Ford Fail? 2015 F-150 Receives Both Top Marks and Poor Marks on Safety
There has been quite a lot of talk in regards to Ford going to an all aluminum body for the new F-150. Everyone has weighed in on the situation at least one time or another. Even Chevy is weighing in by currently running a rather underhanded campaign about the safety of aluminum as a dig at Ford.
With that said, the countless different articles, posts and ads have many confused about the safety of the new aluminum F-150. This has led the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to lead a rather extensive investigation into the safety of the new aluminum pickup truck. However, things didn’t exactly go as Ford would have hopped.
According to the IIHS, the nonprofit will have to rate the different versions of Ford’s F-150 individually due to rather incongruous results over the lineup. After the F-150 SuperCrew iteration earned the Institutes highest safety rating, the nonprofit then tested the SuperCab and Regular Cab models, both of which did not do well and received only marginal ratings.
This discrepancy between the three variants is largely down to a piece on the chassis called “wheel blockers.” Essentially, these extra components give increased rigidity to the frame that help the truck stay together in the front small overlap test.
As you’ll see in the crash test video below, these minor frame braces make quite a bit of difference. The SuperCab and RegularCab models lose their structural rigidity and almost fold in on themselves. David Zuby of the IIHS states, for those models without the wheel blockers, “The toe pan and pedals move back nearly a foot back towards the dummys legs. The steering column moved back eight inches towards his chest coming dangerously close. The head barely contacted the airbag, slid off and impacted against the instrument panel.”
This isn’t exactly the greatest of news for Ford as the company is still trying to convince the public that the aluminum bodied F-150 is both safe, reliable, and easy to fix. Ford has stated that it’s looking into the problem and into possibly making changes to the crash structure to improve the truck’s safety. And honestly, how could they not. This is a major PR disaster, and one that definitely is on the minds of most consumers.