Several weeks ago, I attended the monthly meeting of the Georgia Loriders, a
Ford truck club based in Lawrenceville, GA. During the meeting, one of the
members mentioned a small crack on the door of his 1997 F150. After the
meeting, we went outside and he showed me the crack which is under the
weather-stripping on the bottom outside of the window where the stripping
first starts to curve.
He told me that he works in a body shop and has seen it on several F150s.
Since he does not have Internet access, he asked me to see if our users
have this problem. I brought the issue to the attention of our 1997 and
newer truck mailing list. Shortly afterwards a poll was added to the
web site which shows that roughly 70% of the respondents have the problem
on their truck. One of the dealers on the mailing list confirmed that
Ford is aware of the problem and is working on a fix.
According to a Ford service bulletin, the current fix is to replace the
door(s). However, any vehicle out of warranty does not qualify for the
fix. While this is a cosmetic issue and not related to safety or performance,
many 1997+ F150 owners are upset because this crack can rust (this
has started on some trucks) and cause loss of resale value. Given the
high price of trucks these days, many feel left out in the cold because
Ford will not correct the problem on out of warranty trucks.
Normally, I would side with an auto maker on such an issue. Its normal for
vehicles to develop rust areas or stress cracks. Drive in any northern
city and you’ll see that rust develops on similar areas for any given
truck or car. However, for such a problem to occur after only a couple
of years, and in some cases under 6 months is cause for concern. What
steps will Ford take to solve the problem and how will the issue of out of
warranty trucks be addressed?
If you would like to discuss this issue with other 1997+ F150 owners, please
subscribe to our free 1997 and newer truck email discussion list or use our
BBS message center.