Throughout The Car Industry
Volvo Earns ''Acceptable'' Rating in 2014 IIHS 40 mph ''Small Overlap'' Test. They Did MUCH Better 22 Years Ago with an '81 model...
Imagine driving down a five lane—two in either direction with a turn lane in the center—street lined with houses. You're in the nearer-to-center lane—at the 45 mph speed limit, of course—and notice a small pickup back out of a far away driveway into the curb-side lane of your half of the road. You think nothing of it, seeing as how they’re starting to roll forward in a different lane, as expected. But just as the “Why are they going so slow?” question sounds in your brain, the truck's driver decides to make an abrupt left turn directly into your path when you’re two car-lengths away.
Instantly you’re HARD on the brakes and diving for the center turn lane in a vain attempt to miss the collision, knowing that turning any further will only put you in the path of oncoming traffic and make things worse. And that’s the last thought your brain gets out before your beloved 1981 Volvo wagon’s right front corner plows into the offender’s 1990 Toyota pickup at its left front tire.
Welcome to the REAL world of 40+ mph “small overlap” impacts, 1992-style. And, as I’m sure you’ve guessed from all the driving and typing I’ve done in the 22 year interim, I was (relatively) unhurt. The other guy(s), well, not so much…
Posted In: Car News, Classics, Miscellaneous, Safety, Special / Limited Edition, Technology, Videos
Tags: volvo safety crash damage 1981 240 200 Series IIHS Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2014 XC60 Motor Trend
Recently car makers have been in mainstream news media, perhaps more than at anytime since the economic downturn of 2008 when the US tax payer stepped in to bail out GM and Chrysler. Unfortunately the media attention is not about the good news of an industry now getting back on its feet again, but around parts failures, and the recalls issued as a result. As this blog shows, car makers often issue recalls, but what has stood out about the GM ignition switch recall is how one bad decision has meant that millions of cars, many almost a decade old, of different brands, assembled in different plants, and perhaps worth only a few thousand dollars today, are having expensive, time-consuming, car-maker-profit-destroying work done on them to fix a faulty component. Isn’t there a better way to manage this?
Posted In: Recalls, Recalls, Safety
Tags: Recall, GM ignition switch
Not long ago, Google presented the world with a completely autonomous vehicle that required no help from human beings to navigate to a specified destination. This is odd because there is no way for a “driver” to take over if the car can’t perform its function. You see, it doesn’t have pedals or a steering wheel. Google believes this is the future of self-driving modes of transportation.
Tags: california, google, autonomous vehicle, self driving
The minivan is the go-to vehicle for many families since they come with room for lots of stuff, lots of people, and your four-legged family members too. Since they cater to those with children, safety is at the forefront for both buyers and manufacturers.
Tags: honda, odyssey, nhtsa, safety rating, airbags, antilock brakes, Brake assist, vehicle stability assist, traction control, safety
Every driver wants something different from his or her vehicle. Some motorists prize economy above all. Other value looks or status. And, for many car owners, performance is their passion. This is not simply speed, but the ability to accelerate quickly, turn corners sharply, and feel that exhilarating rush that comes from driving a nimble, ultra-responsive ride.
Posted In: Aftermarket, Driving, Racing, Safety, Technology
Tags: performance, aftermarket
Life is filled with uncertainties; that’s why people have insurance and savings accounts. No matter how careful we are, however, sometimes things can knock even the most cautious person off her feet. Fortunately, if you own a reliable vehicle, you can always be reasonably safe and comfortable, even if you have only a small amount of money. Here’s why:
Road development in the US has followed the same basic pattern since the end of World War II: Add more lanes, make them wider, and increase the speed limits. It’s a good strategy, given the pace of development over the past 50 years. The nation’s expansion during that time has been explosive, even when allowing for the occasional recession.
Hyundai is issuing two recalls which will begin sometime in September. The first covers 225,000 Santa Fe SUVs from model years 2001-2006 and built between March 31st, 2000 to February 15th, 2006. The front coil spring is prone to corrosion from common road salt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that if the spring fractures it could puncture a tire, which could lead to an increased risk of accidents. So far there have been no crashes, injuries or fatalities stemming from this problem, but there have been more than a thousand warranty claims. 90 of them contained reports of the spring contacting the tire. 94% have been filed in states which routinely use salt on the roads in the winter.
Toyota has issued a very small recall on some very new vehicles. Only 263 of the new Sienna minivans have been sold, but dealers have been ordered not to sell any on their lots until they have been repaired.
Posted In: Miscellaneous, Recalls, Safety, Recalls
Tags: recall, toyota, sienna, NHTSA,
When my boys were small, the height of summer was going to the beach. We live in Florida so it may not seem like a big deal, but we are in the dead center of the state which means there are lots of beaches available and none of them are particularly close. We got up early on a Saturday and packed the picnic basket, put on our suits, grabbed a blanket and we were off. The salt air breeze was delicious, the water was chilly and refreshing, and the sand was made into the most pitiful sand castles imaginable. But we were in heaven. Coming home meant a car full of sand, pink noses, and Church's Fried Chicken bought on the way and eaten in the car. The grease and sand were reminders of the beach into the fall even after the car was “cleaned”.
I hate to drive on interstates. I never know when traffic will come to a standstill. I will brave the interstate that lies between home and Walt Disney World, but only because that destination is my favorite on earth. I go often, but it seems to happen pretty regularly that there will be traffic problems either coming or going. An accident will close a lane or two and vehicles will trickle through, adding an hour or more to the drive on occasion. But it really can’t be helped. Or can it?