Last week we published a comprehensive table of 2011 pickup truck crash test ratings, and today we’ve got updated crash test results from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) website detailing the crash test results of the Ford F-150.
While the 2011 F150 scored an overall crash test rating of 4 stars, the F-150 only scored 3 stars in frontal impacts, making it the second worst truck in terms of frontal impact safety among products for Chevy/GMC, Toyota, and Ram. Only the Ram 1500 scored worse – a paltry 2 stars. Fortunately for Ford, their strong performance in IIHS crash test studies seems to indicate that, overall, the F150 is comparably safe to the Tundra as well as trucks for Chevy and GMC.
Still, technically speaking,
the F150 did not perform as well as the Tundra in the NHTSA tests the F150 had a lower front impact score, but as noted by Tim in the comments, the F150 did slightly better than the Tundra in a couple of ways (albeit small ways)…so the performance is likely closer to “equal” between the Tundra and the F150 than it is towards the Tundra.
A little more than a year ago I noted that Ford F150’s had a mysterious exploding airbag problem, reporting that NHTSA was investigating F150 airbag complaints. In that article I predicted that Ford would likely need to recall some trucks, as their own internal documents indicated airbags were spontaneously exploding due to an electrical short. From Jan, 2010:
In light of Toyota’s recent recall problems, Ford would be wise to get ahead of this thing as quickly as possible…The F150 is Ford’s most popular vehicle, and they can ill-afford to have consumers question the truck’s safety… Hopefully, Ford will manage this issue better than Toyota
Today Ford announced that they would be recalling F-150s to fix this problem, but reportedly Ford will only recall 150,000 trucks rather than the approximate 1.5 million that NHTSA has requested. Ford argues that the only trucks effected by this airbag problem were built at the Norfolk, VA plant, yet NHTSA investigators have found evidence of spontaneously exploding airbags on F150s made at other plants (link).
In March of 2010, Toyota came under heavy fire when records showed that Toyota executives attempted to “negotiate” their way out of a NHTSA floormat recall to save money. Today, Ford seems to be doing something similar: Rather than replacing airbag assemblies on 1.5 million trucks as suggested by NHTSA, Ford is only going to replace 10% of the assemblies.
Evidently, 90% of 2004-2006 F150 owners who may be driving around with a spontaneously exploding airbag aren’t important to Ford.
Die-hard Ford fans and industry observers alike (myself included) have been quick to give Ford credit for creating the Eco-Boost V6. What’s not to love about a fuel-efficient twin-turbo V6 with torque and horsepower figures that are comparable to a V8?
Indeed, Ford’s Eco-Boost has been considered the “next evolution” of truck engines because it’s becoming harder and harder for V8 engines to satisfy new fuel economy and emissions rules. Ford was very smart to bring the Eco-Boost to market, as they are ahead of the curve in terms of efficiency.
HOWEVER, many people (including myself) wondered if the Eco-Boost would be accepted by consumers. Considering today’s news that Ford is offering an extra $500 cash back on certain F150s with the EcoBoost engine, it sounds like consumers aren’t quite ready to jump on the twin-turbo V6 band wagon. At least not in their trucks.
The question: Is this about the EcoBoost, or is this about truck buyers?
One of the oldest rules in marketing is “copy your competitors – it’s easy and it works.”
Ford’s F-150 Raptor is a tremendous truck. A dedicated off-road machine, the Raptor has a host of features and extras that make most off-road enthusiasts drool. Based on the interest and excitement around the Raptor – and the early sales – it would seem that the Raptor is a run-away success. PickupTrucks.com has reported twice now about Dodge’s long travel Ram, a possible test version of a Dodge version of the Raptor that could serve as the basis for a production vehicle.
PickupTrucks.com’s coverage has us wondering…will Ram – or anyone else – really try and copy the F-150 Raptor? Maybe. It’s pretty complicated – here’s why:
A few months ago we posted an article about the 10 most outrageous truck quality problems of the last decade. In that article, we mentioned that some F150 owners had complained about exploding airbags. According to some 2005-2007 F150 owners, the driver’s airbag went off the minute the key was put into the ignition. While there are definitely some humorous aspects to this concept (talk about a bad way to start the day), it’s a serious issue. So serious, in fact, that NHTSA has expanded their investigation into these complaints.
As part of their decision to expand the investigation into the F150, NHTSA has released documents showing that a little more than 1.5 million F150’s made between 2004 and 2006 could have this problem.