The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit organisation financed by the insurance industry in the US, recently gave the new Ford F-150 the “Top Safety Pick” rating. However, this title was only given to the truck’s best selling SuperCrew. The SuperCab model, Ford’s calling for extended cab, struggled in the small overlap front test.
The F-150 is the first mass-market vehicle with an all-aluminum body. Ford decided to go for all-aluminum body to improve the durability, safety and rigidity of the truck. Thus its safety performance was admirable, however, the IIHS’ findings regarding the high reparability costs of the F-150 have not gone well with Ford.
[The 2015 Ford F-150’s weight savings measures include use of high-strength steel in the frame; high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body and strategic engineering.]
IIHS states that owing to the use of aluminium body parts, any damage on the 2015 F-150 will be more complicated and pricier to repair than on the 2014 steel-bodied predecessor. The institution further writes that the the total repair costs were 26 percent higher for the aluminum F-150. “From a simple bolt-on parts replacement to a more-involved removal and installation of entire body panels, fixing the aluminium F-150 is more expensive than repairing a steel-body F-150,” David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, commented.
Ford has directly rejected these claims by stating that as per the real-world accident repair data, the repair costs for the 2015 Ford F-150 is at an average, $869 less than the 2014 model. Assured Performance, an independent body shop certification company that works with leading automakers, has come out with this conclusion. Moreover, the American automaker also says that insurance companies Allstate and State Farm agree that the maintenance cost of the new F-150 is less than its predecessor.
Take a look at Ford’s officially released safety and collision repair fact sheets embedded below.