Q: Recently, I had some body work done on my 2005 Ford Freestyle. The technician pointed out the paint bubbling on the hood and said that he’d had a similar problem with a car he owned. He said it looked like a factory defect and that I might be able to get the hood repaired courtesy of Ford. I did some searching on the Internet and found some TSBs relating to paint problems with the Explorer, but nothing about the Freestyle. Apparently, the hood is aluminum (or aluminum-coated), and the paint bubbling is due to some chemical interaction or other. We love the car and would like to get this paint problem fixed. I’ve been quoted various prices for repainting the hood, from $1,500-ish to just fix the paint bubbles to $4,000 to replace the entire hood. Can you help out here?
You are not alone in your problem with the ’05 Ford Freestyle paint-bubbling problem. I would go back to the dealer you purchased the vehicle from, see the service manager, and ask to have a case opened and a case number assigned. The next step is to request a meeting with a Ford factory representative. The reason why I am sending you back to the selling dealer is because that dealer made the profits on the sale, and that dealer also wants you back in the showroom when you are ready to purchase a new Ford. If the Ford dealer rep won’t do anything to help, keep checking the Internet for a class-action lawsuit and make sure you join it. There is no sense reporting this to NHTSA because it is not a safety issue. A smart dealer will step up to the plate if the Ford rep won’t. A few ideas the dealer may entertain would be to repaint the hood at a highly discounted price, or even to offer you a very generous trade-in price to replace the vehicle with one that is more of your liking.