Pickup makers reach pact with SAE on tow rating standards

The pickup truck towing capacity wars have been in full-blown Mortal Kombat-style battle mode for as long as we can remember. For years, it's gone something like this: Automaker A claims that its rig can tow 10,000 pounds, then Automaker B increases their truck's stated capacities to 10,500 pounds without changing a single component. And if you've ever wondered if all automakers test towing capacities in the same manner, well... they don't.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Society of Automotive Engineers will change practice that by the 2013 model year by implementing a new a standardized testing methodology. General Motors engineer Robert Krause, who chaired the SAE committee that set the new standard, said that the automakers involved "wanted our customers to know that 10,000 pounds of towing capacity means the same thing for all trucks."

This sounds like a plan that should have been hatched and executed long ago, but at least the deed is finally getting done. Toyota is already using the new standard with its Tundra (resulting in slightly lower tow ratings), while other major truckmakers will comply to the voluntary standard sometime in 2012. Nissan has stated that it will utilize the standard sometime in the future, but hasn't gotten specific with any details.

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