Ford is having the absolute worst luck launching its revived Bronco. There's been a litany of delays, mostly related to supply chain issues. Production looked good to go for a little while, but as of Thursday, the honeymoon is over. There's no other way to put this: If you haven't received your Bronco with a molded in color hardtop, you'll likely be waiting until October or maybe even longer.
As Automotive News reports, the unpainted plastic roofs that were supposed to be good to go by July are having problems, as we've previously discussed. Ford itself says these Webasto-supplied tops suffer from quality issues that create an “unsatisfactory appearance when exposed to extreme water and humidity.” Ford insists that this defect “does not impact the functionality of the molded in color hardtop roof,” but they’ll all have to be replaced either way.
In a Ford document titled "Order Holder FAQ" posted to the Bronco6G forum, a ton of questions related to this delay were answered. The gist is, if you've gotten your Bronco already with the MIC roof, you'll receive a "replacement hardtop roof kit" in October, which will be installed at the dealer. If your build date has passed and you still haven't received your Bronco, you'll be waiting until at least October for it to be delivered, unless it's already in transit to the dealer. In that case, you'll get it with the issue-prone MIC roof which will be replaced at a later date.
In conversation with The Drive, Ford's General Manager for Passenger Vehicles Jeff Marentic said, "One of the primary challenges has been ramping up our hardtop production... we're not where we need to be as it relates to volume, and we clearly weren't there from a quality perspective." He continued to explain that the roof is not dangerous at all, and the issue with the hardtop is strictly cosmetic. "We want to be clear, customers who have a Bronco, they can keep driving it safely."
Marentic was obviously aware that customers are going to be upset by this news, but he made the point that continuing to ship Broncos with faulty roofs simply isn't on the table. "We are very disappointed, the inconvenience we're causing our customers. We want to get [Broncos] in their hands as fast as possible. [However], we will not get them there until they meet our quality standards for Ford."
Mark Grueber, Ford's consumer marketing manager for the Bronco, was also on the call and followed up on this statement by saying that the roof replacements are going to be as seamless as possible. "For units that have already been delivered to customers, we'll be sending out the entire new roof to the dealer... [the dealer] will go to the customer, pick up their Bronco, take it back to the dealership, and replace the hardtop roof... then, [the dealer] will return it with a full detailing to that customer as well." He went on to say that not all dealerships will offer this service, but a "large percentage" will.
The results of this delay are visible outside of Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant. A video posted to the Bronco6G forum shows hundreds of Broncos outside waiting for new MIC roofs, which will take months to arrive. Another forum user snapped photos of trucks with "Bad Roof" scribbled on the side; it's certainly a depressing sight for hopeful owners.
According to the Blue Oval, the earliest orders will be prioritized to get new roofs when they finally arrive from the part's supplier, Webasto. It's also worth noting that, if your Bronco has not been scheduled for production yet, you're likely going to get a 2022 model. The Ford document explained that production for 2022 Broncos is "forecasted to begin in late December 2021." First Edition models will all remain 2021s, however.
Keep in mind, this comes after Ford said that there were delays relating to other Bronco roof options and that the MIC was the customer's best bet if they wanted their truck on time. Ford even threw in a sound-deadening headliner—a $495 option—to sweeten the deal for those willing to switch to the cheaper molded in color option.
So, for owners waiting on their new hardtop Bronco, they'll probably have to wait a few more months for an update. For Ford's sake, let's hope that update comes before customers spring for another 4x4 from the likes of some other automaker, especially Jeep.
Updated at 4 p.m. ET on 08/12/2021: This article's headline has been updated to show that all 2021 Broncos equipped with a hardtop will need theirs replaced. Previously, it specified unpainted MIC hardtops, though The Drive confirmed with Ford that no Broncos have been manufactured with painted roofs.
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