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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Safety

Rolling Kias Return to Sender

On: Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Salamone

2007 Kia Optima test 2

If you own a Kia Optima, use the parking brake and check the mailbox regularly this month. Drivers will be notified via post of a recall relating to the vehicle’s transmission shifter cable which, if left unrepaired, could cause the disobedient cars to roll away while in park. Kia Motors is recalling more than 70,000 automatic transmission Optimas from model years 2006 to 2008 which were actually built from September 29th, 2005 to June 13th, 2007.

In Kia’s documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on March 3rd, the automaker said that in some of the cars a transmission shifter cable was installed incorrectly and could potentially become detached from the shifter. If that happens, and the cable comes off, the car would remain in the last gear it was used in. Thus, drivers who just returned from a jaunt to the Hamptons might park their Kia only to lose control of their vehicle in a HAL - 2001: A Space Odyssey-type of way…watch out for the prerecorded message from Mission Control which reveals the true reasons for Kia’s faulty transmission cable installation.

F-150 Trucks Recalled for Faulty Airbags

On: Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 5:03PM | By: Chris Salamone

2005 F-150 King Ranch test 2

If you’re one of the many unfortunate people to own a Ford F-150 from 2005-2006 prepare to duck, dive for cover, or play a hilarious practical joke on your obnoxious neighbor. Ford announced a recall today to cover nearly 150,000 trucks intended to repair airbags which deploy without warning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) informed Ford back in November 2010 that the recall should cover 1.3 million F-150s from 2004-2006. Despite administrative advice, Ford chose to recall only those models from 2005-2006 and at a much lower quantity than suggested. Since the recall is significantly smaller in scope, the NHTSA is currently analyzing Ford’s response to determine if the recall is acceptable. If not, a negative finding could lead to a public hearing to evaluate whether or not Ford should increase the recall’s size.

Next Up From Ford: Inflatable Seat Belts

On: Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 2:16PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Crash Test Dummies test 2

First came the seat belt. Then came the driver’s airbag. Then the front seat passenger’s airbag, and next side-curtain airbags followed by rear seat airbags. Just when you think there could be no more airbags, comes the next level of crash safety protection from Ford: the inflatable seat belt. The safety engineers at Ford have introduced these new seat belts for rear seat passengers. The goal is to provide even more protection to help decrease the incidents of head, neck, and chest injuries, particularly for children. The first Ford to feature the new system will be the 2011 Explorer.

Roads of the Future--Idaho Inventor Envisions Solar-Powered Roads With No Ice

On: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 6:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

Roads of the Future--Idaho Inventor Envisions Solar-Powered Roads With No Ice test 1-1

Having lived in the Rocky Mountains for about five years, I've often daydreamed about a smarter type of road. The road crews here are generally quite adept at clearing things quickly, but there is always the chance for snow build-up and icy patches. There's only so much you can do to keep the roads clear, dry, and safe and, as is the case throughout the rest of life, Mother Nature really has the last say.

But what if we could make a road that snow and ice don't stick to? It doesn't seem that hard to imagine some type of heated road surface that simply doesn't allow for freezing or snow build-up. An Idaho start-up called Solar Roadways has just such a plan.


LaHood Continues To Voice Safety Issues Regarding Distracted Driving

On: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 3:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

LaHood Continues To Voice Safety Issues Regarding Distracted Driving  test 1-1

It seems like a fairly clear-cut case of the law of cause and effect in action; when you drive, a quick distraction can cause an accident. A person driving on the road needs to process many factors all in a simultaneous rotation: what’s in front, what’s in back, what’s to the sides, what’s the speed, what the road like. That’s a lot to keep track of when you’re moving a massive amount of steel at high velocities. Now add into that mix the distraction of texting, talking on the phone, and otherwise being distracted with gadgets and gizmos and you can see what this is matter of concern for many. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has made distracted driving top of the list of his safety agenda.

“We will not be deterred by false choices about addressing distracted driving on the one hand and alternative critical safety issues on the other,” LaHood said today in Washington. He was responding to criticism from the former head of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Jeffrey Runge.

Crash-Test Data Linked To Death Rate According To U.S. Insurance Group Says

On: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 9:03AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Crash-Test Data Linked To Death Rate According To U.S. Insurance Group Says test 1-1

As long as there have been cars on the road, there have been analysts busy compiling statistics about everything that has to do with the automobile. Obviously, the most important set of statistics to examine are those involving accidents, crashes and motorists fatalities. The goal with any of these studies is to find ways to minimize  accidents and increase the safety factor in automobiles. You can thank these very same statistics for all the safety features in your automobile, including basic safety equipment such as, seatbelts and airbag deployment systems.

No Surprise: 2010 Recalls Highest In Years

On: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:29AM | By: Chris Weiss

No Surprise: 2010 Recalls Highest In Years  test 1-1

In a year of major headlines, Congressional hearings, and media outrage, anyone who watches the news once in a while could have guessed: U.S. automobile recalls for 2010 reached their highest numbers since 2004. In fact, the only thing surprising there is that they weren't at an all-time high, because I'll certainly remember 2010 (and late-2009) as the year of the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced this week that the infamous (and not all that infamous) recalls of 2010 affected more than 20 million vehicles.

New Jersey Municipality Admits To Illegally Short Yellows

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 4:55PM | By: Clay Ritchings

New Jersey Municipality  Admits To Illegally Short Yellows test 1-1

Mike Koestler, the former mayor of Harrison Township, caught the same southern New Jersey municipality using illegally short yellow light times after receiving a ticket at the intersection of William Dalton Drive and Delsea Drive. Motorists were given just 3 seconds of yellow warning before the camera began snapping—as opposed to the 4 seconds mandated by state regulations.

The camera's private contractor, American Traffic Solutions, issued citations at the intersection's westbound approach, which had the shortened yellow, from March 26, 2010 until October 26, 2010 when the state corrected the signal timing. Harrison Township, the first southern New Jersey municipality to issue a red light camera ticket, admitted last week that it issued 12,000 tickets worth $1 million. The borough claimed that the yellow was never lengthened after the speed limit was increased from 25 MPH to 35 MPH in 1993.

Ford Recalls 20,000 Pickup Trucks and Crossovers

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:59AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Recalls 20,000 Pickup Trucks  and Crossovers test 1-1

At any given time in our country it’s a safe bet that there is an auto recall occuring. Most of these recalls are of the preventive kind. A problem is detected early on and a quick fix is orchestrated before serious damage can occur. On some level this is reassuring when you consider that auto manufacturers are constantly testing the performance of their models no matter how old they might be.

The latest vehicle recall involves the Ford heavy duty pickup trucks. The issue in this recall is a potential electrical short that could ignite a fire. Certainly, not a situation any driver wants to contend with.

Ford Lets Parents Lock Out Satellite Stations With 'MyKey'

On: Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 3:40PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Lets Parents Lock Out Satellite Stations With 'MyKey' test 1-1

Satellite radio is arguably one of the best innovations to come to vehicles in the past 10 years or so. Driving generally represents a solid block of time that you have to listen to music/news/talk. And what better way to do it than with commercial-free radio split neatly into specific genres?

Well, one negative about satellite radio is that it includes explicit stations that just aren't a part of broadcast radio—stations like Playboy Radio, for instance. And if you happen to have teen driving around, you may not want him to be tuning in to such explicit stations.

Ford has a new solution to the problem. Actually it's more of an old solution, tailored to vehicles: parental controls. Parents will soon be able to lock out certain stations as part of Ford's MyKey system.

Auto Safety Legislation Fails, Congress Goes on Vacation

On: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 10:33AM | By: Chris Weiss

 Auto Safety Legislation Fails, Congress Goes on Vacation test 1-1

The auto safety legislation package created as a response to recent recall problems, specifically those by Toyota, failed to make it out of Congress before the holiday break. The legislation was the most comprehensive auto safety reform seen in years, but it sunk due to opposition.