I just read an article on Fox News concerning a braking issue with the new Ford Fusion Hybrid and its’ counter part, the Mercury Milan Hybrid. Being a bit of a Ford enthusiast I decided to look a bit deeper.
It seems a Consumer Reports engineer was driving the vehicle and noticed when the vehicle shifted from regenerative braking (the electric motor charges the battery when you are braking) to normal braking the brake pedal dropped about an inch. He notified Ford and they are correcting the issue with a software upgrade.
The concern here is that people will not push further down on the brake pedal in order to stop the vehicle. I do not know about you, but I would push it through the floorboard if the darn thing didn’t feel like it was going to stop.
This is a human to technology interface. Toyota, Honda and Ford have all received customer complaints on the braking systems for their hybrid vehicles. Going from a conventional vehicle to a hybrid vehicle will require the driver to adjust to the technology. Vehicle manufacturers have worked hard to make the transition from the electric motor to the gas engine as seemless and unnoticeable as possible.
A quick search of the web and I find where this incident is portrayed as a life and death, would not stop incident. In other words, lets blow this out of proportion so we can bash Ford and get the attention away from our beloved Toyota.
Okay, back to my issue with Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports is owned by the non-profit organization Consumer’s Union. I took the following from their web page.
To further advance its mission, Consumers Union employs a dedicated staff of lobbyists, grassroots organizers, and outreach specialists who work with the organization’s more than 600,000 online activists to change legislation and the marketplace in favor of the consumer interest.
The organization generates more than $200 million in revenue, and a staff totaling more than 600 work at CU’s 50 state-of-the-art labs and offices in Yonkers, N.Y.; its 327-acre Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn.; and our three advocacy offices, in Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, and San Francisco. Consumers Union is governed by a board of 18 directors who are elected by CU members and meet three times a year.
Hmmm, a non-profit organization that generated 200 million in revenue, okay. Activists, Lobbyist, grass root organizers, advocacy reps, over 600,000 people bent on changing legislation and influencing what others buy. Sounds more like a political organization than a buyer’s protection group.
In reality these are many of the same people, such as the environmentalist, that do not want anything manufactured in this country. Their bias runs deep against U. S. products. This is especially noteworthy when it comes to U. S. manufactured automobiles.
When you take into account the number of industries that support the automotive industry it becomes readily apparent the vast number of workers that are affected by attacking the automotive industry. Textiles, plastics, electronics, glass, steels, rubber, etc.. all come together to create an automobile. These are all industries that have been targeted for destruction by the environmental groups.
For the most part these environmental groups have been successful in closing factories here in the U. S. and sending the jobs overseas. Their claim to save the world however is self-defeating. They are actually destroying the environment much quicker.
Manufacturers here in the U. S. would be forced to operate under strict environmental guidelines. In many of the foreign countries, that the jobs migrate to, there are no environmental guidelines. Thus environmentalists are destroying the environment. By placing such costly and above board restrictions on U. S. manufacturing, and issuing bias opinions favoring foreign products, they force manufacturing out of the country. The most modern automobile manufacturing plant in the World is owned by Ford. It is in Bolivia. The environmentalists, and the unions, placed such hugh restrictions on the project that it could not be built in the U. S. Forcing Ford to build the plant eslewhere.
Consumer Reports continues to be a cheering group for Asian automobiles. Their bias runs deep and many times they do not even make an attempt to hide it. The Toyota Camry is the number one selling automobile in the U. S. not because it is better than the Ford Fusion, but because it gets better press. By the numbers, the Ford Fusion beats the Camry in every category.
I do not trust Consumer Reports when it comes to automobiles. They simply are incapable of offering an un-bias opinion of any vehicle built by Ford, or General Motors. They are supported by a quasi political organization that has done great damage to U. S. manufacturing and are responsible for the exporting of millions of U. S. jobs overseas.