Ford Fusion horoscope: D'oh!
Ford Fusion has had a bumpy ride as of late, but Sarah Butzen suggests all ails could have been avoided if it just read its horoscope.
Posted December 19, 2012
By SARAH BUTZEN, EVERGEEK MEDIA
November 29 was a very big day for the Ford Fusion - and a pretty confusing one as well. I don't know whether the Fusion is into this kind of thing, but based on its launch date in October 2006, it's a Libra (as are most cars these days).
For Libras and Fusions, one message from the stars read this: "You must feel awesome today. You just figured out how to make it in the big leagues. The first step was to unleash your inner artist. The second step was to feel your way through uncharted territory. The third step - where you're at right now - is to lean into the fear and go after the juicy pot of gold."
Oh, how did they know! The Fusion did feel awesome on November 29! That's the day the world was told that the Fusion had won the much-coveted title of Green Car Journal's 2013 Green Car of the Year. I don't know if it was exactly shocked, but it did shed a few biodegradable tears as it embraced the Dodge Dart Aero, the Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv, the Toyota Prius, and most bittersweet of all, its cousin the Ford C-Max, and ascended to the podium.
The Fusion blushed charmingly as the judges - who included "environmentalists, Green Car Journal staffers, and Jay Leno" - lauded it for its low emissions, its Eco-Boost engine that delivers mileage up to 37 mpg on the highway, its hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, and its reasonable price (because it encourages sales volume, which increases the number of drivers in environmentally-friendly vehicles). The Fusion didn't say much, but did insist that it never could have dreamed of this honor without the Eco-Boost technology, to which it owes so, so much. Also its agent.
But wait! That was not the only portent! Far from it. The conspiring planets also had this to say: "As the Stars get ready to dance the night away, you have the sneaking suspicion that you are going to succeed in spite of yourself. You may be a master planner, but everyone will fall if there is a weak link in the chain."
Succeed in spite of yourself! Everyone fail! What does that mean? That sounds a bit dark…
Oh snap. It must be about the other big event of November 29, 2012. That was the day that all of the Ford Fusions with Eco-Boost in them - those would be the Award Winning ones - were, get this, recalled. Wee problem of spontaneously bursting into flame, apparently. (Also being recalled, for the third time this year, are all the Ford Escapes with Eco-Boost engines.) In all, about 15,800 Fusions are being called in - about 15,000 in the US and another 800 in Canada.
No injuries are reported in relation to these fires, but there have been 13 of them so far. This is pretty embarrassing; not the kind of leisurely recall where they tell you to head on into the dealer and have them recoat the headlights - though there's that, too, ironically. Ford told drivers to park their Eco-Boost Fusions and Escapes and not to drive them until they figured out this whole engine-on-fire thing. They also told them to contact local dealers to arrange free loaner transportation.
Within a few days, they had diagnosed the problem. Ford's engineers found that the Eco-Boost's cooling system, which is an original design, was vulnerable to certain operating conditions - it didn't say which ones, no doubt to discourage thrill-seekers. But evidently, coolant leaks were the culprit - under certain conditions, fluid to come in contact with hot exhaust components. Which sometimes resulted in engine fires.
On the upside, the fix is in - just this week - and it does not include leaving your Fusion at the dealer for a week while it's stripped and retrofitted with calcium silicate pushrods. The fix is a software update - and that's it! Like Windows Update, restart your computer for changes to take effect. It only takes a few hours, apparently. You have to admit that's pretty cool, pretty high tech and ultra modern, though the jaded might be thinking "Dealer? A few hours? There should be an app for that, already."
Still, though the timing of this car-of-the-year-recall has to be a bit embarrassing, you have to give Ford credit for moving fast and being pretty open about everything as it was happening. Open but vague, anyway. All of this 'unique thing that could maybe happen under totally unique circumstances when a far-out chain of bizarre events results in a completely unique engine fire' talk was kind of spinny. Because, you know, these aren't fires that could occur. They're actual fires that did occur. And not one unique time but thirteen ordinary times.
I think Ford should be proud enough of its response to speak confidently, boldly, and straightforwardly about what happened, and call an engine fire an engine fire. And it's not just me who thinks that - it's also the stars. "Try to speak up today," they told Fusion - and all Libras - on November 29. "You've got some deep issues that need resolution, and they aren't going anywhere without some serious communication. It may be a family thing or it could be work-related, but it's vital."
Ford, it looks like you may need some staff astrologers pretty soon. Won't you consider me? I am completely qualified, after all - I can type.