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.
The car companies say that those little “donut” spares shouldn’t be driven at highway speed, and that they shouldn’t be driven for long distances… but they also say that you shouldn’t use a Vise-Grip as a steering wheel! Just the other day, I watched a Mazda 323 with two space-saver spares (on the left side, of course) dicing with a tippy-looking Wrangler at 105 MPH on I-25 in Denver, and I remembered this A6 with three not-so-high-speed-rated wheels, spotted during the coldest Half Price Junkyard Day I’ve ever experienced. Let’s admire it! (Read More…)
My refusal to convict Oldsmobile driver Rod Kinkade on the testimony of a cycling team had the bike riders of TTAC howling for my blood. They won’t get it; I paid for eleven units of the finest junkie-and-derelict blood the last time I was struck by a motorist. It took three long, expensive days of ICU residence to get all that blood into me while they were Hemovacing the bad stuff out of a two-inch-diameter hole in my right leg. No soup for you, roadies.
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…)
I am sitting next to a man in a Nissan Leaf. The man tries to run over pedestrians. If you think that’s mean, then the three black clad guys who are hiding behind a row of parked cars will disgust you. Their job is to push a pedestrian in front of an oncoming car. (Read More…)
They say the third time is always a charm.
I don’t think this was what they meant.
The GE Wattstation killed my Leaf! That’s the story being reported by the New York Times as well as PlugInCars.com. As the tale goes, 11 Leaf owners have had their chargers “damaged” while charging with GE’s Wattstation home charging station. The relative significance of only 11 failures aside, the Nissan Dealer in San Pablo, CA confirmed to PlugInCars.com that Nissan North America has notified dealers of a potential problem with the Leaf and the GE home charging station. TTAC contacted Hilltop Nissan and they have yet to return our calls. Rather than just parroting back the usual news reports we dug deep. We contacted GE and Nissan, consulted some professional electrical engineers and read though hundred of pages of boring SAE documents. Click past the jump to learn more about EV charging than you ever wanted to know. (Read More…)
Volvo has long been the “safe choice” in more ways than one. The brand’s reputation is steeped in safety, but for the past 30 years “luxury with a hint of performance” has been a secondary focus. Even still, arriving at the country club in a Volvo won’t bring out the green-eyed-monster. Your fellow socialites will just think you were being safe and practical. Volvo may be the Birkenstock of the automotive world, but that doesn’t prevent them from creating the occasional irrational vehicle. While Volvo isn’t ready commit to build the insane 508HP S60R, they will sell you the most powerful small crossover in America: the 2012 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD R-Design with Polestar. (If you don’t count the bat-s**t-crazy (in a good way) Nissan Juke R. Michael Karesh was able to wrangle an XC60 R-Design out of a local dealer for a quick take in December, but what’s the Polestar tweaked XC like to live with for a week? Click through the jump to find out.
Here’s a breath of fresh air; Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby declared that his cars, laden with safety systems and other gadgets, are too complex for most of Volvo’s customers.
GM is recalling 475,418 Chevrolet Cruze models built in the USA as a preventative measure against possible engine fires.
Starting in 2014, cars will require an autobrake system, such as Volvo’s CitySafety technology, to achieve a five-star rating on the NCAP crash test.
Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen told AutoExpress that he expected all new cars sold in Europe to have such a system by 2017. Van Ratingen is hoping to halve the number of deaths resulting from auto accidents by 2020. Lane departure warning systems are also expected to be evaluated in the coming years – with the hopes that the new generation of safety systems will follow in the footsteps of stability control systems and become standard across the board. Hooray.