Ford will soon start selling and shipping some Ford Explorers without the chips that power the rear air conditioning and heating, according to a report from Automotive News† The automaker will instead ship the missing semiconductors to dealers within a year, who will then install them in customers’ vehicles after purchase.
Ford spokesman Said Deep said: The edge that heating and air conditioning can still be controlled from the front seats, and that customers who choose to purchase a vehicle without rear controls will receive a price reduction. According to Deep, Ford is doing this as a way to get new Explorers to customers faster, and that the change is only temporary.
The automaker originally had plans to ship partially completed, non-drivable vehicles to dealers last year, but now the unchiped vehicles will be drivable as well. and salable. As indicated by Automotive News, Ford’s decision comes as an effort to relocate the partially built vehicles crowding factory sites. Last month, hundreds of new Ford Broncos were spotted idly in the snowy lots near Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, all waiting for chip-related installations.
Like many other companies, Ford is grappling with the limitations of the chip shortage. After Ford had to cut production of its popular F-150 last year (and again earlier this month) due to a lack of semiconductors, customers were given the option to buy the pickup without the automatic start-stop feature that shuts down the engine. when it comes to a full stop. Ford gave the affected owners a $50 credit in return.
Other automakers have also had to make sacrifices because of the chip shortage, with GM dropping wireless charging, HD radios and a fuel management module that made some pickup trucks run more efficiently. Meanwhile, Tesla sold some cars without USB ports and made them installable at a later date. Luxury cars aren’t exempt from the deficit either, as Cadillac has scrapped its hands-free driving feature in its 2022 Escalade, while BMW has started shipping some cars without touchscreens.
Update March 13 13:45 ET: Updated to clarify that the affected vehicles are Ford Explorers and will be missing HVAC controls in the rear. Also updated to include some additional context around Ford’s removal of the F-150’s start-stop function due to the chip shortage, and information from a Ford spokesperson.