Model: Other Pickups
Lee Iacocca oversaw the birth of the Ford Mustang back in the 1960s, rocketing the new pony car nameplate into million-unit sales territory in its initial go-round and cementing its place in the history books. Thus, we were immediately drawn to this latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage, in which the funnyman hosts Iacocca for a look at the origins of Ford's most iconic sports car. The legendary auto exec is looking notably more frail than when we last saw him, but if we're being asked around as a video guest when we're 89 years old, we'll consider that evidence of a life well lived.
Serial No. 0001 is on hand for the occasion for Jay's romp through history, as is the historic Mustang 1 showcar from 1962. Of course, the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT (in prototype form) makes an appearance at the end of the episode with chief engineer Dave Pericak, as well. Get some, below.
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.
The row between Ford and Ram over who boasts the best-in-class tow rating for heavy duty pickups has revealed a number of things. Chief among them is a report that Ford removes items like the spare tire, jack, radio and center console from its vehicles in a bid to lower its base curb weight and therefore keep the truck's gross vehicle weight rating down.
For those that need a refresher, GVWR is the vehicle's curb weight plus its maximum payload. A lower GVWR allows Ford to station its F-450 among the so-called Class III pickups, despite the fact that internally, it has the makings of a more brutish Class IV truck.
Ford explains away these deletions, saying a customer could order their vehicle in such a manner. It has also come to light that Ford is not the only automaker to engage in such practices.