The Truth About Cars » ADAC The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » ADAC Rigged Voting May Lead ADAC To Scrap Annual Award Fri, 24 Jan 2014 11:00:44 +0000 ADAC Golden Angel

German auto club Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V., or ADAC, may no longer bestow their annual Yellow Angel Award after the club admitted to vote rigging.

Automotive News reports that ADAC’s communications director, Michael Ramstetter, resigned from his post after confessing he manipulated the results of the Yellow Angel Award — given to what the auto club considers as Germany’s favorite car, providing a boost in sales to the winner — to favor the Volkswagen Golf. Through Ramstetter’s actions, the Golf received 34,299 votes to take the prize; the hatch actually received 3,409 votes from the club’s 18 million members.

Club president Peter Meyer said the Yellow Angel has no future, leading to speculation that the annual prize may be scrapped. The rigging also has critics calling into question the validity of ADAC’s car safety testing, and the club’s overall credibility.

]]> 9
One German Automaker to Become Lord of the ‘Ring, But Who? Tue, 05 Nov 2013 14:14:28 +0000 Nurburgring_lap

Nissan. Cadillac. Chevrolet. All brag about being the Lord of the ‘Ring, upsetting the German automakers to no end. Yet, one of them may still have the last laugh through the act of saving the Nürburgring from certain doom.

Back in 2012, the famed testing ground-cum-circuit entered into bankruptcy proceedings after the previous owners blew $500 million on a roller coaster to nowhere and a dead mall, then failed to turn any sort of profit to keep the track itself from going belly-up. Since then, the German government has entertained offers from various bidders with at least $161 million — the asking price for complete ownership of the historic landmark — to spare.

The latest word on the street is that either Volkswagen, Daimler or BMW may be the one to claim the ‘Ring as their precious jewel; Volkswagen’s Porsche already owns the Nardo testing facility in Italy. Another contender is ADAC, who has a long history with the track going back to 1927, when the track first opened.

Whomever does end up owning the circuit, they will have to promise to keep the track open to the public and (if purchased by one of the aforementioned automakers) competing automakers, and to maintain the infrastructure throughout the 13 miles that make up the Nürburgring.

]]> 8
Germany’s ADAC Tests Crash Test. Crash Test Fails Tue, 26 Oct 2010 19:01:47 +0000

Since Sunday, a story made the news in Germany that a Ford Fiesta and a Peugeot 308 had been crashed by Germany’s auto club ADAC, with horrific results. Both cars come with a five star Euro NCAP rating. Hence, everybody wanted to know which of the cars failed badly. Now the auto club says: It’s not the cars that are bad. It’s the crash standards.

All crash tests pretty much simulate a collision with a stationary object. That’s just not realistic, says the club, and they have a point. Usually, a car collides with a movable object, such as another car. That’s what the ADAC test attempted to simulate. Two very safe cars crash into each other, at a speed of 56 km/h (35 mph) each. That’s the speed used for EU whole car certification. However, total speed of both cars is now 70 mph. Nothing is ever tested at that speed. The much stricter (and not mandatory) Euro NCAP tests at 64 km/h, (40mph). Both cars are optimized for current crash standards. But when they hit each other, they hit spots that are not in the standard. Crumple zones don’t crumple. The passenger cell loses its protective properties.

According to Germany’s Rheinische Post, the ADAC demands that “crash compatibility” should receive more attention. Not just when a heavy car hits a light car (light loses). Also when similar cars hit each other. If that would be taken into consideration, the ADAC projects that driving gets 7 percent less dangerous, which would translate into 150 people staying alive in Germany each year.

]]> 40
China’s Landwind Back In Europe Tue, 18 May 2010 07:05:08 +0000

5 years ago, disturbing news reached Germany. A Chinese company called Jiangling had the nerve to disturb the peace of the Frankfurt Motor Show IAA by displaying a Chinese SUV, with the intent to sell the vehicle. With dispatch, a crash test was arranged by the ADAC, the German equivalent of the AAA. The car failed miserably, the video became a hit on Youtube, and turned into an example for all that’s wrong with Chinese cars. Landwind was done. Never mind that rumors wouldn’t die that ADAC’s Landwind test had used, shall we say, “enhanced techniques.” Never mind that Germany’s TÜV, the company that officially tests cars for the German government, tested the car later and certified that it met all mandatory safety criteria. Never mind that the ADAC has a sometimes incestuous relationship with German auto makers. Landwind was destroyed, the first attempt to invest European soil with Chinese cars was repulsed. Later, ADAC did the same to Brilliance, again under questionable circumstances, again with the predictable results: Brilliance was dead, had to leave Europe. Well, Brilliance is coming back. And so does Landwind.

Jiangling’s European distributor is reintroducing Landwind to Europe. Landwind Europe started sales of Jiangling’s CV9 Minivan in the Netherlands. According to Automotive News [sub], next will be five other European markets including Germany, Italy and Belgium. Having passed Whole Vehicle Type Approval, including mandatory crash tests, and being equipped with Euro 5 engines, the car is street legal in all of Europe.  The importer expects the minivan to earn least a three-star rating out of five when the voluntary EuroNCAP releases its next batch of official results in fall. Unless ADAC upstages the official EuroNCAP test and conducts its own unofficial tests “under EuroNCAP conditions.”

The CV9 Minivan has enough European DNA to qualify as an Eurasian. The design comes from IDEA of Turin. The 1.6- or 2.0-liter gasoline engines were developed by Jiangling with the help of F.E.V. Motortechnik GmbH, of Aachen, Germany. The five-speed manual transmission is from Getrag of Germany.

Size wise, the CV9  is similar to an Opel Zafira. The price (€11,950 in Germany), is much lower than the Zafira’s German MSRP of €20,295.

Jiangling just announced an investment program to lift their annual production capacity to 210,000 vehicles. Jiangling is a joint venture partner of Ford and produces the Transit for the Chinese market.

]]> 15
The ADAC Strikes Again! Thu, 29 Apr 2010 19:44:42 +0000

Having run Brilliance out of Europe, the ADAC had to look elsewhere for this latest bit of YouTube entertainment. And how did they find their shocking footage du jour? By running an ESP-less French compact “tallboy” wagon (specifically, the Citroen Nemo) through its infamous “Moose Test.” But don’t worry too much Citroen: past Moose Test failures include the Mercedes A Class, the Renault Kangoo, and Toyota HiLux.

]]> 14
Volvo: The Safe Choice, Again? Mon, 01 Mar 2010 18:20:13 +0000 Oh deer. Picture courtesy

Ask a non gearhead on the street (or pub, restaurant, clubs, etc) “who builds the most reliable cars?” and names like “Toyota”, “Hyundai”, “Ford” and “Honda” will crop up. Ask who builds the safest cars on the road and almost certainly, the name “Volvo” will be said.

The thing is Volvo lost their safety crown a long time ago to those 35 hour a week working, industrial action initiating, part government owned Frenchies. Renault. Renault consistently set new standards in safety and crash tests, lapping up praise from Euro NCAP. Some of this technical know-how has even trickled into Renault’s partner, Nissan. The Nissan Qashqai (thankfully renamed Rogue in the U.S., although it wasn’t a big improvement) achieved the highest ever Euro NCAP score. But now, it seems, Volvo is fighting back to regain the coveted safety title.

Germany’s ADAC, the world’s largest automotive organization, has performed a comparison of different automatic speed and distance control systems, commonly called “ACC” – No, that’s not “ACCessory,” it stands for “Adaptive Cruise Control,” get with the program.

Formerly the realm of luxobarges, the frontal RADAR or laser systems that allow you to text in the thickest of traffic, now become common for the middle class. As a pricey optional ACCessory, of course

ADAC tested usability, added comfort, and avoidance of ACCidents.

The Volvo XC60 bested 6 other models (the other models being, the Audi A4, Volkswagen Passat CC, the Lexus IS, the Ford Mondeo and the Honda Accord). In their laudation, ADAC praise that “the Volvo system scores above all due to the fact that it consistently puts its emphasis on accident avoidance. The driver is informed about a danger by a red flashing warning lamp, which is projected onto the windscreen. At low speeds, below 30 km/h, the additional, integrated laser technology called City Safety also recognizes stationary vehicles and in a potential accident situation, brakes in time to stop the car.”

ADAC even heaped ACClaim on a mysterious feature of Volvo’s system, “with the ACC switched off, the driver is efficiently but not disturbingly warned, if below the safety distance.”

Volvo will ACCelerate their quest for beneficial gadgetry. The new S60, which is being premiered at the Geneva Motor Show, will of course have ACC, along with a “world first:”. Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake (snappy name – PDFAB?). This system will brake automatically for pedestrians and can avoid a collision at speeds up to 35kph (nearly 22mph).

Watch out, Renault, the Swedes are in your rear view mirror, but don’t worry, they won’t crash into you. Now, should that deal with Geely ever get completed …

]]> 11
Reliability Statistics Bonanza: Thirty Years Of Pannenstatistik Wed, 20 Jan 2010 22:44:31 +0000 ADAC tows and compiles Pannenstatistik

ADAC is who responds to essentially every automotive Panne (breakdown) in Germany. And with the Germanic proclivity for thorough record keeping, they have kept them all, and analyzed them more thoroughly than any of Freud’s patients ever were. Did your mother have a flat in 1983? ADAC knows. And they’ve been using it to publish annual best and worst reliability rankings since 1978. If you caught the Toyota Starlet CC, you’ll know that it was the queen of the ADAC numbers, and the bane of Mercedes and the other (once) proud builders of  the world’s most presumably durable iron. Since ADAC doesn’t have an easy way to see all thirty year’s worth of the good and naughty, my Germanic side kicked in and I spent a chunk of last night transcribing them unto a spreadsheet, because…well, that’s just how Germanic I am.

A few caveats: The category definitions changed slightly over the years, but they’re close enough. Also, these only show the winners in their respective categories, not an overall ranking. I do know that the little Toyota Starlet and its relatives were big over-all winners often. And to anticipate your concerns, ADAC notes mileage on each vehicle of every call in order to adjust the raw data. And they do the actual response under contract for many of the manufacturer’s mobility program, so they’ve got that covered too. The Germans are very thorough.

I almost left off the most recent decade because there are some questions about whether the numbers are becoming increasingly irrelevant and less reliable due to a number of circumstances. But the number from the eighties and nineties are considered by the automotive manufacturers as very accurate. The reality is that mechanical breakdowns have been dropping pretty steadily the whole time, so that the relative difference between cars is becoming less relevant. Or is that an excuse by the Japanese makes because they don’t show up as often? The German brands are certainly trumpeting their recent  improvements. You be the judge.


]]> 36