Ford F150 Extended Cab Pickup Truck Long Bed 4.6l V-8 Tow Package Radio A/c Heat on 2040-cars
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Ford F-150 for Sale
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Auto blogThu, 29 May 2014 15:58:00 EST
Ford is taking a bit of the spotlight away from General Motors, announcing a major group of recall campaigns, covering a total of 1.4 million vehicles built between 2006 and 2013.
Let's start with the big one, which covers the Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and, according to The Detroit News, Ford-built Mazda Tribute CUVs. 915,216 vehicles are covered, all of which were built in model years 2008 to 2011. 736,000 vehicles are in the US, while Canada then Mexico make up the vast majority of the remainder. The problem is due to an issue with the torque sensor in the steering column, which could lead to sudden power steering failure. Manual steering would still be available, though.
"Dealers will perform one of three service fixes, depending upon what diagnostic codes are shown when the vehicle is taken to the dealer," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker wrote to Autoblog in an email. "They will either update software for the power steering control module and the instrument cluster module; replace the torque sensor; or replace the steering column, which includes upgraded power steering control module software."
Not only have we been told that the 2015 Ford F-150 is tougher, more durable and up to 700 pounds lighter than the current truck, Ford COO Mark Fields said it's also "CAFE-positive." That means, for the first time in the history of corporate average fuel economy standards, the F-150 would be a positive contributor on Ford's CAFE balance sheet instead of being a vehicle it needs to counterbalance with frugal offerings.
Fields' comments made at the Detroit Auto Show were among quotes from other Ford execs that confirmed the carmaker will be using aluminum for more of its vehicles. CEO Alan Mulally said it would "proliferate across our lineup," with speculation being that we'll see it applied to crossover and sport utility models first, since they'll benefit the most. Even gaining the massive scale of using aluminum on the world's best selling vehicle for its first effort - on average, the company sells two times as many F-150s in a single day as Land Rover sells of its aluminum Range Rover in a month - Ford will be looking to further spread the cost of its five-year development investment in aluminum technology. And that should mean better handling and fuel economy for those of us who don't need to wear hardhats at the office.
Ford has already confirmed that the 2015 F-150 (pictured above) was just the beginning for its more extensive use of aluminum. CEO Alan Mulally said it himself during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. We've even already seen the future Raptor testing with an aluminum body. But a recent discovery from an intrepid spy photographer might indicate that the lightweight metal is coming to the Blue Oval's Super Duty pickups in their upcoming generation, as well.
According to Automotive News, a spy shooter in Colorado spotted a prototype for the next-gen F-350 testing. He happened to have a magnet on hand and got close enough to check the truck out. When he held it up to the metal in the bed, it didn't stick, which signaled to him a switch from steel to aluminum.
Obviously, this claim raises some questions. Given that it was a test vehicle, one possibility is that the Blue Oval is just evaluating the feasibility of switching to aluminum for the Super Duty trucks, not necessarily committed to it yet. Ford has been testing it quite exhaustively, after all. In fact, much of the rest of the truck in question was covered in camouflage, so it's possible that the magnet failed to work along the rest of the body not because it was aluminum, but because it wasn't powerful enough to get through the disguising material. Thus, the lightweight metal's use could be far less substantial than on the new F-150. Still, it was a clever idea for the cameraman to check things out and might have given us the first hint about brand's next heavy-duty models.