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Jason Lancaster is the editor and founder of 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.

Ford FINALLY Expands F150 Airbag Recall, But Where’s The Fine?

In February, Ford announced an F150 recall pertaining to spontaneously exploding airbags. This recall was significant because:

  1. NHTSA instructed Ford to recall approximately 1.5 million trucks for this problem
  2. Ford decided to ignore the government and recall just 150k trucks instead
  3. Now, two months later, Ford has finally followed NHTSA instructions and recalled 1.5 million F150s

Of course, I cried foul when Ford ignored the government recall recommendation. How could Ford blatantly disregard NHTSA safety instructions? What’s more, how could Ford ignore a government safety mandate without risking a media firestorm and a massive NHTSA fine?

Yet Ford Motor Company somehow managed to ignore a NHTSA two months ago – and then flip-flop – without any sort of outcry. Be it political influence or just plain ignorance, something stinks at NHTSA.

Tundra Resale Value Reigns Supreme…Again

It’s always great to say that the Tundra’s resale value is the best in the industry, but it’s starting to get a little old, isn’t it? We’ve talked at length about the Tundra’s superior resale value, citing studies from independent authorities like IntelliChoice and that show the Tundra is number one in terms of resale.

Allow me to add to the list for 2011. According to their newest study, the Tundra has the highest retained value of any light-duty pickup truck. Surprised? Me neither.

What is interesting, however, is that this year’s study is an even more accurate measure of resale than any year prior…and that the way Edmunds is calculating ‘retained value’ should have favored Ford and GM a lot more than it did.

Ford Announces New ‘Merican Edition F150

Today’s announcement of a new Ford ‘Merican Edition F-150 is an attempt by the automaker to capitalize on the commonly held (and incorrect) belief that Ford’s truck is the most “American” truck available on the market today. From Ford:

Our new ‘Merican edition F-150 is a vehicle that was mostly built by ‘Mericans for ‘Mericans celebrating ‘Merica as the greatest country on Earth. Don’t tread on me, these colors don’t run, various patriotic sentiment, etc.

Ford F-150 Merican edition logo

The new Ford F-150 Mexican 'Merican edition logo

When asked about the fact that the new ‘Merican Edition F-150 was only mostly built in the USA (only 55% of the parts in an F-Series truck come from the US or Canda), Ford’s spokesman replied “What do you want us to do – build a $1.2 billion dollar factory in Texas, bring in dozens of suppliers to build their own factories next to ours, and then hire thousands of American workers to build our truck? Do you have any idea how cheap it is to buy truck parts from Mexico? We’d like to hire Americans to build our truck and keep our domestic parts content at 90%, but we can make a lot more money if we build a lot of our parts in Mexico.”

More info about the new Merican’ Edition F-150:

Japanese Earthquake + 2008 Auto Crisis = Perfect Storm For Parts Shortages

As Japan continues to grapple with a tremendous natural disaster, the global auto industry is beginning to comprehend the impact that Japan’s crisis will have on production. Nearly every automaker on the planet – regardless of where they headquarter themselves – is beginning to learn of parts shortages caused by the quake in Japan. Some examples include:

  • Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon – Stopped production due to a (rumored) transmission shortage
  • Ford F150 – Asked dealers to stop ordering black or red trucks because they’re likely to run out of a special paint pigment sourced from Japan (full story from Detroit News)
  • Honda – Nearly Honda’s entire product line is effected in one way or another. They may be the hardest hit of all Japanese manufacturers.
  • Hybrids of all kinds – Most hybrid vehicles use batteries, transmissions, controllers, or important electronics that are built in Japan
  • Nissan – Some V6 models will be in short supply as one of Nissan’s most important engine plants has been heavily damaged
  • Subaru – The Forester and Impreza will both likely be in short supply this summer.
  • Toyota – As we detailed previously, the Prius, Scion xD, and Yaris will be the hardest hit, and most of the Lexus line will suffer as well.

According to Automotive News, there will also be a general shortage of microchips and circuit-board level components for the next few months in all industries as Japanese electronics manufacturers get back on their feet. While these shortages are likely to be temporary, it’s probable that the North American automotive market won’t grow quite as fast as it could have this year.

As most media outlets focus on Japan’s crisis and it’s impact on the global automotive supply chain, it’s important to recognize that GM and Chrysler are partially responsible for the current shortages (at least indirectly).

Are Truck Owners Worried About Gas Theft?

Gas prices are creeping back up, and we’re wondering if you’re wondering about gas theft. Here’s a recent story from Cummings, Georgia that illustrates gas theft is indeed happeneing:

Four men wearing hooded sweatshirts were seen siphoning gas from a pickup truck…The thieves fled with about 10 gallons of gasoline in two separate pickup trucks. The theft is estimated at about $33.

$33 doesn’t seem like enough reward to put the time into stealing gas, especially if it’s split four ways…but criminals have never been known for common sense. A full tank of gas in a 2007 or newer Toyota Tundra is about 26 gallons, and if gas is $4 a gallon, that’s over $100 worth of fuel. With so much fuel in your truck, is there a reason to be worried? Keep reading to share your opinion: