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Ford Service Departments Facing COVID-19 Induced Shortage Of Repair Parts

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Following a two-month production shutdown, Ford and other automakers had to simultaneously create a safe working environment and slowly ramp production back up to normal levels over the course of several weeks. Despite returning to pre COVID-19 production levels sooner than expected, the lapse has inevitably led to a vehicle inventory shortage. And now, it appears that problem has extended to repair parts needed by Ford service departments as well.

Automotive News recently spoke with several Ford dealers, who say they’ve been forced to wait weeks in some cases for parts needed to repair coolant leaks in the cylinder heads of 1.5L EcoBoost I-4 engines in 2017-19 Ford Escape and 2014-19 Ford Fusion models, a problem that prompted Ford to issue a technical service bulletin in April.

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One dealer reportedly has six Escapes currently in the shop waiting for parts, while another has spent an exorbitant amount of money providing rental vehicles for affected customers. And Tim Hovik, a member of the Ford council and owner of San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Arizona, says that parts shortages aren’t just limited to the Escape and Fusion at the moment.

“There’s a supply chain that’s trying to get back on line in terms of parts deliveries and how fast we can fill our orders,” Hovik said. “I think sometimes we forget how important some of our vendors are. It seems like we’ve had some issues as we’ve come out of this getting those ancillary businesses back rolling.”

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Ford is well aware of its supplier’s struggles, even going so far as to pay its bills early in an effort to help key suppliers get back on track earlier this year. In addition, some dealerships have used specially-equipped vans to offer mobile service. Regardless, it seems like issues further down the supply chain are still having an effect on service in general, though Ford says that they have since been resolved.

“There were disruptions in parts supply in early May due to supplier closures caused by COVID-19,” Ford said in a statement. “Upon reopening, parts production and delivery was expedited, resolving shortages by late June. Ford is not aware of any significant parts delays currently impacting dealer ability to repair these engines.”

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We’ll have more on this fluid situation soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for non-stop Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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10 Comments

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  1. Regardless of what Ford says there are still MANY parts shortages affecting vehicles & Customers. These shortages also affect Dealers CVP scores but Ford won’t acknowledge that.

  2. I am here to tell Ford and everyone that there is still a shortage of repair parts. My dealership has had my Explorer since mid June and are telling me they do not know when they will have the turbos needed to fix my car.. it’s now mid sept. And I’m on my 3rd loaner. Almost time for my 4th. My husband and I are very frustrated.

  3. I turned my Ranger in May 20 to the dealer, its now October… No sign of when I will have my truck back. Terrible communication from Ford.

  4. I turned my Ranger in Sept. 9. Ditto what Jeff said. Almost 7th week for me. Reading this didn’t help my confidence in getting it back soon.

  5. 2020 Ford Explorer purchased May 1, 2020. Module for safety features (blind spot/cross traffic alert) on back order since June 22nd and transmission parts (Tech Service Bulletin 20-2305) on back order since September 2nd–that’s 130 day and 58 days! Dealership will not keep the vehicle in the garage so it doesn’t quality for the Lemon Law because it has not been in the shop for over 30 days and there has not been 3-4 attempts to fix it. In fact, there has been NO attempt to fix it. This is a breach of contract on the warranty! Waiting to hear from Ford again today on the 2nd attempt on Buy Back. Next step is contacting the Attorney General’s Office.

  6. My truck is missing a windshield sensor and has been in the shop for 7 weeks/ no news on when it will be replaced. Very frustrating and collision repair shop keeps telling me they dont know how long of a wait it will be.

  7. There is still a shortage according to my dealer. Dropped off my mustang for internal wiring harness Oct. 20, was told it was on backorder till Nov. 7, but now its on back order till Nov. 27th apparently.

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