Warning -This is a rant about the New Ford Custom.

If you’re thinking about a New Ford Custom, you’ll want to check out all the improvements they’ve made. It was always a great looking van, and we expected the second version to sort out the teething problems.

We talk to the Ford Custom owners every day. The one thing that lets the old Custom down is the driver’s door lock, it may as well be made of chocolate and has been the cause of so many van break-ins.

It seems every owner we talk to has either been broken into or knows someone that has. The release of the New Ford Custom was a great chance to finally put this problem to bed.

If you’re in any doubt to the extent of this problem, just visit Twitter @vansattack, or search Facebook for ‘Band of Builders’. You’ll not have the time to read every tweet and post, but you’ll understand how angry owners are, and how important it was for the Ford design team to make a bold statement. As Auto Locksmiths, we expected announcements such as-

‘New Ford Custom unbreakable door lock’ or ‘The most secure van for Britain’s workers’. Maybe even, ‘Trust the New Ford Custom to keep your tools safe’

New Ford Custom Replacement door lock announcement

What announcement? Nothing.  So, we checked out the website to study the new features. There are too many to list, the highlights being ‘Intelligent Speed Assist’, Adaptive Cruise control and ‘Cross Traffic alert’. Check out the link https://www.ford.co.uk/vans-and-pickups/new-transit-custom/features

No mention of an upgraded locks. So, we dug into the website looking for the security upgrades. Still no mention of the upgraded driver’s door lock, which to us is important. It’s also the first thing owners mention, when we speak to them.

The Ford website security page has information on ‘ Trailer Sway Control’, ‘Anti-roll’ features, and even new features to protect pedestrians!

However, unfortunately, the security page has no mention of van security. Check the page out for yourselves. https://www.ford.co.uk/vans-and-pickups/new-transit-custom/features/safety-security

New Ford Custom – Same old door lock

This can’t be right. So, we did what any conscientious Auto Locksmith would do and found a brand-new Ford Custom, sat in the forecourt of our local Ford dealer. We noted down the reg and asked about the part number for the door lock. Was it the name part number as the old version? No!

Great news everyone, they’ve changed the part number of the replacement door lock that you’ll need over the coming months, (after tool thieves screwdriver your door lock).

So, with high hopes, we called the parts team and had them send us the new and improved, ultra-strong, ultra-secure New Ford Custom driver’s door lock.

It’s bad news I’m afraid.

New Ford Custom

The part number is new, the door lock is exactly the same. Unbelievable.

New Ford Custom

It’s the same, cheap, aluminium monkey metal that they’ve been using for the last five years. On top of this, they’ve kept the design flaw of a two-part lock.

The body of the lock is joined to the back of the lock with? A plastic clip. Now my first ever job on leaving school was a machine shop apprentice. I made things from metal during my four long years.

I learnt what was good quality and what was poor. The New Ford Custom door lock should never have left the drawing board five years ago, let alone in 2018. The fact they’re still using this lock is criminal.

New Ford Custom High Security door lock.

Laziness or incompetence?

For the last three years, several companies have produced high quality replacement door locks, designed to solve the Ford, door lock problem. They have produced a strong, smart, and dependable door lock, engineered in one piece from high quality steel.

This makes the standard Aluminium two-part door lock look pathetic. Compare the two and the differences are clear.

The replacement lock is beautifully made when compared to the shoddy standard door lock. A strengthening security bar, shown clearly in the photo sits at right angles to the lock body.

This prevents the lock from being forcibly twisted. This is a stark contrast to the tiny Aluminium button that barely protrudes from the side of the standard New Ford Custom door lock and easily breaks when forced.

As well as this, the replacement one-piece design, made by Locks4Vans, prevents the tail of the lock from being broken off. This has been the cause of so many thousands of vans getting broken into all over the UK.

Shown below is an example of a lock that’s been forced, and the tail can be seen detached from the lock body. This is simply because, only a single plastic clip holds both art of the lock together.

Just Copy what works

The most unbelievable thing about this whole story is that the design team at Ford didn’t even need to do any real work. Locks4Vans, the company who made the aftermarket replacement door lock, had already done the hard work. All you had to do was to put your lock cylinder into a high security Lock of your own manufacture. However, no-one bothered.

A bold message to tool thieves

Ford had the chance to make a bold statement to tool thieves. By taking the effort to redesign the door lock it would show everyone

‘Sorry. We messed up. But we’ve listened, and we’ve done it better. Look, we’ve taken the time, invested the money to provide the best possible high security door lock we can.’

Instead, the drug fueled thieves will be rubbing their hands as they still attack the New Ford Custom door lock, just as before. Like trained dogs that drool at the sound of the food bell, tool thieves will twist the door locks expecting power tool treats.

A Stainless-steel security door lock would cost peanuts, when compared to the overall cost of the van.

What are the contents of your van worth to Ford?

Think about this. The replacement door lock from Ford costs around £40, to us. This means Ford are likely to be paying little more than £15 to their supplier. That means that your van contents, your security, your livelihood, is worth little more than £15 as far as the Ford Motor Company is concerned. Think about that.

Next week I’ll be discussing the new Ford software security update that is supposed to stop tool theft. Well done, good try.

So, my rant is over. I’m hoping that someone, somewhere at the Ford motor company will read this and think about it. Then maybe security will improve, hopefully a recall will be announced following some emergency engineering.

Maybe, one of the leaders will give the security that thousands of UK workers deserve but are currently denied. It’s about effort and attention and doing a decent job.

Come on, we know you can do it.


2 replies
  1. Roger meredith
    Roger meredith says:

    Spot on… So long as ford’s can sell a few vans, they don’t care about security. O unless you buy a better lock from their work shop.. Then they are happy to sell it to you… I should be a recall issue.

    • Steve Bulleyment
      Steve Bulleyment says:

      Hi Roger, yes we think they missed an opportunity here. Shame because the vans are nice, but the locks shockingly bad


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