By on October 21, 2015

United States Capitol

In its proposal Wednesday, U.S. House Republicans offered a carbon credit plan for automakers to trade tougher emissions standards for more safety technology. (You know, the safety features that people are already willing to pay for.)

“This is a life-saving endeavor,” Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said according to Reuters (via Automotive News). Trading pollution for safety, “incentivizes automakers to invest in new safety technology that will save more lives.”

The plan would relax future carbon dioxide requirements up to 9 percent in cars with advanced safety systems. An automotive lobby group said reducing crashes would reduce CO2 emissions.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration director Mark Rosekind, car companies don’t necessarily need incentives to make their cars any safer.

“Save lives, prevent injuries — that should be the highest incentive that anybody needs to add advanced technologies,” Rosekind said, according to Reuters.

Upton’s proposal would include a sliding scale for credits awarded to vehicles based on technology. A car with three advanced devices could give automakers an additional credit of 3 grams of CO2 per mile, whereas a car that communicates with the road could earn up to 6 grams of CO2 per mile.

(In other news, the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture will offer farmers free water not to grow fruit with razor blades in them.)

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

111 Comments on “Republicans Willing To Trade Bad Emissions For Better Safety...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The best way to improve safety would be to add a breath interlock to every vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      This!

      So obvious, so simply accomplished, so impossible.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Certainly that would be a lot more cost effective than (partial) rear view cameras, that might even give a false sense of security, adding $100’s of dollars to new cars, and who knows how much in inspection repair costs, just to help prevent people who are too something (fill in the blank) to be sure that there are no kids behind their car before they back up.

      Drunk driving is a much more pervasive danger, and the interlock devices are clearly less expensive. But causing difficulties for all those suburban borderline problem drinkers who are also voters wouldn’t be as popular inside the Beltway, as would mandating something that will make money for the manufacturers, and feel good publicity for the politicians and bureaucrats.

      Estimates of hundreds of lives saved are either drawn from multiyear periods, or from some theoretical computation of when the entire US fleet is so equipped, and assuming that no one will still back over people when the have a backup camera (but hear me now and believe me later, people will still back up without looking…if they do it without cameras, they will also do it with them.)

      I don’t agree with you on everything, SCE to AUX, but you have my vote on this one.

      PS What is your name a reference to? Some kind of audio engineering thing?

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        When I was an auto technician, we would occasionally have customers who had court-ordered breathalyzers on their cars. You could never get them to start reliably, and for sanitary reasons you were always somewhat hesitant to try.

        I think pursuing self-driving cars would be more cost effective. I have more trouble with cell-phone distracted drivers than with drunks. When self-driving cars become ubiquitous safety will become far less of an issue, and the lawmakers will have to pay more attention to emissions. Republicans might make a little short-term hay, but if they’re successful in twenty years this will be ineffective.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @VolandoBajo: Here is the story behind my handle:

        http://www.universetoday.com/98484/this-day-in-space-history-apollo-12-and-sce-to-aux/

        I’m an engineer, but John Aaron is a Real Engineer.

        As for my breathalyzer comment, I’m only referring to the dramatic impact on road safety that would have. I think it’s totally impractical, and culturally impossible in the US. If something like 1/3 of road deaths are alcohol-related, you’d save 10k lives annually.

        http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      It would only take a few weeks for someone to develop a cheat device if every car had a breath interlock. Without a human to monitor the test, something from a pressurized can could mimic the actual blow from a driver, and with a large market someone would have it out ASAP.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The sweater wins again.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This appears to be a great opportunity for VW to support the screwball Tea Party people hell bent on destroying the GOP.

    VW can go from “Green and Clean” to “Smoke and Choke”.

    Those coal burning hillbillies that drive modified HDs can buy the wife a coal burning Amarok!

    I think VW now have a chance to build Amaroks in the US!

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      How will Volkswagens help us to get our outstanding gross non-intergovernmental debt down from 108% of GDP to down around 30% again?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        MrGreenMan,
        My comment was in jest, a tongue in cheek response to the title of this article taking into account VW and it’s current issues.

        My real views on how to manage FE and emissions would be disliked by Greenies, the left and the right. So, I consider my view the best possible model to use.

        Emissions would be based on the volume of energy spent. I would also have no FE restrictions on any vehicle produced. So, if BMW want to drop a 1000hp engine into a Cooper S, let them, as the emissions will be based on fuel usage.

        So, if you can afford to feed you vehicle fuel, you can buy whatever your heart demands.

        I would then tax fuel to regulate consumption to manage emissions and provide more funding for transport infrastructure maintenance and development.

        The tax doesn’t have to be draconian like many EU nations.

        So, if you want you can go out and buy a supercharged 6.2 V8 Colorado as GM would most likely find someone to buy one, or you can go out and buy the diesel Colorado.

        This would liberalise the auto industry and give the consumer more choice.

        This doesn’t include the harmonisation of vehicle safety, emissions, etc globally and the removal of all restrictive trade barriers, ie, poulet impot.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Well Fred Upton, who was quoted in this article has been criticized by the Tea Party for not being conservative enough. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what they are talking about since Upton has voted party line since 1986.

    • 0 avatar
      Altair7

      I would imagine VW ownership demographics in the States tend to skew liberal. True Republicans have little interest in preserving those lives, nor should they.

      • 0 avatar
        Louis XVI

        So…Republican legislators don’t represent all of their constituents, just the Republicans? And they shouldn’t worry about the LIVES of constituents who happen to belong to other parties? Yikes!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Please. Polticriminals of all stripes would sell you and your family down the river for a buck.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “I would imagine VW ownership demographics in the States tend to skew liberal. True Republicans have little interest in preserving those lives, nor should they.”

        I would posit that the Gerrymandering efforts of the past 10 years lend some truth to that statement.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Adleson and the Kochs want their moneys worth of gummint so you dont have to. There vision of America always reminds me of the world Biff ruled in Back to the Future II.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Adleson and the Kochs want their moneys worth of gummint so you dont have to. Their vision of America always reminds me of the world Biff ruled in Back to the Future II.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Orange

        Except that the VW’s built in America are built in a red state.

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    So a reduction in emission requirements for safety features auto manufactures were already going to make available or standard.

    BRILLIANT!! (Image Lawrence Fishburne yelling that word.)

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      There is no proof that they would have made those features standard. It has long been a tax and spend policy that you had to incentive industry to spend money on long term social goods which didn’t have enough of an immediate payback to be implemented by private industry.

      If you want to argue that safety improvements would have been inevitable anyway, how do you explain GM ignition locks, Toyota switches that can catch fire due to improper greasing, etc., etc.

      Why didn’t they get done right anyway, without any incentives?

      Or can some of you admit that you are more interested in bashing a different political viewpoint than you are in making an objective evaluation of the value of the proposed tradeoff?

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Orange

        Um easily, inept engineers.

        And the incentive is for companies to avoid what GM and Toyota had to pay in fines and lost confidence by buyers.

        Building safer cars are mostly now in control of market forces. Car companies are not worried about passing or complying with NHTSA tests, but they are with the privately operated and owned IIHS. Look at the amount of time and energy put into passing or meeting the standards of the IIHS by automakers.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I prefer Samual L. Jackson, “Yes, Miss Daisy! I be honkin’!” from the Long Kiss Goodnight.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    Hit piece on republicans, pure and simple…thanks for politicizing this TTAC piece…most of us expect better, but I’m sure the Climate Change hounds will approve…wait…a few of them already have…

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Yes, because the world’s turned upside down by Climate Change to those whose heads are in the tar sands. Thankfully they are a dying breed burning badly like the fossilized remains of paleozoic plantlife.

  • avatar
    Poppa Gilley

    IMHO, our vehicles are as safe and as clean as they need be. All this DC crap does is make our vehicles and everything else more and more expensive.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Hey Aaron you live in the Denver region do you not? What is there to do in the Boulder area in winter? Anything besides drink and be cold?

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Don’t know ’bout Aaron, but I went to UNC Greeley for four year and dated several women from Boulder and Golden to say the whole area (beer, food, mountains, skiing, Denver and women) is gorgeous.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks for responding Dolorean. I’d love to take in the local… scenery… as it were but there’s no guarantee of that in my limited timeframe. I’ll have to see if I can Uber my way to the mountains while I am there.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      While I don’t live in the Boulder area I live across town.

      What to do in the winter? Same as you do in the spring and summer. If you like to ski, then go do it. Ussually a place to get it done, arapahoe basin, into April if not may.

      If golf is your thing, have at it. Most courses are open year round.

      Ride your road bike (pedal) along the thousands of miles of trails that are interlinked throughout the city or your MTB if the trails are not snow covered in the foothills.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks for responding 87 Morgan. I’m going to see a show and only staying two days but I wanted to do more than drink. Golf in December sounds interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      Aaron Cole

      Hey 28: Sorry, I just saw this. I have tons of recommendations for you in Boulder. Shoot me an email anole (at) thetruthaboutcars and tell me what you like to do. Boulder in the winter is a blast.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You could try skiing (Eldora is a short drive up into the mountains), but if you’re not outdoorsy, there’s tons of great shopping and dining in Boulder. There’s a funky little town called Nederland that’s pretty close to Boulder too.

      You’re also about 20 minutes from Denver, which has all kinds of stuff to do.

  • avatar
    TW5

    This has nothing to do with safety. CAFE 2025 is overly ambitious, and in its current form, it would cripple car buyers and the car industry. Naturally, CAFE 2025 is quite popular with the general public because American voters tend to support programs that undermine the country. If DC wants to back people away from the economic cliff, they’ll have to invoke another sacred political ideal.

    Honestly, this is quite brave for Republicans. They’ve been content to let the Great Society wipe out the lower-middle class (maybe because it’s not their constituency), but they are showing aggression before the 2017 Congressional review of CAFE. Strange. You’d expect them to complain bitterly after the clumsy policy wipes out Americans, not before.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “CAFE 2025 is quite popular with the general public because American voters tend to support programs that undermine the country.”

      Nice. Although I know no person outside of TTAC that has an opinion on CAFE at all prior because they don’t know what it is. If I explain it to them they tend to dislike it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        It could be worse. I’ve met plenty of people insipid enough to support Obama’s effort to make their next Yukon get 54.5 MPG.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Well, I suspect most Americans would disprove of our policies, if they received a reasonable explanation of how they actually work.

        CAFE, as a concept, isn’t that bad, but it works best as a fail safe, not a catalyst for maximizing fuel economy. 40mpg is not the threshold at which our economy starts to falter.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    All carbon trading schemes are nothing more than hidden taxes. We’re 12,000 years into an average 12,000 year interglacial, and the the ice age the planet has been in for the last 3 million years will reassert itself. The last thing Congress needs to concern itself about is tailpipe emissions trade-offs. We need to figure out what to do with all those Canadians moving south!

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Do what High Desert Cat does for the other illegals… sell them an old Surburban, fill the back with beans and blankets, then point them at the next state down (up, in his case).

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        I’ve yet to read any comment from you that isn’t snide, malicious or racist. You’re the problem, not the solution. Dross hanging richly in the background.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Easy now. You do have some sympathizers here on TTAC in your crusade against the denialist crowd, but acting conceited while commiting ad hominem isn’t gonna help your case with your opponents, nor endear yourself to any potential “allies” (I hate to use that term because it promotes an us vs. them ideology). If you’d care to look at RideHeight’s comment history, you’d find that his comments are generally well thought-out and no racism is especially meant by this one.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Yellowstone might well blow up as a super volcano at any moment as well, plus the US west coast is way overdue for a gigantic earthquake. The giant volcano scenario is what’ll cause the next ice-age with its dust occluding the warm rays of the sun.

      Meanwhile our Arctic ice-cap and glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, unnoticed and unacknowledged by the climate change deniers because it doesn’t fit their world view, informed as it is by millions of the under-educated, like our ex-prime minister who regarded scientific matters as far less important than belief in the magic fairy and gut feeling. We’ll be sending him down to join the Tea Party post haste.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        wmba – perhaps all of those climate change deniers are secretly buying up property that coincides roughly with 100 ft above sea level. Might as well get into some “new” beachfront property while its cheap. Who says capitalism doesn’t work? ;)

        If melting ice caps are a fantasy then why is Russia heavily militarizing its Arctic shorelines?

        We aren’t doing it in Canada because it would be politically incorrect to have to explain why we are doing the same especially since we didn’t sign on to Kyoto.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        If sea level rises about 40 feet, I will have beach front property! I am all for it. Florida will get a much needed cleansing.

        Humans were around when the Earth was a lot warmer than it is now, and they were around when it was a lot cooler than it is now. Earth is still here, humans are still here. Probably too many humans. Ultimately, I will be dead and gone before I have to care, and my CO2 buck stops with me, since I haven’t reproduced.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Lorenzo correctly reviews the Emperor’s new clothes…

      As the Good Book says: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

      Or as the Last Poets said on their landmark album, “Wake up, [N-word]s, or we’re all through!”

      Not only are carbon trading schemes hidden taxes, they transcend national governments, and allow the very richest and most powerful to set themselves up as the market-makers, a/k/a “the house”. And the house never loses money in the long run, and its patrons never fail to lose money.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I saw an article today which may be opening a whole new emissions issue for the ICE:

    http://news.rice.edu/2015/10/19/are-cars-nanotubes-factories-on-wheels-2/

  • avatar
    irieite

    First off, CO2 is not a pollutant, it’s a gas, like oxygen. We breathe it out, plants soak it in. Change the title of the article. It’s misleading.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The categories of “gas” and “pollutant” are not mutually exclusive. The status of CO2 as a pollutant is complicated, and certainly cannot be settled by saying it definitely is or is not. However, your assertion “We breathe it out, plants soak it in,” while technically correct, implies that any increase in CO2 could only be beneficial, and/or would be mitigated by increased plant growth, which is a fallacious line of reasoning.

      • 0 avatar
        irieite

        Okay, but stating “Republicans Willing To Trade Bad Emissions For Better Safety” is a fallacious line as well. No? Not to mention, it’s purely political and has no place here..

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          >TTAC
          >not political

          Haha, pull the other one.

          Naw, I get what you’re saying, which is why I didn’t feel the need to offer a rebuttal in that instance. I wouldn’t go so far to say fallacious or untrue, but yeah, definitely slanted to increase page clicks, comments, etc. If it’ll increase page clicks, they’ll put obscenities in the headlines here.

          • 0 avatar
            irieite

            ..Which is truly sad, because I really used to think this place was politically neutral. *sigh* Not again..

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Your belief that this website has been politically neutral until now is just as nonsensical as your position that it isn’t possible to have too much CO2.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Too much oxygen can be toxic. That would make it a pollutant under the right conditions.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        This just begs for a “Buy a TDI, Plant a tree” promotion.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        If humans breath out CO2, seems like fewer humans are the answer. I suggest we start with those inside the DC Beltway. On both sides of the aisle. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      The title is misleading, and CO2 is in fact a gas that is necessary to support plant life, and is a byproduct of human and animal life, among other things.

      But there seems to have been a noticeable decline in objectivity on TTAC recently, with more and more of this kind of politicized crap stuffed into headlines and buried in so-called impartial analyses of news.

      If I wanted to read the Huffpost, I would have read the Huffpost. The same crowd that complains that our people are not being educated, who then publish a satirical piece not labeled as such, that claims Ben Carson has lost his medical license in all 50 states because his positions are signs of mental illness. A pure hatchet job, as they know full well a percentage of the electorate will take this as being true.

      Please don’t turn TTAC into another example of this kind of axe-grinding so-called journalism. Let’s have a little bit more editorial review and restraint, please. Even if it costs you a few clicks in the short run. It will be better than ending up costing yourselves lots of clicks in the long run, if enough of us get fed up with this kind of political pandering.

      If that’s what some of the staff want to do, then perhaps it is time for them to “MoveOn”.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    As usual, ultra liberal socialist democrats trying to pass more regulation to force automakers to add safety equipment nobody wants or needs.

    Wait, what?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      What would constitute “added safety equipment”???

      Autonomous vehicles?

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Maybe they could mandate a split screen rear view/front view camera, so you can see where you are going while you are checking out what is behind you.

        Or as former NHTSA chief Joan Claybrook once proposed, mandatory seat belts for motorcycle riders.

        Or perhaps six inches of steel all around the passenger compartment, coupled with 100 mpg CAFE standards.

        Maybe bulletproof glass, to protect drivers, passengers and nearby pedestrians from out of control vehicles in case a handgun goes off nearby.

        The possibilities are endless, if there is no standard of cost-benefit.

        After all, if some safety is good, more safety must be better. If you don’t agree, you must be in favor of letting people die.

    • 0 avatar
      irieite

      It’s actually quite brilliant really. I mean, what are they gonna say if it’s all about safety, right? :) Right back at ’em! Bam!!

    • 0 avatar
      irieite

      +1

  • avatar
    JimC2

    No! No more safety. Cars are more than safe enough. We are fast turning into a society of wusses.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Yup, I’m a pussy because I don’t want to die in a car crash.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Adding more safety devices to vehicles is less effective than adding safety devices to roads, and the cost of safety devices on cars is paid more directly by drivers, though all of society benefits from lower fatalities.

      These are the arguments against frivolous safety technology, not American wusses. We can save more lives by adding barriers and proper traffic management to congested rural highways and US routes.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        As a retired highway engineer I can confirm that there’s more than a little truth to your point. Unfortunately, highway departments are dependent on a dwindling source of money, gas taxes, to do what you propose. It’s easier for government to push the cost to automakers and their customers than raise gas taxes or find another source of financing for road/bridge safety measures. It’s always about the money and the politicians who spend it.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    If you consider all the safety features cars have, which ones do you view as wussie? Safety glass? Seatbelts? Steering wheels without sharp chrome horn rings? Steering columns with collapse zones? Signal lights? Mirrors? Your view has been voiced by some at every level of the evolution of cars. Does that make it arbitrary, or do you think you’re so special that at this moment cars have suddenly become too safe for “REAL MEN”? What safety features would you consider unnecessary for your children, for instance?

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Nope. The wussy items are: electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control, stay in your lane control (aka you are too tired or too drunk to drive straight control), airbags numbering greater than ten per vehicle…

      IMHO

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Never mind that ESC has probably contributed the most of any “wussy item” to accident avoidance and mitigation since its introduction.

        Somehow, I think that H in IMHO is more than a little incongruous in this context.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Ah, those avoided accidents were probably in tippy vehicles that their owner chose because they “feel safe” riding way up high ;)

          I forgot one- TPMS (for people who can’t tell a flat tire by looking at it).

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            My thesaurus doesn’t list wussy as a synonym for negligence or ignorance.

            Statistically 33% of drivers shouldn’t have driver’s licences and roughly 60% are just fair to average.

            Do the math, that means over 69 million people shouldn’t be allowed to drive and 126 million should be sent to Drivers Ed.

            As a politician, legislating increased safety measures makes much more sense than committing political suicide by passing legislation that removes one out of three drivers from US roads.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            And for people who can’t even feel when their tire is going flat. Just another device to make money for businesses at the expense of the consumer, and that allow the politicos and bureaucrats to crow about how they have saved precious lives.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Especially on modern low profile tires, you can’t tell the tire is low, until it’s very low. TPM is also not designed for when you are looking at the tire, but when you are driving down the road. It gives you a warning way before you can feel it, giving you time to pull over and assess what’s going on. It also does nothing for the people you are talking about since they just ignore the light anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            TPMS has probably saved a lot of fuel (reminding drivers to keep their tires properly inflated), money (properly inflated tires last longer), and lives (ESC works best in taller vehicles with proper tire pressures).
            I’d be willing to bet that TPMS has been a “win”, but the benefits have yet to be assessed.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well, I’m a total wuss and I effing hate TPMS.

            It doubles the price of cheap steelies for snows and, on top of the price of the snows themselves, discourages people who really need to have them from bothering.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        What happens with stay in your lane control when an animal runs into your path and you try to swerve to miss it, when you know that there aren’t any cars in the oncoming lane?

        How is that safer, if the animal is a several hundred pound deer?

        And thaqt isn’t just a theoretical example…my wife knows a woman who attends a church where the pastor’s wife was killed by a deer running in front of her car and going through the windshield.

        I wouldn’t want to be held to my lane if I saw a deer coming onto the hightway.

        But it sounds good, IN THEORY.

        The problem is that theory seldom equals reality. Or, do not confuse the map with the terrain.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          “What happens with stay in your lane control when an animal runs into your path and you try to swerve to miss it, when you know that there aren’t any cars in the oncoming lane?”

          No doubt that it won’t let you turn the wheel, and will cause you to hit the deer. (/sarc)

          OR, it has an algorithm that knows that a forceful, deliberate turn of the steering wheel is with the conscious intent of the driver, and it won’t interfere.

          Of course, that’s doesn’t mean that it’s perfect, either – so my preference would be to turn it off unless faced with a long, boring Interstate drive (in which case, I would actively choose to use it).

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      ABS that can’t be switched off for people who know how to stop more quickly without it; ESC (there are situations where it does the wrong thing, instead of the right thing–I’d rather have the responsibility in my hands, than in the hands of some engineer who guessed what would be best in all cases. Maybe it would be engineered by the same engineers who prepped that Vette or MT, a scary thought); rear view cameras (my children never ever were in a position to be backed over, no matter how oblivious someone was…I didn’t rely on other people’s willingness to be more attentive to a screen than to the rear of their car when backing up.)

      Euro pedestrian safety styling, leading to fuel inefficiencies.

      On the other hand, I would be in favor of mandatory disk brakes all around.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I highly doubt that anyone who isn’t a F1 driver can stop a modern car more quickly without ABS than with it. And the F1 guys would have ABS too if the rules allowed it. The computer IS better than you are, and it can act on each wheel individually, which you can’t. Maybe in the early days you could beat it, certainly I have driven a couple of very early ABS equipped W123 Mercedes that had a cycle time of the brakes that could be measured with a sundial. Modern cars are so fast now that you don’t even feel it in the pedal anymore as vibration, the pedal just sinks a bit and you hear the BBBBRRRRRRRRRPPPP of the pump doing it’s thing. Old cars it was like a hammer under your foot. Maybe that antediluvian sled of yours too – does a Panther even have 4-channel ABS, or 3-channel? 3-channel is evil, if one rear wheel locks, you lose braking on both.

        But if you think you can, I offer you a challenge. Come visit me here in Maine. You can use my shiny new BMW M235i. I will cheerfully pull the ABS fuse and let you have at it.

        Stability control is the best thing to ever happen to the average driver. And remember, by definition 1/2 of all drivers are *below* average. You may think you are superman behind the wheel (perhaps you even have Baruthian skills, yet look what happened to him), and are completely unsurprisable and undistractable, and 110% focused at all times, but you probably aren’t. I care about driving about sixteen orders of magnitude more than the average texting idiot, and I sure have my moments. More than happy to let the car help me out on occasion. Frankly, all three of my cars that have had ESC have been amazing – it probably saved my butt in my Fiat Abarth on one occasion of brainfade combined with an off-camber corner and a bump in the wrong place.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Well, let’s try it on a gravel road. From what I have read, that causes ABS to perform much worse.

          Yes I know that is an isolated case, but it is apparently true that in at least some cases, non ABS performs better than ABS.

          And my Panther has ABS as an option, and the original owner declined to order or pay for it. And I have never locked up my brakes in probably close to a million miles of driving. I was taught heel and toe, double clutching, and fanning the brakes from the jump.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            VolandoBajo – the only place where ABS might not stop you as quickly would be on very soft terrain. Sandy conditions come to mind and deep soft snow. A locked up tire will build up dirt or snow in front of the tire and assist deceleration. Any other situation and there is no way that a non-ABS driver will out brake an ABS vehicle.

            My issue tends to be with traction control and stability control in several situations.
            A yaw situation will make the brakes apply and kill engine power. In some cases that nanny intervention really unsettles the chassis. I rather power out of a gentle slide. It is much smoother but takes some skill.
            Catching a wheel in deep snow on the side of the road or even softer gravel is best dealt with by counter-steering and applying a bit of power. Stability control will apply brakes and kill power. That will just pull you deeper into the snow or dirt. I’ve known guys put in the ditch due to nannies. I’ve been scared a few times.
            Another situation is where one needs momentum to climb a slippery hill with a corner in it. Some understeer always tends to happen along with rear wheel spin. (i.e. deep snow or slick muddy conditions.) Both are easily controlled. Stability control will kill power and play with the brakes. You can’t make the hill.That tends to mean having to back down the hill and trying it again.
            Electronic locking diffs can be a nightmare with traction control. The traction control trying to control wheel spin will induce “chatter” in the rear and it feels almost like wheel hop/axle windup.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @Lou_BC

            Plagued again by no reply button below your post.

            All of your comments are why I really like my 97 Grand Marquis.

            Panthers forever.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Lou_BC

            Issues that have been worked out, a least in better cars. I found the ESC/TCS to be completely unobtrusive in my Saab 9-3, Fiat Abarth, and both BMWs. Even when trying to be stupid in the snow on purpose. The e-diff on the BMW works great, as long as you give it something to work with, i.e. have winter tires. I could see no seasons giving it fits, as you can’t control NO traction.

            Particularly with the BMW, TCS/ESC on or off is literally a night and day difference in the snow. Even with winter tires without it is a tailwagging experience. With it, the car just goes.

            I do think implementations vary greatly, I have had rental cars that were FAR too quick to reduce power, and ’90s Saabs with their early TCS were notorious for being just about undrivable in snow with it on.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    ….and ketchup is a vegetable ….

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Ah, actually, no, I don’t believe ketchup is a vegetable. It is composed of tomato which I believe is technically classified as a fruit, although it is normally found with the vegetables in a grocery store.

      So actually, if someone consumes ketchup, they really ARE consuming what most people consider to be a vegetable, no mattter now much you want to make light of that fact,, since it is no longer being consumed in the same shape it grew into.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Tomatoes are essentially a berry. Ketchup is a sauce made from tomatoes, vinegar, and corn syrup.

        Pumpkins and other squash-types are fruit, as are cucumbers, peppers, and avocadoes. Corn is a grain/starch, and rhubarb is a vegetable.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Ah, Republicans, always happy to mortgage our future for short-term gains. Of course they’re the party of the old.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Ah, lefties, Carlisimo, always willing to spend money tomorrow to get votes today, and to talk about the future of our children while simultaneously abetting their being saddled with increasing national debt.

      One of the MoveOn’ers recently emailed me that there are only two choices in the next few days…shut down the government or increase the debt limit. No mention of the possibility of curtailing or postponing any expenditures, either in place of or in conjunction with a smaller increase in the debt limit.

      Don’t try to preach to me about narrow-mindedness, my pinkly tinged comrade. It is people who think like you that are the ones wearing the real blinders.

      It is not the informed young who wish to keep on spending like there is no tomorrow…it is their tomorrow you are willing to mortgage when you preach programs “for the good of the people” without regard for their cost, and without proof of their claimed efficacy.

      Go make a banner, and head back to the barricades…I doubt that many of the B&B are buying what you are selling, any more than that some of us who aren’t Dems (either independent or Republicans) may not agree with the Democrat party plan, but we don’t think that makes them all stupid or Communist.

      Simple minded rhetoric will not solve this country’s problems, nor will it result in any ideas that might serve to overcome legislative gridlock.

      We need statespersons (can’t call them statesmen any more), not label-slinging demagogues intent on driving out anything other than their plan for the economy.

      It didn’t work in Russia, it didn’t work in Cuba, and it had to be done away with to save the mainland Chinese economy, so at least try to come up with some original demagoguery, instead of tired old saws like the Republicans are always willing to mortgage our future for short-term gains.

      Coming from someone with your political compass, that is truly laughable.

      Kind of a zooty avatar, I will give you that…all you need is a bit more real estate for it, so you can show the planes bombing Guernica in the background. Seems about the right era for pointing the finger at those who propose fiscal responsibility as being against the long term good. That sort of thing was popular, up until the word got out about Stalin.

      BTW, my son is 21 years old, we discuss politics and their implication, and I have already told him that he is a man now, and is free to have his own opinions, even when contrary to mine. All I ask is that he can give a reason for his. And he tends toward Republican ideas, because he wants to see this country and its middle class restored to the place of opportunity that existed fifty years ago, plus or minus. He accepts that the US must play some role on the world stage, but doesn’t think we need to be bailing out the rest of the world “for our national security” while the middle class continues to lose purchasing power and the ability to save for retirement.

      So perhaps you should look behind you, at those younger than you, before you conclude that the Republicans are only the party of the old.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Great speech, VB,
        I’ll look forward to seeing a spending proposal that reduces the budget deficit from the united Republican party in Congress. I’m sure the House Speaker is just putting the finishing touches on it now.

        Wait, what?

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Well, considering that Paul Ryan has a reputation as a budget wonk, is likely to become the Speaker, and since the conservative Republican caucus says that it is not insisting that it get its way on specific positions as a requirement to support a new speaker, that just might happen.

          The conservative caucus is seeking assurance that rules will be changed so that it no longer is so easy for committee chairman to block new proposals from the floor being brought to vote. In other words more input from more representatives which just might result in more new ideas.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @VB – well said.

        I’ve taken the same approach with my kids, who are forming political opinions of their own. Some of them I don’t agree with, but I wouldn’t agree with my 20-year-old self, either.

  • avatar
    Onus

    I see most people think cafe is unrealistic. The mpg targets are not the same numbers you’ll see on the monroney label. It is instead the old unadjusted fuel economy numbers. I’d say most cars are pretty close to meeting their target marks.

    Not to mention this idea is not a very good one. IIHS seems to do a good job getting automakers to adopt safety measures and its an independent company. You’d think conservatives would love that.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “Not to mention this idea is not a very good one. IIHS seems to do a good job getting automakers to adopt safety measures and its an independent company. You’d think conservatives would love that.”

      Bingo – IIHS (started by the private auto insurance industry) standards have driven the NHTSA folks to increase their safety standards, and the automakers have followed suit, as it increases sales.

      Most people want these features, as driving is a “necessary evil”; not an enthusiast’s pursuit.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      The insurance companies are an oligopoly that is legally exempt from antitrust and pricefixing laws. Congress intended to grant the industry this benefit for one year to enable it to recover from WW II, and the industry has tied the issue up in court in perpetuity, thus mostly silently being the only US industry that has total exemption from antitrust laws.

      So now you know why insurance is so expensive, and why it is so hard to find out how much profit they make.

      Their other scam is that they get to set their rates based only on their loss experience, and do not have to take into account the much greater profits they make from investing your premium money in the marketplace.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Corey Lewis: The new chunky grille bars wrapped over the bumper are an improvement over the former dental floss look,...
  • JMII: It is less ugly for sure. The fake vents on the previous model were a crime. You want a nice looking Civic? The...
  • Roberto Esponja: Audis are for the most part lovely vehicles when viewed from the back or sideways, but I just...
  • Imagefont: I like me some boring 4-door hatch with fold down seats that can handle a bicycle or two and weird shaped...
  • JimC2: I just checked the Carmax national inventory and there are zero manual transmission Camrys (going back to...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber