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The 2021 F-150 appears to be yet another victim of quality control issues at Ford, as the company has reportedly filled Detroit-area parking lots with early-production models in need of further inspections, repairs and components, the Detroit Free Press reported late Wednesday.
The trucks are reportedly queuing up for post-production quality inspections and repairs. To further compound the issue, UAW workers at the Flat Rock Assembly plant say they’ve seen non-union employees being shuttled in to conduct the repairs at a site not far from the facility.
One UAW employee reported seeing charter buses; Union officials are aware of the issue and are investigating. Union employees at Flat Rock told the Freep that their hours had recently been cut.
Per the report, these presumed contractors have been helping with quality inspections and repairs, and some have even been installing safety equipment. Whether those components were missing entirely or merely improperly installed was not made clear.
A Ford spokesperson told the paper that the issues affect only the trucks already set aside for further inspections. Examples now rolling off the line at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant are being shipped straight to dealers, she said.
You’d be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu, as this seems to follow the script of Ford’s 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator launches just over a year ago. Ford shipped some of its SUVs hundreds of miles to conduct secondary quality inspections and repairs; some examples accumulated so many miles in the process that they were no longer wanted by dealers.
The issues with the Explorer and Aviator were so widespread that they impacted the company’s Q3 2019 sales volumes, and reportedly contributed to the executive shakeups that have taken place over the past year.
You can read the Freep’s full report here.