By on July 20, 2013

rust 1

In March Ford announced another recall for their Ford Freestar minivans. The last time this happened I took my Freestar to my local dealership for transmission work and a few weeks later ended up replacing the entire transmission at my own cost when the part suffered an “unrelated problem.” This time Ford tells me that my van may suffer from corrosion in the wheel wells and that the affected areas include the third row seat mount. Presumably, the metal under the seat rusts out which could prevent the seat from latching properly. The condition, they continued, affects about 196,500 vehicle registered in the United States and that the vehicles most at risk are in states where salt is used on the roads to melt snow in the winter. I made note of the recall but then life intervened and my best laid plans to take the van in for a quick repair evaporated.

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By on November 10, 2009

Unless you're in Mexico! (courtesy:la.streetsblog.org)An NHTSA report [PDF] on the “Incidence of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crashes by Hybrid Electric Passenger Vehicles,” concludes that hybrid-electrics (HEVs) have a higher incidence rate of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes than do internal combustion-only (ICE) vehicles in certain scenarios. And based on the report’s conclusions, it looks like the relative silence of hybrids running in electric-only mode is to blame for the higher accident numbers.

. . . pedestrian and bicyclist crashes involving both HEVs and ICE vehicles commonly occurred on roadways, in zones with low speed limits, during daytime and in clear weather, with higher incidence rates for HEVs when compared to ICE vehicles. A variety of crash factors were examined to determine the relative incidence rates of HEVs versus ICE vehicles in a range of crash scenarios. For one group of scenarios, those in which a vehicle is slowing or stopping, backing up, or entering or leaving a parking space, a statistically significant effect was found due to engine type. The HEV was two times more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash in these situations than was an ICE vehicle. Vehicle maneuvers such as slowing or stopping, backing up, or entering or leaving a parking space, were grouped in one category based on that these maneuvers are potentially have occurred at very low speeds where the difference between the sound levels produced by the hybrid versus ICE vehicle is the greatest.

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