The Detroit Three have agreed to follow Toyota in implementing a shared standard for light-duty pickup tow ratings, a long-awaited move that will allow consumers to accurately compare towing capabilities of different trucks.
Known as SAE J2807, the standard was finalized by automakers in 2009 and scheduled to be implemented for the 2013 model year. It was designed to eliminate variations between automakers’ testing methods that currently prevent tow ratings from being directly comparable.
However, Ford subsequently elected to wait until the launch of its redesigned 2015 F-150 to begin using the standard, which is likely to diminish tow ratings – a key figure for marketing bragging rights – by several hundred pounds. In the wake of Ford’s decision, all automakers besides Toyota chose to delay utilizing the standard as well.
Toyota switched to the standard two years early for the 2011 model year, resulting in a 400-pound lower tow rating for its Tundra pickup.
Now, with the 2015 F-150 set to hit the market later this year, Ford has formally signaled that it will adopt SAE J2807.
“As a founding member of the SAE trailer towing committee, we will meet SAE trailer towing standards,” Ford spokesman Mike Levine told Automotive News.
Ram will also switch to the new standard for the 2015 model year, a company spokesman confirmed to the industry journal.
“When the other two major manufacturers move, we will move at that time,” said GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson, adding that the automaker “already validates the trucks to [the SAE J2807 standard]. It’s just a matter of adjusting the numbers.”
Of note, SAE J2807 will only apply to light-duty pickups, meaning that HD models will still be tested with non-standardized methods.