2015 Ford F-150 Seats Get Dirty

F-150 Seat Testing 3 II


We expect Ford to release quite a few press releases and videos detailing how demanding its testing routines have been for the 2015 Ford F-150. With the extensive use of aluminum, several smaller V-6 engine choices, and many other weight-reducing structural changes, Ford will need to work hard to prove to potential truck buyers that this new pickup truck is just as strong, if not tougher, than the one being replaced.

The first "testing" piece of information we've received from Ford focuses on the punishment the new seats have had to endure. Ford completed long-term human and robot testing that duplicated more than 150,000 miles or 10 years of wear to the new leather and lighter frame structure of the seats.

Testing was done with large, jeans-wearing work crews. The seats and seat testers were smeared with Arizona's Salt River Valley dust, which can be particularly corrosive to leather. After that, a few robots took over the punishment duties to find out where the most obvious wear points would turn up.


F-150 Seat testing 2 II

F-150 Seat testing 1 II



is this really necessary?

Jimmy Fallon already picked a Ford LOL.

Anyone out their wondering how they test seats?

Not me...............

Say what you will, but seat comfort and durability is by far the most overlooked, and yet most important aspect of almost any vehicle. If it's uncomfortable to sit in, or the support is gone after 100K miles, you won't care about or remember much else about the vehicle.

@Mark - it is important but it isn't important to know how they test........

Will this be like the roll out of the B 3.5 where Ford will dribble out a billion little bits of information over the next 6 months???

What next - news on how they tested the HVAC controls?

@Lou BC - HAHAHA!!! I have to laugh, you bring up a very good point! I must say, Ford does like to fuel their fan base with rather pointless marketing videos.

I'm glad to see it. My super duty seat is completely torn on the side. I get in and out of my truck probably 10 to twenty times a day on busy days. My seats always wear out. The super duty seat lasted probably 150,000 miles which was ok I guess considering how hard I was on it. My Ram seat started tearing/wearing through at about 50,000 miles. It was the very first thing that wore out on that truck. I'm glad ford is trying to improve that. It's really hard for people like me to keep the seat from wearing out.

lets hope they last longer then the seats in my Focus, the drivers seat side rib was gone by 111,000. Carpet worn thru as well, the floormats the dealer gave me, worn thru in a few months.

Ford wants your business, keep comming back, over and over. We sold you the car/truck, now come back and get replacements.

Funny they should bring this up now. The only seats I have had get ruined on me is in the Dodge Dakota, and older Dodge Ram I owned back in the 80's, both seats were worn out within 50K! on the 86 it was the seat cover torn out under the side where I got in and out, and the seat on the Dakota was a bucket, and the bolster on the left side was worn down flat from me getting in and out, but that was done within 40k! and I have no idea who lond the cover would have lasted as I had used a after market seat cover from the day I bought the truck new, but the side bolster went flat in no time at all! the seats in the Chevy's I have owned all lasted the time I owned them, I have only had the F-150 for only a couple of years now, and the bench seat in there is fine so far, but I did use a seat cover on that seat!

@Lou, it might be annoying to us who want to know all the details we can right now, but Ford's drip-feeding information strategy obviously works, even if not all the information is pertinent to most people's purchasing decisions. GM's strategy is obviously not working as well, and it is losing market share.

Big men succeeded when robots failedt

In tests, robots shaped like "butts" had pounded the seats repeatedly without making a dent, Dunn said. But real men out in the world were bringing back worn and torn seats.

"We were trying to understand, what is going on here?" Dunn said. "What were we not including?"

Was the problem related to clothes? A driver's height? Weight? How high they sit?

Nearly every seat brought in was filthy, Dunn said. Maybe the dirt was a factor.

"This was our ah-ha moment," Dunn said.

They contacted a company they have used before, and a test was devised requiring:

- Big men, weighing about 265 pounds

- New blue jeans

- New leather belts

- F-150s without running boards and with higher seats

- Arizona Test Dust

Arizona dust and water were mixed on the leather seats, making goopy mud.

"It was really pleasant because you couldn't change the jeans.""Then we had this person get in and out of the truck 500 times. Then we added more dirt and water on the seat. They did this 10,000 times," Dunn said.

The leather seats broke down, and Dunn and his team had the key.

"Once I can recreate the failure, I can find a solution," he said.

Each piece of leather is unique, but the tanning process is fairly standard. To make a flexible, tougher leather for the seats, changes were made to the tanning process, Dunn said.

This new, "high-wear leather," will be installed in the 2015 F-150's debuting later this year.

You could say, the seats won't be just "Ford tough," they'll be Arizona tough, too.


The new testing and high-wear seats are interesting. People who don't have leather seats won't understand.

@Alex - Ford has a definite strategy and as you are aware, is grounded in psychology/sociology.
People have short attention spans and most do not have the patience to wade through a big press release. Most will not retain more than 4 points presented. Another reason is it breeds familiarity which makes a new release feel safe and familiar.

Yes, I agree - it works.

Personally, it is annoying..........

Experts say that the GMC 2014 truck launch was/is a failure.

I wish GM was doing this.


In every 2 to 3 year old truck I look at, it's the side bolsters that get the punishment. Often the leather looks great but the bolsters are really hammered.

If you want to gain confidence this is the way to do it. The finer things take longer, happy to see Ford always innovating. I have a 06 FX4 Crew 5.4. drop Dead reliable at over 290,000 K. No squeaks, rattles or very little rust if any. I do the simple things, oil changes/Synthetic, towing I give it lots of time pulling or stopping, the power I need is there when I need it. Towing 6000 Lbs+ I can blow past a transport from 90K to 130, that's good enough for me. I carry heavy loads, broke a few leafs but that's what happens with 1800 Lbs in the Box...lolol Love it!!!

Seems to me that there's more than enough to learn from the last 10 years and more of truck seating? Instead, a robot? That's a wise use of funds!!!

Okay first of all, who uses a truck with leather seats for work? If they do then they shouldn't be surprised when their leather seats wear out and don't look too good. I have only owned several vehicles with leather seats and I can say that most leather seats will last roughly 100k miles before looking cracked and faded, even when treated with leather conditioner. It's just part of having leather seats, just like how cloth seats also have disadvantages.

Is this an April 1st story come early or are we being set up?

I don't know about the rest of you but if the seats are uncomfortable I'm not keeping the vehicle long. Seats are very, very important.

This is not a comfort testing.

Humans have been fabricating all forms of seating for thousands of years.

The only logic behind Ford's testing of the seats is they are trying to manufacture the cheapest possible seats and are testing them to ensure they will survive prior to the warranty expiring.

With the under pinning knowledge gained on seat design, even out of leather why would you need to pull a stunt like this one?

Next Ford will be showing us how many cycles a tailgate can withstand before the hinge point fails.

A waste of time this is. Just bull$hit marketing.

@Big Al

The pill must have worn off...Seriously, are we a little cranky this morning?

My last good Ford truck died of worn out, uncomfortable seats. It had about 250k on the clock and the seats just couldn't take any more, or more accurately, my BACK couldn't take any more.

I applaud them for this.

@Hemi monster

The leather seats are usually better seats. The stuff under the upholstery is what makes the seats last.

If you can afford it, choose the seating upgrade. Or if you are still young and strong, keep buying the cheap seats, but your back will NOT thank you for it.

@papa jim
I do think this article from Ford is a waste of time.

I do hope all manufacturers test their seats.

I think you'll also find that Ford seats are contracted out to a supplier and that supplier probably manufactures seats for other vehicle manufacturers.

So, how much of this is Ford 'technology'.

It's marketing spin.

Oh, it's evening here.

@Big Al

evening? have a beer, then.

Regardless of whether Ford's seats are in house or not, they spec the design to whomever does the work and then Q/C assures whether those products fall within the spec.

You know?

My number one work truck has leather seats. They are MUCH better for a working truck and I think i'm about as hard as can be on mine being muddy nearly every day in the summer and getting in and out of the truck many times each day. They last a lot longer/a lot more durable than cloth seats in my experience and they don't soak up the dust and mud like cloth seats do, nor do they get stained as easily as cloth. As usual I also disagree with big al. Even if ford outsources their seats they are not made like seats in any other truck i've experienced. I've never seen any vehicle with leather just like that in my super duty nor the shape and thickness of the bottom cushion. There are many different types of leather some stronger or thicker than others. Obviously ford wants their leather, especially the sides of their seats, to be as strong as possible. Makes perfect sense that they would do this. They have them made the way they want them. Manufacturers don't just spout out blatant lies all the time, especially when they have such a detailed explanation as to how and why it's done with videos. It's great marketing. I would want all my customers to know what lengths I go to test my products and ensure reliability if I went to the lengths that ford does. You think the robot in that video was cheap?

I wonder if Ford was testing seats when they should have been testing 6.0 durability a few years ago.

I wonder if they do a crap test, to see how well the seats hold up in one of those bad situations when you lunch hits you way faster then expected.

@Coolhand223... have you sat inside one of the old SuperDuties? I doubt the tested much of anything on that truck. If you even find a high mileage specification SD to sit in, my experience has been one of cracked leather, or pilled and worn raw fabric coatings. I think someone was just asleep when those trucks rolled out of the plant.

I almost thought it was an April Fools Joke

The captains chairs on my 1st gen tundra are so comfortable on long drives and have stood up against years of repeated climbing in and out while on the job. They probably don't make them like that anymore but its definitely something that I look at and will be looking at upon replacement, if and when that ever happens. It is a toyota after all.

I got a big laugh out of this. I have an 03 Ranger and from day one, I've had not one, but 2 sets of seat covers on it. As a result, on those two or three times a year i take the seat covers off to wash them, the upholstery looks brand new. I just don't understand people who won't take care of their trucks. I also don't understand people who want fancy leather seats in their trucks. You want leather, go buy a Mercedes or something. I need something my dogs can shed on!

Lariat and up all have leather. Most of these are used for work unless you fall into the less than 5-10% that are just appearance buyers, but even they have dirt on their clothes.

And with XLT's now having leather and FX4 rolling into XLT there will be even more leather seats out there. Good move by Ford to go to more durable leather.

Lariat and up all have leather. Most of these are used for work unless you fall into the less than 5-10% that are just appearance buyers, but even they have dirt on their clothes.

And with XLT's now having leather and FX4 rolling into XLT there will be even more leather seats out there. Good move by Ford to go to more durable leather.

That is one tiny seat cushion, not much bigger than a toilet seat.

While I am all for Ford (or any manufacturer) making things better, most F-150's with leather will be what, $ 40k and up? At that price, yes I am sure owners will get the seats dirty every so often but at that price I would also expect they would clean the seats as well. If I was getting into a new pickup THAT dirty on a regular basis, I'd have a seat cover on it and I'd make a habit of conditioning the leather 2-3 times a year to keep it from drying and cracking. My wife's car is 13 years old and the leather looks like it's 1-2 years old simply for the fact we apply conditioner to it several times a year, let it "soak in" and wipe it off a few hours later. Makes all the difference in the world.

The seat bottoms MUCH shorter than the previous generation F150 and not nearly as comfortable, especially on long trips. Ford should be ashamed of putting these seats in $40-$60+ trucks...They are more like fold down rear jump seats than premium front seats.

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