• What happens when a New Aluminum Ford F-150 Crashes into an older Steel Body Ford F-150?


    Here’s a interesting question: What happens when a new aluminum Ford F-150 crashes into an older steel body Ford F-150?

    The answer is in the video below from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which was published this July on YouTube.

    Spoiler Alert: The cost to repair the new Aluminum body Ford F-150 truck is 26 percent higher than the old steel body truck. But you probably already guessed at that answer.

    Aluminum while being lighter and longer lasting, is also more expensive to repair as it takes special tools bonding techniques.


    Perhaps more interestingly the Insurance Institute of for Highway Safety also crash tested both the Crew Cab version of the new aluminum Ford F-150 and the Extended Cab version of the truck.

    Surprisingly, the Crew Cab did much better in the test than the Extended Cab in the new small front overlap crash test. In fact the Crew Cab earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick Rating while the Extended Cab version of the truck did not.

    Simply put the IIHS found that the Crew Cab has “Extra frame components to help it while these components are not present in the extended cab version” that make it a safer truck in the difficult small front overlap crash test.

    The IIHS further says the Extended Cab version of the truck suffered from potentially dangerous damage because “the toe pad and pedals moved nearly a foot back towards the (test) dummies legs and the steering column moved eight inches toward his chest coming dangerously close.”

    The take away from this testing is pretty straightforward. The new aluminum F-150 is 26 percent more expensive to repair and if you want the safest possible version of the truck, the Crew Cab is the way to go according to the IIHS.

    What has been your experience with repair costs of the new aluminum Ford F-150?

    We’re sure that our readers would love to know just how easy or difficult is has been for new Ford F-150 owners to repair their trucks. Please let us know in the comments below.


    Roman Mica
    Roman Mica is a columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars or producing videos, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for EverymanTri.com as our sister blog’s publisher. Mica is a former broadcast reporter with his Master’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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    21 thoughts on “What happens when a New Aluminum Ford F-150 Crashes into an older Steel Body Ford F-150?

    1. Either way is more than the deductible, although I’m sure it will roll into insurance premiums if the cost remains that much different. One interesting point is the F150 is not the best selling, it’s the F series, and typically the Silverado 1500 outsells the the F150. Ford really beats Chevy in the HD/SD sales. Those numbers are only advertised at the mid year and end of year, so we will see soon.

      1. I’d like to see proof backing up your statement. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Silverado and Sierra 1500 twins outsold the F150 combined, but I doubt the 1500 Silverado alone outsells the F150.

        1. It’s true that they are typically very close in numbers, Silverado 1500 and f150. Different years go different ways.

    2. Wouldn’t be surprised if silverado 1500 outsold f150. There is fseries and heavy trucks in fords press releases. Heavy truck is class 7 and 8 says federal highway administration. 250/350 superduty sold double the chevy versions through midyear. So if ford follows classification fseries includes f150-f550 and some f650. But I am sure ford will never spill the beans. So good luck with getting proof!

      I bet 250/350 superduty will be near triple gm 2500/3500 sales.

      1. The last full year report (2014) had F-series SD at just over 250,000 while Chevy was just over 100,000, and GMC just under 50,000. Interesting that Ram outsells the Chevy in the HD sales and was at about 160,000. Since we are on numbers, through the first half of 2015, Silverado 1500 outsold the F150 by about 5,000 (~255,000). It will be interesting to see who gets the end of year sales, based on the discounts from all the manufactures.

    3. Since were not talking about the aluminum body on the Fords anymore, here are some other fascinating statistics.

      Half of all people have below average intelligence
      Almost 50% of the people on the planet are male.
      One in every two eyes are on the right side of the face
      I pee standing up………………………..over 50% of the time

      Merry Christmas everyone. That includes all the TFL staff and all the people that I’ve annoyed with my posts. 🙂

    4. Ok so what’s taking the IIHS so long to do the overlap crash test on Silverado and RAM. So what if the new F150 cost more to repair. Now that insurance rates have gone up from insurance companies having the proper data the F150 has very similar insurance premiums to the steel bodied Ram. Id rather my truck cost more to insure because of premium materials vs costing more because it’s not as safe like the Ram 1500.

    5. Everyone is quick to say it cost more to repair. How about some benefits such as being more dent resistant and will never rust out. Aluminum body means better longevity, great durability and significantly lighter.

    6. I swear I just saw a Ford commercial explicitly stating that the results were the same no matter the cab configuration. Somebody is not telling the truth.

      1. If I remember correctly, they modified the design for 2016 to add the extra structural support to the non-crew cab trucks. As for the cost of repairs, I’m sure the gap will close as more body shops become competent in repair. I still think that Aluminum is in the long term plan for all the manufactures, so it is really silly to bad mouth it unless you like eating crow.

    7. rates are up because the industry hasn’t caught up in aluminum repair.. i mean when cars went to computers shops had to buy new equipment to fix them right?

      1. The commercials are referring to the Government (NHTSA) testing which the F150 did receive 5 star crash test rating in all configurations. The Insurance institute (IIHS) just introduced the small overlap test for 2015 for full size trucks but they only tested the F150 as far as I know. It was the small overlap crash test alone that the standard cab and extended cab received marginal crash ratings whereas the crew cab received the good due to the addition of the ‘wheel blocker’ brace added to the frame. Ford explained that they had already completed testing and development for the standard and extended cabs when the learned of the small overlap test which is why they chose to test and use for the crew cab only. That’s how I recall it happened but I’m sure they now wish they could have gone back and added to the other configurations to have avoided the bad press.

    8. I work with insurance companies and these these trucks damaged often. It’s sad that they don’t test side swipes, because when these trucks involve in a side swipe accidents, they tend to get their front wheels ripped out along with front door. Aluminum is a softer metal and those door hinges just don’t hold their doors as good as steel do so if it gets cought on sometime, it rips it out.

      I’d rather want to see a test with previous generation that is front with front and rear with rear, then front with rear and rear with front as was tested by IIHS.

      1. We just had this exact thing happen to a new 2016 supercrew at work driver fell asleep and side swiped a tree. It hit just behind the drivers side front wheel and went down to the middle of the back door. It pushed everything in about 4 inches. It did however snap the drivers door hinges and rip the door off. It didnt even bend the panel they bolt to, they snapped like brittle plastic. The rear hinges are barely bent yet they also broke 3/4 of the way across. Thankfully it was low speed, if he had been going faster and went into a roll there was nothing keeping him in the truck. The aluminum is way too brittle, steel hinges would have never done what these did. I dont care how brittle yhe body is, it breaks like brittle plastic, but i do expect my doors to stay on my vehicle in all but the worst wrecks. After seeing this truck i would never buy one.

    9. Wasn’t this done last year when IIhs did there test??? About the the same time an online publication took a sledge hammer to one? Wonder when they are going to test 2016’s or any other brand.

    10. Ford only includes F150-450 in sales numbers. On up from there is not included as they are refered to as cab and chassis trucks.

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