2017 Ford F-350 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Tailgate, suspension and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

In the world of heavy-duty trucks, there aren’t a ton of options available to workers. One of the main choices has always been the Ford Super Duty, which claims on the automaker’s website to have a “Lighter Body. Stronger Frame and Chassis.” What we found regarding the 2017 Ford F-350 is something entirely different. Our research shows that owners of this truck face dangerous situations with the steering, suspension and structure.

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Steering (Death Wobble)

Even if a driver keeps their hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, it seems nearly impossible to control this truck when hitting a bump or pothole. This becomes even more dangerous when towing or hauling heavy cargo, which is what many owners use their vehicle for.

One driver wrote this on the NHTSA website, “Several times the pickup has started shaking. It caused me to lose control and enter the ditch. The problem occurs when I’m at a speed of 50 mph or above. Usually happens when a pothole or bridge crease in road is crossed.”

The company does address the problem through Service Bulletin TSB 18-2268. It’s listed as “sustained steering wheel oscillation after hitting rough pavement or an expansion joint above 45 mph.” Technicians are told to inspect the steering linkage damper, adjuster assemblies, castle nut and cotter pin and replace any failed components. Sadly, many customers find that nothing turns out to be a covered component under the warranty, or maybe just one part and not the other. It seems Ford covers what they want and ignores the rest. The company uses the slogan, “Go Farther” in some marketing campaigns, and we have to agree. Drivers might want to go farther to another dealership that’s willing to cover the defective parts.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Ford F-350 Steering Problems:

2017 Ford F-350 with 35000 miles at 20000 experienced a violent shaking game n front end the steering wheel oscillated between 11 and 1 o’clock this happened after hitting bump in the freeway at 70 mph. The dealer replaced the horizontal shock. Several months later I went over an expansion joint on a bridge and the violent shaking began and I could stop by slowing to 30 mph. The dealer replaced the horizontal shock again wand the track bar. both parts were on back order for many months. Now I am noticing a slight shaking when I hit a bump. The internet calls it the ”death wobble” this is very dangerous ford has a serious design problem that they choose to ignore. I hope you can help.

My truck has the so called “death wobble” whereas hitting certain bumps the truck’s steering is uncontrollable. It has happened several times with mine. I almost hit the car next to me the last time it happened, going 70 mph down the highway. It will not stop until I slam on the brakes. This seems to be a huge problem with ford, but they will just tell you it’s the tires being out of balance. I know that this isn’t the case, however, I replaced all six tires at the ford dealership, but it has happened again. I cannot understand why a safety recall has not been issued.

At 19000 miles I experienced a violent shake in my steering wheel while driving at 75mph on a local expressway. This violent shake made me lose control of any steering of the vehicle till I slowed down to I believe was 40mph were I gained control of vehicle again. This almost caused me to crash into another lane and vehicle and it almost caused the driver behind me to rear end me due to the sudden stopping on a expressway. I have taken the vehicle to the ford dealer 5 times for repair. The truck continues to have steering control issues. I will attach the latest receipt showing repair that has not fixed the issue. This issue happened again today but luckily it was not as bad. Please help fix this issue before someone gets killed.


Just like with the steering, the suspension on this truck leaves a lot to be desired. The problems seem to work hand-in-hand with the steering trouble.

One driver wrote this on the NHTSA website, “As I was driving on the Interstate at approximately 80 mph, I crossed an expansion joint and the truck started to shake violently as if I had two flat tires. The steering wheel shook so hard that I had to grasp it with both hands and a very tight grip simply to keep the truck in my lane. I was able to pull off onto the shoulder and made a visual inspection of all four tires. Nothing seemed wrong. I pulled back onto the Interstate and continued at 60 mph until the next exit. Once I got home, I was able to search for similar problems and found that the problem had a name, the ‘death wobble’ given to it by other owners that had experienced the same. I called my dealer to make an appointment and found that there was an active service bulletin on the problem.”

The only suspension service bulletin that Ford is willing to discuss is SSM 47979. This has nothing to do with the problem stated above but instead talks about how some trucks can experience accelerated 4×4 vacuum hub seal and or wheel bearing wear when used in extreme dust, mud, tar and sand. To fix the problem, the company sells a knuckle seal shield kit to customers. What surprises us the most is that this heavy-duty truck was built for extremes, but can’t handle a little mud or dirt? Maybe it should be a light-duty vehicle instead of a heavy-duty truck.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Ford F-350 Suspension Problems:

While driving the 2017 Ford F350 pickup truck down the highway at 60 mph, whenever I drove across bridges or hit small bumps, the pickup truck would shake violently and I had no control over the vehicle until speed was reduced to under 50 mph. This incident is known as the “death wobble”. The truck had 14,000 miles on it the first time this occurred. Took the truck to the dealer, they replaced the track bar, sent back, and a week later the same issue of the “death wobble” happened again. Truck is at the dealership currently, and has been for a week. The same exact incident has occurred on another family member’s newly purchased 2017 ford f350 also and has been taken to the same dealership.

At 60 mph sometimes with a small bump in the road the front end will start to shake like crazy and it is uncontrollable. It only stops after slowing to about 30 mph. This has happened 6 times this year. The dealer ship has worked on the truck twice with no success. The truck has 20,000 miles on it. This is very scary and dangerous as the truck front end is out of control when this happens. Yesterday was the worst. It happened twice in a 3 mile stretch of road.

Structure (Tailgate and doors not securely closing)

What do truck owners expect from a heavy-duty model? Obviously, they pay extra in hopes that it’s more capable than the typical full-size pickup. The trouble with this Ford model is that the structure isn’t up to the task.

Just look at this review on the NHTSA website. “Electronically latched tailgate opening by itself while driving. Especially worrying when towing 5th wheel trailer as impact with trailer can occur. Local dealer inspected and said, ‘Unable to duplicate. Unable to repair.’Has occurred multiple times.”

While there aren’t any service bulletins related to this dangerous situation, there is a recall labeled NHTSA Campaign Number 17V331000 that discusses other structural issues. In the recall, Ford talks about how the doors can unlatch during a side-impact collision. With this situation, it appears that the accessory covers are to blame and the dealer is ordered to replace them for repair. Between the opening tailgate and non-functioning side doors, it seems the truck wants to remain open more than it should be closed. This doesn’t just create substantial safety concerns but is also annoying. Imagine being the driver that has to pull over every time the rear tailgate opens. Aside from that, what about all the cargo that is put in the back? Maybe that’s what we see spread out over the Interstates across the country – cargo from faulty truck beds on the 2017 Ford F-350.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Ford F-350 Tailgate Problems:

TL* the contact owns a 2017 ford f-350. The contact stated that the tailgate popped open intermittently. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to flood ford of east Greenwich where they found straps and an air mattress stuck in between the tailgate. The latch was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 25,700.

Electronically latched tailgate opening by itself while driving. Especially worrying when towing 5th wheel trailer as impact with trailer can occur. Local dealer inspected and said, “unable to duplicate. Unable to repair.” has occurred multiple times.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Doug

    Purchased a Ford F350 superduty in May of 2017, prior to expiration of the bumper-to-bumper warranty, had an issue with the heater. Since the initial repair the heater has never worked correctly and now has a anti-freeze smell that the ford dealer has been unable to correct. In total, 6 repairs have been attempted without success.

  • Lynn S

    i have a ford f-350 that has what is called a death wobble in the front end i took it to a ford shop last year and have replace the parts they said would fix the problem said they never heard of this before cost was over 1400.00 dollars still has the problem they have been sued 7 times for this and wont do a recall to fix the problem

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