A report by the insurance institute of highway safety (IIHS) has found that the repairs to the aluminum bodied 2015 Ford F-150 are more expensive and take longer than repairs to the last generation model.
The report by the IIHS, which also found that the safety ratings of the new F-150 varies on the body style, was based on a 2014 and 2015 F-150 being crashed into each other at low speeds to simulate rear-end accidents. The IIHS claims that the tests caused more damage to the aluminum-bodied truck in both the front and the rear.
Additionally the report found that cost to repair the front of the aluminum truck was $4,147, compared to $3,759 for the front of the steel truck. Fixing the rear of the aluminum truck was $4,738, instead of $3,275 for the steel truck. Furthermore, the IIHS says that costs for the aluminum truck were 42 percent higher for parts and 22 percent higher for labor.
“From a simple bolt-on parts replacement to a more-involved removal and installation of entire body panels, fixing the aluminum F-150 is more expensive than repairing a steel-body F-150,” David Zuby, chief research officer for IIHS, said in the report released today. Ford doesn’t agree with the IIHS’ findings and says that otherwise.
“Ford does not agree with the reparability costs and findings by IIHS and other stunts,” the company said in a statement. “Ford’s view is based on real-world accident repair data. In fact, real-world repair costs on the new 2015 Ford F-150 average $869 less than last year’s F-150 model, according to Assured Performance, an independent body shop certification company that works with leading automakers.”
Ford also states that insurance companies side with them, stating that insurance premiums for the new F-150 are comparable with 2014 models.
When the F-150 switched to aluminum, the automaker spent a lot of time educating the public about the virtues of using the lightweight material. The reduced weight helps to improve fuel efficiency and boost tow ratings. Additionally Ford spent quite a bit of money providing its dealerships service departments with the training and tools necessary to work on the aluminum F-150.
Analysts suggest that as the repairs become more common, the costs associated and time required to complete the repairs will decrease.
Discuss this story at our Ford EcoBoost Raptor Forum