Would you want to download data about a serious collision in which you, or someone you knew, sustained serious consequences?

Independent collision reconstructionists have discovered that 2020-21 Ford Super Duty Pick-up trucks have had their event  data recorders (EDRs) inadvertently turned off. Ford was made aware of this problem and narrowed it to vehicles built at its Kentucky truck plant between February 18, 2019 and July 10, 2021. No defect notice will be announced since the non-recording of crash data is not a defect according to federal legislation. Ford will be reprogramming their modules to re-activate the EDRs whenever a vehicle is brought in for service. Thus there will be many Ford Pick-ups with no ability to record data for some time to come. Consumers may not fully understand the implications.

For one, few consumers actually have the capability to download crash data from their vehicles. Specialized equipment and a yearly license costs thousands of dollars. This means that the capability is practically available to agencies such as police and insurance companies. Even if a consumer were to obtain such downloaded data it would be difficult to correctly interpret it without specialized training.

There has been little effort by governments to ensure that the average vehicle owner is given the ability to obtain data about their collision. Yet that data is easily used by police to support charges or by insurance companies to determine fault and deny certain policy coverages.