Complaints About Shattering Ford F-150 Backlites Continue

One 2010 Ford F-150 owner sent a photo of the damage to NHTSA caused to his or her backlite by an allegedly defautly rear defroster.

One 2010 Ford F-150 owner sent a photo of the damage to NHTSA caused to his or her backlite by an allegedly faulty rear defroster.

A number of owners of 2010 Ford F-150 trucks have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that an alleged glitch in their rear defrosters has caused their backlites to shatter or spiderweb in cracks in recent months.™ originally reported about this issue in December 2013, and since then more than 30 F-150 owners have issued related complaints–totaling more than 50 now.

“While driving into work, [I] had the rear defrost[er] active for roughly ten minutes,” wrote one owner just last week. “At a stoplight, [I] noticed smoke rising from [the] outside of the rear window. As I proceeded to pull off the road, [I] heard a loud bang and the passenger side rear window proceeded to spiderweb. The gasket for the rear window has been burned on the lower left hand … I hope that Ford steps up and does something about this before someone actually gets hurt.”

Another owner wrote on November 11, “[The] passenger side rear window panel shattered with a loud bang when the rear defroster was turned on. There was a large 6×4-inch hole in the window and the balance was spiderwebbed.”

In October, another 2010 Ford F-150 owner complained that the “rear window defroster caught on fire and shattered [the] rear window glass” in the vehicle. “This could be dangerous and should be recalled,” continued the owner.

Similar complaints date back to October 2012.

According to NHTSA’s website, no recalls or investigations related to the complaints have been launched through the agency. At press time, officials from Ford had not yet responded to requests for comment.

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6 Responses to Complaints About Shattering Ford F-150 Backlites Continue

  1. Pingback: Complaints about Shattering Ford F-150 Backlites Continue | Auto Glass Safety Council™

  2. Chris Schlenker says:

    This appears to be a very common complaint and its obvious Ford is not responding to these incidents nor acknowledging that a manufacturing defect is even a possibility. This window shattering event happened to me too on Nov. 18, 2014. In fact, there are several descriptions of this problem posted in various forums that resemble my incident exactly. The photos available are identical to the damage I experienced. Like many others others, my window not only shattered, the window frame was literally on fire with melting rubber & plastic running down the back of the cab. This was surprising because the rear defroster was inoperable when I bought the truck (used 2011 F150 King Ranch). Turned out to be an expensive repair because of the power rear slider interlock and after some research on the web and learning that if were operable, I risked the shattering window situation, I decided not to repair it. Surprisingly, the rear defroster became operable while the truck was remote started. I came out to find smoke and the lower left section of the passenger side rear window frame on fire (yes flames). After immediately turning the engine off, the fire went out and the window exploded.
    My next surprise (after another web search and several finds) was when the service adviser acted surprised when I described what had happened. My response was that “I was not buying her response” because its obviously a well known occurrence. That’s when I was given Ford’s corporate customer service number and told to try them. While hearing the response from that customer service representative, I could not hold back from laughing when it was quite obvious that I was receiving a “canned response” read from script.
    To close, like every other post I’ve read including this article, Ford was of no help whatsoever and I ended up using my insurance glass coverage for the repairs. Ford needs to step up and acknowledge this problem before the consequences result in more than a relatively small amount of money.

  3. Dennis says:

    While my vehicle has not yet experienced a catastrophic failure of the glass the rear window defroster has stopped working and been tinkered with by the dealer service on several ocassions. Not that the vehicle (15/F150/XLT) is beyond its factory warranty period the dealer has informed me correcting the repetative problem is not covered resulting in approximatily 1K out of pocket expense, all the while acknowledging the failure to ebe a class defect that is being ignored by the manufacturer.

  4. Jason says:

    Same thing just happened to me on my 2012 F150, tried to turn on rear defrost, indicator light did not come on, thought it must have stopped working, a fuse or contact or something. Then a few minutes later, BANG! the rear sidelight shatters. Been searching the web as well and this should be recalled for safety, someone could be hurt! Obviously a malfunction with the defrost causing the issue. Step up Ford!

  5. Matthew Pipkin says:

    I had the same problem yesterday except my rear defroster was working ( indicated by the light on the dash coming on). I drove for approx 10 minutes before it shattered. At first I thought it was a gunshot. I was dropping my daughter off at school when the incident occurred. Other children and parents also ducked when it “popped”. is where everyone with this problem must go to fill out a form. Complaining on message boards is useless. Let’s pass the word along. This is clearly a safety issue and a costly fix ( $750+)

  6. Dave Roberts says:

    I have a 2011 F150 purchased new in Ontario, the first time the window shattered for absolutely no known reason was Nov- 25-2015 ford would not come good and fix the problem, also no recall was in place, the dealer admitted this isn’t unusual and agreed to cover half of the $1300 bill. Move forward to Oct 8/2020 the window has shattered again for no known reason, the Truck is like new very well looked after with just 102,000 km. so now i am afraid to put out a lot of money again and no guarantee of the fix working, i am thinking of replacing the Window with standard glass with no defrost or power slider.
    and to ford motor company I will not be purchasing another Ford, its disgusting Ford is well aware these problems have existed for several years and chose to do NOTHING Safety issues alone babies strapped in back seat etc

    ford is well aware of the problem

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