2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Plastic Bed Extender Clips
July 01, 2011
You know those plastic "living hinges" they use on Igloo ice chests? The retainer clips that hold the bed extender in the stowed position on our 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor are like that.
Correction: were like that. Both living hinges on the Raptor's bed extender are dead. They met there demise a couple of days apart during last weekend's move.
Let's pause for a moment of silence, shall we?
In contrast to those found on an ice chest, the living hinges on these clips aren't being asked to bend near as far and are therefore made of a harder plastic. Further age-hardening due to time and sun exposure no doubt made them harder and even more brittle. What's more, they're shaped to stick out a little so you can thumb them, but that also puts them in a position to get bumped and jostled by stuff in the bed.
Whatever led up to it, both of these broke off in my hand as I was folding the extender back up against the bed sides and latching them into place.
Thing is, I don't really care. The bed extender is a damn useful piece and it still works just fine. It stays stowed and folded as well as I need it to without any clips. In fact, the clipless bed extender is now far easier to deploy and use than it was before. I won't miss them. I'm taking my moment of silence back.
Is this a Ford quality problem? Kinda-sorta, but not reallly. The bed extender is an accessory contracted from outside, though in this case Ford bundles it with the truck as a regular factory option. Accessories are never made as well as the vehicles they are attached to, even factory-distributed ones.
I don't view this failure as an indicator of the quality of the F-150 itself. This is nothing like the failure of our 2012 Fiat 500's plastic seat height adjuster.
As for living hinges, I'm not a fan. I've thrown out more than one ice chest over the same issue. A different sort of retainer -- if one is really necessary -- is probably something Ford's accessory department could look into.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 27,420 miles