07 Ford Fusion Dashboard "bulge"


#1

A bulge has appeared on the passenger side dashboard of my vehicle. Took it in Ford dealer to have it looked at. Service said it was probably due to heat.
Does not effect the airbag or any other part. Dealer said it would be $1600 to replace the complete dashboard and labor. Has anyone experienced this
type of issue? If so, what was your solution? Is this estimate reasonable?


#2

There’s been some other comments here about weak dash components in newer cars. I presume they make the stuff thinner to cut down on weight in order to boost the mpg ratings. $1600 to replace the dashboard with a new one? Sounds reasonable given the parts the amount of labor involved. I wonder if there’s a less expensive alternative though. Maybe it is possible for a specialty body shop to fix it in place? Worth asking around anyway – assuming all the components still work and the only problem is cosmetic. Also might be worth it to ask your insurance company if this is covered.


#3

Can you take a picture of the bulge and post it?

Sometimes these type of defects can be removed by heat shrinking the material.

Tester


#4

Thanks for the comment George. I plan to check with another body shop to see what their recommendations would be. Yes, the only problem is cosmetic. Checked with my auto insurance, and no luck, since it is not accident related. Worth a shot, though.


#5

I remember Ford Contours had the exact same problem, I would like to think ford could have figured out how to make a dashboard that would hold up by now.

I searched and it seems almost all fusions have this exact problem, there have been people that have replaced the dash back in 2012 and the new one is already starting the same thing.

Its a shame, I rented a 2009 fusion once and I loved it, it was a great car but I knew better, its a high maintenance car.


#6

The padding is commonly polyurethane foam, while the surface is commonly either polyvinyl chloride.

I was unable to find anything on its characteristics when reheated, but I did find the attached article. It MIGHT be able to be made less obvious (flattened some) with a hunk of 2x4 and a CAREFULLY used heat gun. It might distort in a more obvious manner, but if you use care you should be able to limit the damage. If it were mine, I’d try it. If nothing else, the link should give you some idea of what temp ranges to work with.
http://www.rlhudson.com/material_profiles/polyurethane.htm

I’d be interested to hear from any chemists in the room on this one. If I understand correctly, this is not a thermoplastic, so I would not be able to be softened and reformed, but a chemist could provide more insight.

I’d also be interested to know how you make out with this.