The Detroit 3 will stay mired in a marketing cold war over towing claims for light-duty pickups -- perhaps until 2015.
Ford, General Motors and Chrysler last week reaffirmed plans to continue to ignore the towing standard for pickups that they negotiated, along with SAE International, for the 2013 model year.
Instead of using the agreed-upon test procedures to measure towing capacity, each automaker uses its own tests -- which ring up higher numbers than the SAE standards would produce. That makes the Detroit 3 marketing people happy but leaves Toyota -- the only party to the deal that followed the standard test procedures -- out in the cold, crying foul, with reduced towing stats.
At the New York auto show last month, a Toyota executive called on other automakers to step up and do the right thing. But Jeff Luke, chief engineer for the Chevrolet Silverado, told reporters last week that GM won't follow the standard until its competitors do -- namely, segment leader Ford. Ditto Chrysler's Ram brand.
And Ford -- which says it understood the deal to mean the standard would apply only to new or redesigned models, starting in the 2013 model year -- says it won't implement the change until its next pickup redesign, probably in 2015.
So for now, the cold war continues.