2015 Ford F-150 Earns Five-Star NHTSA Crash-Test Rating

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By Aaron Bragman

The new all-aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck has been an early hit, building on what was already a perennial best-seller for decades.

The latest F-150 is unique for its aluminum-intensive construction. Built on a high-strength steel frame, it uses an aluminum body, bed and front structure to drop hundreds of pounds of weight over its previous versions.

But with that aluminum structure came the question: How would it perform in crash tests? Aluminum is significantly lighter than steel, and requires considerable engineering effort in order to achieve the equivalent safety ratings as steel, but Ford seems to have made it work. The company just announced that the 2015 F-150 SuperCrew (that's the four-door in normal English) has earned a five-star overall safety rating in crash tests conducted recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Ford is still awaiting word on NHTSA tests of other versions of the F-Series pickup as well as results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's battery of tests.

This isn't the first time the F-150 has won a five-star award from NHTSA, but it is the first time under the agency's newer, more stringent round of tests. The F-150 scored five stars in all of the dynamic tests, including front and side crashes for driver and passenger. It scored four stars in the static rollover test.

The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 also has five-star overall ratings in the same tests and four stars in the rollover. The 2015 Ram 1500 has a four-star overall rating with some different versions garnering three- and four-star rollover scores.

Ford said that the company had optimum safety in mind from the beginning of the design process, and used its international know-how to bring several engineering disciplines together early in the truck's development. Computerized simulation of crash-testing allowed Ford to experiment with different kinds of front frame rail crush zones; the company finally settled on a patented 12-corner rail that deforms in a front-end collision in a way that minimizes stresses on passengers.

Additionally, the weight savings from such computer optimization allowed the team to add an eighth steel cross-member to the frame under the passenger cabin as well as an aluminum roof cross-member, improving side-impact crash safety measurably. New construction techniques were employed on the F-150 as well, most notably replacing welding of cabin structure pieces with adhesive bonding and self-piercing rivets, which are far stronger than welds and are better able to distribute deforming forces during a crash.

Ford said that the efforts put into creating a clean-sheet design for the new F-150 have paid off, and that many of the patents and innovations learned from the truck will see their way into other Ford products in the near future.

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Now the question is will GM be able to duplicate the results with welded cabin structure.

Would you look at that, impressive.

Give me any half ton truck in any crash involving another car. I'll take the truck every time regardless of its rating.

Just watched the videos. Thats one tough beer can! Very impressive, would be interesting to see the GM in a side by side video.

I guess the Ford haters are starting to wonder what to say next, this truck seems to be shutting everyone up. Nice work Ford

I wanna see the IIHS results. Nearly all truck did well in the weaker NHTS tests.

There is a reason those prowler engineers left chyrsler. They wanted to work for a better company.

There is a reason the fiat CEO is begging to merge with other companies as well..... They don't have the money and capability to keep up with the other manufactures. They even had to pay another company to build the e car for the California market.

Another thing ford just sign into a partnership with Dow to speed advancement up in mass producing carbon fiber panels.... and guess what, you can't weld carbon fiber but you can surely bond it to aluminum and steel. And guess what..... Ford's assembly process and equipment is already setup for bonding and glueing!!! Wink wink

Frame is tough. Here is a quote from a recent review of the 2015 F 150. " The doors, however, slam with a shocking flimsiness, never with the hefty reassurance that justifies the purchase of a big new truck."

Flimsy is not a word a want to describe my truck.

Remember to recycle those beer cans Ford fans. It helps with the next generation. Oh and stay thirsty my friends.

WOW they finally staggered the shocks!!!!! LMAO welcome to the 21st century..................

Folks less mass means less capability..... The heavier the tow vehicle the better it can handle towing more weight without being pushed around.

Curious how the aluminum will hold on in the 1/4 offset crash test of the IIHS when the frame is not hit.

I would have of expected nothing less from Ford.

Building a safe pickup isn't rocket science this day and age.

Even using aluminium doesn't make it any harder to achieve and it's probably easier to engineer a safer vehicle from aluminium.

One thing, looking at that F-150 chassis image makes one wonder, with such a thin walled chassis how well does it manage impacts off road?

I wonder if any data has been collected regarding the costs of repairing an aluminium F-150. This is the kind of article that PUTC should also include.

All the ram guys on here saying they'd rather be hit by an F150 or saying how flimsy the doors are need to remember that ram your driving could only muster up a 4 or less score. Don't roll your ram or just get hit. That truck you are driving is extremely dangerous. Looks like Ford and GM left you guys in the dust again!!

I'm a safe driver so I will never get into an accident.
Plus that horizontal cross bar that covers half the headlights looks hideous !

Ram loses again. They have copied Ford for years. Even admitted thats whats gotten them this far. Now if they could only figure out how to build safe trucks like Ford and GM. If you drive a ram, please be very, very careful.

Dang, forgot to insert a smirk!!

Pretty sure Mercury made an SHO powered aluminum bodied Sable long before the Prowler. Probably would blow the doors off the prowler too. And last atleast last twice as long despite the finicky Yamaha power plant. Also was probably a bit better in quality materials too, and more desired.

And im guessing those Prowler engineers came from Chrysler's purchase of AMC seeing how they made an all aluminum offroad vehicle called the HMMWV, that or off Lambo...

Good for Ford and GM. But very bad news for Ram's crash test effort. That's gonna require some extra cash on the hood.

You guys that own a F-150 have to constantly reassure yourselves that you made the right choice cause you're already second guessing yourself.
It really shows by reading these comments, you can't hide those true feelings.
I guess that $600 monthly payment has to show some justification or something to wipe that guilt away.
I understand you paid twice as much for that F-150 than what a car costs and you don't really haul or tow anything and so you're searching for something good about that truck like crash test ratings.
So you're unhappy with that expensive payment, and horrible gas mileage and paying $2000 for a brake job and another $1200 for a set of tires so at least you'll be safe with a head-on crash.

I don't get how some peoples comments get deleted while not breaking rules, but Tom#3 has full reign to say whatever he wants against the rules even when it isn't true.

Well, here the story out a week ago.
FORD & GM did well, Five Star. RAM & Toyota sheet metal vehicles, only FOUR.
Comment on truck hitting car, truck wins. Well.... not always gonna be a car involved. Could be another truck or tree etc...

Ford haters can twist the data all they want to try to get it in their favor. It's "never good data less yours is on top".
All these tests are done the same for each, cause everyone taking notice. But we all knew that.
F150 also did well in rollovers.

That's a good looking truck. Good job Ford.

My wife and kids just crashed in our newly purchased f-150 just a couple days ago. It was the previous generation ford. A guy ran a stop sign at 60 miles per hour. never hit the brakes. Wife and kids are fine. Totally fine. Better believe I'm getting another f-150. I truly feel in debt to ford.

people run red lights and stop signs all the time, you have to watch out for them, you never proceed thru a green light without looking for red light runners.
Every intersection you must drive thinking someone is going to run a stop sign or red light, if you don't and they crash into you its just enough your fault as their fault.

Its WRONG to think that you can drive anywhere, driving unsafe knowing you're protected in a safe vehicle with 5 star crash tests.

Picture and proof of a 2013 F-150 rusting away and bad welds!

Picture proof of a current generation Ram rusting away at bad welds.


Tom #3, the guy's family survives a serious accident where someone completely ran a stop sign at 60 mph, and you question his wife's driving? Stop sign! It may have been a rural road for all we know. Look left, right, left again and no one coming...proceed with caution, and WHAM! At 60 mph the idiot driver probably appeared completely out of no where, and you say she is just as much at fault? That comment sounds like #2!
Very glad your family is ok Jerry!

@Gilzor - He's just trying to stir up people again, even for you Tom#3 that's low. Glad your family is ok Jerry. Agree with Big al - it'd be nice to see what it costs to repair certain parts of the F150 so I can roll it into total cost of ownership.


Duh! That's a 2009 Ram!
My post shows a NEWER 2013 F-150 rusting away ON THE ROOF !

Wow I thought my neighbor was the only one who has a rusty fiat ram. His is a 2012 with just a little over 30,000 on the clock. His looks just like that 2009 with the rust. Chrysler has given him the runaround as they usually do. Last I heard he had gotten an attorney. I tried to tell him not to buy that thing cause I made the same mistake. Live and learn.

@ Tom,

The Silverado has already earned the Five Star NHTSA recognition; despite the fact that the Cabin Structure is not like that of the F-150.

Raymond, I was of course talking about when they switch to aluminum. They made it known they will be welding as opposed to Fords riveting and bonding.

I just get tired of reading of the victim mentality !
Oh boo hoo hoo everybody feel sorry for me cause some big meany ran a red light and crashed in to me.
Just so it wasn't your fault you love to have an excuse to be the victim.

That's the way now
excuse and blame
excuse and blame
I never do anything wrong its always someone elses fault

To all the MORONS who think that the body plays much if any role in crash ratings/worthiness... There you go. In the days before boxed frames of high strength hydroformed steel, in the days before airbags, in the days before crumple zones, in the days before collapsing steering columns, in the days before passenger safety cages... yea the vehicle's body mattered and you still all too often ended up badly. Those days are LONG gone. Modern safety has little or nothing to do with the strength or thickness of whatever material is used on the body. On a modern car the body serves the following functions... aesthetic beauty to package and sell the vehicle, keep the weather out, and a place to mount things like windows and light. That's it. Bad showing for Fiat with its 4star rating. They should address that in the next refresh or design (unless its some silly thing like not having enough cameras or alarms).

O and the body cuts through the air... Other than that and the other things I listed all a body has to do is hold paint and hold up.


This F-150 driver did not fair so well.

Did you guys see that ford is the only 5 star rated pickup in all cab bed and cab configurations..... Even high strength steel body panels can't achieve what aluminum does across all models, cab and bed configurations!

Great job Ford for making the skeptics look like fools!

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