2020 Ford Ranger Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Build quality, engine, suspension and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Enthusiasts couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of the 2020 Ford Ranger. This model is supposed to be “adventure ready,” but most customers are scared to drive it to the grocery store. It seems to suffer from a faulty vehicle speed control, defective suspension, malfunctioning engine and poorly-built structure.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2021   2022

Problems with the Transmission

When it comes to traveling down the road at a constant rate, the vehicle speed control is vital. However, the Ranger struggles to get this aspect right.

Just read this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2020 Ford Ranger. The contact stated while driving at 10 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact stated the brake pedal was depressed but failed to effectively stop the vehicle. The gear shifter was shifted into Park to stop the vehicle. The contact stated no warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer and dealer were not informed of failure. The failure mileage was 5,000.”

While Ford has nothing to say about the speed control concerns, there is a powertrain recall worth mentioning. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V197000 discusses a problem with more than 55,000 vehicles. It turns out that powertrains with the ten-speed automatic transmission might have a shift cable lock clip that isn’t seated correctly. This can cause the transmission to be in a different gear other than what is shown on the gear shift position. If a driver thinks the truck is in Park and the parking brake isn’t applied, the truck could actually drive itself away. Nothing like seeing a Ranger driving itself down the road- talk about being ready for an adventure.

2020 Ford Ranger Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Seat Belts
Vehicle Speed Control
Exterior Lighting

Engine Problems

In conjunction with a properly working transmission, the truck should be equipped with a potent engine to provide power. Yet, customers are struggling with this vital component as well.

Here is just one Edmunds review. “Just done 995 miles and I lost a cylinder….Ford recovery came out and said an injector has failed and my dealer not open so booked in for 29th May! Want to get my money back but don’t think that’ll happen! Well worth 33 grand! Thanks Ford for nothing I look forward to may years of happy breakdowns. I didn’t get it from this dealer so it’s no reflection on Edmunds but be warned!”

While Ford hasn’t wanted to talk about engine troubles, there are other communications that show how inadequate this company is when it comes to building a reliable truck. Service Bulletin #SSM 48908 discusses how defective the SYNC 3 touchscreen is and how there has been a struggle repairing it. If a company can’t get something as simple as a touchscreen right, how is it expected to build a strong and reliable engine?

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Problems with the Suspension

The Ranger is touted as being capable and ready to head off-road, which requires a beefy suspension, but customers say it can’t even handle a curb.

Check out this Edmunds review. “The ride on my lariat 2020 Ranger is quite different than expected. The suspension is not adequate for the truck. Going over driveway curb one wheel at a time, the truck waves back and forth like a boat, almost throwing you off the seat. In a strong wind at high speeds any slight heaves in the road and truck needs careful attention to steering. I think it is a dangerous truck. My dealer says other Ranger truck act the same.”

When it comes to the suspension, Ford has remained completely quiet. There is no communications as the automaker hopes customers don’t notice that this truck really isn’t “adventure ready” after all. That is, of course, unless the adventure means driving to church on a Sunday.

Build Quality Problems

To head off-road, customers want a truck that is solidly built. Yet again, the Ranger simply can’t live up to the expectations.

Here is one more Edmunds review worth reading. “The big negative was an obvious fitment issue with the hood and left fender. It overhangs the fender by a quarter inch with uneven gaps along both sides. Either the fender was installed incorrectly, the hood or both.”

Whether the owner looks inside or outside the truck, the same quality level is found. Service Bulletin #TSB 20-2171 talks about how the seats make a clumping and thumping noise while turning. It turns out that the seat pan is loose because of some manufacturing defects, which is causing the seat to move on the track. To repair the problems, owners need to take the truck to the dealership for reinforcement. Yet, this problem isn’t a recall, even though it could cause safety concerns, especially during an accident. The moral of the story is – don’t take the Ranger on any adventure that means pushing the truck to its limits. It’s best to keep things safe and drive it with the same caution as when riding a bicycle.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Ford pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Mike R

    My experience has been the navigation system / and touch screen system. I was driving through a town and 911 was activated randomly, also random calls were made to nearby gas stations and restraints while I was driving. It was like it was haunted. the dealership replaced the touch screen and its been fine since but…. what a pain in the butt…

  • LP

    I have a 2020 Ford Ranger all worked well seem to be a good truck but at around 45 K all heck broke loose regarding the transmission and all of the issues that people have complained about started to happen. I have taken it to the dealer in Norfolk Virginia since I am stationed here Navy and they have no answers other than that is normal. Normal I said no way ,! So they tell me that all of them do the same thing so I held their feet to the fire and requested that they we test drive another 2020 Ranger so that I can verify that in fact it’s true what they are telling me. Guess what ? It turned out that I called their bluff no such problems or issues with shifting and transmission problems on this Ranger. At this point they do not have any answers for me. Unfortunately the reality is that they attempted ion 2 occasions to resolve the issue and now they have reached an impasse. They expect me to accept this vehicle as is with the problem not resolved being that it is under warranty. I need help. My back is up against the wall because I have to leave for 1 Month for training at another base in Florida. Currently they have me in a rental vehicle. But I refuse to accept anything less than a resolution on my Ranger.

  • Michael F

    No legal concerns what so ever. I just wanted to mention the bad comments about the 2020 Ford Ranger. Why is it they make it seem as though every Ford Ranger has problems. I’ve had mine now for almost 25,000 miles and the vehicle has performed flawlessly. No engine or transmission issues, no problems with the ride. I always get compliments on what a nice looking vehicle it is. AND, it get’s 30 mpg on the highway. No issues with any components, options, everything works the way it should – like – lane keeping feature, Co-Pilot 360, Ford Snych 3, Adaptive Cruise Control… power everything, and EVERYTHING works great !!! I take it in for service ever 5000 miles as recommended. My dealer takes care of me, and it’s the 2nd vehicle I’ve purchased from them in the last 3 years. I would give a 5 star rating to all the Fords I’ve had over the years. And I’ve driven some of my vehicles extremely hard, and absolutely NOTHING has ever happened to any of them Mechanically. Ford is the nr. 1 product if you want reliability. None of the 5 Ford vehicles I’ve purchased sine 2003 up to 2020 have EVER had any mechanical failures or breakdowns what so ever !!!! I’ve had 4 Mustangs and now 1 pick up truck the 2020 Ranger XLT Sport.

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