The latest in Car Safety news is a weekly segment here at SafeCar.info enabling you to see what the largest issues about car safety are including recalls, new technology, breaking reports and studies; keeping you informed is what we are aiming to do.
Lessons from the VW Scandal
One of the few good things to come out of the massive VW Emissions Scandal is lessons that governments, consumers, testing organizations and manufacturers can take away from the incident. The scandal involved VW enabling a “cheat device” on their older TDI engines in order to beat worldwide emission testing especially in the US.
Some of the questions being asked and that many people are looking for answers to include: How is this possible? Should I abandon my VW? Will diesel vehicles die out? What will the penalties for VW be? Will it be possible for it to happen again? Are current VW vehicles safe?
These hard questions in part are being answered as the investigation continues. What is evident so far is that a certain portion of executives at VW knew about the scandal and participated in its implementation and eventual cover-up. Diesel does not look to be on its way out, but this will only tell when the next round of consumers decide on which type of fuel to buy for their car. More questions still need answering.
2016 Acura Lineup Safest of them all
It is becoming less rare that vehicles have been able to get a 5 star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Top Safety Pick Plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, when an entire manufacturer’s division lineup is rated with both of these prestigious awards across every single vehicle it is unprecedented.
Yet that is exactly what the Acura division has done; the first ever division line up to achieve these safety ratings from both organizations. If you are concerned with safety and want an entry luxury to full luxury vehicle, then look no further than an Acura as your next purchase this year. With amazing crash ratings, every available and suggested crash avoidance technology and the only vehicles to be rated Superior for front crash prevention from the IIHS, drivers cannot go wrong.
Volvo’s Self-Driving Stance is Unique
With many manufacturers stating they want a fully autonomous self-driving vehicle on the road by 2020, the rhetoric surrounding these vehicles is on the rise. However, simply putting a road like this on the road is different than ensuring it is indeed safe and ensuring current legislation, safety institutes and governments are on board with the idea. Expecting regulations and legislation before these vehicles are even tested seems like putting the cart before the horse in this instance, but how else should it be done?
Most manufacturers agree that the technology may be ready before society is. Volvo has come out with a bold notion and challenge to other car manufacturers. Their CEO, Hakan Samuelsson has stated that “When you drive manually, the driver is responsible. When it’s automatic, we as the manufacturer are liable.” This bold statement he says should be the crux of the debate and further states that if manufacturers cannot stand behind their cars then they are not ready for these vehicles. Will these cars even need insurance in the future? Will the price of cars skyrocket as a result? Time will tell.
Is a Throttle Delay for Safety, safe?
In the European Union, manufacturers are asked to help the environment by ensuring noise reduction and emission reduction on numerous sport model cars. This ends up resulting in software that produces a response lag in the throttle of most sports cars, anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds. For example, you are passing on a rural road, within normal limits and an unexpected car is in your lane as you are overtaking another vehicle. You stomp on the gas to get back into your lane, but unfortunately have to wait 2.5 seconds, before the car responds.
This type of safety issue is definitely contentious. In most cases the software is acting in exactly the same fashion it was designed for. However, in extreme cases, the responsiveness of an engine and a good driver can in fact avoid accidents. So what is more important; fuel efficiency and noise reduction or safety?
These are biggest stories in car safety for the week ending 18 October 2015.