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Here’s Why Ford Nixed Rear Proximity Sensors On F-150 SuperCrew Pickups

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Ford currently offers a feature called passive lock and entry on a variety of Ford and Lincoln vehicles, including the Ford F-150. This feature is what allows the vehicle to automatically unlock the doors when the owner grabs the door handle. Originally, the feature allowed owners to unlock the vehicle by grabbing any of the four exterior doors of an F-150 SuperCrew pickup, but Ford changed that a few years ago, and now it only works on the front doors.

Until now, it was unclear why Ford made that change. But during a recent Goldman Sachs investor call, COO Hau Thai-Tang brought it up and used it as an example of how the automaker is leveraging connected vehicle data. After analyzing that data, it quickly became apparent that very few F-150 SuperCrew owners were actually using the feature to unlock the vehicle via the two rear doors.

“Now that we have connected data, we can actually monitor how frequently the customers actually enter the vehicle through which door,” Thai-Tang said. “And you can see across our product lineup here with Aviator, Explorer, Nautilus, Edge, Ranger – 80 plus, 90 percent of the time, it’s only being used in the driver’s door, and very and frequently is being used in the other doors, especially in the second row. So as part of our go-to-markets, on the new F-150, we eliminated this feature from the second row of the crew cabs.”

It may sound like a small and insignificant change, but Thai-Tang noted that this move has saved Ford a whopping $6.5 million annually in material costs. Thai-Tang also said that this is why Ford has moved to eliminate paddle shifters and adjustable pedals from a variety of its 2021 models, as very few owners actually use them, connected data has shown.

We’ll have more on all new model changes when they happen, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Antho

    Hasn’t been an option on the F150 since atleast 2015. I know from 15-20 anyway. Not sure about prior years.

    Reply
  2. Minhaj

    I have a 2018 F150, my truck doesn’t have the proximity sensors on the rear doors, only the front doors

    Reply
  3. Ann G

    I use the moveable pedals… please don’t get rid of those! Not everyone has long legs and not everyone likes to hug a steering wheel.

    Reply
  4. Annie Brooks

    I am 6′ 3″ and my wife is only 4′ 11″. This is a must have for us!

    Reply
  5. John

    Always seems we pay more and get less. Like when they eliminated the under hood light. Sixty thousand dollar truck (2017 Lariat) and no light under the hood?

    Reply
    1. Ryan

      Must be a 150 thing, my 2020 F250 (base trim) has a hood light. I was pleasantly surprised

      Reply
  6. Dwayne A Desisto

    Ford be very careful with eliminating things that Ford owners expect. Don’t let some bean counter direct your direction. That’s a very obvious direction for disaster! Cleaning up that potential disaster will cost more in the long run. Despite the cost of vehicles (very high) people don’t want less. Especially repeat customers. I’M on my second $65000.00 + pickup 2016 now a 2019 F150 lariats and I notice that the price went up and and some features went down, not a good feeling when paying at this level. Some items that were eliminated, multiple colors in the ambient lighting. really? How much did that save? And a big one is the ventilated seats vs cooling seats, big mistake! And even the dealers aren’t aware of that. I spoke to many. Seems like you think people will not notice.

    Reply
  7. Wayne Lowe

    Use It or Lose It
    This appears to be the message re: entry sensors for Ford vehicles. What if you have a “crew” using the Crew Cab? Now you will need to unlock the doors from the driver’s door to allow your crew entry? Or just a family standing outside the car waiting for you to unlock the rear doors?
    So now we spend some time entering by rear doors so Ford gets our message that the feature is being activated.
    I trust Ford will lower the prices on the cars and trucks that no longer have this feature.

    Reply
  8. Dennis

    What are they doing to my Fords? My, my…those grilles. The trucks look real nice…until you look up front. Those ugly front ends look like they’re channeling the first generation Dodges. Uck.

    Reply
  9. Tom L

    Reminds me of the time when Ford decided to eliminate the passenger side door locks on cars in 1999 for the same reason (“customer surveys show people don’t use them because every vehicle gets key-fob remotes”). Turns out that the implementation of passenger side door lock delete (made by one set of bean counters) coincided with cost reduction actions in the key fob itself (made by a different set of beanies), which resulted in key fobs having poor reliability. This generated tons of warranty costs and lost sales because customers found out just how often they actually use the passenger side keyhole when the primary unlocker fails.

    Ford found out really quickly how unreliable customer surveys are, and that it depends on how the question is asked. There’s a big difference between “Do you use the passenger side keyhole” versus “If the key fob remote didn’t work, would you likely use the passenger side key hole?”

    Ford must realize (again) that customers are also “connected” through forums and social media and that bad news (whether true or not) travels quickly. This can generate lost sales and customer dissatisfaction, costing millions of dollars.

    Reply
  10. John

    Seems we always get less and pay more.

    Reply
  11. Greg Brown

    THAT IS WHY THEY CALL IT CREW CAB! TO LET A CREW OF WORKERS AND OR FAMILY IN THE VEHICLE… GUESS MY FAMILY WILL JUST HAVE TO GET SOAKING WET AND MY ENFANT’S SAFETY SEAT WILL JUST HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL I CAN LET THEM IN! GOOD GRIEF FORD!

    Reply
  12. royly

    The days of building a truck that would last 20 years-are gone. Ford at one time built trucks, that didn’t break down often, were easily fixed when they did, and were engineered to out perform the others mfgs offerings. Ford has hired a long string of, “make it more complicated, once out of warranty who cares, if we build them to last-we’ll sell less. BTW, the idea of putting a big strong, V8, naturally aspirated, built to last 100,000s of miles as disappeared also. Thank God for the Big Block Ford! Remember when a Ford f150 had a 9in rear( bullet proof), a 460CID monster-that just keeps on going, C6 trans-virtually bullet proof? These old trucks just won’t die. Instead of engineering improvements, that were improvements, they have engineered “cool stuff” that won’t last. 30 years from now, how many 2020 f-150s will still be on the road? As a percentage of 1978 F150 today it will be less (still running the original-rebuilt or not-engine/trans), they just aren’t built as “Ford Tough” as they once were. To guarantee that they won’t last, ford has included such features as: engine off-on when stopped, turbos pumping Hot pressurized air into the intake, 10speed automatics (not bullet proof), along with “can’t fix-just replace” parts everywhere! sad

    Reply
  13. Garry

    We are close to voice recognition or simply by saying open or lock being used instead within a few years as long as you have the fob on you.

    Reply
  14. MICHAEL BROKER

    deleting adjustable pedal will be a huge mistake their data retrieving( aka spying) is not an accurate measure of usage i am primary driver on my f350 i dont adjust pedals ever but if my wife uses it she adjusts to fit along with seat mirrors and wheel i likewise do the same when i drive her f150 so data is flawed

    Reply
  15. David

    Maybe the dealer sales force should know there trucks better and use these items as sales tools. Then they would get used more.

    Reply
  16. royly

    David, you have hit the nail on the head!! I’m amazed at the “lack of product knowledge” common among car sales forces. A weak link in the ford chain is the dealerships/sales force. It is common for many dealerships to be hiring sales people, everyday. Auto sales people tend to stay in the field, but move from brand to brand, dealership to dealership, evidently their employers don’t put much if any emphasis on product knowledge, but rather sales output. The two are NOT mutually exclusive. Not to mention the “tactics” used by this group of slick operators. God forbid, you give one of them your phone number-expect calls for the rest of your life, or email address…. It would be refreshing to be able to sit down with a sales Professional, be able to ask product knowledge questions, and get straight answers, from the start. Not the “let me go find out”, or worse, making something up. I went to a ford dealership a couple of years ago, the first thing they wanted was for me to fill out a credit app! I told them I pay cash, it was almost as if from that moment on, I wasn’t a potential customer! Not only should they know their product(s) better, but a 6-10 week long course on good manners may be in order….

    Reply
  17. Yielar

    Just found out that Ford in its brilliance decided to not include rear auto unlock handles on the 21 F150?! You’ve got to be kidding! What a crock of sh*t. With the money these 21s are we expect every single option available on the competition trucks! I’m constantly grabbing the rear handle and then having to grab the front because it’s locked. This really pisses me off! Ford, if you read these comments you messed up, sorry. I’d use this feature multiple times a day. I put bags and groceries in the back not the front. Duh

    Reply

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