Car: Ford Strikes Blow for Parents, Teenagers Take Hit


I’m not a die-hard Ford cheerleader,..

But I was impressed with the look and technology in the 2010 and 2011 Fords.  

My Dad was a Ford guy. And my father-in-law recently bought a Ford product because the company didn’t take any Obama money.   

And on two recent road trips in a 2011 Taurus, the features in the car sparked my interest to do more research. So I sat down with Chris Gorup at Shawnee Mission Ford and Chris kept bringing up Ford’s MyKey system. 

MyKey debuted as a standard feature on the 2010 Ford Focus and is now a no-cost feature on nearly all Ford and Lincoln models

MyKey allows parents to access and set MyKey limits through the vehicle’s message center. 

Meaning that when your teenage vampire inserts a programmed MyKey into the ignition, the system reads the transponder chip in the key and sets the limits on what sort of mayhem your kid can get away with. Or not.

It’s wickedly Big Brother!

In other words, the Ford MyKey system is every parent’s dream and every kid’s nightmare.

MyKey can even be programmed to remind your teen when you aren’t around how to be more alert and safe on the road. 

One of my favorite MyKey features is tied to the radio.

Normal operation of the Persistent Ford Belt-Minder® with audio mute will chime every minute for five minutes. But you lucky (and safety smart) parents with MyKey can program the Belt-Minder chime to continue at the regular interval and the audio system will remain muted until the safety belt is buckled.

The message center even displays, “Buckle Up to Unmute Radio” on the instrument cluster. 

So if your teen wants tunes, they gotta buckle up.

Two words; simple & awesome!

You can program MyKey to set a top speed of 80 miles per hour. What are you kidding me? I couldn’t wait to put the pedal to the metal as soon as I got behind the wheel as a kid. I had to go 100 just to say I did to show off to my friends. But I didn’t need to go that fast. 

MyKey can also set the traction control system to limit tire slip.  Totally unfair!  How can you get girl’s attention without burning rubber? 

And you can program MyKey to issue speed alert chimes at 45, 55 and 65.  Might even get your kid to pay attention to the posted speed limits when they wonder what the hell’s beeping and figure out it’s a reminder to look at the speedometer.

MyKey won’t let your teen disable the audible park aid and BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert.

Which means the beeps might get their attention before they crashes into something while backing up and hanging out the window blabbing to friends. 

MyKey can also set an earlier low-fuel warning.

The normal warning goes off 50 miles before empty, MyKey provides a warning at 75 miles so your kid can take their friends home, grab a soda and leave enough gas for you to get to work in the morning or to a gas station so they can borrow it the next night.

So now you set MyKey so they can’t go over 80. They can’t spin the tires. They can’t shut off the blind spot system. They might leave enough gas for you to get to work on time in the morning.

There’s more.

MyKey can limit the media/radio volume to 44%.Got that?

Oh, now you have gone to far! your kid may say.

OMG, how could you possibly be such a control freak when you’re not even in the car?

Get it? Ford’s MyKey is a great tool for parents. And you know that now.

All you have to do is protect the password with your life from your tech savvy teen!

Oh yeah, you business guys can use MyKey to set the same limits listed above for fleet vehicles your employees drive.

Pretty cool, huh?
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11 Responses to Car: Ford Strikes Blow for Parents, Teenagers Take Hit

  1. chuck says:

    Transposing Michelle Rodriguez’s name with Vin Diesel
    makes sense.

    She has bigger balls.

    Have that kid in the last picture get me an extension on my taxes.

  2. smartman says:

    Ford Bucks Darwin
    This technology has been available in the aftermarket for two decades.


    Buy’ em a used Civic, Corolla or even a new Fiat 500 instead of an M3 or A4.

    Amazing how many parents prop up their dumbass kids by buying them cars to make them look cool. Driving a shit sled is part of growing up. It’s motivation to work hard and be successful so you don’t spend your whole like driving a shit sled.

  3. Mark x says:

    Get back with me in 15 years …

    I don’t have any friends, who are parents, that their kids are driving 2011 cars. My 16 year old daughter has a 1997 Honda Civic. My 2 older children (now grown, married, and out on their own) both were driving 15 year old cars in their teen years too.

    Well, sure, this technology is useful to parents … but HOW MANY PARENTS ARE GIVING THEIR KIDS BRAND NEW FORDS?

    The 2nd problem … 15 years from now, when tomorrow teens will be driving todays cars, how many of these Fords will still be on the road. Just look around, see how many teens are driving 15 year old Hondas (or any Jap car) vs. Fords? I have a feeling this ‘technology’ won’t be so cool 15 years from now, if still functioning.

    BTW, it’ll take about 30 days before kids will have a ‘hack’ posted online to circumvent this ‘password protected’ function.

    Two words; good luck!

  4. Markus Aurelius says:

    This will be perfect for our 7 year old when she turns 16.
    These cars will be 8-9 years old when she gets her license and that’s about the age of car I suspect she’ll be driving.

    BTW, Kudos to your father-in-law for supporting Ford over Government Motors. You couldn’t pay me to buy a Chevy anymore — besides I like the steering wheel to stay attached to my new vehicles.

  5. jjskck says:

    The dismal state of Chrysler and GM in 2008 is where Ford was in 2006. You know, 2006–when the economy was in PHENOMENAL shape, people were actually spending money, etc.

    The ONLY reason Ford did not take a bailout is because they failed even earlier. They had already mortgaged their company and all its assets to the hilt–up to and including their iconic blue oval logo–in 2006 in a “bet-the-company” effort to save themselves. They borrowed as much money ($25B) as the combined amount that GM and Chrysler received in government loans.

    I like Ford’s vehicles. I have driven their cars for most of my life. But I’m not going to pretend they’re some shining beacon of American pride and financial responsibility.

  6. Cliffy says:

    I, too, have traditionally favored Ford for whatever reason. I also used to get into the “Made in America” thing but not anymore. I bought a Pontiac that turned out to be a Toyota that was built in the U.S. So I bought a Ford, only to discover it was built in Mexico. Oh well …

  7. Ross says:

    Stopped reading at “Obama Money”
    Bush bailed out Chrysler and GM to the tune $17 or $18 Billion. Not Obama. Get your facts straight (just kidding – none of the writers on this site do that).

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    The parents are the ones driving the 2011 cars, mark x. The kids in this story don’t even have a ’97 Civic, they have to borrow mom or dad’s

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    My “Italian car” is assembled in Mexico with the engine coming from Michigan

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    You are correct, sir. On Bush versus Obama, that is:

    “In September, 2008 the Big Three asked for $50 billion to pay for health care expenses and avoid bankruptcy and ensuing layoffs, and Congress worked out a S25 billion loan. By December, President Bush had agreed to an emergency bailout of $17.4 billion to be distributed by the next administration in January and February.

  11. Super Dave says:

    Re: My “Italian car” is assembled in Mexico
    Well seems to me Fiat should have asked the experts on crossing the border the Mexicans the fastest way to get the car here.

    If they had done so Hearne would have had his car a year ago.

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