Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
If you've noticed that there have been more recalls than usual this year, you may be on to something. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the US market is on pace to break a record for recalls. In 2013, 22 million cars were recalled. We're only a third of the way through 2014, though, and we've already halved that figure, with 11 million units recalled. That's wild.
Considering the past few months, it shouldn't be a surprise that General Motors is leading the charge, with six million of the 11 million units recalled coming from one of the General's four brands. Between truck recalls, CUV recalls and the ignition switch recall, 2014 hasn't been a great year for GM.
Other recall leaders include Nissan (one million Sentra and Altima sedans), Honda (900,000 Odyssey minivans), Toyota (over one million units in a few recalls), Volkswagen (150,000 Passat sedans), Chrysler (644,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs) and most recently, Ford (434,000 units, the bulk of which were early Ford Escape CUVs). So while it's been a bad year for GM so far, its competitors aren't doing too well, either.
In an apparent shot back at Ford's increasing market share of electrified vehicles and claim that it accepts more Prius trade-ins for its own hybrids than any other car, Toyota has flexed a muscle and played the numbers game to put the Blue Oval in its place.
Leaning on its hybrid market dominance in California, the Japanese automaker stated that six out of 10 hybrids sold in the Golden State are Toyota models. And it keeps coming: Year-to-date through May 2013, Toyota sold five times more hybrids than Ford. One of every two hybrids in California is a Prius model. In addition, Toyota notes that it has sold 1.5 million Prius vehicles in the US, 90-percent of which are still on the road today.
Want more? We'll let Bill Fay, Toyota's group vice president and general manager of sales lay the smack down:
Your Mileage May Vary
As difficult as it is to write this, I was actually excited about the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. With the beautiful looks of the newest midsize fighter from Ford and a fuel economy estimate capable of shaming even the stalwart Camry Hybrid, the battery-augmented four-door seemed like a recipe for unabashed success. But appearances love nothing more than swapping our boundless enthusiasm for cold platters of disappointment. The 2013 Fusion Hybrid gets hobbled right out of the gate with a lofty price tag, and real-world driving keeps the sedan from even approaching those EPA figures.
With so many excellent midsize hybrids on the market, is there any reason to consider the newest Fusion Hybrid? Are sharp aesthetics, a well-executed interior and capable driving dynamics enough to overcome the machine's shortfalls? Not from where I'm standing.