Ford Warranty Costs: What Happened in 2008?
Automotive News [sub] reports that Ford has reduced its global warranty costs by a not inconsequential $1.2b during the past two years. My initial thought: fewer sales, fewer warranties to honor. But the per-vehicle warranty repair rate has dropped by 50 percent for U.S. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles since 2004. “Ford’s biggest quality gains have been on newly launched vehicles compared with the vehicles they replaced,” pronounceth Curt Yun, Ford’s director of global warranty. “The last 24 months have revealed some of our best quality results.” Yes, BUT while the results may have been revealed in the last two years, the headline numbers don’t strictly apply to cars built in the last two years. Ford made its largest reliability gains in the 2005 and (especially) the 2006 model years. Recently the rate of improvement has slowed: savings in 2008 only account for $100m of the $1.2b total. Why didn’t FoMoCo save more in ’08? This suggests that the low-hanging fruit has been picked. Of course, the factory warranty is only three years on Fords and four on Lincolns. How will these new models hold up after the warranty expires, as has recently been the case for the 2005s?
[To view Ford’s performance in TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey, click here]
My only warranty issues with any new car were with BMW. The dealer and the home office worked to fix my blooey Satnav system. I was treated well at all times (and I was always civil and cordial). Upgraded parts were provided, and the issue was, I was informed, fixed at the production side. Thank you BMW. This is why you are an 'aspirational' brand.
The 60K mile extended warranty on my 2006 Freestyle passed entirely unused on Friday night. Total warranty repairs were a set of rear brake pads and rotors (Ford paid for second replacement in warranty period), flashing the computer because of intermittent airbag light turn-on, and un-jamming the fold-down second seat once. My biggest complaint is the chintzy carpet on this SEL model. Wouldn't surprise me to have to replace it during my ownership.