16th Dec 2011, 23:42

We've found that the best winter vehicles are our larger, rear-drive SUV's. They have plenty of weight over the rear tires to give them more traction than smaller front-drive cars. In addition, front-drive cars can't easily be steered in snow because the front tires spin so easily. I literally have to take corners in snow by using the emergency brake to swing the rear end around on my front-drive car. In cornering on snow, the front tires just plow straight ahead. With the big rear-drive SUV, steering is not an issue, because the front tires aren't doing the pulling.

17th Dec 2011, 10:05

Where was Ford's concern when Pinto's were exploding, Explorers were rolling over, and Windstar van frames were failing over the past 40 years?

Point is, every manufacturer has flaws and recalls. Praising Ford for fixing your warped trim is great, but they have had serious problems resulting in death over the years due to their poor designs. I think Ford is a good company overall, but they are in no way the perfect car company.

No company built a long lasting car in the 70's. You had to be one of the very few that actually had a mid 70's Ford that ran that long. You could almost watch them rust. My first car was a Chevy Nova, and it was so rusted out at only 6 years out, that there were no supports for the radiator. Thank god for bungie cords. The whole car was like that. Unsafe at only 6 years old. That was the norm for most cars back then. If you lived in AZ, things were different, but for most of the country, cars were quickly rusted away if driven regularly in all seasons.

18th Dec 2011, 14:22

Here we go with the myth about Pintos and Explorers again.

The Pinto myth was begun by THREE high-profile crashes that would have most likely killed the car's occupants anyway. Being rear-ended by a semi generally has that effect. Unlike the many hundreds of cases of Toyota's unintended acceleration, these crashes were due to outside causes (being rear-ended by semis). And YES, Ford INSTANTLY reacted by re-designing the Pinto. It was an awesome car, but the bad publicity killed it, just as bad publicity killed the excellent Corvair, which was later vindicated by crash researches as a good and safe car.

Likewise with the Explorer. The tires were the problem, and Ford immediately recalled these vehicles and changed out the tires. I know because we owned one of these Explorers. We were given a top-of-the-line loaded Explorer demo to drive while the tires were being replaced. Did Toyota give any of their 23 MILLION recall victims an Avalon to drive while their cars were being repaired?? I doubt it!!

I have never gotten anything but total concern and Rolls-Royce-like attention from Ford Motor Company since our first new Ford in 1975. We have also never had any problems with any of our Ford products, including those from the 70's. A few bad incidents that aren't the manufacturers fault can be twisted by import PR people into myths that have been used for decades to brainwash car buyers into buying into the myth that imports are somehow better. Toyota has blown that myth royally with its 23 million recalls (and counting).

19th Dec 2011, 14:16

You keep using that word... myth... I do not think it means what you think it means.

19th Dec 2011, 16:34

See http://jamesptaylor.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/the-ford-pinto-and-the-price-of-life/

An article about ACTUAL Pinto data (what is your source that states 3 cars burned??). Looks like if anything Toyota took lessons from Ford on how not to keep people safe on the road. So much for the "myth" theory. Should I search out the stats on Explorer rollovers for you too? How about Windstar frame failures. There is death connected with that one too.

20th Dec 2011, 18:05

Comment 16:34 makes the very point we are talking about with regard to car myths by citing ONE high-profile Pinto crash that got lots of publicity. In truth, there were more people killed in a great number of cars other than the Pinto. Actually deaths caused by the supposed "design flaw" (which was exactly the same design used on DOZENS of 70's cars) were only a handful. They just got tons of publicity.

The Explorer myth is a great example of how car buyers expect vehicles to bend the laws of physics. Top-heavy vehicles flip over, whether Ford makes them or Toyota makes them. Tests at the time showed several Toyota models that were just as prone to roll over as the Explorer. They just didn't get the high-profile publicity. The fact is, Ford stepped in instantly to correct the problem, which was tires that were defective. They replaced tires that were half worn-out with brand new tires at no cost. Can't you just see Toyota or Honda doing that?

As for rust problems, I will say that none of our Japanese cars have ever rusted... none of them ever lasted long enough.

20th Dec 2011, 18:26

The following quote is taken directly from the web site cited in comment 16:34.

"Recent case law (1991) has shown that the case against the Pinto was less clear-cut than commonly supposed and than this article would have you believe. In reality, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on the Pinto “indicated that it was aware of 38 instances in which rear-end impact resulted in fuel leakage or fire; these instances, in turn, resulted in 27 deaths and 24 non-fatal burn injuries.” Given the Pinto’s production figures (over 2 million built), this was no worse than typical for automobiles constructed at the time. The case further shows that the Pinto was no more fire-prone than other cars of the time, that its fatality rates were lower than comparably sized imported automobiles, and that the supposed “smoking gun” document which showed Ford’s callousness in designing the Pinto was a document based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations."

21st Dec 2011, 19:48

...and I am sure the same can be said for all of the Toyota recalls... blown out of proportion. So what's your point?

22nd Dec 2011, 17:14

Uhhh... TWENTY-THREE MILLION!!! "blownout of proportion???" That was a JOKE, right?

23rd Dec 2011, 13:34

Uhhh, mine has been recalled multiple times, and it has needed NOTHING. So YES, I would call the recall fiasco an overblown media circus. Not every vehicle that is recalled needs fixing. Why do people NOT get that? If it is one in 1,000 that would be a lot. So the millions of recalls amount to thousands of vehicles with actual needed repairs. There are only such high numbers that have to be checked out in recall, because Toyota sells more than anyone else!

23rd Dec 2011, 17:48

I think the point is that import sales people and PR people, as well as people who have fallen for the "everything American is bad" myth, latch onto every tiny fragment of "proof" that all American cars are flawed. Just look at the Pinto: Out of TWO MILLION built, there were 27 burn deaths. That's actually a LOWER percentage than imports of that era, yet Pinto was labelled as a "bomb" and "death trap". Why?? Obviously it helps foster the myth that American cars were bad.

Now with TWENTY-THREE MILLION cars recalled by Toyota (over TEN TIMES as many cars as there were total Pintos made), it can't be argued that there was not a VERY serious problem that can't be ignored... PERIOD.