Jason Lancaster is the editor and founder of TundraHeadquarters.com. He has nearly a decade of experience on the retail side of the auto industry, and another decade of experience of the part and accessory side of the industry.
If you’ve just bought a new truck, there’s a good chance that someone (a friend, a relative, or a salesperson) has told you to buy a certain brand of spray-in bed liner “because they’re the best”. If you’re like me, you don’t like making this decision without doing a little research first (Not sure you want a spray-in? See a full list of Bed Liner Options). Here’s my analysis of the two biggest names in spray-in truck bed liners, Line-X and Rhino Linings.
Updated September 2013
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Imagine that you were a senior manager at the old GM. Now imagine how you might feel when the company eventually succumbs to bankruptcy, and hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs. Would you feel like a failure? Would you perhaps feel a little responsibility for what went wrong? A little guilt about not trying harder, putting up more of a fight, etc?
After all, if a company’s senior management isn’t somewhat responsible for corporate failure, than who is?
Sure the economy was a factor. So was the UAW. But GM and Chrysler failed while Ford (which had the same basic set of problems) didn’t. GM management has to take some responsibility for what happened to GM…right?
Evidently, about 100 retired GM executives (most of whom were VP’s or higher) didn’t see things that way. Go figure.
Ford and Toyota have announced that they will no longer be collaborating on a joint venture to produce a hybrid powertrain for the Tundra and F-150. While Ford has told the Chicago Tribune that they intend to continue to develop a hybrid powertrain for the F-150 (and other RWD vehicles) on their own, Toyota’s official statement on the matter has made no such promises.
Basically, the Tundra hybrid is dead, but the F-150 hybrid lives (for now).
US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood – whom I have criticized vehemently for his mismanagement of the Toyota unintended acceleration debacle – is leaving his post whenever congress approves his replacement.
LaHood’s legacy at NHTSA is debatable, but one of his hires has implemented a fundamental change in the way that the government regulates automakers. From Automotive News:
Strickland, who became NHTSA administrator in 2010 amid the Toyota sudden-acceleration crisis…reaffirmed the agency’s intent to scrutinize vehicle data continually for patterns that might point to risks that merit a recall.
“It really is based on the notion of unreasonable risk. And that is an evolving notion,” Strickland said. The agency, he added, is obligated to reassess a potential risk “if state of the art moves all the peers in one direction, and it appears that there is another part of the fleet that has not made those same moves or improvements.
That’s right – NHTSA isn’t going to just write and enforce regulations any longer. They’re also going after companies who don’t update their designs quickly enough if/when those designs are shown to be unsafe…even 20 years after the fact.
As a general rule, I don’t like to presume that a plastic part is automatically inferior to a similar part made from metal. There are plenty of examples of plastic and/or composite parts (from intake manifolds to frame cross-members) being used effectively. However, Ford might have screwed up when they replaced the F-150’s steel fuel tank shield (aka fuel tank skid plate) with plastic.
This past week, a Florida jury awarded $4 million to a plaintiff who sued Ford for basically going cheap on the fuel tank shield (aka skid plate). From Yahoo News: