Some Ford Bronco Owners Report Their Hardtops Are Falling Apart

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The Carbonite Gray molded-in-color hardtop, mounted on a red four-door Bronco.

The Carbonite Gray molded-in-color hardtop, mounted on a red four-door Bronco.
Image: Ford

The Bronco’s roof has been a point of frustration for Ford and prospective owners since well before the SUV started being delivered to the first customers last month. Production snags pushed vehicles optioned with body color-matched and contrasting hardtops to at least 2022. Those with molded-in-color Carbonite Gray roofs are leaving the factory now. Unfortunately, it seems at least some of those could’ve used another quality assurance check or two.

Two owners on the Bronco6G forum are reporting various issues, from “snakeskin-like” patterns showing through the plastic top, to headliner separation, warping around the screws that fasten the roof to the chassis and decomposition of “raw,” unfinished edges. Both owners say these defects weren’t present on their Broncos when they received them, and one mentioned he had his example for three weeks before he started noticing flaws.

At the moment, the cause — or causes, considering the range of issues at play here — are unknown, as is the number of vehicles affected. Respondents theorize the honeycomb texture could be related to problems with lamination that wouldn’t have been visible upon application, but later revealed themselves in time.

Jalopnik reached out to Ford for comment. Jiyan Cadiz, Ford Communication Manager, told us the following:

We continue to build and ship the all-new Bronco two-door and first-ever Bronco four-door both with hardtops and soft top roof configurations. If these couple customers haven’t already reached out to their dealer, we’ll happily help them with their dealer for any warranty-related service.

The hardtop in question is manufactured by Webasto. The German company builds tops — as well as glass panels, air conditioning systems and other components — for a variety of manufacturers, including Jeep, BMW and Mazda.

Webasto set up shop in a new facility in Michigan in part for Bronco production. A report from Automotive News in December indicated the supplier was lagging behind in tooling the new factory due to COVID-19. That pushed deliveries of those aforementioned hardtop Broncos to 2022 and beyond.

As for these early examples, they don’t look stellar. The original post shared images of the scaly texture, apparently smooth to the touch but nevertheless visible on some roof panels. Meanwhile, the other owner seems to have avoided that problem for now, but instead has found inconsistent gaps between the sides and top of the roof, and that sagging headliner — something you certainly wouldn’t expect or want to see on a $30,000-plus truck.

Perhaps owners can spin it into a mark of pride, and flip their early-run Broncos for top dollar. The snakeskin roof is how you know they’re true first editions.

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