Ford Motor Co. said Aug. 12 it needs to replace molded-in-color hardtop roofs on all Bronco SUVs built to date, which will delay production and delivery to owners by months.
The automaker, in a letter to customers, said the molded-in-color hard tops on both two-door and four-door Broncos suffer from a quality issue that creates an "unsatisfactory appearance when exposed to extreme water and humidity." The automaker said it doesn't expect replacement roofs until October.
A Ford spokesman confirmed the letter, first posted to the Bronco 6G forum, to Automotive News.
The news marks an escalation of issues with roof supplier Webasto SE. In March, Ford said two roof options — the "modular painted" hard top and "dual roof" — would be delayed until the 2022 model year. Molded-in-color roofs were the only hard tops made available at launch, in addition to soft tops.
Webasto is based near Munich and opened a new plant in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, Mich., in 2020 to supply roof systems to an unspecified automaker.
In an emailed statement, Webasto said: "It is our goal to ensure that our product always meets our customer´s and their end consumers’ expectations. Constantly reviewing, reworking and executing is a regular part of our quality process. We remain fully engaged with our customer to address any concerns as they arise."
"The imperfections are microscopic, do not affect the functionality of the roof and are exposed in heavy rain and humidity. We found it and have now put in corrective steps. To meet the high demand and increase roof production capacity, we will build another new production location in southeastern Michigan."
Owner forums have been buzzing, with some complaining of roof issues shortly after delivery. Others have said their Broncos were built weeks ago but have been sitting in lots around the Michigan Assembly Plant for an unknown reason.
A video posted to the Bronco 6G forum this week appeared to show thousands of Broncos sitting in lots around the plant in Wayne, Mich.
In its letter Aug. 12, Ford said it would prioritize oldest units first to receive the replacement roofs. It informed customers that it "needs to replace all existing molded-in-color hardtop roofs before we can make any new hardtop Broncos."
Ford said that if a customer's Bronco has not been scheduled for production yet, except for First Edition reservation holders, they would not receive a 2021 model year vehicle. Ford spokesman Mike Levine on Twitter said prices for those owners would not change.
Ford said production of 2022 model year vehicles is expected to begin in December.