There’s something about hitting shiny things with large blunt objects that gets Americans’ blood pumping. So it’s no surprise that the Edmunds video of the new aluminum Ford F-150 getting pummeled by a sledgehammer has been getting a lot of views. But after all the sledgehammering, there was a surprise – the cost to repair the new truck was staggeringly high. GASP!
Unfortunately, we aren’t really getting the full story from Edmunds. While the new F-150 did cost twice as much to repair as similar damage on last year’s model typically would have at this particular shop, the fact is, Edmunds didn’t take it to a dealer that had been approved for aluminum repairs.
Believe it or not, the brass at Ford were actually aware that aluminum is more finicky than standard steel when it comes to repairs. For this reason, the company has gone to great lengths to equip and train many of its dealerships and certified repair shops to allow them to handle the aluminum repairs. While there hasn’t been exact pricing released associated with such repairs, it is expected to be well below the figures taken from the non-approved shop in the Edmunds video.
The other part of the equation for Ford is that the aluminum panels used on the new truck cost about the same as the previous steel panels. But, they have been made easier to replace on the 2015 F-150, meaning labor costs could potentially be lower if a complete replacement is required.
I was among the many that questioned the decision by Ford to move to aluminum on its most popular vehicle, partially based on the cost to repair question. Not surprisingly, a company as large as Ford took these factors into consideration. It’s unusual to see Edmunds put out this kind of incomplete story. At its worst, the story was sensationalized, and at best, an example of poor research.