Trucks

Why Do Ford Trucks Have a Bad Reputation?

As a truck enthusiast, when you hear people talking about Fords, you fall into one of two camps. You’re either a diehard fan, or you have a serious aversion to the brand altogether. Given the big three rivalries, there are apparent pros and cons for each brand. But why do Ford trucks always seem to have a bad reputation?

We took a closer look into how some of the deep-rooted loyalties began and discover why Ford trucks have consumers crying one of two battle cries — First On Race Day or Fix Or Repair Daily.

Two Ford trucks on display at an dealership.
Two Ford trucks on display | Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ford trucks really aren’t as bad as critics believe

America’s best-selling trucks don’t earn that rank because they’re not good trucks. The truth is, Ford has been building trucks for decades. For each occasional hiccup, comes with it, years of amazing vehicles.

Ford has always promoted forward-thinking in design and performance. The company offers a great mix of luxury and tech components. It consistently launches top-notch trucks in all classes, including the redesign and resurrection of the Ford Ranger this year.

Why some people believe Ford trucks are awful

Despite Ford’s success in selling trucks, not all truck models have been free of problems. In fact, there are a host of issues and recalls in years past, that might be a major contributing factor to the trucks’ negative reputation. Here are a few problem areas that have plagued various models throughout the years.

  • Airbags – the F150 has experienced issues with seatbelts and rupturing airbags
  • Brakes – the 2016 F150 truck owners had problems with slipping brakes
  • Engine – 2013 F150s had engine failure complaints
  • Suspension – 2011 F250s and F350s have reported issues with softening suspensions
  • Exterior Integrity – Aluminum hoods improperly installed led to corrosion and rusting

Past Ford Truck recalls over the years have been prevalent, and in many cases, due to serious issues. Even the 2018 and 2019 models have experienced recalls. Many of the faults involve lights, interior controls, and failed seatbacks. Regardless of Ford’s complaints, it certainly doesn’t indicate that other models don’t have problems of their own.

All trucks have flaws

Even with the laundry list of faults and problems for Ford trucks, it’s important to note that all automakers experience defects in production and design. Chevy, Ram, and GMC trucks have all experienced their fair share of recalls and consumer complaints. Below is a sample of the latest concerns for the others in the truck market.

  • 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 – 2 active recalls and complaints about lighting and electrical controls
  • 2013-2017 Dodge Ramsbrake and configuration issues that impaired driving and steering

  • 2019 GMC Sierra – Some models were recalled due to seatbelt and carpet fire complaints

Despite the truck problems across all models, truck owners remain loyal to their brands and continue to buy accordingly.

It boils down to old-fashioned rivalries

The number one and two trucks have always held a brand rivalry. Truck enthusiasts have bought their favorites and will defend their loyalties to the end. With dealership billboard wars and online memes, we don’t anticipate this bitter division between Ford trucks and its competitors to die down anytime soon.

So, which camp are you in? Are you a Ford truck fan and owner? Or, do you find yourself on team bowtie, swearing by your favorite Silverado? In taking a closer look, we can see that while Ford trucks may have a negative reputation, and their fair share of faults, it doesn’t relieve the other models of issues as well.

In fact, all manufacturers have experienced problematic components and complaints. Some model trucks may outperform others, but overall, it’s hard to commit to which truck is the best. For now, fans are still buying and driving their favorites and Ford vs. Chevy will continue to be a rivalry for the ages.