Chevrolet Hires Independent Agency to Debunk Ford’s Aluminum Repair Claims
Switching to aluminum for the construction of the body of the 2015 Ford F-150 brought out a lot of skeptics. Would the aluminum be as strong as steel? Would it be as safe as steel? Would it be expensive to repair? Throughout the launch, both Ford and other sites attempted to answer those questions. However, today the rivals from across the town released a video claiming to debunk many of those answers.
Through their Tough Science video series, Ford addressed a lot of the strength concerns of aluminum. Edmunds.com intentionally damaged a 2015 F-150 they purchased to see if it’d be more or less expensive to repair. Ford has even claimed, from reports of people buying the truck and from the agencies themselves, that the new F-150 isn’t any more expensive to insure.
Then comes Chevrolet with this video.
According to Chevrolet, they hired an independent automotive testing company called AMCI to run a series of tests. AMCI took 4 Silverados and 4 F-150s and reproduced a common workplace crash. They simulated the damage that would occur if a bigger truck backed into your smaller truck.
Then, they took the Silverados to Chevrolet dealerships for repair. They also took the F-150 to dealerships for repair, and they made sure that the dealerships handling the F-150’s repairs were authorized dealerships who have the right equipment and training from Ford to handle aluminum repairs.
They then averaged the results, and the results were quite staggering.
Based on AMCI’s results, the Ford F-150 took an average $1,755 more to repair than the Silverado. That is by no means an insignificant amount of money, and if accurate, could affect insurance costs if more people start to get involved in crashes with the new truck.
But perhaps even more surprising was the time to take for repair. Chevrolet claims, and accurately so, that trucks are tools designed for work. Being without your truck can affect profitability of your business, or might just be a genuine pain in the butt. According to AMCI’s results, the F-150 took an average 34 more days to fix than the Silverado. That’s basically being in the shop an extra month to get the truck fixed!
Can the results be trusted? That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Although AMCI is an independent agency, they were hired by General Motors to perform the tests. While the results may be unbiased, the results were what Chevrolet would have wanted to see. Chevrolet may not have pressured AMCI for those results, but there could have been internal pressure to prove the Chevrolet’s hypothesis correct.
Also, we could be too early in the life-cycle of the aluminum F-150 to benefit from the quantity of scale when it comes to repairs.
Either way, this latest development is surely going to fire up the debate again on whether making an aluminum truck was the right decision for Ford.
What do you think? Do you believe the results of this test to be accurate and that the Ford is actually much more expensive to repair? Let us know in the comments or over on the forums!