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Auto blogMon, 11 Mar 2013
It's taken four years of study, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has finally closed the books on its investigation into rollaway accusations surrounding 1.56-million Ford SUV models.
The probe, which centered on the 2002-2005 Ford Explorer, 2002-2005 Mercury Mountaineer and 2003-2005 Lincoln Aviator, ends without the federal agency calling for a recall. According to The Detroit News, the investigation was closed due to a "low number of complaints" - NHTSA documented 180 such complaints that resulted in 14 crashes and six minor injuries, but the number of incidents have been slowing. The suspected defect rate for the trucks' automatic transmissions was found to be 4.4 per 100,000 units, and the brake-shift interlock mechanism failure rate was judged to be even lower at 3.4 per 100k.
Ford was relatively quiet at the Geneva Motor Show, but it did take the opportunity to roll out its new family of Tourneo vans: the Courier, Connect, Grand Connect and Custom. As the passenger version of the Transit cargo vans, the new range of Tourneo models vary from the B-segment Courier up to the fullsize Custom. The Connect and Grand Connect are based on the redesigned 2014 Ford Transit Connect.
With an overall length just three inches longer than the Fiesta hatchback, the Tourneo Courier seats four to five passengers, and it offers a choice of three engines: the 1.0-liter EcoBoost or two small diesels. Like the 2014 Transit Connect was saw in Paris last year, the Tourneo Connect comes in a five-seat configuration while the Grand Connect can seat seven. Finally, the Tourneo Custom seats up to nine passengers, and it is available in two lengths up to 210 inches long putting it just six inches shorter than a standard-length E-Series van and about a foot longer than the Explorer.
Check out our live image galleries, and be sure to scroll down below for the press release and to watch some videos.
The styling changes to the 2015 Ford Focus were shown off at the recent Geneva Motor Show, so what the EV version looks like is not that much of a surprise. Still, the 2015 Focus Electric is making its world debut here at the New York Auto Show, so we wanted to know what changes we are looking at compared to both the internal combustion engine version and the earlier EV models.
The exterior visual distinctions between the ICE and EV are minimal, and basically nonexistent from the A-pillar to the rear. Up front, you can see the charge port, of course, but the front fascia has also undergone a bit of an adjustment. The front doesn't have the ICE version's flattened grille and the EV's Ford logo creates a bump in the hood line where none exists on the ICE. The 2015's grille is also different than the one on the 2014 Focus Electric, being slightly smaller (you can see this better if you compare pictures in our new gallery above to these of the 2011 Focus Electric and these of the gas-powered 2015 Focus).
The updated 2015 interior - which we couldn't access ourselves - has things like a new center stack, improved cupholders and is basically identical between the gas and electric models. With the car off, you can't even tell if you're in an EV or ICE, Seema Bardwaj, the US brand manager for the Focus, told AutoblogGreen. The only things that are different, she said, are extra menu screens to show EV powertrain information to the driver.