Enhanced Safety Needed Quickly, Toyota Exec Says

First Up 08/07/19

Enhanced Safety Needed Quickly, Toyota Exec Says
Toyota will deploy an updated safety suite, called Toyota Safety System 2.0, next year to further improve the collision avoidance and driver assistance suite that it has made standard in its products in the U.S., reports Automotive News. Toyota — which has already made its safety suite standard across its lineup for both its eponymous brand as well as Lexus — has developed a simple mantra to keep its drivers and their passengers safer on the roadways: "Don't hit anything. Don't get hit. Don't run off the road," Wayne Powell, vice president of the Electronic Systems Division at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development, said at the 2019 CAR Management Briefing Seminars on Tuesday. Current onboard safety systems such as automated emergency braking are already cutting down on collisions, but enhancements that further improve automotive safety should be rolled out as quickly as possible to save lives, he told the industry audience. Read more here (subscription required).  

30 Senators Pressure Carmakers to Join Ford in California MPG Deal 
A group of 30 U.S. senators is urging General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and a dozen other automakers to rebuke the Trump administration's effort to roll back gas-mileage standards and join an agreement on mpg rules reached between California and four car manufacturers. According to The Detroit News, the letter, spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) calls on other automakers to "join the recent agreement between California and Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW to continue progress toward producing less-polluting vehicles. Letters were set to the heads of Aston Martin, Fiat Chrysler, GM, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo. Read more here. 

2020 Subaru Models Will Greet You, Help You Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Subaru learned something from the parade of dogs featured in the automaker’s commercials: Humans love to be recognized and greeted enthusiastically. The brand’s three latest vehicles do everything but sit and wag their tails to greet their owners, according to The Detroit Free Press. Subaru’s new DriverFocus feature greets you by name and adjusts mirrors, seats and climate control to your preferences before you’ve had time to buckle your seat belt. The 2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Legacy all offer the feature, called DriverFocus. Like an Australian shepherd, it not only greets its master, but also keeps you from wandering off, sounding an alert at signs of drowsiness and distracted driving. Read more here. 

Deaths of Children in Hot Cars Spur Push for New Safety Measures
More automakers are committing to install technology that alerts drivers if they have accidentally left a child in the back seat, but safety advocates and lawmakers say the effort isn’t enough to respond to the recent rise in car-seat fatalities. Instead, reports The Wall Street Journal, advocates want Congress to pass legislation mandating all car manufacturers make rear-seat monitoring features available on U.S.-sold vehicles. The push comes after a record 53 children died last year of heatstroke after being trapped in vehicles, and 26 so far this year, according to KidsAndCars.org, a national nonprofit group. Hyundai Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. last week were the latest automakers to commit to making technology that reminds drivers to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle. The changes would be available on most of their cars by 2022. Nissan Motor Co. made a similar pledge last year and is offering the rear-seat reminders on some models, including its Pathfinder sport-utility vehicle and Nissan Altima sedan. Read more here (subscription required). 

Tesla Received a Cease-and-Desist Letter from U.S. Agency Over Model 3 Safety Claims
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has pulled Tesla up on claims regarding the safety of its Model 3 sedan, reports CNBC. NHTSA Chief Counsel Jonathan Morrison sent Tesla CEO Elon Musk a cease-and-desist letter in October last year to say it had become aware of “misleading statements” made by the company about the vehicle’s safety rating. The agency’s main contention was with Tesla’s claim in a blog post that month that NHSTA tests showed the Model 3 has “the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested.” Read more here.

ICYMI: Beltway Talk Podcast: Dealer Sentiment & D.C.
AIADA is sharing its latest episode of the Beltway Talk Podcast this week, featuring  Charles Chesbrough, Senior Economist and Senior Director of Industry Insights for Cox Automotive. Charles, who has studied the American auto industry for more than 25 year as a quantitative analyst and researcher, has developed a unique perspective on what the future holds for dealers, and what issues are giving them the most heartburn in August 2019. In this episode, Charles shares with Beltway Talk listeners the results of Cox’s latest dealer sentiment study and how Washington, D.C., can drive sentiment through policy making. He covers July auto sales, the impact of tariffs, and what’s happening in the used market. Click here to listen. Then, read more from Cox on dealer sentiment here.

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