Edmunds.com Editors Hit Aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 With Sledgehammer
Taking a sledgehammer to a brand new truck........ouch.
The labor rate is double for aluminum than steel parts so I guess it is that much harder to work with.
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The reason the F-150's repair cost was so high is because the shop they took it to was not a Ford-certified aluminum repair center:
He said Santa Monica Ford, the dealership Edmunds used, was not yet certified by Ford to work on the truck. Ford has certified more than 750 dealerships and worked with more than 1,000 independent shops.
“Unfortunately, this dealer that Edmunds went to was not one of them.” Fields said.
Otherwise, I think the aluminum held up pretty darn well! Most of the damage was concentrated on the point of contact.
It's interesting they got the "Out of Pocket" discount. Is that because they were Edmunds.com doing a story, or is that what the dealerships do for everyone who comes in paying out of pocket? They mention the other shop and their rates, but not if they would give a discount for out of pocket repair, I'm sure not every shop will do that kind of discount but would still be a more complete story if they included the info.
Why would a repair facility offer a 50% discount on labor if customer is "paying out of pocket?"
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To really compare things I would have liked to have seen them do the same to a '14.
Why would they take it to a dealership that isn't Ford certified??
It would have been the same had they let Joe down the street do it.
That said, my take away from this is to avoid hitting the bed of truck with a sledgehammer as it causes unique damage due to the impact being in such a small isolated area.
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With a vehicle that sells 60,000+ a month, Ford better step up the amount of dealers and independents that are certified in repairing damage.....
750 dealers is nothing to sneeze at, but this is a big country and 750 sounds like there are large gaps in coverage.
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Most of the independent shops near me won't work on aluminum other than very minor repair or if they can replace like a hood or lift gate.
Much ado about almost nothing. We heard the same horror stories back when fuel injection really began to replace the carburetor, etc, etc. Of course aluminum is going to be significantly more expensive in terms of hourly labor right now, we're still living in a world where the majority of body techs are trained primarily on steel, simple business math explains how that breaks out. I don't doubt that aluminum will remain somewhat more expensive to repair than steel even once the market adjusts, at least for a while, but like fuel injection this is the new reality and much of the market will follow shortly. I'm just surprised at how hard some of the auto rags are working to squeeze every last drop out of the aluminum body story.
I asked my friend that owns a body shop and who does all the local Ford dealerships work about this.
Be told me the standard insurance pay rate is $42 on pretty much all steel cars, $78 on the new F150.
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