Ford Motor Company recently rolled out a new computerized car key feature called MyKey, which allows parents to program the car’s max speed at 80 mph and set warning chimes when the speed reaches 45, 55, and 65 miles per hour.
According to J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury have gotten even better since 2008. The study is the industry’s top measure of customer satisfaction in design, content, and vehicle performance.
The Ford brand improved by 17 points, moving up six rank positions from last year. Lincoln improved 18 points and climbed two spots. And Mercury improved eight points.
The Ford Flex and F-150 scored better than the segment average in every category. The new F-150 improved 52 points from last year and scored 16 points better than all redesigned trucks in the survey.
“Ford’s quality rankings continue to climb consistently year after year and we intend to keep the momentum going to become the best in the industry,” said Bennie Fowler, group vice president, Global Quality. “To do so, we’re raising the stakes and redefining what it means to deliver a quality product by giving consumers more than just defect-free cars and trucks; we’re exceeding their expectations with features they would expect to find only in high-priced luxury lines.”
To read more on Ford’s ongoing goal of product excellence, click here.
The Ford Personal Safety System reduces the risk of injury for people riding in the front seat during a moderate to severe frontal collision. The system uses crash severity sensors, safety belt usage sensors, dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags, driver’s seat position sensors, and front outboard safety belt pretensioners.
The new Intelligent Safety System uses information from vehicle sensors to determine important information during an accident, including crash severity and occupant size, position and safety belt status.
The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service has been using the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrids for the past year. The vehicles have allowed them to reduce fuel costs and protect the environment while patrolling their 72 miles of coastline.
The environmentally friendly, four-wheel drive SUVs have played a very important role in several rescue missions. In October 2008, the lifeguards used the vehicles to rescue passengers involved in a single engine plane crash. And in January 2009, they used an Escape Hybrid to tow a wave runner into position to rescue a kayaker who had capsized.
Even though the lifeguards have been driving more often this year due to a 20 percent rise in beach attendance, they’ve reduced fuel cost by 25 percent. This reduced cost has helped them maintain a necessary high level of staffing, despite the troubled economy.
Ford and Microsoft have teamed up to create the SYNC system. The application connects the driver’s Bluetooth to the Ford Service Delivery Network, and gives the driver access to directions, traffic information, directory assistance, news, weather, and sports via voice commands.
SYNC allows the driver to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while making phone calls, receiving text messages, and using an audio player. Ford even went a step further beyond expectations, employing two Bluetooth interfaces so that your phone and your audio device can be connected at the same time
There’s talk that the SYNC system may soon get streaming internet radio capabilities through a partnership with Pandora, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
The application will come pre-installed on most 2010 models. Buyers of early 2010 models can download the system at no cost from syncmyride.com.