Fighting for HP: Florida vs. 99 SVT Cobra
This report comes from AutoWeek, written but Steven Cole Smith, week of 12-24-01.
It's not every day that a government agency fights for more horsepower. But Florida's Attorney General office has launched a formal investigation of alleged false advertising in Ford Motor Co.'s handling of horsepower claims for the 99 SVT Cobra Mustang.
Here's how this happen. In mid-99, Ford became aware that the 1999 cobra, which was touted as having 320hp ( compared to 305hp for the 98 model) was down in horsepower. Lacking an immediate, easy fix, Ford stopped selling 99 Cobras, and canceled the entire 2000 model year run. Owners of 99 Cobras got a letter from Tom Scarpello, Fords specialty vechicle marketing manager, offering three free modifications : a new intake manifold, exhaust system and computer flash card.
When Ford quietly began selling the 2001 SVT Mustang Cobra, there was no doubt that the engines were making the advertised horsepower. The car feels considerably stronger than the 1999 model did.
John Jelinek, Ford Division communications manager, says that Ford has done "the right thing" in admitting the problem, and offering the three fixies for owners of 99 Cobras.
Still, the Florida AG's office perseveres. Robert Julian, an attorney for the Economic Crimes Division of the Florida Attorney General, expects to address damage done to the resale value of the 99 Cobras, and weather or not Ford should pay a fine to the state and/or Cobra owners.
But Julian laughs off suggestions that he's going after Ford because the car isn't fast enough : " I just see this as a case of possible false advertising".
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....