Ford trucks are known to be built “Ford Tough,” but owners of Ford’s Super Duty F-250/350 pickup trucks have suffered a severe issue for the past 15 years. A chronic suspension problem is known to the consumers, owners, and critics as the Ford death wobble. The Ford Super Duty death wobble is a frightening experience when the truck shakes aggressively after hitting a bump or groove in the pavement at highway speeds. So, it is imperative to stay aware and up-to-date on safety and reliability issues concerning your Ford pickup truck. Here’s what you should know about the Ford Super Duty death wobble.
What you should know about the Ford Super Duty death wobble
Present on Ford F-Series Super Duty models, such as the Ford F-250 and F-350, experiencing this death wobble while driving in traffic can be terrifying. According to Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, the steering wheel is known to rattle so hard the driver has no control of the vehicle. The Ford Super Duty death wobble is an experience affecting thousands of popular pickup trucks.
National new stations and Super Duty truck owners report on this frightening experience
The WSB-TV local Atlanta news station interviewed Ford Super Duty owners on this topic. In the report, Derek Spann, a Ford F-250 death wobble owner in Cedartown, Georgia, described the moment his truck had this condition. “Prayer was all I had. I was, like, ‘Dear God, let me get through this.'” This situation has been the subject of multiple news reports across the country.
According to the California Consumer Attorneys outlet, The Lemon Firm, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has received more than 1,200 complaints referencing the death wobble. Furthermore, this isn’t a recent problem with newer Ford Super Duty models. There have been death wobble complaints on models as far back as 2005. This issue has been so pervasive that many have contacted Ford about it, yet they haven’t gotten any satisfying answers or solutions.
Lawsuits have been filed over the Ford F-Series Super Duty death wobble
A recent class-action lawsuit filed in 2019 (Lessin v. Ford Motor Company from Class Action) says the death wobble is caused by a defect linked to abnormal wear or loosening of the track bar bushing, damper bracket, ball joints, control arms, shocks, or struts. The California Consumer Attorney state, the lawsuit “alleges that Ford knew that components within 2005-2019 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty suspension systems are prone to failure, but failed to notify customers or even properly address the problem.”
They go on to claim that the “violent shaking of the vehicle can cause loss of control of the vehicle and difficulty steering while the [vehicles] are in operation at any time and under typical driving conditions or speed. This exposes the driver and occupants of the [vehicles], as well as others who share the road with them, to an increased risk of accident, injury, or death.”
Ford recalls have not been issued for death wobble issue
There has yet to be a Ford death wobble recall for F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models that exhibit the issue. However, in Dec. 2020, Ford did offer extended warranties and free repair for the issue, calling it “steering wheel oscillation after hitting rough pavement or an expansion joint at speeds typically above 45 mph, according to WSCO-TV. However, this gesture is still not a recall, which would presumably cost Ford much more in both monetary value and bad press. Additionally, before this offer, owners were solely responsible for thousands of dollars in repair costs for several Ford Super Duty model years.
According to WPXI, Southern Off-Road Specialists in Alpharetta have seen plenty of drivers over the years come in with a death wobble issue on a Ford Super Duty truck. Adam Richmond says they have a special inspection process for the problem. Richmond also commented that there is no one-size-fits-all-fix, which makes it difficult. It’s trial and error to find which steering part is the source of the wobble. Therefore, vehicle owners must make an effort to stay up to date with recalls themselves and contact their service centers if they experience issues.
This Ford death wobble condition could cause Ford owners to reconsider brand loyalty and look to other vehicles in the class and segment. Many other full-size trucks are good alternatives to consider. Consumer Reports produces a report of the best full-size pickup trucks each year if you’d rather not risk ending up with a Ford truck with a death wobble.