AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Deaths caused by car accidents could become a thing of the past.
In the latest Status Report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the institute touches on the subject that safety isn’t a global standard and that some regions lag behind the U.S., Europe, and Australia in protecting people in crashes.
Despite smaller, lighter cars being safer than they used to be, bigger and heavier vehicles still offer more protection in crashes.
A survey conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has revealed that 13 percent of vehicles on the road today have at least one bald tire.
From in-car technology to turbocharging, there is perhaps no other trend that’s fundamentally changing new cars more than the move to dramatically reduce the weight of modern vehicles.
The United States Department of Transportation just released data suggesting an overwhelming majority of drivers who experience connected vehicle technology respond to it favorably and perceive it as an important safety measure.
This probably doesn’t come to as a surprise to many – since we’re all guilty of it – but Consumer Reports has taken a poll that reveals 40-percent of American car owners will delay the maintenance of their vehicle due to finances.
More eye-opening is the fact that younger drivers, 18-34 years of age, tend to ignore tires and brake pads. In fact, 21-percent of them admitted to not even paying attention to those items. Of those polled, 22-percent admitted to delaying the manufacturer-recommended minor services, 17-percent postponed replacing wear items while 15-percent could live with dents and other body damage.
The vast majority involved in the poll agreed that a repair bill of $2,000 is considered a serious financial burden and that 25-percent of Americans couldn’t even afford the repair bill. Considering a car is probably the second largest investment an individual makes, it’s surprising to see how low-ranked it is in terms of priority when it comes to maintenance. 44-percent even admitted that delaying the service of their vehicle has degraded the value, safety and reliability of their car.
And the most absurd part of the entire poll? 83-percent said they were confident that their repair shop would do the work properly and for the right price. Oh boy.
In recent years, the number of cars in Latin America homes has grown exponentially. To take advantage of this growing market, car companies are offering cheap models to attract more customers into their showrooms.
Some of Latin America’s best selling cars pose high risks of life-threatening injuries and are considered to be two decades behind on safety when compared to cars sold in Europe and North America.
The Uruguay based Latin New Car Assessment Program said in a report released in Sao Paolo, that cars from four manufacturers pose the most risk to its occupants. The manufacturers and their models are the Chevrolet Celta, Corsa Classic and Cruz, the Nissan March and Tiida hatchback, the Fiat Novo Uno (pictured) and the Ford Focus and Ka. These cars provide a one-star safety rating rather than five-star provided by cars sold in Europe and North America. Poor safety standards and ever growing traffic in these markets are resulting in many traffic fatalities.
Max Mosley, who is the chairman of the British based Global New Car Assessment Program says; “We are witnessing an unprecedented growth in automobile use in emerging markets like Brazil, China and India. Yet it is precisely in these countries where we face a growing death toll on the roads.”
The car companies mentioned in this report have not made any comment on these finding yet.
[Source: Detroit News]
What do teens know about car maintenance and safety? Bendix Brakes took to the streets to find out and as it turns out, teens don’t know much about these subjects.
Bendix Brakes decided to put together a few fun videos aimed at educating teen drivers about the cars they’re driving. This comes after the company commissioned a study that found than 30 percent of parents reported that their teen drivers had a roadside breakdown by the time they reached 19. The study goes on to say that one in four of these parents say their teens don’t care how their car works, as long as it works.
The result is an online campaign titles “Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety.” This video series is meant to educate both teens and parents about safe driving habits and keeping their vehicles properly maintained. You can find them on Bendix’s Facebook and YouTube pages, and although there are only two available right now, more are scheduled to follow. The first features real responses from teens on the street about car components, while the second video shows the top five car care tips for young drivers.
Watch the video that showcases real responses from teens after the jump.
We all know that obesity has an adverse effect on our health, but did you know that is also has a detrimental effect on fuel economy and car safety? Those are the findings coming out of a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
General findings from this new report on obesity showed that there was a 1.1 percent increase (an additional 2.4 million people) in the self-reported prevalence of obesity between 2007 and 2009, and the number of states with an obesity rate over 30 percent has tripled to nine states (compare that to 2000, when there were no states that had an obesity rate of 30 percent). Not only does this become a concern for health, but also has repercussions when it comes to automobiles. The rise in obesity has forced these people, out of necessity, to buy larger vehicles, which increases gasoline consumption in the U.S. and fuel consumption increases with more weight in cars.
In 2006, a study done by Entrepreneur.com analyzed the amount of additional fuel consumed due to heavier drivers. They found that almost 1 billion gallons of gasoline per year can be attributed to passenger weight gain in non-commercial vehicles between 1960 and 2002. That comes out to .7 percent of the total fuel used by passenger vehicles annually. They also estimated that for every pound gained in average passenger weight, over 39 million gallons of fuel is used annually.
One the safety side of things, the obesity problem also increases the risk of crashes and injury is more prevalent due to the fact that obese drivers are less likely to buckle up because seat belts may not fit properly.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Pop quiz: What does the symbol above – found on the dashboard of cars and trucks made after 2008 – stand for?
A) Warning: big hips ahead
B) Yikes! Have you put on weight?
C) Oh no! Your big mug is empty
D) Danger! A viking helmet is heading right for you!
Actually, it’s none of the above – it’s a tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS for short (in layman’s terms, it’s the light on your dashboard that looks like a fat U with tire treads on the bottom).
And what does it tell you? The TPMS icon lights up when tire pressure in one or more of your vehicle’s tires is 25 percent below the manufacturer’s recommended amount. And all vehicles made after 2008 are required to have them. This stems from the Ford Explorer mess from about a decade ago when rollover accidents were blamed on underinflated Firestone tires. Because of this debacle, it was found that many drivers never check their tire pressure, which in turn puts their lives and their gas mileage at risk. The idea of a warning light seemed like a no-brainer.
If you failed our little quiz, we bet you feel a little silly now. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Schrader, a company that makes tire pressure monitoring system, conducted a survey at the start of 2010 that found that 46 percent of drivers didn’t realize that the little tire-tread icon was supposed to look like tire treads. And even if they did recognize the icon or not, a third of those polled didn’t know what the tire pressure monitoring system is.
Further results showed that 14 percent thought the light was warning them that something else was wrong with their vehicle, but not tire pressure.