Allstate Confirms: Washington, DC Drivers Are The Worst

Posted in Lists, News, Newsworthy, Police, Safety by Kurt Ernst | September 8th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Image: Yuri Long

If, for some unknown reason, you really want to get into a car accident, the best place in the country to live is Washington, DC. In DC, your chance of having an accident goes up by 107 percent compared to the national average, which probably explains why so many law firms call DC home. Read More…

BMW Recalling 241,000 3 Series Models

Posted in BMW, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | September 4th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

An E46 3 Series. Image Rudolf Strickler

If you own a BMW 3 Series model built between 2002 and 2005, heads up: the automaker is recalling some 241,000 325i, 325Xi, 330i and 330Xi models manufactured between September 1, 2001 and March 1, 2005. At issue is the electrical contact between the wiring harness and the tail lights. Over time, resistance can build up at the connection and cause the failure of the brake lights, tail lights or directional signals.

While no accidents or injuries have been reported, the condition could increase the chances of being in an accident. BMW dealers will inspect the connections and repair as necessary, when the recall begins in October. Owners with questions or concerns can reach BMW’s customer service at (800) 525-7417, or they can contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for additional details on this recall.

Source: NHTSA

Viral Dutch Ad For The Hyundai Veloster An Instant Classic

Posted in Bizarre, Funny Videos, Hyundai, Safety, Scandal by Kurt Ernst | August 24th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Rumor has it that this ad was banned from Dutch television as being just a tad too shocking and tasteless. We’re not buying that the ad was ever intended for television audiences, because even the Germans wouldn’t run an ad like this. Our guess is that the ad was created specifically for the internet, since nothing is off-limits in cyberspace.

If you get past the whole shock thing (and I won’t ruin the video by telling you what happens in advance), it’s a pretty funny ad and a good way for Hyundai to promote the practicality of the third door on its upcoming Veloster model. Unless, of course you live in Japan, Australia, Britain or any of the other countries that drive on the wrong side of the road, in which case this ad won’t make any sense at all. Video after the jump. Read More…

NHTSA Investigates 2002-07 BMW 7-Series Cars

Posted in BMW, News, Safety by Kurt Ernst | August 10th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

BMW 745i. Image: IFCAR

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating claims that 2002 to 2007 BMW 7-Series models equipped with BMW’s “Comfort Access” system and electronic gear selector, which is supposed to put the vehicle into “Park” when the ignition is shut off, can potentially roll away on their own. The agency initiated the investigation after receiving a report of a 2006 BMW 7 Series rolling away after the driver had exited the vehicle. Read More…

NHTSA Looking At Ford Mustang Transmissions

Posted in auto industry, Favorite Cars, Ford, Mustang, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | August 9th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Image: Ford Motor Company

This has been a long time coming, but the NHTSA has finally launched an investigation into the manual transmissions used on 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustang models. The agency has received 32 complaints to date, including both 5.0-liter and 3.7-liter equipped cars, but the issue has been well-documented on Mustang internet message boards for nearly a year. There may be 32 official complaints, but there are a lot more dissatisfied owners out there. Read More…

Honda Recalls 1.5 Million Accords, CR-Vs And Elements

Posted in auto industry, Honda, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | August 6th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The 2012 Honda CR-V. Image: Honda Automobiles

If you drive a 2005-10 Honda Accord with a four-cylinder engine, a 2007-10 Honda CR-V or a 2005-08 Honda Element, heads up. Honda has announced a major recall of these vehicles to re-program the shift software on the automatic transmission. Owners have reported problems when shifting rapidly and repeatedly between drive and reverse, as when rocking a car to get it unstuck in snow. Doing do can damage the transmission’s secondary shaft bearing, which may cause the engine to stall or prevent the transmission from entering “Park.” Read More…

Ford Recalls 1.1 Million Pickups For Failing Gas Tank Straps

Posted in auto industry, Ford, Lincoln, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | August 3rd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The 2003 Ford F-150. Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford has announced a major recall of over 1.1 million F-150, F-250 and Lincoln Blackwood pickups to replace the gas tank retaining straps in states where corrosion due to road salt is a potential issue. At risk are 1997-2004 F-150s, 1997-99 F-250s and 2002-03 Lincoln Blackwood models, but the trucks are only being recalled in northern states where the use of road de-icing chemicals is common. Read More…

FIA Looks At Ways To Keep F1 Drivers Safe

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, Safety by Kurt Ernst | July 19th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Formula One has been a relatively safe sport for almost two decades. Following the tragic deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the San Marino GP in 1994, the sport went to great lengths to police itself. Improvements were made to both tracks and cars in an effort to prevent future tragedies, and so far they’ve paid big dividends. Even serious-looking crashes rarely produce catastrophic injuries anymore, but there’s always room to improve on driver safety. Read More…

Good News: Car Theft Is Down. Bad News: Not In California.

Posted in Lists, News, Rankings, Safety by Kurt Ernst | June 27th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Image: Jesse Bikman, Creative Commons 2.0

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car theft fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2010, and is now at levels not seen since 1967. Overall, car thefts fell by 7.2 percent from 2009 to 2010, but the news isn’t all good. Car thefts in the top five hotspots actually increased from 2009 to 2010, and four of those top five hotspots are located in California. In fact eight out of the top ten are located in the Golden State, with the remaining two high theft locations in Washington. Read More…

What’s New From Ford

Posted in Car Tech, Ford, Safety by Kurt Ernst | June 23rd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Coming soon: better voice recognition, thanks to Ford and Nuance.

Like any other automaker these days, Ford is scrambling to build ever more fuel efficient vehicles without sacrificing drivability. They’re relying heavily on technology to do so, and innovations like Ford’s EcoBoost engine family (which use low pressure turbocharging to enhance power output from small displacement, high compression, direct injection engines) make both power and fuel economy possible. Ford’s using technology to build safer cars, and more than any other automaker they’re scrambling to incorporate the high-tech features car buyers want, without upsetting an ever more stringent NHTSA. Read More…