The aluminum bodied Ford F-150 crew cab pickup swept the full slate of crashworthiness evaluations to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It said the truck turned in a good performance in 4 of 5 assessments but stumbled in the small overlap front test. In the small overlap front crash test it received a marginal rating for occupant protection. And IIHS said the truck did not receive the top rating because it lacks an autonomous braking system.
However, a SuperCab version received the second lowest rating of “marginal” because it lacks tubular bars in front of the wheel wells that are included in other truck models and makes the truck safer in the offset crash test. The IIHS said that “… shortchanges buyers.” A Ford spokesman told the Detroit News the improvements will be added to other models. Ford and the IIHS also disagreed on the cost of collision repairs following certain types of accidents, with the Institute saying they were 26 percent higher for the aluminum bodied trucks. Ford maintains that in the real world the repair costs are much the same.
It was a good second quarter for Fiat Chrysler, the company posting a 69 percent increase in net profit over a year earlier. The U.S. was its most profitable market where Jeep sales remain strong helping FCA report a 7.7 percent profit margin here, a big gain over the 4.7 percent rung up a year earlier.
If you have Hercules tires on your sport utility you’ll want to know that the company is recalling about 90,000 tires. These are certain 15 and 16 inch tires where the tread could separate and possibly cause an accident. Dealers will replace the recalled tires with newer and safer ones.
The average age of vehicles on the highway is now 11.5 years, according to IHS Automotive, a bit of a surprise given the strong sales of new cars and trucks. IHS said the average age has gradually increased over time due to the increasing quality of automobiles and consumers hanging out to their cars longer for economic reasons.