SafeCar.info is providing you with easily digestible wrap-ups of car safety news weekly in a quick synopsis of the major stories dealing with car safety issues. Find out the latest recalls, scandals, safety improvements or concerns quickly and easily right here.
NHTSA Adds Auto-Braking to 5 Star Rating
The march towards ever-increasing automatic safety features on vehicles continues as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that the feature of automatic braking will be added to its list of safety features required for a government 5 star safety rating starting in 2018.
This relatively new safety feature automatically applies the brakes on a vehicle when the driver does not when a front crash is imminent. The system is controlled by front end radar and has the potential to stop or at least mitigate 80% of rear end crashes. With 1700 rear end fatalities a year, this one feature could literally save hundreds of lives. The NHTSA announced earlier that it had reached agreements with 10 auto manufacturers to include the safety technology on their vehicles. This next step ensures that all vehicles by 2018 will have this life saving technology.
Winter Safety Warnings
It is that time of year again when drivers start changing their driving habits because of the cold weather. However, there are some positive changes and some negative. Winter in many locations present difficult and challenging driving hazards with one in particular causing issues for local law enforcement agencies. If you like to warm up your vehicle in the cold weather, as millions of Americans do there is a warning that law enforcement want to pass along. A running and unattended vehicle is an easy target for car thieves. Even if you have the vehicle running and it is locked, it is easy to break a window to gain access. Also, remember not to warm your vehicle inside a closed garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other winter driving safety tips include putting on appropriate tires if your area receives significant snowfall. These tires allow vehicles a much shorter stopping distance because of the better grip they provide on snow and ice. When there is a snowfall, remember to fully clear your vehicle of snow. Uncover the entire vehicle even the roof, as snow can slide down the front or rear of the vehicle causing visual impairments or can fly off causing the same impairments for other drivers.
VW involved in another Major Recall
VW has issued a recall for 91,867 cars for a flaw that can cause a loss of braking. This defect so far has not caused any injuries or fatalities and is for Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat for the 2015-2016 years. The issue is that the camshaft lobe can shear off from the camshaft causing a loss of vacuum power for the braking system. Engine power is reduced and greater braking force is needed that can lead to a crash.
VW has said the vehicles are safe until a fix is found for the problem which it expects by March 2016, as the problem is not completely understood. If the engine loses power or the engine light comes on, VW asks that you take your vehicle to a dealership for repairs. This recall is not associated with the Emissions Scandal that the auto maker is still reeling from.
These are largest stories in car safety for the week ending 8 November 2015.