Ford Motor Company reintroduced the popular Bronco model in 2021, 25 years after the last model rolled off the assembly line in 1996. Fans of the rugged good looks and all-terrain versatility of the design clamored for the new vehicle, expecting solid dependability with an updated exterior. However, many owners began experiencing issues with the hardtop roof right away.
Robison Lemon Law Group is here to guide you in understanding how to work with state and federal laws to receive fair treatment from vehicle manufacturers. If you own or have ordered this vehicle, here are 5 things you need to know about the Ford Bronco’s roof problems and how to seek a fix.
Production Was Delayed by the Pandemic
Ford began planning for a new release before the start of the pandemic, but the quick spread of the disease unexpectedly affected manufacture very close to the 2020 launch date. This put the Bronco at the mercy of production and shipping delays from vendors such as Webasto, which makes the hardtop roofs. Webasto not only had issues meeting quotas, but they also failed to notice defects that would crop up shortly after the first Broncos were delivered to customers.
Roof Problems Appeared Almost Immediately
Disappointed Bronco buyers began complaining in online enthusiast forums within weeks of receiving their new SUVs. Drivers noted that headliners were separating from the roof less than a month after purchase. Other complaints mentioned the appearance of fiberglass strands, possibly due to a defective laminating process that did not fully seal the fiberglass inside the roof body.
Poor overall finish was also noted, and the plastic hardtops developed a discolored surface with a honeycomb pattern. This change appears to be strictly cosmetic but is undesirable. The discoloration seems to happen after exposure to heavy rains and high humidity. Soft top roofs have not demonstrated these same issues, but replacing the hard roof has been challenging and frustrating for owners.
Every Hardtop Model Is Affected: Two-Door and Four-Door
Because Ford contracted all its hardtop roofs from Webasto, every model of the new Bronco is affected. Buyers can opt for a soft top as a replacement, but those who prefer the greater stability and protection of a hard shell are out of luck until the issues are addressed at the production level. Bronco does not offer a solid, permanent roof option. The removable top has always been part of its appeal.
Ford Will Fix the Problems With the Bronco Hardtop
For those who have already taken delivery of their Ford Bronco, the auto company will notify owners to have the plastic hardtop roof replaced at their local dealership. Ford is also replacing roofs on SUVs built but not sold, such as those already in dealerships or waiting to be shipped. For those individuals who have ordered a Bronco but have not been given a build date, Ford will offer the option to switch to the soft top instead for 2022 models.
Because the plastic tops have been fully finished, they are not recyclable. Ford has stated that they will scrap the roofs completely to prevent them from appearing in the market again and being sold to uninformed buyers.
Painted Metal Hardtop Roofs Will be Available in 2023
Ford will offer a third roof option in the 2023 model year, a painted metal roof made of removable panels like the plastic hardtop version. Production delays also pushed this option beyond its planned release date, which coincided with the original 2021 launch of the new Bronco.
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