Archive for Driver’s Seat

Zeitgeist grasped

It’s a wacky hybrid that Jack Baruth has stitched together for The Truth About Cars:

Welcome back my friends, to the show that has yet to end! In this episode of QOTD, I answer the questions that you, the people, have entered into search engine-queries that landed you at TTAC.

Not only does this neatly appropriate the search-string business that I didn’t actually invent, but the questions TTAC has been getting seem to fit right into the stuff I sniff at over at Yahoo! Answers. A single example should suffice:

what transmission will fit my 1998 grand prix gtp?  The one you just removed, you moron! Put it back!

Lot of morons out there.

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Virtue signal activated

This chap wrote to the Oklahoman because he was presumably grievously aggrieved, or something:

Driving around the Oklahoma City metro area it’s hard not to notice all of the old, expired “rain arrow” license plates. Some of these tags are expired by many months, costing the government revenue. I hope the relevant law enforcement agencies can deal with this in a humane way that upholds the rule of law.

Now I’m tempted to put my “rain arrow” plate back on the car. It bears a properly issued June 2018 expiration.

Quick explanation: I ordered the same number as I’d had on the previous design and the one before that. The Tax Commission, sensibly, sent me the date sticker; they apparently had no idea when the actual plate would ship, and they were unwilling to see a 28-year customer put in legal jeopardy in case some twit wished to register a complaint. Eventually the plate shipped, and I swapped; but since the plates were made in sequence starting with AAA-000, and it was nine months before they got through the letter F, someone who had done similarly with a tag starting with X or Y might still be waiting. Remember when tags from Oklahoma County started with X or Y? I do.

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The Chinese order in

The Chinese auto market is the world’s largest, but it’s not at all satisfied with its wide array of workaday wagons and such:

China’s new money crowd has an insatiable appetite for luxury status symbols to show off their riches. And there is no excess more glorious than a hyperspeed SUV to sit in during the regular multi-day traffic jams near Beijing or Shanghai. There is a triple whammy of taxation at the point of sale for such vehicles; the standard sales tax first (17%), then another hit for expensive imported vehicles (10%), and yet again on engines displacing over 4 liters (20%), which means buying a glammed up, twin-turbo, V8 big-daddy-wagon can cost nearly 50% more than it would in most other countries due to the government’s cut alone. But Porsche, Mercedes, Land Rover, and BMW all want to cash in on the spending spree, so they jack up the pre-tax MSRP’s at local Chinese dealerships by DOUBLE or TRIPLE what we pay here in the U.S., ending up with a low-option Porsche Cayenne Turbo costing well north of $250,000 USD equivalent before taxes.

The solution to this, from their point of view, might seem to be obvious. From ours, not so much:

Buy brand new cars low in the US, sell high in China. The question is: is it legal? Exporting dealers thought so until 2014. They called it a “Grey Market.” The first headlines on the legality of the issue appeared in June of that year when feds cracked down on a few shipments, including one containing forty-seven baller status SUVs being transported by Efans Trading Co. All of the cars were seized. Confiscating millions of dollars of cars would seem like a government response to an illegal act, and since the raid was led by U.S. Customs, that appeared to confirm it. Before the seizure three years ago, it was estimated that 35,000 brand new high end cars and SUVs were being shipped from US ports to China each year.

Well, that was easy: blame the Feds.

Wait, what? We shouldn’t blame the Feds?

New Car Dealers themselves cannot sell cars for export because it undercuts factory margins in other countries, especially ones with 200% markup, like China. The OEMs put clauses in the dealer contracts which specifically prohibit this act. Any attempt to sell directly abroad or to any known exporter not only violates the terms of the dealer-OEM contract, but can also result in huge financial penalties from the manufacturer, withholding of inventory, and perhaps even termination of the entire franchise. Without the sticky franchise violations getting in the way, several high line stores have said they could easily move their entire multi-million dollar inventory in a week to exporters. Instead, they are turning them away in droves.

This is where the Craigslist job shopper comes in. What the exporters have realized (all of which are set up as licensed USED car dealers, even though they are selling the cars as NEW in China) is that the only way to get their sweet, juicy profits is to recruit and train an army of fresh-faced U.S. new car buyers, who are unknown to the new car dealerships.

Ingenious, if you can get it to work. And if you can get it to work more than once, you should have been up for the Golden Globes this year.

Oh, and Efans got back all 47 of its confiscated cars.

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Looks like they’re Byton

Byton is a Chinese-backed startup currently showing a prototype electric car dubbed SIV. It looks like this:

Concept car by Byton

The SIV turned up at CES (you once knew it as the Consumer Electronics Show) this week and positioned itself as an alternative to the few-and-far-between Tesla Model 3, which, as some wise guy is sure to point out, is Tesla’s fourth product.

The debut, complete with buzzwords:

A four-foot wide touchscreen? Take that, Elon Musk!

TTAC is, shall we say, skeptical:

[T]he industrial plan is for Byton to double its staff by the end of 2018, with workers streaming into its Nanjing factory as production ramps up. But production has yet to begin; the exiting prototypes were all hand-built and the Chinese plant isn’t even fully licensed by Chinese authorities yet. That’s not to say that it won’t be soon, but Byton has plenty to do before it truly hits the ground running — and fundraising will be a big part of that.

This leaves us wondering if we’ll have a legitimate automaker in the next few years or yet another example of how difficult it is to actually become one.

And there are buyers in this country who refuse even to consider a car assembled in China, let alone designed there.

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There’s a road under there somewhere

Not that I’m willing to challenge the methodology or anything:

A new report issued by SafeWise identified Wyoming as the most dangerous state for driving in snow.

The online resource that provides information on safety for communities compiled stats from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2016 crash data to make a calculation that put Wyoming far out in front of any other state for winter driving hazards. Safewise calculated the likelihood of crashing during snow per 100,000 people in each state with Wyoming receiving a 1.5 chance compared to the nearest state: Vermont (0.8).

Best and worst states for winter driving by Safewise

McG points out that much of the problem comes from a single stretch of Interstate 80:

[U]sually it’s a particular stretch of I-80, running roughly between Rawlins and Laramie. The Snow Chi Minh Trail.

I’ve driven that stretch twice — both times in the summer — and though it’s scenic as all get out, it can also be nerve-wracking when unprepared car drivers are sharing just two lanes each way with the constant stream of big rigs.

Now add several inches of snow to the mix. From John Waggener’s book on the “Trail”:

The newly constructed stretch of I-80 was dedicated Oct. 3, 1970, but residents had warned highway officials of the adverse weather conditions around the Elk Mountain area and advised them not to build a road in that location. Wyomingites who knew their history reminded highway officials that the Union Pacific Railroad looked at that same area 100 years earlier when planning and constructing the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and decided against the shorter, more direct route.

But, just four days after the highway was dedicated, a winter storm wreaked havoc on motorists traveling on the new highway, which Wyomingites referred to as a “monument to human error,” Waggener says.

If the first week of October seems an unlikely time for a snowstorm, you ain’t seen nothing yet. To quote a resident: “There’s only two seasons — winter and July.”

As for that green patch in the Southeast: call me when you have a map for freezing-rain crashes.

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Which actually seems accurate

That’s certainly the way I’d feel under the circumstances:

This is a temperature at which my own car’s display acts up.

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Fear of octane

News Item: Under [Oregon] House Bill 2482, which took effect Monday, retailers in counties with a population of less than 40,000 are allowed to have self-service gas pumps. Drivers in 15 counties can now pump their own gas any time of day, while those in three other rural counties can do so after business hours, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Residents in 48 states — New Jersey has yet to follow suit — have generally found Oregonians’ reactions to be risible:

This seems halfway sensible, although the reaction of some of Oregon’s citizens to the new law taking effect demonstrates many of them would not know “sensible” if it bit them on their rainy gray asses.

Twitter responses were telling — some people said they would refuse to pump their own gas, while others warned of the danger confronting any untrained people who dared to handle the Hose of Death. Remember — this is not a law mandating that every gas station in a town of 40,000 and under immediately abandon all motorists to the Jundland Wastes of the pump island. It is a law allowing stations to offer self-serve if they choose to.

I would argue that the new law is simply an amplification of the Oregon state motto: “Alis volat propriis” (“She flies with her own wings”).

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Two faces have I

Seriously, why would you not name this car “Janus”?

1957 Zuendapp Janus

German motorcycle manufacturer Zündapp took on this two-faced microcar from aircraft manufacturer Dornier. It was a four-seater unlike any other: the front seats faced front, and the rear seats faced back. The two doors were positioned accordingly. Somewhere in the middle was a tiny engine, a two-stroke single displacing 15 cubic inches and delivering 14 hp, good for about 50 mph if the wind is with you. Suspension was MacPherson struts all around; brakes were ventilated drums. Zündapp built 6902 of them in 1957-58 before giving up on the idea.

You’ve seen this style before, of course, in Cars 2:

Professor Z from Cars 2

Professor Zündapp is an international weapons designer with a couple of AMC losers for, um, henchmobiles. Unlike the actual car, he has but a single face.

(Via Road & Track.)

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And Mr. Hides

Gwendolyn’s leather seating areas are in pretty good shape for being 18 years old: no rips or tears, and only a few hints of getting thin. Still, cowhide wasn’t my first choice:

Please let me have something more expensive or powerful than a base Kia Rio without being forced to take plastic-slathered, formaldehyde-soaked “leather” that wouldn’t make the grade for the sole of a proper dress shoe. Nobody wants that stuff. It’s the first thing to fall apart in any new car and the only difference between it and vinyl upholstery is that you can clean vinyl upholstery without worrying about accidentally bleaching it. It’s fine for a Jaguar to have a leather interior. It’s okay for a Rolls-Royce to have a leather interior. It’s not required in a Camry or an F-150. I’ll pay real money for a better grade of cloth.

And a really good synthetic, like the legendary Mercedes-Benz MB-Tex, is almost indistinguishable from the Made from Beef stuff.

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Positive design

Of course, that’s the passenger side, but one must not be distracted while one drives:

Auto armrest designed for Whataburger fries and ketchup

I note in passing that the larger of Gwendolyn’s two cupholders will hold a large Whataburger cup in a state of amazing snugness.

(Via Texas Humor on Facebook.)

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An effort to be noticed

In the first week of 1992, Chrysler stole the Detroit Auto Show with, of all things, a Jeep:

It took Mercedes-Benz to outdo that one. In fact, this isn’t properly a Mercedes; it’s a Maybach, the Benz boys’ short-lived effort to compete in the Rolls-Royce price class.

What I loved most about the Maybach, exactly one of which I have seen in a lifetime, was not its impeccable demeanor or its ultra-luxe interior, but its simple nomenclature. Two models were made, the 57 and the 62. The 57 was 5.7 meters (224 inches) in length. You saw a 62.

(Suggested by TTAC.)

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Truckulent we may be

In fact, it’s probably a safe bet that we are:

In case you’ve just exited a 60-year coma or immigrated to this country without any prior knowledge of it, Americans have a fondness for pickup trucks. So do automotive manufacturers. Last month, the average selling price for full-size pickups was $47,393. For General Motors, that translates to about $11,000 in profit for each truck sold — but the ceiling is even higher. Two years ago, Ford was rumored to be making $13,000 on each F-Series sold and its domestic competitors weren’t far behind.

In 2015, which if I remember correctly was two years ago, Ford reported moving 780,354 F-Series trucks. If they cleared thirteen K on each of them, that’s $10 billion. Ten billion dollars. Every Fusion ever made wouldn’t add up to $10 billion.

And this seems indisputable:

Have you priced used trucks lately? 5-6 years old, 60,000-80,000 miles, and still worth roughly 50% of purchase price at trade-in. Try that with a sedan.

Don’t I wish.

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Contributory stupidity

A couple of Florida legislators would make it illegal to have your car stolen. Not for the thieves — that’s already in the books — but for you:

Last week, State Representative Wengay Newton and Senator Perry Thurston introduced matching proposals (House Bill 927 and Senate Bill 1112) that would make leaving your car unattended without stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and removing the key a second-degree misdemeanor. Under the Florida statute, the crime would be punishable with a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

“This is ground zero. There’s no more cars stolen anywhere in the state, then they are right here in St. Petersburg,” Newton told WFTS in an interview. “Shut your engine off, lock your engine, and take your keys. There’s a good chance when you get back out there, your car might be there.”

Would the threat of a $500 fine make you more protective of your $25,000 car?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Then again:

Pinellas County arrested juveniles 499 times for stealing cars in 2015, which was more than anywhere else in Florida and exceptionally high compared to other parts of the country. It’s become a serious issue for locals, especially since the Tampa Bay Times ran numerous stories suggesting most cars stolen by teens were left unlocked by their owners with the keys inside.

When in doubt, blame da yoots.

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The doctors are in

What happens when Bugatti recalls its hyperexpensive hypercars? Something like this:

According to the manufacturer, you are graced by the presence of one of Bugatti’s “Flying Doctors.” These mobile mechanics will begin contacting 47 Chiron owners to schedule dates where they can visit and examine the vehicles for faulty welds in the front seat recliner brackets.

Yep. They’ll come to you:

They will then retrieve the affected Chirons and transport them in an enclosed truck to one of 12 Bugatti dealers in the U.S. for inspections, [said] Cedric Davy, marketing manager for Bugatti. If an improper weld is found, Bugatti will replace the entire seating assembly, Bugatti said in its recall notice.

Of the forty-seven cars worldwide being recalled, twelve of them are in the States. Works out to one per American dealer.

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Approaching dilemma

You might not want to be on this road at all:

I suspect there’s a Sartre-approved No Exit sign in the next hundred yards.

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No colours anymore

I want them to turn black, as the automobile should already have told you:

If only they hadn’t posted this on the 31st of March.

As for the presenter herself … well, I’ll be in my sedan.

(Via Peter Grant.)

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Ain’t no sunshine when you brake

Only once have I had occasional to zip through Florida on Interstate 75 — about as far as I-4, anyway — but this illustrative bit from a Volvo review resounds with the ring of truth:

Like most Mercedes-Benzes, this Volvo will send you directly to full-power automatic braking if you are too close to a slowing vehicle ahead and your brake pressure is (in the vehicle’s computerized estimation) insufficient to stop you. This is a nice feature because most untrained drivers are emotionally unwilling to use full brake force. As implemented in the S90, however, it has a bit of a side effect.

Let’s say you are running nose-to-tail with the lifted “bro-dozers” in traffic on Florida’s Interstate 75. The truck ahead of you lifts the throttle a bit. You don’t have as much aero drag as he does, so you brush the brakes. What happens then is simple: The car sees that you are doing 85 mph with a truck one car length ahead of you, so it engages full ABS. It doesn’t know that you’re doing it because leaving more than one Dodge Ram’s worth of space ahead of your nose on I-75 ensures that said space will be immediately filled by a Dodge Ram. And it especially doesn’t know that there is also a Dodge Ram behind you on a six-inch lift kit and load-rated tires. So, uh, that might get you killed some day. Your mileage may vary.

The day I was there I was doing only 80, and at the exact moment I noticed I was doing 80, the rain started to come down at the rate of roughly 2.6 gullywashers. I pulled over to the shoulder to wait out the storm. (As did a Mazda 3 with out-of-state plates, who was about 1.2 Dodge Rams in front of me.)

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Future jailbird

Only now is this greaseball contemplating the consequences:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Driving no insurance?

I mean, look at this:

Ive been driving for the past 3 months with no insurance on my car and no registration. Reason being is because I have tickets racked up that I could not afford to pay off in order to re-register. If i were to re-register my vehicle now, would I get in trouble for driving with no insurance these past months, or would they not know?

Just wait until he finds out that in most states, he can’t register until his insurance is paid up — and the premium is going to be sky-high because of those tickets, which he didn’t actually say he paid off, and it wouldn’t matter that much if he had.

But wait! There’s more:

My car insurance expired in August. I never renewed my insurance or re-registered my plate. I have over a grand of tickets i am unable to afford from the past year. if my friend were to register the vehicle under his insurance even though the car is in my name, would pulling up the VIN get me in trouble for not having insurance on the car for the past 3 months? Or would it be safe to do this and have the car registered?

Yep. He’s going to jail. Good effing riddance.

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More than just an oil change

Something special for the ladies (and maybe the guys) at Lexus of Calgary:

Our in-house nail salon is ready for business!

All guests who come in for service are now welcome to enjoy a complimentary manicure.

The nail salon located within our dealership, is now officially open! Our manicurist is available anytime Monday—Friday between 8:30 am—3:00 pm. The salon has regular polish available, as well as gel polish. Already have your nails done? Why not stop in for a quick hand massage. We hope you enjoy this new addition to the dealership!

We know how busy life can get. During your visit with us, we want you to sit back and relax. Besides our nail salon addition, we have many other VIP service benefits for you to enjoy, like a barista bar, massage chairs, and much more.

You’ll never see anything like this at the local Spee-D-Loob.

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Self-swearing drivers

After that tidbit about yelling at the robot voice on the phone, the following question was posed: “One wonders what systems like this will do when they replace human drivers in New York.”

Further contemplation yielded this:

Even though the car systems will be much more sophisticated than the phone answering ones, will they have the same feature of dumping to a human being on hearing certain profanities? Because if they do, then New York City is going to be a place where driverless cars will never work. The only thing that limits street swearing there now is that some attention has to be paid to the road; give NYC drivers the freedom to cuss out whoever they want in whatever direction they want whenever they want and Manhattan is going to be the FCC’s nightmare.

Provided, of course, the Net Neutrality proponents don’t throw Ajit Pai on a funeral pyre first.

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A certain heaviness

You can’t really tell from this photo:

Judge Jeanine in blue shoes

And no information is available for the left, but apparently that right foot is solid lead:

Fox News host and TV judge Jeanine Pirro is heading to court herself after being ticketed for excessive speeding Sunday in upstate New York.

State Police say Pirro was clocked driving 119 mph in a 65 mph zone when she was stopped by a trooper at about 1:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon in the Town of Nichols in Tioga County.

A State Police spokesman said the only charge Pirro was hit with was speeding.

Forty over in New York State can get you 11 points, enough for a license suspension. And she sounds almost like she’s expecting it:

“I had been driving for hours to visit my ailing 89-year-old mom and didn’t realize how fast I was driving. I believe in the rule of law and I will pay the consequences,” Pirro said in a statement through Fox News Channel.

I just want to know what she’s driving in which you can’t tell you’re going a hundred nineteen.

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The most recent Vatican treasure

Pope Francis blesses a Lamborghini

It’s not going to be there long, though:

On Wednesday, Pope Francis became the new owner of a papal-themed Lamborghini Huracán, which was given to him by company executives at the Vatican and will be auctioned off for charity.

The sleek white Huracán with gold lines running along the hood and angles of the car’s body was presented to Francis in front of his residence at the Vatican’s Saint Martha Guesthouse Nov. 15. He blessed and autographed it in the presence of top executives from the luxury Italian sports car brand.

It was probably too early to do up the mighty bull in Advent purple.

The car will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London, and the Pope has decided to give the proceeds to three different charitable causes: the restoration of villages on the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, assisting victims of human trafficking, and missionary work in Africa.

I suspect the selling price will be well in excess of the $267,545 base price. We’ll know on the 12th of May, when the gavel comes down.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)

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They don’t want to go on the cart

By now, you’d figure that Saab would be every bit as dead as Generalissimo Franco. Certainly the car company is done for. But their last product, an electified 9-3, keeps on keeping on, though today, it’s nobody’s business but the Turks’:

In case you don’t remember, the former hub of the Ottoman Empire purchased the Saab 9-3’s license from National Electric Vehicle Sweden while it was still attempting to convert the model into a marketable EV in 2015. But, despite being the absolute perfect project to give up on, nobody has.

The plan was to make the electric 9-3 “the national car of Turkey.” That’s a little weird considering the model ended its life as an American-owned Swedish car, using General Motors’ Epsilon platform, that was later sold to Dutch automobile manufacturer Spyker and eventually NEVS back in Sweden. But, considering Turkey’s national sport is semi-erotic oil wrestling, this might be another case of the Republic embarking on something my Western mind can’t fully appreciate.

Just incidentally, if “semi-erotic oil wrestling” shows up in some future “Strange search-engine queries,” now you know why.

And the Turkish government is revved up, so to speak:

Turkey launched a joint venture of five local industrial giants to produce its first domestically-made car on Nov. 2.

Five suppliers — Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Holding, Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding — will jointly manufacture Turkey’s first indigenous car.

At the ceremony at the presidential palace in Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his gratitude to the firms and promised his “full support” for the venture. Prime Minister Bınalı Yıldırıım also delivered a speech to mark the launch of the landmark venture.

Erdoğan vowed to buy the very first car himself.

BMC, incidentally, was originally a joint venture with British Motors Corporation. Amusingly, BMC now exports buses to the United Kingdom. Anadolu Group is a partner with Isuzu.

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The importance of timing

Gwendolyn hit 170,000 miles yesterday, and as if somehow Nissan knew, I have received a brochure announcing an “Owner Appreciation Event,” with a full complement of service-department specials. A sample: conventional oil and filter change, $34.95, including up to seven quarts (my car takes five quarts of Mobil Super), the usual inspection, and an actual car wash. This usually runs about ten bucks more. If you have one of the newer models that requires synthetic, the same service runs $74.95.

And oh, “Genuine Ester Engine Oil may be available at additional cost.” This is apparently a souped-up conventional 5W-30 with an overlay of some mystery lubricant, which sells for something like $15 a quart. This stuff is supposed to be really, really good if you have Nissan’s VVEL valve timing system, which I don’t. Posters at Bob Is The Oil Guy don’t seem impressed.

It’s been less than a thousand miles since my last oil change (about 990, actually), so I might not need this right away.

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Boom goes the car

Did you ever wish that something horrible would happen to that car in the next lane over with the 120-decibel stereo? A few of you may have your wish granted:

According to an NHTSA recall [pdf], certain 2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STI models equipped with the optional factory subwoofer could experience an electrical short in the wiring, possibly leading to a fire. According to the recall report:

“The subject vehicles are equipped with a factory installed subwoofer, which is located inside the trunk. Luggage in the trunk could contact subwoofer wire and move the wire out of its fixed position. If the wire touches the metal frame of the subwoofer, this may result in an intermittent short, causing the integrated circuit (IC) in the subwoofer amplifier to be damaged. In some case, the damaged IC may create a continuous electrical current into the subwoofer. If this occurs, the subwoofer could overheat, increasing the risk of a fire.”

This recall covers 9,178 cars.

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This ought to slow ’em down

Don’t you think?

3d zebra crossing in Iceland

Bored Panda reports:

In the small fishing town of Ísafjörður, Iceland, an exciting development in road safety has just popped up — almost literally. A new pedestrian crossing has been painted that appears to be 3D by way of a cleverly-detailed optical illusion.

Not only does the innovative design give foot-travelers the feeling of walking on air, it also gets the attention of drivers, who will be sure to slow down their speed once they spot the seemingly floating “zebra stripes.” Icelandic environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla called for its placement in Ísafjörður after seeing a similar project being carried out in New Delhi, India. With the help of street painting company Vegmálun GÍH, his vision became a reality.

Ísafjörður, in the far northwest of Iceland, has about 2500 residents.

(Photo by Linda Björk Pétursdóttir.)

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DIY and GTFO

I can certainly understand this position:

$100 surcharge will be applied to any customer that mentions how they can get parts cheaper online

Not one of them, of course, is actually capable of doing anything more than looking up a part number. (Or worse, asking someone for a part number in an automotive forum.)

You will never see this sign, though, in a body shop. The customers there want genuine OEM parts because, as one once said, “It affects the resale value of my car.” Not as much as running into stuff, I assure you.

(From Pleated Jeans via Miss Cellania.)

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Quick feedback

“Instant karma’s gonna get you,” said John Lennon. It definitely got this guy:

An embarrassing video has surfaced in which an attempted road rage incident is cut short as a driver bizarrely manages to hit himself with his own car.

The video shows the motorist stopping his car abruptly before the driver behind honks his horn. He opens his door and gets out of the car — but he forgot one crucial step — putting his car in park.

As he begins to walk towards the people who honked their horn at him, he is hit by his driver’s side door as the car rolls backward. The car continues down the hill, ploughing into the car behind him.

The man is dramatically knocked to the road with his feet up in the air before he manages [to get] back up.

I figure six months before he does something lethal to himself.

(Via Margo Howard.)

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Technically not a black-and-white

Dothan Alabama police car wrapped in pink

Oh, yeah, it’s the same old Panther-bodied Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor you’ve known and feared for years, but this one is for a cause:

The idea behind the pink car came from Chris Lee who is the owner of Shift Designs in Dothan.

After serving the Dothan community for eight years, he wanted a way to give back to the community that has been so great to him and his team.

So, he volunteered to wrap a patrol car in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

With the help of Avery Dennison Graphic Solutions, a premiere vinyl and wrap company, they were able to have the supplies donated for the cause.

Pretty spiffy, though the standard Ford dog-dish hubcaps look even tinier than usual.

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Getting the jump on it

The Peach State seems to have found a nice, juicy improvement over one usually tedious governmental encounter:

When I went to the driver’s license, I had taken advantage of something Georgia’s DMV-equivalent calls “Skip-A-Step,” where you can fill out your renewal application paperwork online, as much as 30 days ahead.

My wait at the barber shop was longer than my wait to see the clerk and hand over the documents I needed to bring to convince them I am who they say I am. I think the haircut even took longer than the license clerk took in getting me processed and out of there.

This happened, as the cool kids say, unexpectedly:

I’d been dreading this renewal because it was the first time I would need to comply with the “SecureID” requirements, but this was a breeze.

We’re not likely to follow suit here in Soonerland: the legislature has long been hostile to compliance with Federal security standards of any sort.

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