General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will use a common standard to rate the towing capacities of their light-duty pickups, allowing consumers to have an accurate comparison of such capability. The standard would also reduce confusing claims from carmakers. However, the standard is not expected to end the marketing confusion since it only applies to light-duty pickups. Carmakers will still rate their heavy-duty pickups with their own standards.
Detroit will join Toyota in using a towing standard adopted by the industry in 2009 to rate 2015-model full-sized light-duty pickups. The standard -- called SAE J2807 --sets various tests for towing and is likely to trim rated towing capacities by several hundred pounds. Under the 2009 agreement, the standard was to be in place for the 2013 model year, but Ford decided not to publish lower tow ratings for its 2013 F-150, with other carmakers following suit.
Toyota was the only pickup maker to adopt the standard for the 2011 model year when it lowered the tow ratings for its full-sized Tundra pickup by 400 pounds. Nissan, meanwhile, said that it adopts SAE J2807 vehicles when they are redesigned, just like it did for the 2013 Pathfinder. This means that the redesigned Titan due 2015 will use the standard. Ford spokesman Mike Levine told Automotive News that the 2015 F-150 will have a new towing rating to complement its new aluminum body.