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Auto blogSun, 10 Mar 2013 11:00:00 EST
The rust issue in the rear wheel wells of 2004-2007 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans has finally led to a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began an investigation into the matter in 2011, said investigation being upgraded to an engineering analysis a year later while NHTSA tried to figure out how many model years should be included in the assessment.
Ford has decided to recall all of the 230,000 minivans potentially affected, namely those sold in salt-belt states and countries like Canada. The excess rust in the rear wheel wells was also able to prevent the third-row seats from locking to the floor of the minivan. To repair the problem, owners can take their minivans to dealers, and the dealers will place new panels in the wheel wells, replace the third-row seat mounting brackets and relocate the latches to an area away from any corrosion.
Ford says it will begin notifying owners during the last week of March.
Toyota isn't convinced the Ford Focus was the best-selling nameplate globally last year. Bloomberg reports that for the second time in seven months, both Toyota and Ford are laying claim to the title. Ford cites R.L. Polk & Co. data that says the automaker moved some 1.02 million Focus models in 2012 compared to just 872,774 Toyota Corolla units. But Toyota says the actual figure is closer to 1.16 million Corolla models.
Last year, Ford said it took the sales crown through the fist half of 2012 based on information from IHS Automotive, but Toyota pointed out those numbers left out models like the Corolla-based Matrix and Auris, as well as the Corolla Fielder and Scion xB-based Corolla Rumion. Whether or not Toyota's belief that all these cars should be counted in the Corolla bucket is accurate or not is seemingly up for debate... as is the question of why it matters so much to both parties.
This time around, Ford is holding the line that the Focus is the "best-selling nameplate," with Erich Merkle, a US sales analyst with Ford saying the company's figure is, "a pure number that is verified by a third party." Toyota, meanwhile, has requested clarification from Polk.
For a certain cohort of young folks, Jurassic Park is a touchstone film from their childhood. Not only did it play into practically every little boy's love of dinosaurs, the movie included some great action scenes and special effects that still hold up today. In its latest video, The Aficionauto takes a look the Jurassic Park Motor Pool, a California car club with over 40 fans who created replica vehicles from the iconic film.
The club is made up of an interesting cross-section of people. Many of them were Jeep Wrangler fans that already loved off-roading and Jurassic Park, and liked the idea of bringing them together. Like any close-knit club, it ends up being about community and people coming together to share their interests. It's quite a heartwarming video. Also, be sure to stay until the end because The Aficionauto teases a future Jurassic Park-themed vehicle. Scroll down to check out the motor pool.