Did my first bit of work on the new F150 today. A customer came in with the truck they bought a week ago, asking for a broken cargo bed cleat to be replaced.
See, that might sound like an odd thing to break. But on to the design: They're designed to be easily removed. Why, I don't know. Anyhow, they use a simple turn-key latch that holds the hook in. You unlock the latch, then pull out slightly on the bottom and push the hook down to remove it. The whole thing is encased in plastic, to protect the aluminum. To reinstall the hook, you reverse the process and it will latch itself in, and then you lock it. If you ever take one for a drive and notice a little key on the ring, that's for the cleats.
The problem was, this customer's hook broke on the lower part where you pull on it to unlatch it. Hm, that's problematic. The process for removing the hook breaks it. Turns out, Ford's catching on to their mistake.
After I borrowed a hook off another one of our 15's, we found out our parts department couldn't order a new hook because Ford was working on resolving the design issue.
So I have a feeling I had better get used to replacing these. Today was a simple fix, take the new hook and swap the lock barrels so I could replace it on the customer's truck. I'm just stumped as to why you would even want to remove the tie downs, and why this wasn't originally seen as an issue.