Queensland to recognise Ford Everest as MC equivalent
Ford Australia has announced the Ford Everest will be recategorised from MA to MC in Queensland… more States likely to follow.
WE HAVE COVERED the MA/MC saga in detail on Practical Motoring, but briefly; Ford, Jeep and HAVAL categorised their 4X4s in the ADR category MA for passenger cars, instead of the usual MC category for offroad passenger vehicles.
Yesterday we reported that HAVAL was working to recategorise the H9 as MC, and provide existing owners with a letter stating it was equivalent and would be formally recognised as such by ‘authorities’.
Today, Ford has begun informing customers in Queensland that it had cut a deal with Queensland road authorities that while the Everest is MA categorised under ADRs, it will be formally considered equivalent to MC in that state. That means that there’s a wider range of tyres and other modifications now available for the vehicle. This is formal recognition as MC equivalent, not Ford’s earlier line that the Everest met the MC requirements. Meeting the requirement is pointless without official certification; it’s like my kids saying they could have passed the exam but didn’t bother to sit it.
Ford Australia’s product communications manager, Damion Smy told Practical Motoring the company is: “working with the other States to reach equivalent agreement where possible”. In Victoria for instance, only MC vehicles can have a 50mm tyre size increase combined with a 50mm suspension lift.
This is good news for Everest owners, and shows that Ford is taking their concerns seriously rather than dismissing them out of hand, as they could do because aftermarket modifications are not their direct concern. This is what we want to see from offroad manufacturers – an interest in, and care for their customers.
While Ford has been slower to react than HAVAL, they have certainly been working hard in the background and it’s an indication of just how messy the Australian regulatory situation is that even a company with Ford’s local engineering resources took this long to get anything done. Ford has also stated that the Everest’s warranty is valid for offroad use, a statement not all manufacturers of such vehicles are prepared to make.
Many offroading owners and potential owners have been put off the Everest by this issue, and with good reason. However, it seems Ford is committed to a resolution and therefore owners current and future can begin to relax, provided Ford follows through on its existing plans. All we can say is good on Ford… so far so good.
This sort of response builds confidence in a manufacturer for the long term, and that’s particularly important for offroaders given the post-sale investment in modifications. But we’re not out of the wood yet, and won’t be till there’s an Australian-wide solution for the long term. Let’s see if Ford follow it all the way through.
The other major manufacturer affected by this issue is Jeep, who have their offroad-focused Cherokee Trailhawk and Renegade Trailhawk classified as MA (passenger car), and from 2015 all their 4X4 Grand Cherokees too, plus we suspect also the forthcoming Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. We have only one statement from Jeep on the topic (see this post), and yesterday a spokesman confirmed there was nothing more to add. Quite a contrast to the way HAVAL and Ford are working on the issue.