Your Questions About Motor Vehicle Crashes Have A Greater Impact

February 24, 2013
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James asks…

Will media report this?

Chevy Volt fire prompts U.S. safety probe of lithium ion batteries, report says

Automotive News | November 11, 2011 – 11:55 am EST
DETROIT (Bloomberg) — U.S. auto-safety regulators are scrutinizing the safety of lithium ion batteries that power electric vehicles after a Chevrolet Volt battery caught fire, people familiar with the probe said.
The regulators have approached all automakers, including General Motors, Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co., that sell or have plans to sell vehicles with lithium ion batteries with questions about the batteries’ fire risk, four people familiar with the inquiry said.
The Volt caught fire while parked at a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing center in Wisconsin, three weeks after a side-impact crash test, said an agency official.
The official, as well as the three other people familiar with the inquiry, said they couldn’t be named because the investigation isn’t public.
The fire was severe enough to burn vehicles parked near the Volt, the agency official said. Investigators determined the battery was the source of the fire, the official said.
NHTSA also sent a team of investigators this week to Mooresville, N.C., to probe a fire in a residential garage where a Volt was charging. That investigation is continuing, the agency official said.
“As manufacturers continue to develop vehicles of any kind — electric, gasoline, or diesel — it is critical that they take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of drivers and first responders both during and after a crash,” the safety agency said in a statement today.
“Based on the available data, NHTSA does not believe the Volt or other electric vehicles are at a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. In fact, all vehicles — both electric and gasoline-powered — have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash.”
The agency’s greater concern is for rescue response teams, tow truck operators and salvage yards who may be storing plug-in cars after an accident, the official said.
ie: Like on the evening news or the NY Times newspaper as the did to Toyota?

admin answers:

Your story points out that the fire started THREE WEEKS after the collision . EV batteries are designed to withstand collisions, even punctures, but only an idiot would not replace a seriously damaged EV battery for three weeks.
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Would you drive around for three weeks with a hole in your gas tank? Because that’s how stupid this is.
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The article also mentions the old garage fire story, that was settled months ago. The fire marshal ruled that the Volt did not cause that fire. See his quote below:
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http://gm-volt.com/2011/05/18/exclusive-chevrolet-volt-unofficially-cleared-in-connecticut-garage-fire/

Thomas asks…

Please help! Need help with these questions ASAP!?

It is your ___ to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians even though they often enter an intersection before it is safe or they dash across the street when they are in a hurry.
Privilege
Responsibility
Option
Choice
When traffic signal lights are not working, follow the procedures used at a ______ intersection.
Four-way stop
Pedestrian
School
Railroad
It is your legal obligation to know and___the laws associated with driving.
Predict
Obey
Interpret
Disregard
Alcohol is classified as a depressant drug because it slows down the central ____ system, causing a decrease in motor coordination, reaction time and judgment.
Nervous
Digestive
Skeletal
Circulatory
Don’t drive during your ____ rhythm .
High
Fast
Changing
Circadian
Do not authorize any repair work to be done that you have not___ on the service estimate.
Approved
Read
Discussed
Seen
____ your intention when turning left at an intersection or when making a U-turn
Change
Ignore
Decide
Signal
Position the height of the seat so you can ___the roadway without obstruction.
Travel
See
Recline on
Hear
A flashing ___ light means come to a complete stop and yield the right of way to cross traffic.
Green
Amber
Red
Yellow
Before making the decision to accelerate, brake, or steer, always judge the speed and ___ that is being used by other road users.
Control
Fuel
Frequency
Space
Whenever you drive, don’t drive ___.
Rested
Tired
On medications
Relaxed
Looking at your passengers while talking and driving ____ your risk of being in a crash.
Reduces
Increases
Decreases
Lowers
Don’t take the aggressive actions of other drivers as a ____attack.
Personal
Regulated
Passive
Systematic
Before a rainy season, to ensure optimal traction when driving on slippery surfaces, check the tires for inflation and _____.
Nails
Tread depth
Coloring
Temperature
Courtesy is safe and it is easy, but most of all it is what you ___ from others.
Want
Select
Neglect
Regret
When you drive, turn a negative driving situation into a positive scenario by concentrating on the ____ of your vehicle, yourself and your passengers.
Health
Competition
Maintenance
Safety
As you approach a steep grade, select a ___ that will give your vehicle more power to climb up the hill.
Battery
Lower gear
Lower octane
Higher gear
In slippery conditions, if you turn too fast or hard and the back of your vehicle swerves, ease off the accelerator and ___ in the direction you want the vehicle to go.
Accelerate
Brake
Point
Steer
Demonstrate courteous behavior by giving the ___ to others.
Right-of-way
Registration
Controls
Acceleration
High speed increases the risk of collision because vision is reduced, maneuverability is lessened, the increased braking distance means it will take you longer to ___, and the force of impact is greater.
Stop
Adjust
Recover
React
Markings give drivers important information, ___ and direction regarding the use of the road.
Warnings
Tips
Laws
Services
Cell phone service may not be available in___ locations.
Remote
Populated
City
Urban
Before putting the vehicle in motion, check the ____ space around your vehicle to be sure it is completely clear.
Frequency
Parking
Interior
Operating
Vehicle ___ systems are designed to reduce effects of gravity, centrifugal force in curves and the force of impact.
Exhaust
Brake
Tire
Steering
If an animal is in your path, threshold_____ rather than over-steering in areas of limited space or traction.
Steer
Accelerate
Brake
Shift
When approaching a tollbooth, look for signs and signals that indicate which lane you need to be in – a green light indicates which lanes are____.
Open
Closed
Fast
Toll
If you are stopped by a police officer, remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise and keep your __ visible to the officer at all times.
Wallet
Hands
Feet
Belongings
Without the effects of _____, your vehicle could not accelerate, steer, or brake.
Gravity
Filtration
Emissions
Visibility
Drivers that carry several passengers have an increased risk of _____.
Speeding
Space
Over-steering
Distraction
Some maintenance is required_____ and other checks are based on miles driven.
By a mechanic
Hourly
On new cars only
Frequently
Your vehicle __ equipment, tires, brakes, pedals, lights, horn and fluids must be in good operating condition in order to pass state vehicle inspection requirements.
Safety
Audio
HVAC
GPS
SUVs have higher ____ and bumpers.
Fuel economy
Tires
Maintenance
Headlights
At a __ light, use the four-way stop procedure.
Green arrow
Green
Yellow flashing
Malfunctioning
One very important thing to remember when you are backing up is __ in the direction you want the back of the vehicle to go.
Accelerate
Listen
Steer
Brake
Do not park or walk in a parking lot where you cannot be __ by others.
Attacked
Surprised
Seen
Followed

admin answers:

Responsibility
Four-Way Stop
Obey
Nervous
High
?
Signal
See
Red
Space
Tired
Increases
Personal
Tread Depth
Want
Safety
?
Steer
Right-of-way
Stop
Warnings
Urban
Operating
Brake
Brake
Open
Hands
Gravity
Distraction
Frequently
Safety
?
Malfunctioning
Steer
Seen

Steven asks…

Start a new car company?

I’m and avid environmentalist I think there is a gap between electric and gas cars that are clean, have good autonomy and are affordable. Electric cars are great but too expensive over 22K. Gas cars are cheaper but not efficient enough. Why do I need a machine that weights 2000pds to move myself, 200 pds? It would be like taking my wrist watch in a suitcase, same proportion, does not make sense.
So to cover the gap until electric cars get cheaper (below 13K) and can go more than 50 miles with no charge, and gas cars get to 50+ mpg there is room for a small, affordable ($7<) city car.

Tata motors has it right, a small cheap city car $4K in india. Most ppl can afford that. It is not in the US and won’t be according to them. So I think there is room to build a car that can go 60+ mpg,sized the same as the smart car, for 1-2 people, affordable, just for city trips. Smart car does all this but it cost over 20K, not worth it, at that price point I’d get a bigger car. But what if it cost $7K? Then i could afford a car for highway travel and one for the city. Key is weight, this car will be 350 kg max, max speed of 45 mph and like I said 60 mpg.
It is possible to build it, I can build a prototype, using existing parts, engine, brakes, etc. Chasis will be tubes, like race cars, very strong. Inside will be simple but elegant.
Questions:
- Am I alone in thinking there is a need/market for small, affordable ($7 max) city car? Are Americans going to get it? or will keep buying SUV?
- I can build a prototype and sell it, but to sell more need to pass crash test etc. Have been trying to find out what’s need from DMV, not clear, I guess not many people ask for requirements to build a car company.

There are signs that this is a trend, Renault has just built a small electric car for 1 person at 7K Euros, but goes only 30 km before needs re-charging. More smaller cars are being sold in the US every year.

Working on cost structure based on volume/units sold for those who are going to comment on the cost for setting up production. The plan is to produce no more than 10-20 units the first yr. Will make no money but will have an impact on the market, will make ppl think about this option, which is a big part the goal for this project. Want to make noise and show/educate ppl there is an alternative to clean efficient cheap transportation.

admin answers:

You are asking the wrong department about crash tests- I don’t know if you can get your answers on submitting cars for crash tests on line but here is a link:

http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Manufacturers

You need to be dealing with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (http://www.nhtsa.gov/).
A small portion of your target market is being met with low speed vehicles. Which are limited to 25 mph. This market is much easier to enter because of design considerations which allow for low crash standards.
Until your production run exceeds 500 models a year (I think that is the number), it is possible to get around some safety tests. So it might be wise to consider starting a little smaller in scale and work up to the point you must comply.

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