Ford Adds Auto-Braking, Pedestrian Detection to Collision-Warning System

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Ford plans to add pedestrian detection and auto-braking to its forward-collision warning system with a network of radars and windshield-mounted cameras. Dubbed Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, the technology debuts on the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe and will roll out to "other Ford and Lincoln products around the world," the company said Thursday in a press release.

Related: Ford's Driving Skills for Life Makes Big Impression on My Teen

Pre-Collision Assist reads a lot like Subaru's EyeSight system, which uses a pair of windshield-mounted cameras to detect pedestrians, lane markings and other obstructions. EyeSight, which includes auto-braking, scored the highest in a 2013 test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of various collision-warning systems for the 2013 and 2014 model years.

At the time, IIHS also tested the optional forward-collision warning systems in the Ford Edge, Explorer, Flex and Fusion, as well as the Lincoln MKT, MKX and MKZ. Since then, the institute tested systems in the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS, but without auto-braking capabilities, all nine cars earned a basic rating — the lowest of three grades — under IIHS' frontal-crash prevention scores. Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker confirmed to Cars.com that Ford's forward-collision warning system today still lacks auto-braking.

PCA will change that.

By Kelsey Mays | October 24, 2014 | Comments (2)

Ford's Driving Skills for Life Makes Big Impression on My Teen

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While my 14-year-old daughter isn't old enough to drive yet, I jumped at the opportunity to take her to Ford's Driving Skills for Life, an internationally touring program that teaches teen drivers and their parents about road perils that may not be addressed in traditional driver's education programs. I figured there was no better time to start exposing her to some life-saving lessons.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

There was one lesson in particular that my daughter learned at the event, and it wasn't even a lesson the program intended to teach: Among the modules that teens rotate through in this half-day program, drivers get behind the wheel wearing "fatal-vision" goggles. They're designed to simulate the effects of impaired driving, and participants wear them while attempting to navigate at low speeds through a driving course. Since my daughter couldn't drive the course, she got into the backseat while I drove.

By Kristin Varela | October 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

What Cars Are Included in the Takata Airbag Recall?

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This week saw the latest expansion of airbag recalls that began 18 months ago from Japanese supplier Takata Corp. and is now linked to at least four deaths. As of today, the recall affects some 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. from 10 automakers based in three continents. The bulk of them — 5 million — are from Honda. Takata issued a statement earlier this year that noted the incidents of airbag malfunction — where a faulty inflator can send metal and plastic shrapnel into occupants if the front passenger airbag deploys in a crash — have occurred in warm areas like Florida and Puerto Rico, and it suspects that high humidity plays a role in the problem. Returned airbags from Toyota confirmed as much, USA Today reports.

Related: NHTSA Urges Quick Fix of Defective Airbags

USA Today reports most owners should have already received recall notices by now, and some automakers — namely, Toyota and BMW — have advised keeping the front passenger seat clear of occupants until a dealer inspects the car for a faulty inflator and, if there is one, replaces it.

What cars have been recalled? And what should you do if you get a notice? We've compiled everything we know so far below:

By Kelsey Mays | October 23, 2014 | Comments (5)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi Real-World Cargo Space

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The two versions of Ford's C-Max — the Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid — drive similarly but the Energi sets itself apart with its ability to drive an EPA-estimated 20 miles on electric power alone. The Energi's extra stamina comes from a larger lithium-ion battery stuffed in the cargo area that unfortunately, eats into cargo volume; the resulting space is much smaller than the hybrid version's.

Related: 2014 Ford C-Max Energi Review

Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman says in his review that "The C-Max Energi replaces the normal hybrid's 1.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with a much larger, 7.6-kwh battery in the cargo area, which does indeed cut into the rear storage area. It also eliminates the regular C-Max's flat floor when the rear seats are folded."

The C-Max's cargo volume decreases from the Hybrid model's 24.5 cubic feet to 19.2 cubic feet behind the backseat of the C-Max Energi. Below, see how well common items fit in the C-Max Engergi's cargo area.

By Joe Bruzek | October 23, 2014 | Comments (1)

Ford Drops Focus Electric Pricing Another $6,000

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Ford dropped the starting price for the slow-selling Focus Electric by another $6,000 for 2014 and 2015. Effective for all remaining 2014 Focus Electric hatchbacks, the starting price is now $29,995 including destination. The same sub-$30,000 price also applies to the incoming 2015 Focus Electric, which received some of the interior changes but not the visual updates or new steering wheel of its gasoline-powered sibling.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Those prices come before a maximum $7,500 federal tax credit, which means a Focus Electric could start as low as $22,495 if you have sufficient tax liabilities. That’s right in line with the Nissan Leaf, whose price dropped $6,400 in 2013. After applying the maximum tax credit, a 2015 Leaf starts at $22,360.

By Kelsey Mays | October 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2015 Ford Mustang

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Vehicles Affected: About 50 model-year 2015 Ford Mustang sports cars manufactured between Aug. 18 and Oct. 2 at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan

The Problem: Ford issued the voluntary recall due to an issue with the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly. The buckle tension sensor, included in the assembly, may not have been calibrated at the supplier. This could result in misclassification of the front passenger-seat occupant, which could lead to improper airbag deployment, increasing the risk of an injury in a crash.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule. Ford said it is aware of no accidents or injuries related to the condition.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 17, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the 2014 Ford C-Max Energi is a lot like the C-Max Hybrid — but with a plug-in port. "This hatchback is fun to drive but kind of cramped, and did we mention it's also sort of expensive?" Mays said. "So the real question is, is it all worth it?" Watch the video and decide.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi: Car Seat Check

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The Ford C-Max Energi hatchback is a fun-to-drive hybrid that Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said "delivers comfort, style and efficiency," but warned that it "compromises cargo capacity." That's not all that the 2014 C-Max Energi has had to compromise.

Parents who purchased the C-Max Energi hoping for convenient car-seat installation might be disappointed with it. Although the 2014 version earns a couple of A's for the easy install of our booster and infant seats, the rest of its report card looks like the answer sheet of a high school student guessing on every question of a multiple-choice test: C, C, C ... see what we mean below.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford Focus, Escape and 2015 Lincoln MKC

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Vehicles Affected: More than 300 model-year 2014 Ford Focus compact cars manufactured between May 1 and May 24, and Escape compact crossovers manufactured on June 6, and model-year 2015 Lincoln MKC luxury compact crossovers manufactured between June 4 and July 7

The Problem: The fuel delivery module may crack between the filter body and the filter cap, possibly resulting in low fuel pressure and increasing the risk of a crash

The Fix: Ford began notifying owners in September, and dealers will replace the fuel delivery module for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Ford F-150: First Drive

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As a term in the automotive lexicon, "all-new" often is applied subjectively to original and updated vehicles, but used to characterize the redesigned-for-2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, "all-new" is as accurate as it can be. PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams marveled: "As near as we can tell, there isn't a single aspect to this truck that hasn't been reengineered, reimagined or redesigned." Perhaps most notable among the best-selling F-150's newfangled features is its record-setting abundance of weight-saving aluminum. However, Williams noted, even if that were not the case, the 2015 F-150's technology and other segment-first features would still be revolutionary. Read more about PickupTrucks.com first drive of the F-150 here.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

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