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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

Clever smartphone app saves the day in Ford Ranger Stormtrak

All it takes to control this double cab bakkie remotely from a smartphone is the FordPass app.

Last month, I got to tell you all about how the road safety systems on our Ford Ranger Stormtrak are literally life savers.

This month I get to talk to you about how a little thing, many won’t take seriously, called FordPass, came to our rescue.

We have discussed this before, but allow me to give you a quick refresher.

FordPass App

FordPass allows you to communicate with your Ford Ranger via the FordPass app that you download on your smartphone.

The FordPass is real-world valuable when you get into features like being able to see on a map exactly where your Ranger is, where Ford dealers are located, fuel stations, available parking and being able to book your Ranger in for a service, which I recently did.

You can also see your Ranger’s fuel level and oil life status, tyre pressure and mileage at a glance. You can even remotely lock and unlock the doors, as well as start and stop the bakkie from the app.

Cool in a gimmicky kind of way, right? But fate was about to show us that this “gimmick” can be way more than that.

My dear wife was happily driving along in her car during one of these huge afternoon Joburg thunderstorms we have been having lately.

Content in the fact that she was safe from the lightning flashing all around. Right up to the part where her car was struck by lightning.

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I kid you not. She heard a bang and saw a flash followed by sparks. Her car died an instant death, never to be revived and was eventually written off by our insurance company.

I was called out to her rescue, and as you can imagine, she was in a complete state. But she had places to be, and I gave her the Ranger to continue onto her appointments while I waited for the tow truck to remove the fried car.

Maybe I shouldn’t have let her go, but she was adamant. Not an hour later I get a completely incoherent phone call from her that I eventually translated into her somehow locking the keys in the load bin of the Ford Ranger.

She was stuck outside in the pouring rain. It was the final straw in her terrible day.

The Ford Ranger can be unlocked remotely via the FordPass app.

We were faced with me having to try and get the spare keys from Ford South Africa, then getting through the traffic to her, or getting a locksmith out, all time-consuming endeavours while she sat scared and crying in the rain.

In my panic, I was not thinking straight, but then my tech-savvy daughter popped her head around the door and asked why I don’t I just use that funny thing that starts the Ford Ranger and unlocks the doors.

And just like that I opened our Stormtrak, and she could recover the keys and get safely back home where I had a few strong gin and tonics lined up for her.

I guess the moral of the story is, don’t mess with Mother Nature, she will take you out, and don’t dismiss the technology found in a Ford Ranger. At this stage unrivaled in the fierce South African bakkie war.

For more information on the Ford Ranger Stormtrak, which is priced from R797 300, click here.