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Auto blogMon, 09 Sep 2013 18:30:00 EST
Despite the ballyhoo that accompanied Ford's lowering of the C-Max fuel economy figures, the Blue Oval is still seeing strong demand for the five-seat MPV, as Automotive News reports. Speaking to marketing boss Jim Farley, AN says that the controversy surrounding the C-Max's fuel economy figures won't force Ford to change its marketing strategy.
Ford lowered the fuel economy rating of the C-Max after public outcry and legal action by customers that were unable to reach the 47 miles per gallon promised by the window sticker. The new ratings were dropped about a month ago to 45 mpg on the freeway and 40 mpg in the city. Ford offered rebates for current C-Max owners, with $550 going to those that bought their car and $325 to lessees. The issue, says Ford, stemmed from testing standards that allowed the automaker to base the C-Max's fuel economy on the Fusion Hybrid, because they use identical powertrains. The C-Max's less aerodynamic shape wasn't taken into account, though.
Whether Ford's PR team handled the crises perfectly or people just aren't that bothered by a four-mpg drop in combined ratings, demand remains strong for the C-Max among consumers. Ford moved 3,000 units in August, which was a 12-percent jump over July sales. Meanwhile, consumer demand through third-party shopping websites remains strong as well, according to Autometrics, a data analysis company that spoke with Automotive News. While the long-term effects of the adjustments remain unknown, the C-Max appears to have fared well in the near term.
A problem with the fuel line on certain examples of the Ford Edge has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall. The issue revolves around the metal housing on the fuel line pulse damper, which was apparently improperly manufactured in the first place and is prone to crack in certain circumstances, leading to a fuel leak. And as we all know, a fuel leak is not a good thing.
The problem affects model year 2012 and 2013 Edge crossovers equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and manufactured between September 2, 2010 and April 25, 2013 - a total of 27,933 units. Although the Lincoln MKX is closely related to the Edge, since it isn't offered with the same engine (to which the problem is related), the recall does not include the premium-badged version. See the recall notice below for further details.
Jason Vines, former head of communications at Ford among other automakers, is accusing the Blue Oval of bugging his company phone and his car during the Firestone tire recall for the Explorer in 2001. The allegations have come to light in Vines' upcoming book What Did Jesus Drive? Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity.
According to The Detroit News, which has an advance copy of the book, Vines (pictured above) claims that after leaving the company, someone with security within Ford advised him that he had been bugged around the time of the recall. The allegations don't stop there, though. Vines further contends that he might not have been the only one to get this treatment, noting that then-general counsel John Rintamaki also believed he was being listened to.
According to The Detroit News, even if it had been a company phone, recording Vines without his knowledge still would have been a felony under Michigan law.