Over the summer, owners of the first batch of Broncos noticed something fishy about the gray molded-in-color plastic roofs of their new SUVs. They were developing a scaly pattern and, in some cases, warping and delaminating at the seams, revealing ugly layers underneath. Ford shifted the blame onto the manufacturer of those roofs, Webasto — a company that also makes tops for the Wrangler, as well as power-operated roofs for convertibles and the like.
The good news was Ford was committed to responding to the issue at no cost to customers; the bad news is it’d take some time. For those who’d ordered and had been waiting for their Broncos, delivery was delayed even further as the company went through its stock of trucks that had been ready to ship and replaced their roofs, one-by-one, with better-quality parts. Thankfully, Dearborn now says it’s replaced hardtops on its entire inventory of Broncos, and those vehicles are now on their way to dealers.
From the Detroit Free Press:
“We’re happy to report that we’ve completed the roof replacement for those Broncos that were being held at the Michigan Assembly Plant,” Mark Grueber, Ford Bronco marketing manager, told the Free Press this week. “We wanted to make sure these units were meeting our quality standards.”
The Free Press adds that Bronco owners who already have their trucks and haven’t taken Ford up on the roof replacement they’re entitled to yet may wait until after the winter, if they would like.
So what’s Ford planning to do with its thousands of botched hardtops? Apparently junk them to ensure they never ever cap a Bronco again.
The company made a point of saying the hardtops will be “scrapped,” so they disappear forever.
“Those are being disposed of so that they cannot be re-sold or show up on a vehicle down the road,” Grueber said.
I understand Ford wanting these parts out of circulation, but as I alluded back when this issue was first discovered, the company’s sort of denying owners the rightful claim to rare goods here. Forty years from now you just know there’s going to be someone at a car meet in the metaverse or whatever laying claim to one of the original snakeskin Broncos. There will be a cottage industry of folks producing launch Bronco roofs that are accurately shitty looking in just the proper way.