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Ford marketing head honcho Jim Farley made waves at CES this week by telling show attendees, "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it." according to a report by Business Insider. Farley continued by saying, "We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone."
Farley has since amended his statement, saying that Ford dose not, in fact, track its customers in their cars "without their approval or consent."
Apparently carried away with a hypothetical notion, Farley was attempting to describe how Ford might be able to employee aggregated user data for things like accurate traffic reporting and pattern spotting. A Ford spokesperson confirmed with Business Insider that its GPS units are not sharing the whereabouts of drivers, though there are a few on-board services that might do so. After opting in to the services (and presumably being made aware of any/all tracking and data collection), Ford's Sync Services Directions and Crew Chief software do, in fact, allow data collection as a means of improving both systems. Farley added that the opt-in data is not shared, even when being tracked.
Standing as quite a contrast from the spy shots of the 2015 Ford Mustang we saw earlier today, our spies also sent along these pictures of the next-generation F-150 pickup out testing in its (heavily camouflaged) full prototype body. Much of the new truck's design is hidden under the bulky coveralls, but we expect a lot of its new lines to be inspired by the Atlas concept that debuted at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
Perhaps the biggest unknown surrounding the new F-150 is what, exactly, its body will be made of. Earlier reports have suggested that lightweight aluminum materials may be used throughout, offering a serious reduction in weight versus previous models. But Ford engineers will need to be careful, though, as they need to keep a tight rein on costs while preserving class-competitive (if not class-leading) towing and payload capacity.
On the powertrain front, the new F-150 will undoubtedly carry on with EcoBoost engines, and we'd bet on a normally aspirated V8 as well. A diesel option hasn't been confirmed, but we wouldn't be surprised to see one some time in the truck's lifecycle. Mum's the word on when the production F-150 will be revealed, but our best guess is that we'll see it at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
Ford will be voluntarily recalling 23,830 Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid and Energi models equipped with push-button ignition, according to The Detroit News. Why? Because the cars don't make a noise when the driver's door is open, and are therefore in violation of federal regulations. It's not as silly as Honda's badging recall that isn't a recall, but it's close.
Actually, that's not exactly fair. The chime is supposed to come on when the driver's door is open, as it reminds drivers not to leave their cars on or leave key fobs in the car, an easy thing to forget when the cars in question make virtually no noise at idle and do not require keys in ignitions.
The recall, which Ford is conducting voluntarily, covers 2012 and 2013 Focus Electric hatchbacks and 2013 C-Max Hybrid and Energi models. The overwhelming majority, around 22,900 units, were sold in the US, while the remaining 900 units are in Canada. How many of each model are covered in the recall is not immediately clear.