Powertrain, engine, and electrical system issues are among the top complaint issues received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The Ford F-150, launched in the U.S. nearly half a century ago, is surprisingly popular given the problems it’s had over the years. Unsurprisingly, the 2023 model is attracting its fair share of complaints. However, numbers are substantially less than those in the previous 2 years that currently total 362 and 191 versus 10. Owners of the 2023 model are complaining about the electrical system, powertrain, and engine problems. There are also complaints that the sunroof explodes spontaneously without warning, and the automaker refuses to accept responsibility.
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Most Common Problems
Although there is no one issue that relates to the powertrain, in numbers, this component tops the list of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) for the 2023 model. Some of these combine electrical and/or engine problems with those experienced with the powertrain. Visibility/wiper and visibility issues all focus on exploding panoramic sunroofs. This issue was also experienced by several owners of 2021 and 2022 F-150 models.
In addition to these complaints, several other components and systems reportedly have problems, including the fuel/propulsion system, seats, structure, and wheels of the 2023 F-150.
There are also 3 recalls for 2023 Ford F-150 models. Two of these relate to the powertrain, and the third to airbags that may not deploy properly. The airbag issue is essentially the same as an earlier recall for 2022 models, with both issued because the problem increases the risk of injury in a crash.
One of the 2023 powertrain recalls relates to a loose bolt in the transmission of the full-size pickup truck. This can result in a rollaway, which increases the risk of crash and injury. The second powertrain recall is due to hundreds of front axle pinions not being heat-treated. This can cause them to fracture, which can result in a loss of 4-wheel drive. If this happens, the front wheels can lock up, increasing the risk of a crash.
2023 Ford F-150 Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Vehicle Speed Control
Problems with the Powertrain & Engine
Complaints about the 2023 F-150 powertrain range from excessively rusty parts in the underbody of the vehicle to Stop Safely Now warnings prior to failures.
There is also a complaint that the gear shift randomly switches from Park to Drive when the vehicle is at a traffic light. “The vehicle would not move and the gear shift continued to switch back to Park when I attempted to get out of the roadway, leaving me and my family in a dangerous spot.”
Another complaint, listed as also being an electrical system and engine issue, states that the “battery is bad.”
After driving 4,600 miles without any issues, the owner went to start the truck and the battery was dead. Then, after a jump start and driving for 30 minutes, it measured 12.2 V. After charging again overnight, it measured 12.6 V. He drove 30 minutes to get to work and then left the F-150 parked for 10 hours before driving home. By then the battery was at 11.08 V. But, “I could not start the vehicle and get out of the area I was in.”
Warnings to Stop Safely Now
Drivers who receive Stop Safely Now warning messages report different issues.
A complaint from an owner who purchased an F-150 brand new in April 2023 says that he couldn’t start the vehicle 3 weeks later, when it had 1,400 miles on the clock. After the Stop Safely Now warning, he couldn’t activate the engine or disengage the parking brake. He turned the engine off and tried again a few minutes later, but that didn’t help.
The next morning it functioned normally. He contacted Ford and took the vehicle in for a service. His concern is that had he been traveling at 70 mph on the interstate when this happened, he might have been stranded, which “could have been very hazardous.”
Another owner experienced the Stop Safely Now warning on June 3, 2023, immediately after starting the truck. He also had a “full accessory power” warning flash continuously.
“I was unable to move my shifter as it was stuck on Park the whole time. I turned off and restarted the vehicle 8-10 times over the course of 10-15 minutes.” The messages eventually went away and he was able to put the F-150 into Drive and drive to work.
“I researched this issue and see a ton of other owners are having similar issues from this model.”
Visible Rust on Brand New 2023 F-150
After taking delivery of a new 2023 Ford F1-50 in February 2023, a consumer from New Jersey inspected the underbody of the vehicle when he got home. He found “excessive rust and oxidation” on the rear differential, rear axle casings, rear axle bubs, and on portions of the front frame rails.
“This amount of rust/oxidation should not exist in a new vehicle and has the potential to lead to a driving performance/braking incident/accident that could damage the truck and or injure vehicle passengers. Research indicates Ford Motor Company has known about these issues for a couple of years.”
After contacting the automaker, the owner “received a boilerplate email stating that they would look into this problem without indicating whether or not they would issue a Recall or CSP (Customer Service Program) to remediate this problem.”
The complaint dated March 30, 2023, adds that this “is without question a safety issue and should be investigated by (the) NHTSA.”
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Electrical System Problems
Several of the powertrain complaints are also listed as being electrical system problems. These include the bad battery issue and one of the Sop Safely Now problems.
But there is another potentially more alarming complaint that refers to a fire issue that hit the headlines in February 2023 when the battery of an F-150 Lightning caught alight during a pre-delivery quality check. As a result, production at the automaker’s Michigan plant was temporarily stopped.
An owner from South Carolina who was waiting for his 2023 F-150 to be delivered in February 2023 stated in his complaint, “I don’t want a bomb in my garage. What should I do?” He had read about the fire shortly before taking delivery and was hugely concerned.
“You should know that Ford is basically telling me to take delivery ‘as is.’ This hardly seems safe to me as well as others who have builds that coincide with this very dangerous issue.”
No solution is recorded.
Problems with Visibility and Wipers
On April 14, 2023, the owner of a 2023 Ford F-150 that was less than 2 months old was driving with the sunroof closed and shade extended. Suddenly, for no reason, the “panoramic sunroof panel exploded.” The complaint states that there were no other vehicles on either side of the road. There was also no collision, and no object or debris came into contact with the F-150.
With no warning or symptoms, “The glass panel shattered completely with a very loud explosion noise, raining glass into the truck and onto myself (driver).”
The owner drove the truck to the Ford dealership “for a warranty repair after the explosion.” But he was told that Ford “would not cover this because the glass shattered. Dealer and manufacturer are avoiding responsibility for my safety.”
Another similar incident happened on June 5, 2023. The owner of a 2023 F-150 was driving on a highway at 70 mph when the sunroof exploded, blowing outwards. The glass shattered this time too.
There were no other vehicles ahead or on the overpass above. “No outside object caused damage. The sound of the ‘explosion’ caused me to brake severely and slow down, putting vehicles behind me at risk. Shattered glass also caused (a) risk to (the) drivers behind.”
The complaint states that the problem has been confirmed by the dealer and the component inspected by the manufacturer. But at the time of the complaint on June 11, 2023, there was no reported outcome.
What Should You Do Your 2023 F-150 is a Lemon?
Every year, automakers, including Ford, buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ vehicle owners. It doesn’t cost them anything because the law makes Ford pay the legal fees for lemon-related legal fees. So, if you’ve got ongoing issues with your 2023 Ford F-150 and think it might be a lemon, don’t waste valuable time. Do something about it.
If you’d like Lemberg Law to assess your 2023 Ford F-150 problems free of charge, call our Helpline or fill out a contact form now.