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Racing Your Mustang Will Void Its Warranty, Despite Line Lock

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2015 Ford Mustang electronic line lock

2015 Ford Mustang electronic line lock

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The 2015 Ford Mustang holds a lot of promise: independent rear suspension, a turbocharged four-cylinder engine option, and a completely new structure--all huge boons to the sports car fan. But what if your Mustang enthusiasm tends toward the straight strip variety? There's plenty to love there, too, from the 5.0-liter V-8 in the GT to the recently announced line lock feature that makes burnouts easier.

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But if you should choose to drag race your 2015 Mustang, know that you'll void the warranty.

What, you ask? How? Why?

After noticing some fine print at the bottom of Ford's video announcing and explaining the line lock feature, which read "Racing your vehicle will void your warranty," Motor Authority decided to follow up and see just what that meant.

Basically, it means exactly what it says: race your Mustang and you can expect the warranty to be void.

But what, exactly, is racing? Brian Cotter, global Mustang communications coordinator, wrote via email, "If you are using this feature in an actual race (ex. at a drag strip vs. your neighbor’s Camaro) this would create a problem from a warranty standpoint."

Cotter further explained, "[T]here is nothing wrong with testing the capabilities of the Mustang in a non-race environment.  You could, for instance, test your quarter-mile time on a closed-course.  This would be permissible because you aren’t competing against any other car OR against a predetermined time, etc."

Still not quite satisfied, we asked for clarification, noting the enthusiasm with which Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak and stability control engineer Scott Mlynarczyk when talking about the new line lock system offering a feature that allows Mustang drivers to maximize their performance at the track.

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In the video, Mlynarczyk says, "We had one goal in mind, with the Mustang user who takes this to the track, and to provide a feature that we haven't seen out there in the field before."

Pericak adds more color to the idea, "Mustangs have a huge heritage of going out on the track. Our customers take it out on the weekends, they have fun with it. So, line lock is another example of where we're going to allow our customers to do what they want to do. They want to take this car, they want to go to the track, they want to have fun, and this is going to allow them to do that. It's going to be another advantage when you're on the track versus the [inaudible]."



You'd be forgiven if you heard that and thought it meant Ford had given its blessing to Saturday night grudge matches at the local strip. But you'd be wrong.

The line lock feature was clearly designed to help Mustang buyers to extract maximum performance "when you're on the track versus" just about anything. But using the feature for that intended purpose voids the warranty.

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To be clear, simply using the line lock feature on private property, or even at a drag strip provided there's no competitor in the other lane or a purse on the line, will not void the warranty.

Cotter clarified in his e-mail, "Racing (ex. in a bracket-style competition at a drag strip) would be an issue; testing the capabilities of the Mustang at a test-and-tune day where there is no incentive for fastest quarter mile times (etc.) is permissible. You can have plenty of fun at a track without entering the realm of 'racing.' Issues would arise when you are specifically competing against other cars 'wheel to wheel.' Testing the capabilities of the Mustang is not an issue."

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