2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Enabling 911 Assist

April 1, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

Before I drove away, this message popped up on our 2013 Ford Focus ST's display, "911 Assist is OFF. Set to ON? Yes/No."

Many new cars feature some sort of built-in telematics or concierge service that varies by manufacturer in what is provided, but most use an embedded cell phone and there's usually a subscription fee.

On our Focus ST, however, it uses your paired phone to alert the local authorities if the car has been in a collision severe enough to trigger an airbag deployment, but one must first enable this feature. If, and when the service is available, there's also a piggy-back remote-diagnostic/maintenance service that goes on behind the scenes as well.

I read the manual to learn all this. Additionally, I read the (assuming) legal department's required privacy policy disclosure if you elect to set the 911 Assist to on. It basically says that the car will, in some cases, be able to communicate with responders the location of your now dented, airbag-popped vehicle. Yeah? I thought that's what I was asking for when I selected ON.

How do you feel about this service? Would you enable or disable it if it were on your car?

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 8,856 miles


  • pjm75 pjm75 Posts:

    Yes and I did enable it in my Focus ST. This way when I drive off that cliff they might be able to find what's left of me.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I wonder how useful that would be. The places where a bystander isn't around to call 911 are probably also the same places with lousy cell reception anyway.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @pjm75: I notice you said "when" not "if"... We'll miss you man (woman, maybe? I don't want to assume). As for this these kind of systems, I have no problem. If someone wants to spend their resources tracking when and where I drive, I

  • hotpass105 hotpass105 Posts:

    I hope you realize that every one of these telematics systems use cell signals to reach law enforcement. Ford just has a no cost alternative.

  • jpnpower jpnpower Posts:

    Added security with no downsides as I see. Why not? And what the heck is a quadricycle?

  • yep, hotpass105, GM just did a great job of mentioning satellite a lot on their onstar stuff so people think it calls via a satellite but they are also on cell phone networks. The original onstar worked in areas where cell phones didn't tend to work as well because it was a high powered analog system using about 3 times the power of a handheld phone.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @jpnpower: Before automobiles became mainstream and unanimously labeled as "automobiles", many of the men who had a part in developing them had different names to describe them. "Quadricycle" was one such name briefly used by Henry For

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