Just a few weeks removed from swatting away criticism from its competition that the new aluminum F-150 takes longer to repair and costs more while doing it, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is contradicting the automaker.
The safety group crash tested the new F-150 and found that the claims that repairs to the new truck were more costly and took more time to be true; however, the maker’s F-150 Super Crew, which makes up 83% of annual sales, also received the group’s “Top Safety Pick” rating: the only full-size pickup to earn the distinction.
While the Dearborn, Michigan-based company was pleased to get earn the safety award, it disagreed with IIHS finding that repair costs were 26% higher for the new model compared with the previous generation pickup.
“Ford does not agree with the reparability costs and findings by IIHS and other stunts. Ford’s view is based on real-world accident repair data. In fact, real-world repair costs on the new 2015 Ford F-150 average $869 less than last year’s F-150 model,” the automaker said, citing data from Assured Performance, an independent body shop certification company that works with leading automakers.
The automaker also notes that not every organization agrees with IIHS or the charges leveled by Chevrolet, in particular, about the repairs being more expensive. They claim that insurance companies Allstate and State Farm are keeping insurance costs for the new F-150 comparable with 2014 models, implying no change in repair costs in the event of an accident.
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Ford is gambling big with the move to military-grade aluminum, which was done to cut more than 700 pounds from the truck, improving its fuel economy. Through the first half of the year though, sales of the new truck have been lagging and other makers have been quick to strike seeing a potential opportunity to grab sales from the best-selling pickup.
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Last month, Chevrolet ran a series of ads mocking the use of aluminum instead of steel in a variety of scenarios. The brand, which sells the second-best selling truck, the Silverado, also made a point of noting that the repair costs may be higher and take longer, thus costing the truck owner more money out of pocket because the truck would unavailable for everyday tasks.
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Ford denied the claims, but Chevy failed to back away from any of the assertions in the ads, saying only that it was a chance to “tell their story.”