Archive

Archive for the ‘Car Safety’ Category

GM’s Solution to Recall: Just Buy a New Car

May 6th, 2014
2014 Buick Regal

Sorry for the trouble. Buy one of these as compensation!

Let’s say you bought a car only to find out later it has a defect that could potentially kill you.

Would your first response be heading to your nearest dealer and buying a new version of the same brand to replace your defective car?

Of course not. That’s a silly question, right? Most people would simply want the car fixed, if possible. Others might have a more extreme response and sue the carmaker in question and vow to never own said brand again.

General Motors is still in the middle of its ignition recall and has made those affected by it a very strange offer.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Politics, Car Safety, Domestic Cars, General Chat , , , ,

Should Lane Splitting Be Legal?

April 21st, 2014

Tango lane splitting

We live in a society of single-family homes spread through countless suburbs surrounding big cities. We work in those cities, often driving many miles and spending hours commuting from our suburban homes to our urban workplaces.

In places like Los Angeles, the commute consists of congested freeways and long lines of stop-and-go traffic. In most cities, a driver’s only option is to wait out the traffic and arrive whenever the brake lights finally fade and the pavement opens up.

In California, though, there’s another option—assuming you have the right vehicle.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, General Chat , , ,

Accidental Car Theft: It’s a Thing

April 18th, 2014

stolen_honda_accord

As a teenager, I drove a 1984 Honda Accord. It was charcoal gray, just like every other 1984 Accord in existence.

On more than one occasion I remember walking up to the wrong one, even putting my hand on the door handle, before realizing it wasn’t my car. For me, the first indication that it wasn’t mine was the lack of a wet towel jammed between the leaky sunroof and the headliner to prevent rainwater from dousing my head.

While it would’ve been nice to drive away in a car with leak-proof roof, I never did steal anyone’s car in place of mine.

Many years later my mom drove a 2012 Subaru. She parked at a grocery store, but came back to the wrong car and actually sat down inside and tried to start it before realizing she’d made a mistake.

A funny story out of the New York Post tells the tale of a mother who actually succeeded in an accidental theft, which makes me wonder just how often things like this happen.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Safety, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Audi: Road-Trip Chariot of the Giants

April 14th, 2014

2008 Audi Q7

Four giant 18-year-old boys. One coach. About four dozen assorted pieces of luggage. All surrounding yours truly in one car for a 9-hour ride to a state tournament.

At this point I’ll stop and ask: Which vehicle would you choose for such a task?

No, a school bus wasn’t available, nor was a Suburban or other appropriately large vehicle that could comfortably transport a bunch of 6-foot-4 rowdy high schoolers.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Safety, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

Invisible Hoods Could Help on Blind Curves

April 10th, 2014

Land Rover's transparent hood

There’s a blind curve on my way home that both thrills and frightens me. On adventurous days, I push my right foot down on the accelerator and take the uphill hard-right turn fast and tight while hoping there’s not a stalled car or deer or some other obstacle looming as I let my mind transport me to Laguna Seca.

On other days I approach the curve with caution, even slowing to a near crawl as intuition alone tells me to be wary.

I haven’t encountered a problem on this turn, but I know it’s quite possible that someday I will, because there are a few moments when all I can see are my hood and the sky.

Is this a curve that technology can outsmart, or will I forever be doomed to navigate those few seconds blindly?

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , , ,

Burning Oil in a Brand New Car

April 7th, 2014

oil_level_low_warning

Burning oil in a 1973 Cadillac seems legit.

Drive an old boat like that around for long and you’ll stop at every gas station and put in a quart of oil. Worn engines simply burn and leak oil, often causing heavy smoke and the putrid odor of crusty black tar.

Drivers of those old cars don’t get too angry at the oil consumption because they know it just comes with the territory of having the pleasure of driving a Nixon-era automobile.

A 2013 car should never burn a quart of oil between oil changes.

Right?

Continue reading >>>

Car Clubs, Car Industry News, Car Magazines, Car Minded, Car Parts, Car Safety, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, Gas for your car..., General Chat , , , ,

Objects in Mirror Could Soon Disappear

April 2nd, 2014
Tesla-Model-X-Concept

Hey look, no mirrors

How many cameras do we need in our cars?

Back in 2010 we posted an article that said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would require backup cameras in all new vehicles by September 2014.

Obviously that mandate didn’t come to fruition, and the good ol’ fashioned rear view mirror has continued to function perfectly fine.

During the time of that 2010 article, I remember thinking backup cameras were an unnecessary and expensive piece of technology. In the last four years, though, I’ve come into possession of a 2013 Subaru equipped with a backup camera and I never want to go back.

Now there’s a new mandate from the NHTSA, along with new technology coming from the most innovative automaker on the planet that could eventually eliminate the simplest piece of automotive safety gear: the mirror.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Speed Limit: 80. Who’s Ready?

March 31st, 2014

80_MPH_SPEED

We all do it anyway. With many Interstate speed limits at 70 miles per hour, it’s easy to push that to 75 or even 80 when cruising the vast spaces between cities.

On a recent trip from Washington to Oregon, I had my cruise set at 75 and still got passed by cars that had to be going 85. Upon entering Oregon I experienced the pain of a sudden decrease to 65 and wondered why the law there required me to go so painfully slow.

Modern cars are capable of easily cruising at 80 or more, especially with the advent of 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions that are built for efficiency at high speeds.

With the advancement of technology and the ability to go faster, the Interstate highway system needs to start keeping pace.

In some places, that is happening.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Politics, Car Safety, General Chat , , , , ,

Can You Trust Your Fuel Gauge?

March 20th, 2014

miles to empty

I’ll just get gas when I go out later tonight.

Sure, the gas light came on and I’m 12 miles from home, but I’ll make it and I have to go out later anyway and will be closer to a gas station tonight.

That’s not an uncommon thought for me, and it’s one of the problems of living in an area that’s at least 15 miles from a gas station. Earlier this week it happened to my lovely girlfriend. It would have been fine, but plans changed, and she didn’t make it out to the gas station that night. She forgot about the low-fuel situation until leaving home in the morning, late, for a meeting at work 40 miles away.

Her Subaru told her she had 50 miles to empty. She called me with her quandary:

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat , , ,

GM Crisis Escalates, More Cars Recalled

March 19th, 2014

Saturn ION

What started as a simple and routine recall has exploded for General Motors into a worst-case scenario of negative public opinion.

This is bad.

Take the Audi PR nightmare of unintended acceleration in 1986, combined with Toyota’s recent battle with allegations of the same problem and then multiply it by a million. This is so much worse because there are documented deaths as a result of the problem, along with proof that GM has known about the fault for over a decade.

This is really bad.

It all started in 2001 with a single faulty ignition switch.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Domestic Cars, General Chat