We have seen Tesla coming under fire several times over claims that advertising for its Autopilot assist feature was misleading drivers into thinking that its a fully autonomous system. This even led to a court order banning Tesla from advertising their Autopilot feature in Germany. However, Tesla is not the only manufacturer being accused of false advertising. Before the Stellantis merger, FCA US had accused Ford of falsely advertising certain aspects of the Bronco to be 'best-in-class' in their press releases, media kits and print advertising. These claims have now been reviewed by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs.
Incidentally, NAD's ruling actually supports Ford Bronco's best-in-class claims. However, the advertising watchdog has requested Ford to make certain changes to the Bronco and Bronco Sport's advertising material to avoid confusing customers. As per FCA's arguments, Ford Bronco's best-in-class claims were misleading because they were made before the Bronco went on sale. However, the NAD has ruled that it's acceptable for manufacturers to make such best-in-class claims as part of a car's "reveal" as long as they can be properly supported.
The NAD concluded that Ford "provided a reasonable basis" for claims that the Bronco has the best-in-class ground clearance, suspension travel, water wading capacity, as well as the largest available tires. That said, when reviewing the media kits and press release for the Bronco's reveal, the NAD found that Ford's best-in-class claims referred to the entire Bronco lineup, including the Bronco Sport. This is where the NAD has asked Ford to clarify that the 'best-in-class' claims do not apply to the Bronco Sport. Ford's use of words 'projected' and 'available' when marketing the Bronco were also under evaluation.
While the NAD didn't term them as misleading, they did conclude that using these two words in the same claim may create confusion. Ford has hence been advised to clarify that horsepower and torque figures are "projected" pending SAE certification and achieved with certain "available" configurations. In its press release, Ford also claimed the Bronco is "engineered . . . for . . . segment-leading . . . long term off-road performance and dependability". The NAD has ruled that this needs to be removed as it needs to be supported with competitor data and performance testing, which Ford did not provide. Ford has said that they will comply with the NAD's decisions.
To give you a quick recap about the Ford Bronco, the rugged off-roader is available in two body styles - a two-door and a four-door. The four-door version of the Bronco measures 4.83 meters in length, is 1.93 meters wide and gets a wheelbase of 2.94 meters. It gets a ground clearance of 292mm, a water wading depth capacity of 851mm, a break over angle of 29 degrees and a departure angle of 37.2 degrees. All very impressive numbers. The two-door counterpart measures 4.14 meters in length and has a wheelbase of 2.55 meters. In terms of performance, the Bronco gets a 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that makes 270bhp and a 2.7-litre six-cylinder EcoBoost engine that produces 310bhp. Transmission options include a 7-speed manual and a 10-speed automatic.