Ford Authority

Ford CEO Jim Farley Says Quality Issues Required New Talent

Ford has faced a number of quality issues in recent years, a fact that CEO Jim Farley was well aware of when he took over the top position at the company in October 2020. From the start, Farley noted that Ford needed to focus on improving quality and lowering warranty costs as the brand has long faced some problems in that area highlighted by Consumer Reports surveys that saw it fail to recommend the 2020 Ford Escape, give the 2022 Ford Mustang a low predicted reliability score, and recommend that consumers avoid the 2022 Ford Explorer. Now, after making quality a key component of Ford’s reorganization plan and hiring former J.D. Power Vice President Josh Halliburton as the new executive director of quality, Jim Farley recently noted that the automaker realized it needed to bring in new talent to tackle these ongoing quality issues.

“Aside from the financial performance, the pain for our customers is really something, we have to get to a zero-defect destination,” Farley said while speaking at Ford’s annual shareholders meeting. “We’ve made more progress on our launch quality and initial quality, you could see it in the surveys and our ramp-up of production. However, we are not satisfied at all with our quality performance, including our recalls and customer satisfaction efforts, which we need to quickly accelerate. This will require new talent, which we now have at the company. It will require a culture shift, and it will require modification and compliance to our processes for both our engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain.”

“We have a very active execution plan,” Farley added. “And in the case of recalls and customer satisfaction efforts, these vehicles that were engineered are in the field now so this will take some time for us to return to becoming benchmark in the company, which is certainly our objective. It’s very frustrating for our customers and so we’re doing everything we can to accommodate them with the right policies to support them when they do have a problem and rest assured this management team is completely committed to fixing our gap to competition and return the company to being benchmark.”

Meanwhile, some newer Blue Oval products have fared better in terms of quality, including the 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which was recently named to Consumer Reportsrecommended cars list thanks to its stellar predicted reliability score, an honor that the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport also received. Meanwhile the current-gen Ford Ranger also ranked second in its segment in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

We’ll have more on Ford’s quest to improve quality soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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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  1. crabbymilton

    All fine and good words. Should have left things the way they were before these quality problems came up.

  2. Joe

    The Mach E owners are having problems left and right.

    1. Michael

      And it just got recalled for unintended accerlation.

  3. blksn8k

    I’m gonna assume Ford decided that if customers were okay with the sound of a Diesel engine that it would be just fine to make their gas engines sound even worse. I really like everything about my ’18 F-150 except for all the unseemly racket emanating from the guts of its Coyote engine. It truly is amazing that an engine could make so many rattles and clangs and yet still stay together.

    1. Drew Ford Retiree

      That diesel like sound is purely a function of direct injection (DI). Every OEM’s gas DI engine (GDI) has that noise. I’ve heard it on BMWs, Hyundais, Chevys, and all.

      If you don’t like the sound of DI engines or the stop/start function of your engine electronics, complain to Washington, DC. The exponential rise in CAFE standards means every technology tool is being used, including some with known customer dissatisfaction… as new technologies are not being allotted time to fully “bake”. Blame Washington.

    2. Maria

      The knock sound I never heard it until I bought my Ford F-150 and then 2010 Ford Mustang GT makes the same noise. One is 5.0 and the mustang 4.6. Then my F-150 is losing oil somewhere but my vin isn’t under the recall for this issue

      1. John

        My F150 5.0 was using 1/2 qt Oil every 700 mi?
        Read an article saying engine needs a break in run. Ran it wide open
        To 100 mph, didn’t use a drop of Oil to 5,000 miles after that run!
        A Porsche passed me at that point, guess he didn’t see State Police

  4. Mike

    Another thing that Ford can add to that is spare parts. I know of a couple of people who have their Ford vehicle sitting at the dealer for months, waiting for spare parts to repair it.

  5. Daniel Smith

    It’s great for Ford to focus on quality but as far as customer service goes ; you could start by actually building the vehicle the customer orders. I realize that means you will need to put people in charge of scheduling that know how to read. Ford sure seems to be clueless..

  6. Bob smith

    Ford engineers don’t resolve quality issues so they can collect overtime. When a quality issue is identified engines create task forces that last for months so that they can charge overtime.

  7. T R

    The other motor companies have quality issues too. My Honda and wife’s Toyota the seat are worn out and worn out back. Carpet showing issues has well. Our cars are only 4 years old. The Honda started under warranty and Honda replaced the seats but it has started seeing ware again.

  8. Ian V

    This has been a problem for many decades with all of the Detroit three (with Chrysler historically being the worst overall), and it’s amazing how none of them have corrected it yet, even after millions have sworn to never buy Detroit engineered vehicles again. Even Kia and Hyundai – who started even lower than Detroit – are now widely considered to be more reliable (though not at the level of Honda & Toyota).

    Upfront, the problem is at an engineering level, behind that, it’s a engineering management issue, and possibly behind that, an upper management issue. Too many bad designs that have little to no quality testing make it to production – are, in fact, pushed through, regardless of concerns. That dry dual-clutch Fiesta/Focus design is a good example: two engineers warned management of what would happen, and were told never to bring it up again, or there would be consequences. Someone higher had an interest in pushing a trash design through, regardless of what would happen. This kind of thinking damages Ford, and it’s up to Farley to eliminate the people perpetuating it. With 17 years experience at Toyota, one would hope he has an idea of what needs to be done.


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