safety

safety

We’ve all been there and done that; you’re cruising down the road and the “Check Engine” light pops on. Then you have three choices. Choice No. 1 is simply ignoring the light and risking damaging important components on your car. Choice No. 2 is taking the car to the shop and pay upward of $100 just to have the light diagnosed. Choice No. 3 is to buy your own scanner for $50-plus and hope that you can sort out the problem.

Well, now there is a product named Automatic Link that takes the place of the standard OBD-II scanner and spits out the code that the check engine light was caused by and a general summary of the code right on your Bluetooth-compatible smartphone.

On top of being a rolling and wireless scanner, it also keeps tab on your driving style, mpg and so much more.

Click past the just to read our review on the Automatic Link

Porsche Carrera 4 and 4S

Porsche rarely ever has a recall, but today it has issued one because of a faulty exhaust system that can result in other drivers being in danger.

Porsche North America has issued a voluntary recall for 2012 to 2013 911 Carrera and Carrera 4 vehicles manufactured from March 7, 2012 through November 12, 2012 and equipped with a standard (not sport) exhaust system. According to the recall report, the tailpipe may crack, which can result in the pipe breaking free from the muffler and fall onto the road while you are driving, In such a case, the 911 may become a hazard for other vehicles on the road, increasing the risk of a crash.

Porsche announced that each owner will be notified and local dealers will replace the rear mufflers free of charge. Still, if you drive such a model you are being advised to contact Porsche at 1-800-767-7243.

Source: nhtsa

For the better part of a decade, The Formula One Safety Car has been driven by veteran DTM racer Bernd Mayländer. So when a discussion begins on anything and everything to do with the lineup of Mercedes vehicles that have served as safety cars for F1 races, no one is more qualified to talk about them than Mayländer.

In this video, Mayländer does just that, taking us on a short history lesson regarding the line-up of Mercedes models that have had their turn in silver and emblazoned with F1 decals with matching emergency lights fitted on top of the roof.

From the Mercedes CL55 AMG in 2000 - his first year as F1 Safety Car driver - all the way to the current SLS AMG , Mayländer discusses all his memories from all his babies, recounting the unique qualities of all the cars and even picking his favorite among the bunch.

Spoiler Alert: It’s not the SLS AMG.

And as an added treat, Mayländer, at the end of the video, unveiled the newest F1 Safety Car, the Mercedes SLS AMG GT , which will begin its time on track for the 2013 Formula One season.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

It looks like even the greatest supercars in the world are affected by certain recalls. The latest one comes from Lamborghini who announced a voluntary recall for certain 2012 Aventador models manufactured between July 15, 2011and April 20, 2012 due to a problem with the headlamps.

According to the recall, the 144 units affected are failing to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment." The affected vehicles may have headlights that can be aimed horizontally but not vertically.

Because of this incorrect headlamp aim the driver’s visibility is being reduced and it can also blind oncoming traffic. Either condition may increase the risk of crash.

The safety recall will begin on December 17, 2012. Lamborghini will notify owners, and your local will enable the vertical aiming and disable the horizontal aiming of the headlights, free of charge. If you are driving such a model you are being advised to contact Lamborghini at 1-866-681-6276.

Source: NHTSA
Volkswagen Beetle

That didn’t took too long, did it? Volkswagen USA has just announced a voluntary recall for 2012 to 2013 Beetle vehicles, manufactured from February 2012, through August 2012, and equipped with leather sport seats. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), if the right front passenger seat gets wet, the occupant control module may not properly detect the presence of a child restraint installed in the seat.

In this case, during an accident, the airbag will not turn off and the child secured in the child seat may be at an increased risk for serious injury.

As a result, NHTSA advices everyone driving such a model to call their local dealers. Volkswagen will replace the control modules, free of charge, but until this point VW has not provided a notification schedule for the recall. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 1-800-822-8987 or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

Fisker Karma

Yesterday, we let you know that 16 Fisker Karmas went up in flames after they were submerged at a New Jersey port following Hurricane Sandy. We now have Fisker’s official announcement regarding these fires, and it’s actually a little better a situation than we had initially assumed.

According to the report from Fisker, a single Karma caught fire after saltwater left corrosive residue on the vehicle control unit. This component then shorted out and caused a fire. The heavy winds from the Hurricane then spread the flames to the other 16 Karmas parked near it. This means that the other 15 burned Karmas actually survived submersion without catching fire. To us, that’s actually pretty incredible.

Also being reported is that the Karma was not the only vehicle that burned after Sandy beat the hell out of the northeast, as several Toyota Priuses and even a few gasoline-powered cars joined in on the automotive BBQ. Fisker has also debunked the myth that there was an explosion from the burning Karmas and that the lithium ion batteries – one of the more scary parts of electric vehicles – were not a contributing factor in the fire.

Just like we said before, when you add water to electronics, bad things are bound to happen. It’s actually pretty incredible that just one Karma went up in flames as a direct result of being submerged. In case you are thinking Fisker may have “cooked the books” on this investigation, keep in mind that the NHTSA was involved in the investigation.

UPDATE 11/08/2012: After a crazy week at Fisker, our contact was finally able to get back to us and let us know that the Karmas damaged totaled 338 and Fisker is putting through an insurance claim for them. Also, the cars destroyed were simply dealership stock and were not pre-sold vehicles, so no customers will be out of a car. Additionally, the damaged Karmas will not affect Fisker’s normal business operations moving forward.

Fisker also provided us with their full press release regarding the situation.

Click past the jump to read the full presser.

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

As you probably have noticed we have had tons of recalls in the past few months. It started with 10-20 units recalled here and there and culminated with the monstrous 7.4 million units recalled announced by Toyota. And now Maserati is also joining the recalling list with a total of 485 2012 Quattroporte , Granturismo , GranCabrio , and Granturismo MC vehicles.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) may malfunction due to a software error, preventing the driver from being notified of a low tire pressure situation. And if the driver will continue using the vehicle with a tire that has low air pressure, the tire may fail, increasing the risk of a crash.

So, if you drive such a more you should contact your local dealer and you’ll have the TPMS control unit replaced free of charge. The campaign is expected to begin in early November 2012. You may contact Maserati at 1-201-816-2600 in order to find out more details about the recall.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Quality and safety took a hit this week as a number of vehicles are headed back to the dealer for some much needed repairs. It started with 432 units of the 2013 SL-Class recalled due to an air-conditioner refrigerant line before the Toyota whammy of 7.4 million units recalled because of a potential malfunction with the power window systems.

Today, the recall affects a total of 169 Aston Martin V12 Vantage coupe models produced between 2010 and 2012. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those models have failed to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 138, "Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems." "On these vehicles, the low tire pressure warning light will not illuminate until the tire pressure in the front tires is more than 25% below the recommended cold tire pressure." Under certain situations, this problem could lead to tire failure and a possible crash.

From the 169 units, only 148 were delivered to customers, while the other 21 units are being put on hold until the problem is solved. The owners who have received their models are being asked to take their vehicles to the nearest dealer where their car will have the software for the tire pressure monitoring system reprogrammed free of charge.

The number 7.4 million can no longer be singularly attached to the hotel bill a Saudi Arabian princess tried to skip out on back in June 2012. Toyota has just announced that 7.4 million models are being recalled, just 3 million shy of the massive recall the company had to issue back in 2010. Is this history repeating itself and should we all fully lose faith in the popular Japanese brand?

Sorry, drama queens, but this recall is a lot less serious than the sticky accelerator pedals from the 2010 recall. The company is recalling these units because of a potential malfunction with the power window systems. Out of 7.4 million affected models, 2.5 million can be found in the US, 1.4 million in China, and 1.4 million in Europe. This list includes models like the Yaris , Camry , Tundra , and RAV4 produced between 2007 and 2009.

According to an official Toyota press release, the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS) may experience a "notchy" or sticky feel during operation. If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the "notchy" or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances. What’s with "sticky" issues at Toyota?

This problem may have been caused by an uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier. If the grease is not applied evenly, frequent use of the switch and normal operation may cause the grease to become carbonized and may eventually result in the deterioration of its lubricating properties.

If anyone is driving one of the models listed after the jump, they should address their local dealer and their car will be repaired in about one hour.

Hit the jump for a full list of US models to be recalled.

The Aston Martin Vantage Carbon Black is one fast piece of machinery, as it features a 6-liter V-12 engine that pumps out 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet with a top speed of 190 mph. Not many Aston Martin owners ever really sniff that top speed, but when they do, it is typically on a closed course or somewhere that it is permissible, like the Autobahn.

There are two reasons that drivers don’t do this on normal roads: No. 1- it is flat out unsafe and No. 2- you can get into serious trouble. One driver in Belgium named Erik Paris decided to get as close as he could to that top speed on the E17 highway in his home country, and he managed to get his ride up to 292 km/h (181 mph) with his friend filming it. In a fit of stupidity, his friend chose to upload the video on YouTube, which you can see above in all of its “The Doors” blaring glory.

Apparently the authorities in Belgium are well aware of the Interwebz and YouTube, as they managed to dig up the video and nail the driver for this excessive speed. His punishment is pretty hefty too; a 30-month driving ban in the entire country. Actually, the punishment is relatively lax, considering the fact that Belgium law allows a ban of up to 5 years for this moronic act of negligence.

Rumor has it, that following getting busted for this crazy act, Erik sold the Aston Marin. That is likely the wisest move that this man has ever made in his life.


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