IIHS: Side Airbags Cut Deaths Nearly in Half
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s latest study indicates that side-impact airbags can reduce road fatalities by as much as 45 percent in cars so equipped. The insurance industry-funded group reports that side curtain airbags are the more effective type; through data interpretation the IIHS reports that side airbags that do not protect the head, only the chest and abdomen, can still reduce deaths by ten percent. The IIHS says its study is the first of its kind for the new type of airbag, which helped some sport-utes finish well in the group’s last rollover and crash tests as well. "Before head-protecting airbags were available there was virtually nothing to prevent people's heads from being struck by intruding vehicles or rigid objects like trees and poles in serious side-impact crashes. Now we know side airbags can change this and do a good job of protecting heads," said Institute president Brian O'Neill in a release.
DAILY EDITION: August 22, 2003 by TCC Team (8/21/2003)
Escalade big for thieves, Caddy looking to Europe?
Spy Shots: ’05 Kia Sportage
Recently we showed you pictures of Hyundai’s Elantra–based “JM” crossover. Now we have pictures of Kia’s version – known internally as the “KM.” The KM will be introduced for the 2005 model year and is considered a replacement for the Sportage. Measuring in smaller than the popular Santa Fe, the new KM is expected to be powered by a 2.0-liter four, with an optional 2.7-liter V-6 available as an option. Front-wheel drive will be standard, with an all-wheel-drive option available.
Spy Shots: 2005 Kia SUV by Brenda Priddy (8/25/2003)
Replacing the Sportage at the entry level.
Spy Shots: ’05 Pontiac Grand Am
It’s no surprise that the 2005 Grand Am replacement looks amazingly like the G6 concept shown at the 2003 NAIAS. We use the name carefully because a name change is expected for the all-new Epsilon-based sedan, as well as for the coupe (four doors, two of which will be “quarter” doors), and possibly even a retractable hardtop model expected to follow. Standard V-6 power and larger interior volume, not to mention the sleek styling, will move the car up a notch or two in the marketplace.
Spy Shots: ’05 Pontiac Grand Am by Brenda Priddy (8/25/2003)
A concept lookalike barreling ahead into production.
Subaru Recalling ’04 Models
Subaru of America will recall some of its 2004 vehicles because of a design problem with the fuel lines. The company’s American arm said on Tuesday that it would bring back about 7800 Legacy and Outback vehicles because a mispositioned fuel-hose clamp could lead to a fuel leak. The vehicles involved in the recall were manufactured between early June and early August, the company told Reuters.
2004 Subaru Forester/Baja Turbo by John Pearley Huffman (7/21/2003)
Blown, and better for it.
DAILY IN DEPTH
Honda Going Big With Natural Gas Civics Next Year
Honda next year will begin marketing natural-gas-powered Civics in California that will come with a device to fill the car's tank in the owner's garage. If sales for the $20,000 Civic GX go well, Honda will expand the effort.
It's the first time an automaker will market a natural-gas vehicle broadly to the public. Up to now, sales have been mostly limited to specialized fleets like airport vans and utility company trucks an vans. Compared with gasoline, natural gas emits 70 percent less carbon monoxide, 87 percent less nitrogen oxides and 20 percent less carbon dioxide.
Honda has sold between 500 and 1000 natural-gas Civic GX models a year since 1998. "There's interest in natural gas, same as hybrids, but the refilling infrastructure hasn't been there," said Honda's alternate fuel vehicle sales manager Stephen Ellis. "With home refueling now, we have that covered."
Honda will sell a device, called a "Phill," along with each Civic GX to fill the car's tank from the homeowner's gas line. Phill will cost $2000, but tax credits may knock the end-cost down to $1000. Phill, made by Toronto-based Fuelmaker Corp., requires eight hours to half-fill a vehicle, which is good for 100 miles. The total range of the GX is 200 miles with a full tank. Honda and OEM supplier Magna International are stakeholders in Fuelmaker.
Ellis doesn't think the long fill-up times at home will be a deterrent to sales. "We are looking at this as a second car or commuter car for people, and people who buy them figure out quickly how to live with them." GX owners also can refill at approximately 1300 natural-gas stations nationwide. Filling stations that dispense compressed natural gas under pressure can fill a tank in three to five minutes. GX owners can ride in California high-occupancy-vehicle lanes even if driving alone.
Running a vehicle on natural gas historically costs about 80 percent of what it costs to run on gasoline. Natural gas prices spiked earlier this year, but have about halved since February. Honda views natural gas as a bridge technology to hydrogen powered vehicles and residential hydrogen fuel cells. Once people get used to the idea of natural gas appliances in their garages and gaseous fuel for their car, the thinking goes, it's a short step to hydrogen. —Jim Burt
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
The South East Automotive Media Organization (SEAMO ), in cooperation with Miami's Community Newspapers and the South Florida International Auto Show (SFIAS), today announced a call for entries for the first annual Dream Rides Student Concept Vehicle Design Competition. The design competition is open to all students enrolled in grades 9-12 in either public or private high schools in Miami-Dade County.
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|FORD MOTOR CO||F||11.41||+0.33|
|HONDA MOTOR CO||HMC||20.42||+0.06|
|UNIT AUTO GRP||UAG||24.94||-0.05|
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