By on May 30, 2019

With automakers perpetually promoting daft new technologies as a way to appease investors, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a new idea that made us take pause and wonder why nobody else had come up with it first. Fortunately, Jaguar Land Rover has done us a solid, with research help from Glasgow University, and delivered a “sensory steering wheel” aimed at giving drivers silent feedback through temperature variances.

The applications of the device are yet to be settled upon but JLR has suggested that the wheel could be used to notify the driver of less-pressing issues that don’t warrant an audible announcement or even offer silent turn-by-turn navigation.  (Read More…)

By on August 24, 2018

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Interior, Image: VWScott writes:

Hi Sajeev,

The steering wheel on my 2016 VW GTI (manual w/performance package) is off center by a few millimeters to the left. It’s been this way since new and I’ve had the dealer look at it twice.

The first time (w/250 miles on the clock) they told me there’s a service bulletin and that it’s normal pending the telescoping position of the steering wheel. We did an alignment with no luck (it’s cocked to the left in any telescope position). Then a year later the same dealer told me there is no such service bulletin and acknowledged that it’s off center, but offered no viable solution. I’ve noticed via a few online forums that many Volkswagens have this issue (with various fixes, such as tie rod adjustment or repositioning the steering wheel). I’d like to have this fixed as I love the car. Seeking your advice on what path I should take. I am okay with taking my car to an independent mechanic vs. the dealer….

Love your column, keep up the great work! (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2016

4-sept-frypan-wheel-adelaide

Anything that happens in Australia is already sort of funny, because we all remember the Simpsons episode where the Aussie locals play knifey-spoony and Homer salutes the toilet.

Well, from the land of Midnight Oil, Nicole Kidman and the defunct Ford Falcon Ute comes this story, thanks to Jalopnik, the South Australia Police, and a man who wouldn’t let a missing steering wheel end his motoring dreams. (Read More…)

By on September 23, 2015

car design interior. shutterstock user Kurt Achatz

Seth writes:

Hey Sajeev,

I’ve always had an aversion to dashboards where the main gauges are in the center of the car (Mini, Yaris, etc.). I can see why an automaker would do it if they sell internationally. Once, back when I used to listen to the Autoblog podcast, one of the hosts said that having the gauges in the center made them faster and easier to read. No way! That just can’t be so. I think I stopped listening to the podcast right then and there.

Would you care to comment?

(Read More…)

By on June 12, 2015

rusty

On September 14th of last year, a participant in the “Rusty Wallace Racing Experience” at Kentucky Speedway crashed into first the inside track wall, then the SAFER barrier on the outside of the track. One week later, he died from the multiple and severe injuries he sustained in that crash.

On Wednesday, the text of the lawsuit filed by his estate against multiple parties was released. The allegations contained in the lawsuit should horrify anyone who has ever considered participating in, or instructing for, one of these rent-a-stock-car “experiences”.

(Read More…)

By on October 17, 2013

The end of the steering wheel

Be afraid. Be very afraid. If the aspirations of one automotive supplier come to pass, your child’s first car will not have a steering wheel come 2025, rendering her or him nothing more than a mere passenger inside a tiny commuter pod.

(Read More…)

By on February 22, 2012

 

TTAC Commentator halftruth writes:

Hey Sajeev,

I see a lot of manufacturers using the binocular style gauge motif (see Hyundai Elantra, 2011 Avalon, Chevy Cruze for example) and I hate it! I also see a lot of carmakers using the upside down triangle motif in a lot of their steering wheel designs.  We can even throw in the obligatory fuel AND coolant gauge.. they all seem to do this same thing with little variation. That said, if we look thru history, this mimicking has always gone on.

But why? Sometimes a bad idea is just that and shouldn’t be copied: I am reminded of huge gaudy consoles that take up legroom- for an automatic. (Read More…)

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