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Q: Interior is falling apart, need help

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The dashboard has started coming apart in my 2008 Ford Fusion. This is really unattractive and the whole interior seems a bit cheap. The material covering the actual dash is peeling off. I don’t know how to stop the peeling or what to get to repair it or solve the problem. Is there a way to fix this without replacing the whole dashboard? I am really disappointed seeing this in a car with only 65,000 miles on it.

A: Walk through any classic car show, glance a...

Walk through any classic car show, glance at a car’s interior, and usually the most prominent, gleaming feature of a 50’s vehicle will be the dashboard: beautifully painted metal, adorned with brushed aluminum or chrome, shining brightly. Sadly, while being so attractive and alluring, the metal dashes of old did very little to cushion the impact of the people riding in the cabin during a collision. Modern vehicles are far safer during crashes, and one of the features that promotes such safety is the padded dashboard.

To achieve this cushion, the dash is typically constructed of a plastic shell coated with foam backed vinyl cover. Glue is typically sprayed on the plastic to adhere the foam. Unfortunately, in the case of the Fusion, it appears the glue loses adhesive properties over time and causes the foam backed vinyl to separate from the shell and lift. In this case, the instrument panel must be replaced, as new glue typically will not perform well and will lift again in short time. Although Ford has not issued any technical service bulletins (TSB) related to this issue, it may be wise to contact Ford’s customer service department and see if they are willing to share some of the replacement cost. Because the failure appears to be random, replacing the instrument panel with a used unit may not be cost effective in the long run.

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