Long before computer geniuses made the world smaller with dial-up modems and handheld smartphones, Henry Ford opened up huge possibilities for 1900’s families and homesteads. According to the company’s own media center, the Model T’s introduction in 1908 created the American auto industry itself and transformed lives with a relatively low-cost and powerful way to move around the country.
No matter how you feel about Ford Motor Company, it’s impossible to deny that its founder revolutionized transportation.
However, if industry and consumer reaction is any indication, the modern-day descendants of those very first automobiles aren’t doing justice to the family name. From inconvenient technology glitches to faulty parts that endanger lives, there are more than sixteen reasons to stay away. But these are the most crucial, especially if you’re reconsidering your brand loyalty.
16. Hoods rust prematurely
If you purchased a Ford between 2000 and 2007, you might have noticed unusual wear and tear on the hood. Well, it’s not human error or improper maintenance that turned your car into the rustiest on the block. Most automakers insulate their aluminum-made car hoods and other parts, but Ford opted to skip this for eight straight years, severely decreasing the residual value of each vehicle without informing the new owners.
What’s most damning is that they did inform the dealers; the manufacturers sent out an internal technical service bulletin in 2004, in which they presented their own research laboratory’s findings about the cause and prevention of aluminum corrosion.
The iron particles that caused the aluminum corrosion would’ve had to get into the car’s body before it was painted, proving that Ford messed up. Apparently, manufacturers noticed this trend and determined that it was caused by metal dust and other debris, which seeped into the aluminum between the initial manufacturing process and when the paint was applied.
If Ford had followed industry standards, there would have been an extra step in between, giving the car’s exterior a layer of protection against unavoidable elements like rain, snow, humidity, and even sunshine. And if they had informed consumers as soon as they realized their mistake — rather than allowing it to continue — millions of vehicles could have been received the preventative care necessary to prevent the accelerated rusting.
The affected models might be older, but Ford hasn’t put this behind them just yet. In March 2013, the New York Times reported that a federal judge allowed a new class-action lawsuit to move forward in New Jersey’s District Court. The claim? That Ford’s negligence corroded aluminum panels and lowered the value of millions of vehicles in the process. Tellingly, it was Ford’s failure to immediately report their mistake that gives this suit some legitimacy.