538,073 Ford F-series pickup trucks and 114,923 Ford Expedition SUVs and Lincoln Navigator SUVs are being recalled -- more than 650,000 vehicles in all.
As Ford-watcher FordAuthority.com reports, the recalls concern Expeditions, Navigators, and F-150s from the model year 2020-2021 as well as 2020-2022 F-250s, -350s, -450s, and -550s.
What's wrong with them all? Basically, a manufacturing defect has been identified in these vehicles' windshield wiper arms that make them liable to break. And so, even though no actual accidents have been reported in relation to the defect, Ford is recalling the vehicles to replace the wiper arms.
The headline number on this story -- 650,000 Ford vehicles recalled! -- sounds significant. But this is hardly a huge defect, or a big problem for Ford. In fact, according to YouTube, an experienced mechanic should be able to swap out a bad wiper arm for a good one "in four minutes, easy!"
Ford won't take much of a financial hit here, either. While the retail cost of a wiper arm can approach $100, it appears that OEM parts cost significantly less wholesale -- perhaps as little as $10 each. But whether the final bill for Ford is $65 million or just $6.5 million, in the context of a company that does more than $136 billion in sales annually, this barely even qualifies as a rounding error for Ford.
To the contrary, I see today's recall more as a fine excuse for Ford to invite its customers to spend a few minutes in the showroom while its wipers get replaced and for Ford to pitch them on an upgrade to a brand-new Ford -- less of a financial disaster, that is to say, and more of a marketing opportunity.