2021 Ford F-450 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Tailgate & trailer hitch problems are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Ford F-450 Super Duty (SD) is designed and purpose-built to move the heaviest materials and items in a full-size truck you can park in your driveway.

It’s been around for decades, with the first complaints to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded for the 1991 Ford F-450 SD.

The 2021 Ford F-450 SD is available in six trim levels, from the base XL to the luxurious, 4-wheel drive Limited. It’s had good reviews, but there are a few major problems.

By far the most serious is revealed in an urgent Ford recall dated May 25, 2021 that states:

“URGENT: DO NOT DRIVE THIS VEHICLE. An urgent safety recall has been issued for this vehicle. Use our VIN lookup tool to see if your vehicle is part of this recall.

“If your vehicle is part of this recall, the manufacturer has recommended that you stop driving this vehicle immediately.

In essence, it warns owners of certain F-450s and other models that the wheels might fall off their trucks.

The recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 21V390000, may affect as many as 17,616 vehicles. The issue is that front wheel hub extenders may be incorrectly attached to the front rotor hub assembly. If it is, it could result in the wheels and wheel extenders separating from the truck.

Affected owners were mailed a notification letter on June 18, 2021. They were told that dealers would inspect and tighten the front wheel hub extender nuts at no charge.

Additionally, the NHTSA records 4 other recalls for 2021 Ford F-450 vehicles. They have also received 5 complaints from consumers about this model.

Click on other model year to view more problems:   2022   

Most Common Problems

Perhaps surprisingly, nobody has complained that the wheels have fallen off their trucks! But there are complaints about the tailgate system of the vehicle. There is also a complaint about the trailer hitch, which is the subject of one of the 5 recalls.

The complaints are categorized by F-450 owners as 2 electrical system problems, 2 structure problems, 1 problem that relates to latches, lock, and linkages, and 1 trailer hitch problem.

2021 Ford F-450 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Electrical System: Integrated Trailer Brake Control
Service Brakes
Trailer Hitches
Unknown Or Other

Tailgate Problems

Apart from the trailer hitch issue, all the complaints in the various categories are about the tailgate system.

Two of these report fault warnings. All 4 report damage to the vehicle.

An owner from California says the power tailgate system warning had been coming on and off from the second day of ownership. Also, the truck only had about 1,000 miles on the clock. Then, driving in the pouring rain at less than 10 mph, the tailgate suddenly opened. This damaged the tailgate and the horse trailer.

An owner living in Florida says, simply: “Tailgate opened unintended, causing minor damage to (the) rail cover and tailgate.”

Another states: “While towing my gooseneck horse trailer the tailgate opened randomly. I had towed for about 20 miles and got off the freeway and was driving through a parking lot when it happened. When I turned, the tailgate struck the horse trailer causing body parts to fall in the roadway, which could be dangerous to other motorists. Normally, when the tailgate is open a message appears on the dash. No message was received, no buttons on keys or dash were depressed to cause this to occur.”

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Problems with the Trailer Hitch

The trailer hitch complaint refers to the recall received. This was on December 1, 2021, while the owner notification letters were mailed on June 16, 2021.

Owners were warned that the vehicle’s fifth wheel may detach while towing. This would increase the risk of the truck, which is designed for towing, crashing.

The owner called the dealer even though there wasn’t a failure, and was told that “the dealer was not equipped to perform the recall repair.”

The complaint was that “the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair.”

2021 Ford E-450 Recalls

Currently, there are four recalls on the Ford E-450 models. Many of these concerns are posing serious safety risks, yet drivers are having trouble getting the repairs performed.

Recall DateNHTSA Campaign IDAffected ComponentsRecalled Issue
February 21, 202020V099000PowertrainDriveshaft May Separate From Rear Axle
March 23, 202020V175000Service Brakes (Hydraulic), Electronic Stability Control, Electrical SystemWire Harness May Chafe and Damage Circuits
December 17, 202020V795000EngineEngine Cover may be Excessively Hot
February 16, 202222V089000Steering, Service Brakes (Hydraulic)Power Steering Pressure Line May Detach and Leak

What to do if your 2021 Ford F-450 is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

You don’t have to get a recall to start thinking you might have bought a lemon. For instance, there isn’t a recall relating to the tailgate issue reported to NHTSA. There may be lots of other issues that haven’t been reported to NHTSA.

If you have any problem at all with your 2021 Ford F-450 that persists or recurs, and affects its safety, reliability, or value, you may have a lemon. Lemberg Law specializes in lemon law that relates to cars. So, if you think you’ve bought a lemon, call our Helpline and we’ll assess your problem at no charge.

We’ve helped plenty of clients get settlements from manufacturers. These range from replacement vehicles to 100% refunds. You certainly don’t have to sit with a lemon! Also, the law says that Ford must pay lemon law legal fees. So, you’ve got nothing to lose.

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

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