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It’s easy to panic when you’re stranded by the side of the road after your car breaks down or you’re late for an early morning meeting and it just won’t start. Helping you keep your cool and stay safe, AAA has some advice for stranded motorists.
In a case where your car just won’t start, the problem may lie with the battery. It could be that it’s discharged or there’s a poor connection. Open the hood and check out the battery to see if it’s securely mounted in place and see if the cable clamps are connected to the battery. Cable clamps that are loose or corroded may be the problem. Clean the corrosion from the battery terminals and cable clamps and make sure the clamps are secured tight. If that doesn’t work, check to see if your car is fully in park and that there’s enough fuel in the vehicle. If all else fails, it’s time to call in a road service provider.
If you ever find yourself experiencing car problems while driving, your first priority is pulling off to a safe location. This should be away from the flow of traffic, and you should stay in your car while waiting for roadside assistance. Once you’re safe, you can call your road service provider. Take a look around and take note of your surroundings, landmarks and signs – anything that will help roadside assistance find your location. There are even certain smartphone apps (such as AAA TripTik Mobile and AAA Roadside) that will send your GPS location right to your roadside assistance provider.
Once roadside assistance has picked you up, you need to decide where to take it to get fixed. If you’re far from home and can’t get it to your regular mechanic, the easiest way to find a repair ship is with the help of a handy smartphone app (again the AAA TripTik Mobile and AAA Roadside apps can help you out here).
In Nissan‘s continuing effort to relieve range anxiety, the automaker has now announced a joint project with the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) to test out a roadside assistance vehicle capable of recharging electric vehicles.
“As EVs gain wider consumer acceptance, it is important to create a roadside assistance system that can help motorists driving EVs which have run out of battery power, as well as to build a charging infrastructure,” said Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan’s senior vice president of External and Governmental Affairs. “Nissan is leveraging the development and trial operation of this roadside service vehicle with charging equipment – and the accompanying staff training – to strengthen cooperation with JAF and to benefit customers. This will build confidence in EV use and contribute toward achieving a society with low carbon emissions.”
Along with recharging electric cars, like the Nissan Leaf, the support vehicle is capable of acting as a tow truck as well.
Testing of the vehicle began today in Japan, as Nissan and JAF look to move this project into reality.
Would a roadside assistance program like this make you more likely to buy an EV?
GALLERY: Nissan Roadside Assistance EV Charger
The concept of paying it forward has really caught in Los Angeles. According to a study done by OnStar, the city ranked number one when it came to drivers helping each other when they were in need.
OnStar used anonymous subscriber interaction data to gather information on the 10 largest U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas. They found that in 2010, Los Angeles had the most Good Samaritan calls in 2010. So what is a Good Samaritan call? It’s when an OnStar subscriber uses their 365/24/7 live advisor access to report another motorist’s problem on the road. This includes car crashes, flat tires, or any other vehicle assistance issue.
“Los Angeles residents deserve a huge pat on the back for their part in reporting actionable situations to our advisors, and ultimately helping to ensure many drivers’ safety,” said Terry Inch, director of Subscriber Services. “We’re all familiar with the adage of helping one’s neighbor, but L.A. has really taken that phrase to mean ‘helping your fellow motorist.’”
Coming in first, Los Angeles made 2,449 Good Samaritan calls. That’s almost 900 more calls than the second place contender, Chicago. After the jump, see how other cities fared in the list.
Mercedes-Benz has just released the updated version of its mbrace app for the iPhone, which gives you your own personal concierge service.
Partnering up with Hughes Telematics to bring you this app, Mercedes’ mbrace comes with the same host of safety and convenience features – finding your car in a parking lot, locking and unlocking the doors – as well as the Mercedes-Benz Concierge service, which lets you take their mbrace services with you when you leave your vehicle.
The Concierge service does so much so you don’t have to. It can access your location information to provide you with relevant entertainment recommendations, restaurant locations, directions, traffic updates and more. This destination information can then be sent directly from the concierge to an in-vehicle navigation system. It also lets you save multiple accounts in the log-in screen and assign nicknames. This makes it easy and quick to access multiple mbrace accounts from one device.
The mbrace also comes with enhanced Roadside Assistance. When you make the call to Roadside Assistance, your location information is transmitted to the Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance Center. This provides a more efficient and accurate service when you need it most. For those times when the vehicle may not be accessible, doesn’t have power, or is in an unknown location, the mobile application allows Mercedes-Benz to pinpoint exactly where to send assistance.
New "With You" program currently only available in Italy, but Ferrari planning expanding offer
To further enhance the Ferrari ownership experience and to please not only the automaker’s new car customers, but also its connoisseurs, the company behind the prancing horse badge has announced a new roadside assistance program for all out of warranty models dating back to 1947. And the best part? It’s free!
Ferrari’s “With You” program is available 365 days a year for vehicles outside the factory 3 year warranty, as well as those that do not already have an existing extended program from Ferrari (which typically covers the vehicle for its first 10 years). As well as transporting the Ferrari back to an authorized service center, Ferrari will also cover personal travel expenses (either to the service center or home), as well as any related hotel expenses.
Sound too good to be true? Well it is, unless you live in Italy.
The “With You” roadside assistance program is currently only offered in Ferrari’s native country, but the automaker has said it has plans to expand the program throughout Europe in the near future, starting with the U.K.
[Photo Credit: Supercars.dk]
Official release after the jump: