Tag: Ford

By on December 6, 2019

2017 Ford F250 Lariat Crew Cab 4x4 rear quarter

There’s a new Super Duty line coming to the Ford stable for 2020, and a recall coming to owners who bought the earlier version.

On Friday, Ford Motor Company issued a recall of certain 2017-2019 F-250, F-350, and F-450 pickups to fix tailgates that might fly open at inopportune moments. The callback has been a long time coming. (Read More…)

By on December 6, 2019

2017 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback, Image: Ford

In July, we covered a scathing report that criticized Ford Motor Co’s usage of the DSP6 dual-clutch transmission found in the third-gen Focus and sixth-gen Fiesta. The hardware was surrounded by controversy, with company insiders highly critical of its implementation. Claims arose that the unit wasn’t performing as intended throughout its development, with corporate lawyers expressing serious doubts as to whether DTC technologies (which were relatively new at the time) were the automaker’s best choice.

Hindsight seems to have proven them right. The PowerShift DSP6 turned out to be a turd the company polished to the best of its ability and then put on sale, leading to more headaches. Officially, the manufacturer has said the vehicles were safe when introduced and have remained so. Still, Ford is well aware of the tranny’s issues; since the problems came to light, the automaker has extended warranties and encouraged service centers to repair their problematic transmissions.

While a kind gesture, some remain concerned that Ford appears to be sweeping the whole issue under the rug. Customers are angry, claiming the automaker should have never put the unit into production — a move that resulted in civil litigation. But that doesn’t appear to have ever been a real possibility. Those who tried to stop the DSP6 claim they were doomed to failure from the start.  (Read More…)

By on December 5, 2019

Ford badge emblem logo

Despite the average transaction price of your typical automobile climbing higher than ever before, there’s a lot of disagreement as to whether this actually amounts to more spending once inflation has been taken into account. Studies frequently show inflation-adjusted valuations climbing gradually over the years, resulting in MSRPs a few grand higher than what you might have spent in decades prior. Still, newer vehicles tend to have a much greater level of content and the ability to outlast something from 1970, helping to rationalize the difference. Data taken from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) actually suggests the average expenditure per vehicle actually peaked in the late 1990s before creeping back down.

Meanwhile, we keep hearing reports about the average transaction price of passenger vehicles settling above $37,000 for 2019. Cross referenced against the BEA data, that’s about $5,000 dearer than in 1999 — once you’ve shifted everything to present-day dollars. Blame people’s inability to say “no” to options, crossover popularity, or anything else you want. It won’t change the problem, especially as the wealth gap continues to widen between the haves and have nots.

Automakers know that sales are stagnating and Ford CEO Jim Hackett thinks he’s come up with a solution — and it’s a familiar one. It’s decontenting time.  (Read More…)

By on December 5, 2019

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn is the first of two consecutive entries where we’ll be evaluating two-door offerings from the dawn of the new millennium. First up is the American car trio… though one of them is thoroughly European.

(Read More…)

By on December 4, 2019

Always the innovator in creating car parts out of plants that aren’t trees, Ford Motor Company plans to burnish its green cred with a new building material: a composite created partly from dried coffee bean husks.

Following the automaker’s soybean experiments of the early 1940s, Ford adopted soybean-based foam for its seat cushions back in 2008. Now, coffee chaff will help add strength and lower energy use for the manufacture of headlight housings and other components. Its supplier partner on this project? McDonalds. (Read More…)

By on December 3, 2019

ford

Plenty of digital ink has been spilled on the new Mustang Mach-E, from Ford’s decision of saddling it with a pony car name to questions around who’s going to buy the thing. Just over two weeks since its introduction, we at least have an answer to the latter.

The gearheads at The Detroit News ran a story this morning about the Mach-E’s ability to pull new customers into Ford showrooms, citing a conversation they had with suits at San Tan Ford outside of Phoenix. Your author decided to go one step further, calling up what’s touted as the #1 Ford dealer in the world to see if the findings were a one-off anomaly.

They aren’t.

(Read More…)

By on December 2, 2019

When Ford lined its domestic passenger car offerings against a brick wall, gangster-style, and unleashed its 50-round drum, one nameplate was singled out for potential preservation: Fusion. Actually, another name was supposed to live on in the form of the overseas Focus Active, but the Blue Oval kiboshed that model’s boat trip.

Acrimony over the Focus, Fiesta, and Taurus’ North American death ran high, perhaps more so than that of the doomed Fusion sedan, but the latter model’s name seemed to hold a special purpose. Recall back in the summer of 2018, when sources told Bloomberg that Ford intended to develop some sort of Subaru Outback fighter under the Fusion name. Spokesman Mike Levine backed up, to some degree, the name-preservation side of the story.

Real, physical proof of that program may now exist. (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2019

Image: Lincoln

Rivian, the Michigan-based EV startup with big plans for its R1S SUV and R1T pickup, isn’t bashful about making its “skateboard” electric vehicle platform available to rivals. At Ford, that skateboard may soon appear below a new Lincoln vehicle, a new report claims.

Ford raised eyebrows earlier this year when it sunk $500 million into the upstart EV maker, with the Blue Oval claiming the investment paves the way for an “all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle.” That vehicle is apparently now taking shape. (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger at MAP - Image: Ford

Ford announced Monday that it will recall 72,718 Ranger pickups over taillight malfunctions. This one is pretty cut and dried, without the mystique that make most recall notices so appealing. There’s no fire risk, no chance of the vehicle veering wildly out of control, and no reported accidents stemming from the issue.

Barring some inattentive motorist slamming into your backside, not realizing you were attempting to stop, the range of hypothetical dangers are pretty limited. Basically, someone forgot to crimp and plug the applicable terminals at the factory and Ford needs to give these 2019MY Rangers another look — something it seems to be doing rather often.  (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2019

As part of Tesla Motors’ debut of Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk showed a clip in which the EV pickup yanks a Ford F-150 uphill against its will. The Blue Oval is also building an all-electric pickup, in addition to already manufacturing the best-selling truck model in history. Clearly, Tesla clearly wanted to place both on notice, though the video only provides evidence that Cybertruck can tug a rear-drive F-Series uphill in a video Tesla produced to show exactly that outcome.

Media outlets began musing if this was really a fair fight, apparently forgetting how advertising works, while science celeb Neil deGrasse Tyson offered a public physics lessons. “We all love Torque. But high Torque just spins a tire in place if there’s not enough weight to provide traction,” he said in response to the video. “Fully load the F150, giving highest traction to its rear wheels, then try to drag that up the hill. I otherwise agree: Load both to the max and the highest torque wins.”

Mr. Tyson’s new role as a Ford Truck Man remains unconfirmed, but the more likely scenario is that he’s simply trying to make sure the test is at least mildly scientific. Ford agreed, saying a fair test between brands was just what the doctor ordered.  (Read More…)

By on November 25, 2019

ford

While last week’s Internet-breaking debut of the Ford Mustang Mach-E was eventually overshadowed by the glass-shattering introduction of the Tesla Cybertruck, the echoes of that reveal still linger in the air.

A flurry of Change.org petitions quickly sprung up, with signees hoping to reverse this apparently abominable decision by Ford brass. Dream on. As a friend is fond of saying, signing a petition has never, ever stopped anything from happening. You’d have the same impact if you just stayed at home and munched celery in the dark.

Perhaps cognizant of the backlash, Ford released a film in which company bigwigs sitting on invisible chairs lob derision at the vehicle the Mach-E replaced. (Read More…)

By on November 25, 2019

The internet collectively lost its mind when Elon Musk rolled out his Cybertruck last week in California. More polarizing than the ends of two magnets, people either loved or hated the thing. But — and this is key — regardless on which side of the fence a person stood, it seemed that everyone was surprised by how the thing looked.

Today’s QOTD is easy: what other vehicle debuts caught you off-guard?

(Read More…)

By on November 25, 2019

1986 Ford Escort in California junkyard, RH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsI try to mix up these Junkyard Finds so that you won’t see five 1990s Oldsmobiles in five consecutive weeks. This week, after a 1990s Volvo and a 1990s Honda and a 1970s Plymouth, it seemed time for a really old car or maybe something from 2000s Detroit.

Then I remembered that Sajeev has been complaining about insufficient recognition from other writers of his weird love for Ford products of the 1960s-1990s, so I opted to open the floodgates for his bitter tears with the nicest fleet-grade mid-1980s Escort I’ve ever seen in a junkyard. (Read More…)

By on November 22, 2019

At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Chevrolet announced the rebirth of the Trailblazer (note the spelling) for the 2021 model year. However, unlike its predecessor, it’s now a compact, three-cylinder CUV. The comments got a bit heated, pitting the GMT 360 version against its contemporary competition.

So let’s settle this. It’s time for a Buy/Drive/Burn in 2005.

(Read More…)

By on November 22, 2019

ford

Shelby has been synonymous with the Mustang since Ford started manufacturing the GT350 in 1965 — cementing the model’s role as a certified performance machine. While Shelby Mustangs haven’t been available every year, Ford has lately been careful to include them in the lineup (if you haven’t noticed, there’s a horsepower war raging between domestic manufacturers, and the 760-hp Shelby GT500 is one of the main combatants).

But what happens as automakers transition into electrification? With a greener mindset spurring the change, these companies don’t seriously intend on delivering unnecessary high-performance models — do they?

You bet your ass they are. We’re already seeing them entering production, and Ford is now tentatively planning a Shelby variant of its all-electric Mach-E. Given its transition from “Mustang inspired” to “part of the Mustang family,” it’s now fair game. (Read More…)

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