Founded in 1903, the Ford Motor Company has long been one of the largest and most influential automakers in the world. Ford was the brainchild of Henry Ford in Detroit, Michigan. The Ford Motor Company was not Henry Ford's first attempt at launching an automobile manufacturer; his first company went on to become Cadillac after he left the company. The company initially built only a handful of cars a day before Ford became the first automaker to mass produce vehicles using an assembly line.

Throughout the years, Ford has owned or partnered with many of the largest names in the auto industry, including Jaguar, Mazda, Land Rover, Volvo, and Aston Martin. In recent years, Ford has pared back its involvement in other companies and focused on manufacturing a wide variety of vehicles under its own branding. Ford also markets luxury vehicles under the Lincoln marque.

Popular Models

While some automakers carve out a niche by focusing exclusively on one or two types of vehicles, Ford is known for its vast array of options in every category. Ford has multiple models of sedans, performance cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans.

The highest-selling Ford vehicle of all time is the F-150 pickup truck. Part of the F-Series line of vehicles, the F-150 is a full-size pickup that was first launched in 1948. Now thirteen generations of the vehicle later, it is still one of the most popular pickup trucks on the planet.

Launched in 1976, the Ford Fiesta is Ford's most popular subcompact car. The Fiesta is in its seventh generation and has sold more units than any Ford other than the F-150.

The successor to the popular Ford Escort, the Ford Focus is the company's best-selling compact sedan. First launched in 1998, this fourth generation vehicle comes with 2-door, 4-door, and hatchback options. With dozens of active models to choose from, Ford has one of the largest selections of vehicles out of any automaker.

Ford Safety Ratings

Despite their long history, Ford has not always been at the pinnacle of safety innovation compared to other automakers. In the past, models like the Ford Escape had multiple “Poor” and “Marginal” safety ratings for everything from side-impact to passenger door crashworthiness according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

However in recent years, Ford has made a concerted effort to improve the safety ratings of their vehicles. For example, the Ford F-150 has perfect marks for crashworthiness according to the IIHS; their only inferior grades relate to headlight strength and the ease of use for the child seat anchors.

The 2019 Ford Edge, a midsize SUV, likewise has “Good” ratings across the board for crashworthiness as well as a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention. As with the F-150, the only score below “Good” the Edge has relates to headlights and the ease of use with child safety seat anchors. The Edge has shown steady improvement in their safety ratings, with the 2019 model being the first year to score a “Good” rating for the driver side door and a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention.

All in all, Ford safety ratings are strong and improving. 

Recalls, Defects, and Safety Issues

The efforts the Ford Motor Company has made to improve their safety ratings is good news for consumers, but unfortunately even the most popular automakers encounter defects, design errors, and recalls. While most major issues ultimately lead to a recall, that process can take months or even years. Many defective parts are only acknowledged by the manufacturer years after they were first reported. To see if there are any current recalls for your Ford vehicle, you can visit their official site. Some of the recent notable safety issues are discussed below.

Transmission Failure

The largest safety issue for Ford in recent years was a design flaw in over 1.5 million Ford F-150s that could lead to serious transmission failures. According to the recall notice, these Ford pickup trucks are at risk of suddenly downshifting to first gear without any warning. The sudden downshifting can greatly reduce speed and cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. At the time of the recall notice, Ford was aware of at least five crashes that were caused by the downshifting issue. The design flaw was present in F-150s for model years 2011 through 2013.

Exhaust Leaks

According to an extensive report by Bloomberg in March of 2019, a long-standing flaw in the Ford Explorer can cause exhaust gases to leak into the cabin of the vehicle. In some rare cases, this has caused carbon monoxide poisoning in passengers of the vehicle. The problem has been traced to welding errors that allowed exhaust to escape into the cabin of the vehicle. This issue was first reported to Ford in 2011, and Ford has given dealerships guidance on fixing the issue since 2012. But while Ford claims the issue has been resolved, there were still some reports of exhaust leaks at the time of the Bloomberg report. To date, Ford has not issued a recall.

Fire Risk

Thousands of Ford vehicles, including the Ford Fiesta and Ford Ranger, have been recalled in the U.K. due to the risk of overheating and even fire. The problem stems from the Ford EcoBoost engine, which had a design flaw that caused overheating. In severe cases, this overheating led to cars catching on fire. In at least one case, a Ford Fiesta was engulfed in flame in under six minutes. Despite this, Ford initially refused to pay for the repairs before eventually giving in.

Ford Problems? Discuss Your Options With an Attorney and Get the Help You Need.

If you own a Ford vehicle that has experienced issues with safety or reliability, contact The Lemon Lawyer to learn about your options. California residents are protected under the California Lemon Law, and our experienced attorneys can help explain how that law may help you. Contact The Lemon Lawyer today for your free consultation.

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The longer you let your car sit in the shop, the greater the cost is to you. If you think you may have a case, get in touch with one of our attorneys today.

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