Oct. 5 to Nov. 18 need to be repaired before getting delivered to buyers. Unfortunately, that puts the $7,500 federal tax credit into question.
On Monday, Ford spokesperson Said Deep confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that the seatbelt issues impacted approximately 2,304 vehicles. Deep and Ford are working to see if dealerships delivered any vehicles with the seatbelt issue before the notice went out.
“We can understand customer disappointment if they may have been counting on applying the credit. However, delivering vehicles with quality continues to be a top priority,” Deep told The Free Press. Deep noted that customers can still apply for the tax credit, but it might not apply for the 2021 year-end taxes. It could apply to 2022 taxes, but that doesn’t mean that many people weren’t relying on that tax break for this year.
The issue impacts the Ford Maverick truck along with the Mustang Mach-E
Ford says the problem is related to the rear seatbelts in the Mustang Mach-E and Maverick. These could detach and leave the rear occupants unrestrained in the case of an accident. David Johnson, director of service engineering operations for Ford customer service, sent the letter alerting dealerships to the problem. He noted that the issue impacts the 2022 Mach-E and the 2022 Ford Maverick built between Oct. 6 and Oct. 20. The issue also impacts 318 Maverick trucks.
“DO NOT DEMONSTRATE OR DELIVER any new in-stock vehicles involved in this compliance recall. A complete Dealer Bulletin will be provided to dealers the week of January 3rd, 2022 when it is anticipated the parts ordering information and repair instructions will be available to support this compliance recall.”Ford
The letter says that dealers should only open a repair order when the entire bulletin is available. If the dealer goes to open a repair order too early, it will “result in warranty rejections against the recall.” The piece that needs repairing is the rear seatbelt anchor thread in both the Mustang Mach-E and Maverick.
Ford can charge dealerships $21,000 per vehicle
The Mach-E and Maverick trucks might not meet federal crash safety requirements with the seat belts attached incorrectly. Until the repairs are completed, dealerships cannot sell the vehicles. Ford says the penalty fee is $21,000 per vehicle if delivered to the buyer without the repairs complete.
After Ford has more information, owners and buyers of these vehicles will be notified via mail. While the Mustang Mach-E has been quite popular, it has also been subject to a fair bit of drama. Ford mocked some problems Tesla EVs were having only for the Mustang Mach-E to be plagued by similar issues later on. Ford needs to scramble to get this problem fixed before it snowballs into anything bigger. Many buyers on social media have already expressed that this is a huge inconvenience for a variety of reasons, including the tax implications.
For now, dealerships will have to wait for further instruction on remedying the problem. Those waiting for a Mach-E or Maverick will get a notice in the mail sometime soon. Buyers can also check the estimated delivery date through the ordering portal.