This week, the idea of Brazil’s cars being “unsafe” due to inferior construction has been gaining a lot of currency on the blogosphere after the Associated Press published a report on this topic. Very few outlets have anyone posted in Brazil to do any deeper digging, but TTAC does. Unfortunately, our man Marcelo de Vasconcellos is currently in exams right now (good luck, Senhor!) and was unable to write up an article refuting these claims. Still, Marcelo took the time out to talk to TTAC about the problems behind the article.
SUVs are usually regarded as safer than small cars. However, “most of the small SUVs tested for safety in crashes did not fare well in more stringent tests” performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Reuters says.
Condition red at Daimler: Germany’s influential auto club ADAC gave the Mercedes Citan only three out of five stars in the Euro-NCAP-Crashtest. The loss of stars means “a meltdown” for the starred brand, says Automobilwoche [sub], “after all, the vehicle is supposed to excel with supreme safety.” Read More >
Daimler is dead set against using the new refrigerant HFO-1234yf, even if it is forced down it throat. The EU makes it a must in all news cars, but Daimler says it can fry and kill you. Now, Daimler can get burned big-time. Without HFO-1234yf, its new S-Class will be illegal, but “using HFO-1234yf is out of the question,” a Daimler spokesman told Automobilwoche [sub]. Read More >
Dope is legal in Washington State. To find out when reefer madness turns into vehicular mayhem, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News passed out marijuana to volunteers and put them behind the wheel to see how they are doing.
Even at four times over the legal limit, the unscientifically picked lab rats drove O.K. After additional bongs, their driving suffered a bit.
Nissan showed technology that protects both walls from cars, and drivers from their own
stupidity lack of judgment. Sonar devices in the front and rear of the car detect hard obstacles. If the system decides that the driver is about to hit the wall, the computer cuts the gas and applies the brake. Read More >
Yesterday, we showed you how Toyota is going to help protect its customers from fender benders and more serious accidents, while it is at least trying to protect itself from people and lawyers who look for a deep-pocketed company to blame for their own shortcomings. Yesterday, I risked life and limb to personally test these systems on behalf of TTAC’s readers. Today, we bring you the pictures. Read More >
The night before had been short, but interesting. I find myself in a 7-Eleven parking lot, high on energy drinks. Backing up, I bump into something. A wall? A dog? A person? I panic, my car lurches forward, wheels spin, gravel imbeds in anybody and anything within range, I push harder on the brakes, but the car accelerates right into a convenience store filled with school children. They live, because an invisible hand cuts the engine, and my car comes to a bloodless halt.
I collect my glasses and my wits. I turn to the smiling man in the passenger seat, and say: “You want me to try again?” Read More >
Was your airbag replaced within the past three years? Did you buy a used car that sustained air bag deployment before you bought it? Did you buy a car with a salvage, rebuilt, or reconstructed title? Did you get a great deal on an air bag? In that case, be suspicious of your airbag, because it could kill you. Read More >
Four 2013 models, the Lexus ES, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Subaru XV Crosstrek, and the Dodge Dart received the coveted “Top Safety Pick” award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Read More >
16,290 people were killed in road accidents from January through June, says the NHTSA. For the first time since 2006, deaths are up. The NHTSA does not know why fatalities are up, but the usual suspects have already been rounded up. Read More >
They say the third time is always a charm.
I don’t think this was what they meant.
Security experts told Reuters that car computers “are vulnerable to hacks by attackers looking to steal cars, eavesdrop on conversations, or even harm passengers by causing vehicles to crash” and that automakers have failed to protect these systems.
“You can definitely kill people,” said John Bumgarner, chief technology officer of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit told the wire service. Read More >
Ford is pointing fingers at supplier TI Automotive who is to blame for last week’s surprise recall of about 11,500 Escape SUVs. The trucks were deemed a fire risk because of a flaw in its fuel lines. Ford told the NHTSA that some of the fuel lines were “mechanically scored” at TI Automotive’s plant in Ashley, Indiana. Read More >
European automakers know that there is only one thing that is worse than Teknikens Värld fabled moose test, and that is failing the moose test and then arguing with the Swedish magazine. Italy-owned Chrysler is getting that education. Not enough that Teknikens Värld found the Jeep Grand Cherokee “lethal in evasive maneuver.”
It now caught Chrysler’s propaganda arm committing a deadly sin in the hoopla business, violating the first commandment of flackery: When you stepped in the shit, don’t walk around the house. Read More >