Dangerous New Navigator

10-15-2002, 08:54 AM
This is from www.thecarplace.com

the new navigator was the test vehicle for the week and Robert Bowden pointed out many dangerous features from the new Navigator...

"The power folding third row seats are much touted by Lincoln. You have probably seen them demonstrated in television commercials. And they are a breakthrough. One has only to tussle with the manual third row in an Expedition to understand how convenient power seats can be.

But I came away from tests of these seats concerned that they might pose a danger.

The potential for danger came after watching the two curious almost-three year old twins play with the buttons that control the seats.

There are two sets of buttons. The set at the rear of the cargo bay poses little problem. The rear liftgate powers up and down -- and reverses if it encounters an object -- and the two buttons for the third-row seats are located on the passenger side, out of reach for curious twins. Ah, but there's another set of buttons...

The second set of buttons is designed to allow a person to open the driver's side rear door, reach inside, and raise or lower the third-row seats. These buttons are just behind the second-row driver's side bucket seat. Easily in reach of a child.

A fact one twin quickly discovered on her own.

I was alarmed to see her press a button and watch the seat move while her sister crawled around the cargo bay. What would happen if....

If the seat were being raised from a flat position, it seemed to me that a small child would be tumbled backward into the remaining area of the cargo bay. Not terribly dangerous. No entrapment danger is obvious. But closing a seat would present a different scenario.

I decided to test several possibilities.

For the first test, I strapped an infant-size bear into a seat. The bear did not have a soft inside; it was firm but not solid. It was, however, lightweight, and this might have skewed the results. With video camera rolling, I began lowering the seat.

Thankfully, the buttons are not one-touch. They operate like a dead-man's throttle. Turn lose and they stop their action. But, much as a child might do in play, I continued to depress the button as the seat folded forward, jutting out the base, then closing like a clamshell. The seat never seemed to recognize that the infant-sized stuffed bear was being squashed.

Indeed, it closed so tightly that small lungs might be collapsed by this pressure. "


''Now let's change a tire. That flat tire you just got from a nail is mounted on 18-inch wheels that look appropriate for a tractor-trailer. So let's find the spare tire.

It's under the rear of the Navigator and Expedition. It's secured against the underside of the vehicle. That means you'll have to slide under this beast and somehow release the spare, making sure it doesn't drop onto your face or chest.

If Ford can create power third-row seats, they can certainly power out the spare tire through the rear bumper, so it can be hoisted up, not dropped. ''

so ...all you guys/gals that are thinkin about buying a new navigator..how ya dont have kids or they are old enough to not get crunched in a seat

if you go to www.thecarplace.com there is the video of the bear being crushed in the seat

11-02-2002, 08:35 AM
big cars are supposed to be safe. That doesn't sound too good.

08-12-2003, 02:57 AM
on thecarplace.com were is the vid?

05-04-2004, 01:36 PM
You know this is one the most half baked pieces written.
First of all who lets kids run around inside a vehicle unattended anyhow? I mean the front seats have power etc, what about the sunroof. Couldn't a child be caught in that if left unattended?

Now as for the power fold seats. For '04 at least there is only controls in the back I am not sure if there was any other type of control, however if the seat meets an obstruction when closing it will stall within 1-10 seconds. In addition in order for the seats to work the rear glass or door must be open along with the transmission in park

The reason attorneys are so busy is because of people like you and the writer of the article. You seem to be the type that sue's McDonalds because the coffee is to hot, or sues them becuase their food made you fat.

As for changing the spare tire you or the writer obviously don't know jack. To change the spare you lift up the panel on the floor behind the third seat,(you need to put the seat down so be careful now, or at least tell you child to do it carefully), you then take the winch extension and place it in the access hole in the panel. Now you crank the spare tire down and you can either roll the vehicle slightly forward if possible or pull the tire back. Either way there is no crawling under the vehicle. Get you facts straight before you write.

BTW the Navigator recieved 5 stars from the NHSTA for both front occupants so the theme is responsibilty. Just like you are responsible to be safe when transporting passengers and yourself, you should also be responsible when the vehicle is stopped.

Btw I do own a '04 navigator. In the past I have owned 12 vehicles foreign and domestic. Each one has it's problems. The end result is that we as adults are responsible for our actions, please be responsible to at least check some facts before you post. Good luck.

05-11-2004, 09:26 PM
PNW is on the money. The crankhandle affair for the spare has been a fixture on many pick ups and utes for decades now.

07-04-2004, 09:31 AM
i agree with pnw. :iceslolan I plan on buying a new navi here pretty soon, and this write up puts no doubt in my mind

09-23-2005, 02:30 PM
Any common sense would not conclude to crawling under a vehicle to access a spare. I have accessed the spare with a crank handle, which you're right MagicRat, have been around for decades, and still find it very effective and convenient today. I think that SilverLotus is better off buying a passenger car and straining his back trying to pull up and lift out a space saver tire from the trunk of a vehicle.

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