Ford Recalls F-Series Super Duty Replacement Headlights for Being Too Bright

Ford F-Series Super Duty 11 photos
Photo: Ford / edited
2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited2018 Ford F-450 Limited
Ford has recalled 1,505 replacement headlight assemblies due to a manufacturing issue. Said headlights, which fit the 2017 to 2019 model year F-Series Super Duty line of pickup trucks, exceed the maximum light output allowed under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 for lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.
As per the chronology of defect published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the safety boffins at Transport Canada identified this condition back in March 2023 by means of a photometric test of a driver-side high series headlamp. The headlamp showed a noncompliance with Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 for the lower beam, prompting a retest by Ford.

Dearborn's favorite son obtained no fewer than 17 replacement headlamps from service depots throughout North America, with all of them passing the photometric test at the tier-1 supplier. However, the Transport Canada retest using the Super Duty headlamp fixture resulted in the apparent noncompliance originally identified by Transport Canada. But how come?

A teardown analysis of the suspect headlamp identified a low-beam module lens molding deviation from the nominal surface design. This causes the photometric intensity to exceed the maximum requirement at a single test point. Ford ultimately pinned the blame on a tier-3 supplier's molding process, with Ford theorizing that the valve gates controlling the fill of plastic into the injection mold could have malfunctioned. Alternatively, incorrect cooling of the injection mold for the lens may have caused the dimensional inaccuracy.

The Critical Concern Review Group reviewed the tier-1 supplier's quality control process data, confirming that suspect headlamps were produced from May 5, 2021 through December 30, 2021. The headlamp tested by Transport Canada in March 2023 was produced in September 2021. Ford also determined that 82 trucks may have been repaired with iffy replacement headlamps between May 2021 and March 2023 in the US and Canada.

2018 Ford F\-450 Limited
Photo: Ford
The report attached below lists five part numbers for five distinct variations of the high series replacement headlamp. In order to prevent such mistakes from happening again, the tier-1 supplier (Ventra Sandusky LLC of Sandusky, Ohio) now performs a photometric inspection of every replacement headlamp it sends to FoMoCo.

Dealers nationwide that ordered the suspect headlamps are required to purge said parts from their inventory. Dealers are further required to contact Super Duty owners who purchased or had their pickup trucks fitted with suspect headlamps. Of course, Ford is required to contact potentially affected owners via first-class mail to inform them of recall number 24E-023. Notification letters will be mailed between April 15 and April 19, 2024.

Now in its fifth generation, the F-Series Super Duty line kicks off at $44,970 for the F-250 XL with the regular cab, two-wheel drive, and the 6.8-liter gas V8. Powertrain options include the 7.3-liter Godzilla on which the 6.8 is based, plus two versions of the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 engine.

The high-output diesel cranks out a segment-leading 500 horsepower and 1,200 pound-feet (1,627 Nm), putting it well ahead of the Duramax V8 and Cummins I6. There is a rumor according to which General Motors will debut an 8.3-liter version of the Duramax around 2026, but thus far, GM has not confirmed or denied the hearsay.
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 Download: Ford F-Series Super Duty replacement headlights recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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