Why Is Ford Telling 2021 F-150 Owners That Rust Is Ok?

2021 Ford F-150 Underbody Rust | Photo Credit: YouTube/Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk

The 2021 Ford F-150 continues to dominate sales, but if my math serves me right, we’re still in 2021, so why is the newest rendition of the F-150 already showing underbody rust? It’s no secret that the F-150 dominates the truck market, which continues to sizzle in the United States. In 2019, the F-Series moved 787,422 units, compared to Ram’s 563,676. Despite the impressive numbers, we know that rust can be a severe issue, just ask the guys at Carcass.

Top-Performing Truck Sales in the United States | Photo Credit: Statista

If you live in an area where the roads are salted in the wintertime, rust is just a part of life as your vehicle acquires miles over time. As they age, cosmetic rust is common on the underbody because of the elements we expose them to, but the F-150 is experiencing significant issues with corrosion way too early in its life.

We should mention that the corrosion, to this point, is strictly cosmetic and only affects specific parts of the truck. Suffice to say, the brands best-selling vehicle is suffering from the stuff. Although the problem isn’t limited to Ford, their rust woe’s seem to be a bit more widespread and publicized. Sorry, Ford.

Ford F-150 Underbody Rust | Photo Credit: YouTube/Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk

Several publications have picked up the topic this week, including Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk who provided personal experiences about the issue at hand.

Tim Esterdahl, the publisher of Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk, describes how he purchased a Power Boost Hybrid Ford F-150 for a year-long test. Up to this point, he admits he’s impressed, and he mentions getting more than 29 mpg from the truck, which is above the EPA-rated fuel economy. 

Unfortunately, he found an issue – rust – and he’s not happy about it. In the video below, Tim gets up and close with the underbody of his truck and details what’s happened to him so far. Admittedly, he lives in Nebraska, a state that puts salt on the road, but he says the state hasn’t received much winter weather this year.

Esterdahl isn’t the only one, the Detroit Free Press interviewed seven other F-150 owners who reported the same cosmetic rust issues throughout the United States. Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk also cited a thread of users that complained about the rust on an F150Gen14forum that garnered a lot of attention. The corrosion issues seem to be limited to the rear axle, which is sold untreated and unpainted to prevent scale from forming.

Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk reached out to a representative at Ford – their response? It wasn’t what we expected. “While some F-150 underbody steel components show signs of surface rust, it won’t have an impact on part performance or life.” Uh, what? So, rust is ok now? In what world?

Although nothing is affecting the F-150 mechanically, to our knowledge, a truck with 3,000 miles and a decent amount of rust isn’t a good look. It doesn’t pose any inherent dangers, but it’s nothing we should celebrate. With this news emerging about the brand, would you still purchase a 2021 Ford F-150? At the very least, they can give you power if you lose yours, such as the story from Texas a few weeks ago.

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