A Ford-selling FrontBurnervian gives us his take on the Channel 8 investigation and why dealers thought it was unfair:
I am a big fan of D Magazine and monitor FrontBurner on a daily basis. I do not speak for the Ford group, these are my thoughts only as a privately owned Ford franchise holder.
I believe the issue here lies in the fact that this story is very old and was dredged up to benefit WFAA during it’s sweeps week. I also felt the promos to the story were extremely misleading and alluded to this problem being a new problem and more importantly, a problem that applies to newer Explorers. Neither is the case.
The other issue is that the report is flawed. The cruise control issues of years past, and a subsequent recall of the Explorer for cruise control issues have never been linked to “sudden acceleration”. Past issues with the cruise control systems of years ago, like the 1997 Explorer in the report, dealt with the cruise control sticking. NEVER ONCE was there documented case of sudden acceleration linked to the above mentioned recall or to any Ford product for that matter. Further, after an exhaustive investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no evidence of any sudden acceleration issue. In dozens of civil trials all over the country, there has never been evidence to support a plaintiff victory even once.
Linking the cruise control recall of years ago to sudden acceleration was wrong of WFAA…they have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.
I have absolutely no issue with reporting current issues, like recalls or other safety concerns that might effect consumers. However, it is my opinion that this story was brought on most likely by a Trial Attorney in an attempt to bolster his or her case. And again, the promos to the story were extremely misleading. Therefore, I support the decision to pull the ads.
On a final note…I really don’t think the Aikman story was intended to smooth the waters. If anything, it probably further angered the dealers to see a competitor highlighted in a story just because he played football some years ago. It is a different playing field now for Troy (who is a good friend of mine by the way) and the news should be reported based on his accomplishments in the auto industry. That is the standard the rest of us live by.
Keep up the good work at D!
Owner, Prestige Ford of Garland TX and Prestige Ford of Edmond, OK-Prestige Lincoln-Mercury Mazda-Dallas.