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Austin ASKED THE GUIDE

Ford Ranger 2017: Ford won't fix the rusty chassis

I have a rusty chassis on my 2017 Ford Ranger. I went to Ford but they won't fix it - what are my options?

I’d be interested to know why Ford won’t help with your problem, but it’s a fact that there are some circumstances where a manufacturer isn’t obliged to fix a problem like this. If the problem has been caused by negligence or abuse on the part of the owner, then you begin to enter a very grey area. On the other hand, if the rust is due to a manufacturing fault such as poor rust-proofing at the factory, then it’s a different story.

I contacted Ford Australia about this, but without more information, the spokesperson could only really refer me to the warranty fine-print and, in particular, this couple of paragraphs:

  • Ford will warrant a part which it finds to be defective in factory materials or workmanship under normal use and operation
  • A part won’t be replaced as a consequence of the owner’s failure to maintain, use or operate the vehicle in accordance with recommendations and instructions.

Honestly, your email raises more questions than answers. Is the corrosion surface rust or actual rot in the metal? Has the car been used in the mining industry? Has it been used to launch boats into salt-water on a frequent basis? Has it been submerged in floodwater at any stage? Has it been badly damaged and repaired? On what basis did Ford deny your request to have the vehicle fixed under warranty?

As for your options, you could pay to have the chassis replaced, but that only makes me wonder about the rest of the metalwork in the vehicle. Or, you could talk to a consumer advocacy group and see what your legal options amount to. The real job will be convincing an arbitrator that the rust has been caused by poor quality rather than any owner abuse or negligence.

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