By on September 17, 2019

Image: Mike Freed

You read all about Ford’s midsize crossover issues last week, perhaps with great dismay. According to an extensive report, serious and sometimes hazy quality defects have kept thousands of 2020 Ford Explorers and Lincoln Aviators away from dealer lots.

It seems the automaker is hauling vehicles directly from Chicago Assembly to a hastily-arranged fix-it space at Flat Rock Assembly in Michigan — a stopover for quality control and repair on the way to the dealer. Some vehicles reportedly wait up to a month for a fix.

Bad news for Ford, but is it also bad news for those awaiting these two critically important models? Surely having these issues remedied before delivery to dealer lots is better than no fix at all? Certainly, it’s a better outcome for the automaker and buyer than the alternative. And yet, after visiting his local Ford dealer, one reader walked away shaking his head.

TTAC reader Mike Freed stopped at a Ford store to take a gander at a new Aviator on Friday, only to leave disappointed in the perceived quality of Lincoln’s elegantly-styled midsizer. Isolated example or an indication that quality’s not up to snuff in Chicago? A wider pool of subjects is required. All we can tell you, with pictures, is what our photog friend discovered in a walkaround of a 2020 Aviator.

Mike Freed

The list of obvious flaws was extensive, and would be cause for concern had they appeared on a vehicle costing half as much (Aviators start a tick above $51k USD). A misaligned door that looked like it came out of Oakville Assembly (anyone who’s ever looked at the rear doors of an Edge or Nautilus know what we mean). Poorly-adhered side trim that could be lifted with the gentle touch of a finger. Wonky B-pillar panels. An ill-fitting liftgate. A rear corner window pushed out at the top end. Plenty of orange peel in the paint.

Mike Freed

Mike Freed

Mike Freed

Back up a dozen yards and this Aviator likely looks pristine, but premium car buyers tend to get much closer to their prospective rides before signing over sixty or seventy large. And, while the exterior flaws don’t necessarily speak to the quality of the interior (our reader did not enter the vehicle) or the drivetrain, it does whisper to a consumer that unseen trouble could lie in wait. Last week’s report did detail issues with the transmission, actually. Specifically, the unit’s difficulty in sensing when the vehicle in in “park.”

The Aviator and its Explorer platform mate are high-volume, generously priced vehicles that stand to make Ford a lot of money. The Aviator in particular is seen as Lincoln’s comeback vehicle — a model Dearborn hopes will cement the brand’s status in the premium field and compel Lexus and Audi buyers to reconsider their decision to turn away from domestic luxury. This is not a hastily-prepared entry-level model brought in from another market as a gap-filler or stepping stone.

Image: Ford

One vehicle sitting on a lot does not a reputation make, but these photos, placed in the context of widely reported issues plaguing the company’s new crossovers, should serve as a red flag to company brass that something’s not right. A sign that they’ve failed to deliver what they promised. Even worse for Ford, it will be a red flag for buyers who wander into a dealer.

If Lincoln wants to beat foreign rivals at their own game, it has to boast comparable build quality, right down to the trim adhesion. Styling, technology, and power only goes far, as the Alfa Romeo saga aptly demonstrates.

[Image: Mike Freed, Ford]

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101 Comments on “As Ford Grapples With 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator Issues, One Reader Doesn’t Like What He Discovered...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Never buy a car during it’s first model year… ESPECIALLY if it’s a Ford

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea, I agree. If you’re interested in one of these (or the C8, Supra, e-Tron, whatever) then give it about 20 months after introduction before buying.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        C8? Maybe I’d wait as that is a new everything, including engine placement. But I bought a first year C7 and only had one repair – last month. Not so sure that I would have bought assembly unit 350, but mine was in the low 30,000s…

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          There were plenty of people that got burned on first-year problems with C6 and C7 Corvettes though.

          I’m not saying first year vehicles are universally going to be bad but waiting is likely a “safer” way to go. Statistically there seems to be support for this idea as well.

          consumerreports.org/buying-a-car/new-cars-arent-always-more-reliable-survey/

    • 0 avatar
      cprescott

      So untrue. I bought one of the first of a 1997 Fords built in August of 1996 and it was superb – 22 years of trouble free ownership and 178k miles of dependable service. First repair was at 90k because of a timing belt and 110k miles on a slave cylinder for the manual transmission. When I sold it this January it had no engine work other than noted above and still had the same clutch. Brakes were maintenance items replaced as needed and some ancient rubber brake lines were replaced due to dry rot well after 15 years of service.

      And that was a lowly Escort.

      • 0 avatar
        FerrariLaFerrariFace

        Just because you can give one (or even a few) example(s) of a time when it worked out ok, that doesn’t mean it’s generally a good idea.

        I mean, there are a few Trabants still roaming the Earth. That doesn’t mean they were generally good, reliable, long-lasting cars.

        • 0 avatar
          sckid213

          +1 to Ferrari’s comment

          I bought a first-year gen-2 CTS (2008). I’ve actually had very few problems and the car has been extremely reliable; I’m very pleased. I knew it was a first year model when I bought it and it gave me pause, but the deal was just too good to pass up.

          Even though I’ve had no real issue with my first-year car, I’ll still stay away from a first-year model when I buy my next vehicle (which will be soon) if I can avoid it.

          It’s not just American cars with teething issues. I bet the Germans are actually worst with annoying first-year issues.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Sometimes, automakers deliberately delay finicky technology or options that might tank the first-year initial quality rankings of a new model…things like air suspension, a particular engine, or a safety feature.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          +2 to Ferrari’s post. NOT having a problem during the first year model run is the exception to the rule. I’m sure if you were to check recall and problems/per customer the majority would occur in the first model year

  • avatar
    TR4

    Remember: Quality is Job One.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Ford has a better idea.

      Until Found On Road Dead

      and Fix Or Repair Daily.

      The only thing Ford does well is the F-series pickup trucks, yet even in that segment RAM is whipping the stuffing out of Ford with better interiors, a better 5.7L V8, better suspensions, smoother ride and better handling and braking.

      And all at a lower price.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Let us hope this prompts Bill Ford to sack Hackett and install a “Car Guy” or gal, in the C-Suite.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Mike, Consumer Reports or another outlet should hire you to do this type of thing!

    Per Steph’s point, this could be isolated but it doesn’t seem like it.

    How could Ford screw the pooch like this? On such a critical product line! This seems like basic blocking and tackling of car building. Everybody associated with this looks bad – suppliers, line workers, execs, etc.

    I can only imagine the finger pointing happening in Dearborn right now. Sheesh.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      For the record, I checked some Explorers out and this didn’t seem to be happening with any of them. But we know that it’s an issue based on media reporting.

      • 0 avatar
        s_a_p

        How many did you look at? Were you able to see any pattern s? My in-laws bought the newest navigator on its first year. Had one issue with a dead battery, and the power mirrors forget how folded they are and try to exceed their motorized track length when you approach the car,(hear a pop , pop, pop…) until you start the car then everything levels out. Those seem to be pretty minor issues but seem a bit off for a 6 figure sticker price.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      This is the kind of thing that so damaged their sales of conventional cars that they decided to abandon the market. I guess they are now considering abandoning the SUV/Crossover market. The way things are going, pretty soon they’ll only build the F-150 and Super-Duty pickups.

  • avatar

    What do you expect when you hire a furniture salesman to run Ford. You could have hired Mark Hamill (star wars) to run Ford and the results would not be much different. Running a major car company takes considerable experience and skill. Just because Hackett saved Michigan football does not make him qualified to run Ford. If Hackett wants to theorize about the future he can join a think tank at Michigan University. What Ford needs now is somebody who understands how the factory floor operates.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’ll just toss this little piece of Cadillac vs. Lincoln gasoline on the fire…

    For giggles, I checked out a XT6 the same day. It was a tight ship quality-wise. Yes, the XT6 is a lame effort overall, and yes, the Aviator has the potential to be a kick-a** ride, but no one’s going to go home from a Caddy dealer thinking the XT6 is junk.

    And I’ll toss a little more gasoline on the “Chineseum” fire – this particular Lincoln dealer shares space with a Volvo store, and the Chinese-made V90s on the lot looked to be screwed together perfectly.

    The Aviator’s style and performance are going to attract Mercedes, BMW, Audi and other high-end buyers that may have never darkened the door of a Lincoln store before, and if what they see is like this, they’ll leave.

    If the Explorer has similar issues, it’s an even worse problem, given that model’s volume.

    I hope for Ford’s sake that it gets its’ act together on this…VERY quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Albuquerque has a Lincoln Volvo dealer as well (I guess some reside of the Ford tie up with Volvo).

      GM does seem to be doing a solid job of “screwed together as well as you would expect for the transaction price” (no comment on the source of the components or the assembly location).

      Ford… Ford… Ford. That would be horrendous for the Explorer, the Explorer is one of the few Family CUVs that I’m willing to give a try when looking at the spec sheet.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      It’s like Ford is still operating under the impression that there are people out there who won’t give those funny furrin’ cars a chance, so they can just keep pumping out junk. Did they forget that the 1980’s happened?

    • 0 avatar

      The quality of the CT6 maybe better, but its styling is lame.

      • 0 avatar
        cognoscenti

        akear wrote: “The quality of the CT6 maybe better, but its styling is lame.”

        I’m amazed – a post containing a logical argument, instead of a personal smear on the GM CEO! Who are you, and what have you done with our beloved troll commenter akear? Are you a hacker who took over the account?

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Does the Flat Rock repair area happen to be a tent? Has Ford been hiring away Tesla quality control people?

  • avatar
    cprescott

    As I see it, Ford is delivering the quality that Tesla owners rave about!

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Why the hell are cars being made in Chicago anyway?

    I know the popular meme is that American UAW quality issues were something from the distant past and no longer relevant, but it’s still a real phenomenon and why I ditched the Big 3 a while ago.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Looks like I built it.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    This has been an ongoing issue with some Fords for awhile now, and from more than one manufacturing plant.

    For me personally, most of this isn’t a huge deal on an everyday Ford. If the rest is done correctly where it counts a panel gap isn’t going to throw me.

    But you are right that on a Lincoln it absolutely matters.

    The odd thing is that I suspect it is not a big priority for Ford or they would have solved it years ago.

    And yes I don’t get what the issues are here with these 2 new vehicles. Long time facility at Chicago should know what they’re doing. Ford knows trucks. Ford knows Explorers. What the heck is going on?!

    This, frankly, has been my exact fear since hearing Hackett spouting off about mobility blah blah blah since he got the head job….. spending all his time and all Fords money on long shot bets (of 50:50 future payoff at best), while the bread and butter pays the bills today and keeps the lights on vehicles get paid no attention.

    It seems that perhaps my fears are proving true. This has to be the 2nd most important line at Ford after the F150, and they’re clearly missing bigly.

    Same amazement goes for General Motors and their new pickups. Most important vehicle they make and lands with a thud.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Ford still exists because their customers accept this level of quality.

    Car and Driver’s Explorer ST has a $2,500 set of optional Michelin Latitude 3 summer tires in 275/45R21 size. That’s the option price for the step up from all-seasons in the same size. I thought this was a dangerous game on Ford’s point, perhaps enlightening their silly customers that 21 inch tires aren’t something anyone on a finite income should put on a utility vehicle. I wondered how much said tires could possibly cost that Ford would ask $625 MORE a piece for them over all-seasons. The Tire Rack has those 21 inch Latitude 3 summer tires for $350 a piece, with free shipping. The cheapest 21 inch tires are about $100 less each. Rather than charge the $1400 cost of the tires, or the $400 cost increase of the tires, or any figure in between; Ford is charging the equivalent of a $2,100 markup on the summer tire option. Buy a silly car, win silly prizes.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Time for Ford to go back for another round of chemo. Apparently the cancer from the Mulally era has come back.

    Or did it ever really leave…

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Assembly quality of this nature reminds me far more of the Explorerers built in the Jack Nasser era.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        Yeah, much more like the work of Jacques Nasser. I gave up on Ford after my 2003 Ranger – which I loved dearly. But after spending ienough in non-warranty repairs to cover new-vehicle payments for a year, I bailed and never looked back.

  • avatar
    HaveNissanWillTravel

    And to think people laughed at me and my ‘17 Versa for $12k that had NONE of these types of issues.

    • 0 avatar

      Nissan scores much higher than Ford according to consumer reports.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        I can’t count the number of used Nissans with CVTs I’ve seen (recent models) that have transmission problems (the CVTs). I avoid them like the plague.

        • 0 avatar
          R Henry

          Same experience here with Nissan CVTs: it seems they can mostly make it through their stint in the rental fleets, then when resold at Carmax, die shortly thereafter. Only way I would buy a used Nissan is with a really good, low deductible, long warranty that covers all parts of the transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      thejohnnycanuck

      I can say the same thing about my ’19 $10K Cdn Mexican built Micra. And as an added bonus it’s an absolute hoot to drive.

      OMG, did two people just defend Nissan in the same thread?

      • 0 avatar

        Nissan’s are simply more reliable than any of the big three. Just look at consumer reports if you don’t believe me. Car and Driver just got through testing a Altima and found nothing wrong. The truth is all Japanese cars are bullet proof including Nissan. A 1988 Sentra is better built than the current Explorer.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I often defend Tesla around here, but one of the reasons my money went to Hyundai was the obviously better build quality at the “H”.

      I abandoned Ford over 20 years ago.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Even if it was well attached, this door trim looks like a wax magnet.

    Nice work @freedmike

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Thanks. In fact, the slate gray piece was sticking out of the chrome insert, leaving a gap big enough to stick my finger in.

      (And, yes, I did push it back and leave it the way I found it afterwards.)

      But the real kicker was that right rear window – it sticks out noticeably. At first, I wondered if the car had some kind of opening rear quarter window option and someone left it slightly ajar, but it doesn’t. It just left the factory that way.

      The pictures also don’t do the orange peel paint justice.

      A real crapshow.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        As far as orange peel goes, I think most manufacturers are incapable of painting a vehicle these days. It’s embarrassing. Maybe at a much higher transaction price than I’m willing to pay. The $39K (MSRP) that Ford wanted for my ’16 Mustang wasn’t enough for a smooth paint finish in their opinion. A little more palatable on my GTI which was significantly less.

        I guess I’ll budget for a nice wrap job for the next car.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        At first I was looking at the trim being slightly off on the two side to side rear quarter pictures, but now that you point out the window being off, that bothers the hell out of me. I would freak out if I found that on a new vehicle I just purchased.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        In all fairness, this new low VOC envirofriendly auto paint is crap. When I purchased my new Mazda last year, every car on the lot had orange peel. VW next door? Orange peel. Honda Accords one lot over? Orange peel. Acura TLX? Orange peel.

        Interestingly enough, the only cars I saw that didn’t have it were some 2018 Regal sportbacks I was looking at.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          I agree that the environment friendly paint is probably part of the issue. My ’09 Mazda3 didn’t have any orange peel from the factory, but when I got it back from the shop with a new door skin after my neighbor backed into it, orange peel all over the door. The shop crowed about their earth friendly paint. I should have known it would be garbage.

          As Bart Simpson once said to his hippy sister, “You’re just making sure we spend our last days using inferior products.”

          • 0 avatar
            IBx1

            TMA1, you can spend over $200,000 on a Maybach-branded S-class and it’ll have the same orange peel. It’s the low-VOC paint mandated top to bottom on the market.

  • avatar
    millerluke

    Heck, I have a 2019 Camry, that lunched its transmission at 220km. And got new front brakes at 16,000km, under warranty. It now has almost 24,000km (practically all highway – I travel a lot for work) and here’s hoping something else doesn’t go wrong. If Toyota can make a crappy car reliability-wise, then Ford doesn’t have a chance…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” I have a 2019 Camry, that lunched its transmission at 220km.”

      Regrettably, I know a lady in her seventies who had the same thing happen to her 2019 Camry XLE V6 before 2000 miles on the odo.

      Dealer tried to blame her at first but Toyota Corporate must have stepped in because the dealership called the next day to deliver a brand new Flamin’ Red 2019 Camry as a loaner.

      Long story short, she traded her Camry for that loaner for a very lucrative deal where she only paid for the miles she had put on her car and the whole thing cost her less than $1000. And she got 24 months of free oil changes and service to boot.

      But that new Flamin’ Red Camry is a far cry from her staid Dark Blue Camry. Now we can see her comin’ AND goin’.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      What in the world caused the failure at just after the car left the dealer?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        A lot of manufacturing defects come out pretty quickly. With any new product, you’ll have a percentage that fails almost immediately, followed by a period where failure is rare, and then failure rates start creeping up again over time.

        (Of course stuff can fail any time. A couple years ago, I had a computer power supply fail after six months, exactly during the time you’d least expect it. The replacement is still going strong.)

        • 0 avatar
          theflyersfan

          As a sidebar to your comment, in my immediate family, we had one of the first Audi Q5 2.0T models which came with the (at the time new for the model) ZF 8 speed autos. Less than a thousand miles later, the transmission went to the huge auto parts graveyard in the sky. The replacement was free, the loaner was nice, and the new transmission is flawless.

          I’m in the computer field and we say the same thing. Most of your hardware problems are going to hit either right after the first bootup when you are customizing the thing, or right after the warranty ends (or it will go flawless for 6-7 years.) There isn’t much of an in between for hardware failures.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            That’s true — I also do programming for a living, and have seen issues just after burn-in. Like the Dell laptop that arrived without a functioning screen, which was replaced with an identical unit.

            I’m just curious if they ever figured out what caused that transmission to grenade.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I had a bum Honda back in 2005-7. They can all build a good car – or a bad one.

      I’m amazed Toyota covered a brake repair at 16k km.

  • avatar
    Steve203

    Oh this brings back memories.

    In the late 90s, during the Hackett regime at Steelcase, I was working at a Steelcase dealership. S/C came out with a panel system called “Answer”. Answer was different from every other S/C panel system as the panels all had to be assembled at the job site, rather than coming from the factory assembled and ready to be connected together.

    The net effect was that a lot of assembly labor cost was transferred from Steelcase to the installing dealer, by the design of the system.

    The side effect was that nothing in the finished panels quite lined up. The panel frames weren’t quite square and the skins were always a bit crooked. Didn’t matter how much the installers fussed with laser levels and adjustments to the glides, the cubes looked a bit haphazard.

    But Answer was cheap for S/C to make.

    All these crooked bits on the Aviator, sure look like they came from the same mind and value system that created the Answer cube I worked in.

  • avatar
    pale ghost

    My old man got a new company car every 2 years in the 60s and 70s. I don’t remember one that he didn’t have to bring back to the dealer for multiple functional, fit and finish issues. These were high end cars for the time – Olds 98s and Buick Electras. When he retired in the 90s he bought a long term retirement Cadillac. After 5 years he was so pissed with all the problems, he set out to buy a Lexus. He died before he completed the purchase. It took a lot for him to consider Japanese, he was WWII Marine Guadalcanal vet.

  • avatar
    AVT

    I really do hope ford addresses these issues ASAP, especially for owners who are affected already. The trim piece falling out concerns me. I drive down a dirt road on my way to the cabin for a few miles. That piece would be the first thing to fall off from rocks being kicked up. At which point the rocks start destroying the under paneling and rusting the vehicles. Owner goes back to the dealer and wants a new trim piece. Okay no big deal. Well say 4000 vehicles have this issue right, how much money does that cost ford in warranty repair and such (between shipping them the part, re-manufacturing the part to work like it should have in the first place, etc.)? All that money could have and probably should have been spend on Quality control in the first place. And thats just the trim piece, not any of the more serious issues that are being reported. I do wonder how substantially this is going to impact the bottom line. I would also love to see the decision matrix for how production was approved for consumer consumption with these issues still existing. Teething issues like this should have been caught in the initial testing runs. How such a large percentage of these vehicles are impacted already (figuring total number of units produced vs quantity affected) is troubling. I mean, you figure they are running maybe 50% yield on vehicles that are good to go given the population produced (just a guess, I’m not sure how many units have been produced in total yet of either the explorer or aviator). The bigger concerns for this market is going to be the depreciation hit on the back end of the lease and will they lease the vehicle again. This market is heavily leased and due to the quality issues, the depreciation on these as of right now is likely going to be fairly steep (as people don’t want to buy them used due to quality concerns). Bearing in mind that is still a new vehicle and the long term reliability of the other major items like engine, tranny, interior, etc is still up in the air. If they can’t competitively lease these against the market, thats a big problem. End of the day, money talks. Ironically, if they do get these issues resolved, one might be able to pick a used one from model year one at a really cheap price and do a lot of the fix’s themselves because I promise, those forums are going to be chalk full of DIY fixes for all the issues these vehicles could be seeing. Unless you have the frame issue. Than your just SOL.

  • avatar
    AVT

    The other concern is, will ford/lincoln see repeat buyers or leases on these vehicles? Ford has had great success with repeat buyers on the explorer. IF the quality issues heavily affect the explorer, I could see a scenario where two or three years into the model run, they start selling a heck of a lot less than they were in the past. As buyers bought/leased them and were either scared away to try again or heard enough scary stories about it they decide to look elsewhere. Especially considering how expensive ford has placed these now. The transaction prices they are asking for the explorer and aviator are high compared to the other options in their respective classes (especially for the explorer).

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    Lincoln would do well to see these faults are fixed before they get into the customer’s hands. Unless they’re taking the Gung Ho (1986) approach of manufacturing defects being something for the dealership to worry about. It doesn’t look like the dealerships are all that worried. :/

  • avatar

    I bought one of the very first ’95 Rivieras built, same for Rendezvous and Enclave. they all served me well. I sold the Rendezvous early but put 200,000 on the Riv and 250,000 on Enclave.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    These problems only add to the other repair nightmare that Ford is dealing with on the Focus, etc. with their DCTs. That’s the real expense.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    What is with Ford and body assembly? Other issues that aren’t covered by this article aside, we’ve seen lots of this sort of stuff from tons of Fords over the years. You don’t see this sort of body defect very often from GM, let alone Toyota.

  • avatar
    denster2u

    Ford completely gutted and retooled the Chicago plant in just 30 days, to avoid a lengthy model changeover, and now it shows how hastily the 2020 Explorer and Aviator were ramped up for production. With Ford already nursing Lincoln back to health, such glaring quality issues could prove to be very damaging for the brand to overcome.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I’ve seen same on American-built Jeeps. And American-built Hondas. Earlier – on Camry.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    More horrific, atrocious quality (lack of control) on a wannabe premium brand (Lincoln, with sibling Blue Oval Ford vehicles not far behind) charging absolute nosebleed prices for unreliable and sloppily assembled vehicles.

    Lincoln and Ford are pathetic, and can’t Hackett for much longer, with a junk bond credit rating, 64 billion of debt on the books, nosebleed prices, horrific quality and reliability, some of the worst dealerships of any volume manufacturer, along with an increasingly “all eggs in one nest” concentrated vehicle portfolio.

    KIA and Hyundai have far better vehicles in the Telluride and Palisade, both having incredibly better assembly quality, interior material quality (they look and feel like perfection compared to Lincoln and Ford burning dumpster fires that are the Explorer and Aviator), almost guaranteed far better long (and short) term reliability, at literally 2/3rds the price of these sh!tpiles rolling out of Illinois, that have to be then “fixed” in tents in a Flat Rock parking lot (what a fricking joke), and even then are not fixed, before being sold to customers.

    And we are not just talking about assembly quality here…but metallurgical and literal structural integrity issues, along with failing transmissions from the factory, with only god knows what else to be discovered soon.

    Ford is going to be absolutely pulverized during the now pending auto contraction, that is going to get far worse.

    They should just quit making anything but F Series pickups, since that’s the only vehicle line that they haven’t managed to totally fcuk up.

    #FordDisgrace
    #FireHackett
    #InsaneFordFamily
    #DetroitLionsSuckAsAlways

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think Ford is in trouble here, these things are incredibly expensive and I’m not sure who is going to tolerate obvious lazy flaws in their purchases.

    “The Aviator and its Explorer platform mate are high-volume, generously priced vehicles that stand to make Ford a lot of money.”

    51,000 and numerous assembly issues? Generous? Just join us from Mars perhaps?

    Median income is 61K and change, and that’s in most cases two people. But right 51K is generous, I’d say if we didn’t have to pay for um FOOD or perhaps RENT be it to the landlord, bank, or local elected crooks then yes perhaps generous. Let’s not forget the tribute to Fedgov who is talking about 50 and 100 year bonds now, that’s how they are telling us yes we flushed the currency but instead of just printing we’re going to print AND continue to steal 30-45% of your livelihood and inflate at double digits in real dollars. But yes, 51K what a steal. I loved Lincolns, they are in some ways junk in most models and years but I loved them still. Years past it was self inflicted wounds like air ride, AXOD, electrical issues, the spark plug issues on the 5.4, the entire Lincoln LS model, but now we can’t even get the panels on straight. I hate to say it but DeadWeight may be right, Ford despite F-150 may be on some thin ice.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    My 79 Lincoln Mark V has better gap panels and is aligned perfectly compared to that Aviator.

    I mean seriously, peeing trim piece that can be removed with ones finger!!!?? That is atrocious and scary. It does make you wonder how the rest of the vehicle is put together.

    With Hacketts job at cutting cost which he was so focused on, maybe he eliminated some QC people along the way?

    Because this is unacceptable in a day in age of automation and state of the art manufacturing assembly plants. But it goes to show the lack of care to the small details, anyone in their right mind could see the misaligned panel if looking close enough, by not bothering to correct it goes to show the careless act upon Fords final inspectors.

    I really want Lincoln to succeed, and it can’t afford to eff up like this when the brand is already almost dead.

    Unfortunately the last great Lincolns in terms of build quality, styling, cool factor, and material quality were the 61-65 Continentals and the 69-71 Mark III. Those were the days when the company actually cared and was a serious threat towards Cadillac.

    In some respects Lincoln built a better car than Cadillac did in the 70’s, but Caddy’s always offered better color combinations, interior trimming, and seats. But in terms of body structure like rigidity and ride quality, Lincoln’s seemed to be better put together.

    I’m getting off track here, but the point is there’s ZERO excuse for this kind of sloppy assembly work. Back in the 60’s, those kinds of issues would have literally have taken that car off the production line to be corrected right away. Every 61-69 Lincoln Continentals were road tested for 12 miles before being released from the assembly plant. A test driver would drive the car for 12 miles straight test every component for operation, check for squeaks and rattles, misaligned trim and loose interior bits, NVH, transmission and engine operation, and if anything was to be found that didn’t pass the 12 mile road test, whatever things on the list that didn’t pass, would be fixed before the car was shipped out to the dealer.

    Maybe Lincoln should revive that wonderful program, oh but no, they are chasing high volume sales vs a low volume, higher quality better put together product.

    • 0 avatar
      johnds

      I don’t quite buy this 100% as I had family working at some plants, most specifically GM plants as managers during this time. They said it wasn’t uncommon for assembly line works to purposely sabotage the car with things such as pop bottles in the doors, misalignment of panels, etc to bring the car back to the dealer. Most of these issues were in retaliation of their boss.

      I also believe the time, day of the week, and month all play into build quality too!

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        Folks I knew from high school worked for the International (now Navistar International) building high-dollar Travelall’s at the Springfield plant told me tales of the assembly line modifications made to these vehicles. Beer cans hung inside the double wall front fenders, hand fulls of loose nuts/bolts inside the tires before mounting, and a hex nut on a string inside the door card of a rear door were a few of tricks used on the line just before contract time. International management at the time was pretty horrible – the conflicts there between the union and management were fairly nasty and the end customers were always the losers.

    • 0 avatar
      CombiCoupe99

      In today’s manufacturing environment, you have to WORK to create these defects.

      THIS is why I avoid union made products. You never know when you are going to receive some angry group’s “message” to corporate.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Ford Engineering is not doing the job. It is that simple. Low pay engineering packages do not attract talent as well as a focus on “diversity and inclusion” is just not working out in Ford Engineering.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Ah yes, “American luxury”. Some things never change!

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Wait for the all clear to come before buying the Explorer and Aviator! I was planning on buying the Aviator right now but will wait till Spring to see if anything is improved. However, I could save around $15K and go with the Hyundai Palisade.

  • avatar
    CombiCoupe99

    I’ll bet anything that the union guys are somehow going to blame corporate for this. They will tell you that they are being treated unfairly or that conditions are no good – thus justifying their poor workmanship.

    Get these jobs out of “victim territory” and send them to where folks want to do quality work.

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