Image: Ford

In the market for a new Ford Explorer that lacks comprehensive rear heating and air conditioning controls? Feel free to head on down to your local dealer soon, as the automaker has come up with the less-than-ideal plan of selling and shipping some Explorer models without the required chips due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Ford expects to get these chips within one year, after which customers can drive back to the dealership for a post-purchase upgrade. And you thought having to send back that audio receiver for an HDMI 2.1 upgrade board was lame.

Ford to ship and sell Explorer SUVs with missing chips (The Verge)

  • Ford spokesperson Said Deep told The Verge that heating and air condition will still be controllable from the front seats, and that customers who choose to purchase a vehicle without the rear controls will receive a price reduction. According to Deep, Ford is doing this as a way to bring new Explorers to customers faster, and that the change is only temporary.
  • As pointed out by Automotive News, Ford’s decision comes as an attempt to move the partially-built vehicles crowding its factory lots. Last month, hundreds of new Ford Broncos were spotted sitting idly in the snow-covered lots near Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, all of which await chip-related installations.
  • Other automakers have also had to make sacrifices due to the chip shortage, with GM dropping wireless charging, HD radios, and a fuel management module that made some pickup trucks operate more efficiently. Meanwhile, Tesla sold some cars without USB ports and made them installable at a later date.

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7 comments

  1. I just bought a new car (for wife, not me, unfortunately). It happened to be a Ford.

    Picking was slim. There was no negotiation. If you wanted something that wasn't on the lot - be prepared for months-long custom order process. Cars on the lot were turning around in less than a week. Every car had an obscene dealer markup, and nothing was under sticker.

    On the bright side - they took our trade in, sight unseen, at KBB (I certainly could have got more private sale, but I hate the process, so glad to be done with it even if it cost some money). Wife did find something she loved, and it wasn't outrageous. I do know the salesman though and buy our fleet trucks through him, so he got the obscene dealer markup pulled off for me. I wouldn't call it a great deal, but I don't feel like I got bent over dry in broad daylight.

    If I were in queue for something with a long backorder, I'd probably agree to taking early delivery with the promise that the chip would get added in at the dealership when it became available - provided the warranty for said non-working items also extended out from the date the chip was installed. If I were just browsing on the lot, unless it was urgent I think I'd just keep browsing unless the discount was significant (and right now, I'm not convinced it would be)
  2. You'd have to be a fool to buy a car right now unless you are absolutely desperate.

    Make the old clunker last another year or two.
    Subaru Forester pushing 140K and Dodge Grand Caravan at just over 160K. The is to keep both alive for another 2 years, maybe more for the Subaru.
  3. Subaru Forester pushing 140K and Dodge Grand Caravan at just over 160K. The is to keep both alive for another 2 years, maybe more for the Subaru.

    I bought both of my current cars (2000 Volvo V70 and 2017 Volvo S90 T6) before the pandemic so I avoided this one. That and ever since March 2020, my company moved to a work from home model, so I have been putting next to no miles on them. In many cases I have turned them over and driven them around the block just to keep them in good working order.

    Office is starting to let people work a couple of days a week in person, and I may start doing that, but either way, I'll be driving a lot less than I used to. I used to be a 25k-30k mile a year kind of guy. In 2020 I think I drove less than 2k in total between both cars. 2021 was only slightly higher.

    I'm looking at these gas prices and can't bring myself to care, as I'm just not buying very much gas :p

    My better half is overdue for a replacement for her car, a 2007 Toyota though, but we are waiting it out. If worse comes to worse and it dies, she can just take one of mine.

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