More than 16,000 new Ford Ranger and Everest owners need to return to the dealership for the free software update, if their vehicle is to qualify for the maximum safety rating.
It Ford Ranger ute 2023 and four-wheel drive Ford Everest has scored high in ANCAP safety testing – provided it is more than 16,000 new owners take their vehicle back to the dealer for a free software update.
The five-star ANCAP safety ratings announced today for the Ford Ranger and Everest include high scores in the Safety Assist category – which assesses the vehicle’s advanced safety systems, including lane-keep assist which ensures vehicles don’t stray from their lane.
Almost, or full marks go to Ford Ranger and Everest for their ‘lane support system’ – but only if free software is installed by a Ford dealer, which is required for the vehicle to meet ANCAP standards regarding how lane maintenance assist systems are activated.
Around 15,500 Rangers and 800 4WD Everest affected, all produced before August 20, 2022. Instances created after this date already have the update installed.
Software updates will be completed by dealers “with a free peace of mind service,” Ford Australia said.
The ANCAP protocol requires the lane-keep assist system to activate automatically whenever the driver starts the car – and to disable it, it takes more than a momentary click, either by holding down a button, or confirmation from the driver.
However, Ford says Ranger and Everest vehicles made before August 20 don’t meet this — without a software update.
“Minor software configuration update is to ensure that if the driver chooses to turn off the Lane Maintenance System (LKS), it will automatically return to “on” when the vehicle is next started; and before turning off the LKS, the driver is asked to confirm that action in the instrument cluster , said a Ford Australia spokesperson Drive.
“The vehicle has all LKS functionality as standard, but requires the default software to ‘activate’ with each lock cycle to meet ANCAP standards.”
A company spokesperson told Drive Ford Australia “is working with dealers to update the software on the affected vehicles as soon as possible.”
It’s also unclear whether all new Everests – shipments of which are expected to begin next week – will have the update installed when owners take delivery, or whether the update will be available for the Ranger Raptor, which is not covered by the five stars. overall ANCAP rating.
In ANCAP testing, Ranger received 3.5 of the four possible points for its lane-keep assist system – while Everest got the full four points.
ANCAP’s technical report suggests this is due to the lack of rear radar sensors on the cab chassis model Ranger – which is needed to prevent drivers from changing lanes to car lanes in their blind spots. Everest has this sensor as standard on all models.
To be eligible for an overall five-star safety rating from ANCAP – based on the latest criteria – a vehicle must score 70 percent or more in the Safety Assistance category (because the overall rating comes from the lowest performing car category).
With the lane assist software update installed, Ranger and Everest earned 83 and 86 percent respectively in the Safety Assistance category.
However, if a software update was not planned by Ford Australia, and a theoretical zero score was applied to the lane-keep assist system, both vehicles would have a 61 percent Safety Assist score – which would only qualify for four stars.
While the new Ford Ranger and Everest support over-the-air downloadable software updates, the safety update will be installed by Ford Australia dealers on a free ‘peace of mind’ service, which occurs months after ownership.