The marketing war over towing claims for light-duty pickups between the Detroit Three–Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler–and Toyota will continue until 2015. The Detroit automakers continue to ignore towing standards for pickups negotiated with SAE International for the 2013 model year.
Because each automaker is using its own tests to measure towing capacity instead of the agreed-upon standardized test procedures, they are reporting higher numbers than the SAE standards would have produced. Toyota is the only automaker of the four following the standard test procedures, giving it the reduced numbers it wouldn’t have otherwise.
Toyota called out the other automakers at the 2013 New York Auto Show to step up and follow the negotiated guidelines, and Jeff Luke, chief engineer for the Chevrolet Silverado, commented that GM wouldn’t commit to the standard tests until its competitors did. Chrysler’s Ram brand agreed with the sentiment.
Ford claimed to understand that the negotiations for the towing capacity tests meant that the standardized tests would only apply to new or redesigned models for the 2013 model year. However, the automaker will not be implementing these changes until the next redesign, set to be unveiled in 2015, keeping the towing war alive.
UPDATE: At a meeting concerning Ford’s truck programs, spokesman Mike Levine said Tuesday that the company would be implementing the SAE standards for tow ratings for all of its trucks by the end of the 2013. When asked if he thought the trucks’ tow ratings would increase, decrease, or stay the same from where they are currently–6,700 to 11,300 pounds for 2013 F-150 models–Levine said to wait and see. Might Ford be switching its towing ratings to the SAE standard for the 2014 model year for the F-150? There’s a chance if it modifies its trucks in their last model year before an all-new F-Series emerges, which wouldn’t be out of the question considering the numerous changes it’s made since the current generation went on sale as a 2009 model.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)