By on July 20, 2021

A few Ford customers are expressing concerns about the quality control of the new Bronco after noticing the molded hardtop seemed to be coming apart prematurely. The issue impacts an unknown number of early vehicles, with only a handful of owners suggesting they’ve noticed anything. However, those that are sounding alarm bells noted that the vehicle seemed put together when they purchased it, with the defects manifesting after a few weeks of regular use.

Problems include the headliner separating from the roof panels and some discoloration at the seams. But the signature defect appears to be scales appearing on the hardtop’s exterior. While smooth to the touch, members of the Bronco6G forum reported that their roofs had developed patterning that resembled snakeskin in some areas — attributing the phenomenon to the outer laminate layer being cast too thin.

That’s not yet been proven but seems a plausible enough explanation. It’s the kind of thing that probably looked fine when they were rolling out of the factory and would account for why the unplanned patterning hasn’t been more universal. Ford also decided to delay the Bronco’s color-matched roof option until late 2022, citing supply troubles. Those metal-topped SUVs probably won’t see daylight until 2023, leaving customers with the soft top (which can have a kit added to allow the metal hardtop to be installed later) or the molded hardtop that might have some quality control issues.

Ford tapped German supplier Webasto for the part, which required the completion of Webasto Roof Systems Inc. in Plymouth, Michigan, on a fairly tight timeline that wasn’t made any easier by COVID lockdowns. Its first batch may have been subject to some growing pains as it fine-tuned the assembly process or (potentially) rushed to meet order demands. But we’re just guessing here. Ford could have just as easily given them the wrong specifications and then just shrugged when they arrived all sigogglin.

What’s certain is that we’ve heard murmurings that some of the molded hardtops weren’t looking so good after about a month of use. A few customers have also bemoaned the fit and finish, citing misaligned edges, minor warping, and separation from the headliner. Whether those turn out to be isolated issues or something more pervasive, Ford has at least indicated that it’s happy to fix whatever problems arise — provided they’re under warranty.

Meanwhile, everyone’s going to be watching out to see how many more reports of wonky roofs come in to see if it was just the first batch that has problems. If not, Ford could find itself involved in another recall campaign that could have been avoided if a bit more time was taken to make better decisions in preproduction.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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32 Comments on “Ford Bronco Owners Noticing Issues With Molded Roof...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Cue my Jabba the Hutt laugh.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Gentlemen,

      Ask yourself how worked up these individuals would get about a superficial cosmetic issue:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunch_atop_a_Skyscraper#/media/File:Lunch_atop_a_Skyscraper.jpg

      [The building they were working on in 1932 is still standing in 2021. It has some scratches. Does this bother you?]

  • avatar

    I read thru some of these posts last night. I used to work in composites. It does look a bit like print thru from to thin a skin or in-proper prep. Looks like this will be expensive for Ford. I wonder how many they delivered?

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Hmm, it does certainly look annoying. I am guessing Ford’s fix will involve a quick mask and spray with matte black paint? Or is there a materials compatibility problem that would prevent that?

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Well, I am just shocked. A brand with abysmal quality is seeing quality issues with a new model. Nobody could have seen this coming.

    This begs the question though…if Ford went so obviously cheap on something as prominent as the roof, when else did they go cheap on that you can’t see? Much like the garbage 2020 Explorer and Lincoln rebadge, this will only be the tip of the iceberg. This laughable bad Ranger SUV will have many other quality issues.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “Ford could find itself involved in another recall campaign that could have been avoided if a bit more time was taken to make better decisions in preproduction.”

    Because announcing it in 2017 and launching it 4 years later wasn’t enough time. I suppose after the TFL fiasco with being denied access to new vehicles for a period of time, Ford got the message out that you will treat them with kid gloves…or else.

    There is no excuse for this and speaks to the abysmal quality of Ford vehicles. Maybe Farago needs to come back to hold Ford accountable for this.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I have also heard that many of the Bronco Sports are being shipped without engine covers. C’mon, Ford, don’t f**k-up another rollout

  • avatar
    mikedt

    This isn’t go to help Ford’s bottom line combined with the other 850k vehicle recalls. Makes me rethink how soon I want to be in line for the Maverick small pickup. Better to wait for model year 2 as always.

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    Maybe Webasto got the order wrong, and with scales appearing, the Bronco is morphing into a Raptor.

  • avatar
    EX35

    Serious question: why do ppl buy this rather than the tried and true dead nuts reliable 4Runner? Probably just infotainment, right?

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Ford will have many issues with this hard top. Jeep has perfected the Wrangler parts over many generations. Wrangler is still the King. Bronco is just the new kid, and soon people will get really tired of its quality issues.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Most Jeep types put up with quality issues. Ford is hurting themselves by allowing this sort of thing to happen. I know a few Jeep guys hoping the Bronco will have better quality.

      Mind you, this does play to the old adage,”never buy the first year of a new model”.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m thinking those hoping Ford is that much more reliable then Jeep will be sorely disappointed, It’s a lateral move at best.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          Moving to a Ford is not lateral. It’s several steps lower in quality than the Jeep.

          Jeep has great engines, the best traditional transmission on the market (ZF 8), and high quality interior materials along with one of the best infotainment systems on the market. Ford has none of that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Jeep has great engines”
            I take it you don’t know many people with Jeep Wranglers.
            The V6 isn’t known for being very reliable or long lasting and it’s hard on fuel.
            The diesel in the Jeep has been problematic along with having a smaller fuel tank to make room for the DEF tank.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “I’m thinking those hoping Ford is that much more reliable then Jeep will be sorely disappointed, It’s a lateral move at best.”

          Pretty much. It’s like Luke Wilson vs Owen Wilson.

  • avatar
    ABC-2000

    I was in the market for a new compact SUV back in April after years with sedans, obvious choice would be the new Bronco Sport since it’s very cool but I decided to go with a CX-5 for reliability, Ford usually never come up with a new vehicle free of trouble, see the first new Explorers in 2020, see the transmissions problems on Mustangs, the lousy gear box on Focus and so on.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Ford having initial-quality issues on a new vehicle rollout. Who knew?!

    Unfortunately given the past few years, water is also wet.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    From the article:

    Problems include the headliner separating from the roof panels and some discoloration at the seams.

    Can we do a go-fund-me to get one for Corey?

  • avatar
    Qbranch

    It’s not an issue!

    It’s a feature… after all “they all do that”

    Just ask ask any sales associate ;)

    Now, aren’t you glad you waited so long and paid over list!?

    Or look at it another way. In 20 years these “defective” versions will bring another $10k at BAT

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