Ford put out a press release today detailing its use of thermal imaging to detect air leaks in vehicle cabins so that the company might improve the interior quietness on its cars and trucks.
After pumping hot air into a car, Ford describes describes using “technology used by military and law enforcement to catch hard-to-find bad guys.” They claim their system detects and fixes air holes in vehicle structures that might cause unwanted road noise or even cause water leaks.
This – to us – seemed like a brilliant idea. It seemed innovative and demonstrated a newfound concern for customer satisfaction for Ford. But then we watched the accompanying video and wondered what sort of backwoods Gomer Pyle operation Ford is running.
In the video below, you’ll see two fellows hook a hot air hose to a Ford Fusion and turn on the heat. They then use an infrared camera that looks like a 1990s flip phone to find problem areas.
Shockingly, they find holes not around the trim or weather seals but rather in the sheet metal. How do they fix them? With what looks like black duct tape. When in doubt, right?
We’re sorry, but we imagined Ford using this in the development process to ensure the fit between A-pillars and windshields or doors and B-pillars or even moon roofs and roof structures. We didn’t imagine two slack-jawed yokels poking around with a roll of duct tape and a camera phone.
There’s always a chance this was simply a dramatization for the press. If it was, that somehow might even be worse. The editing and pacing of the video is horrendous. It feels like some marketing person walked onto the assembly line and assigned two workers at random and their friend with a camera phone to make a PR video. “Well, that was easy.”
The press release goes on to brag that the Ford Fusion received “a 67 percent approval rating for interior quietness compared to 58 percent for the 2012 Toyota Camry.” A 67, if memory serves, is a D+. We don’t know about the masterminds at Ford, but we didn’t run home to brag to our folks about a D+ report card, even if our classmate did get an F.
Just when we were ready to be proud of Ford and its accomplishments and newfound attention to detail and quality, it goes and does something like this and reminds us that – like people – corporations seemingly can’t change.
Wait a second – where’s Aston? We must be getting Punk’d.