“What if gas prices have peaked?” It’s a question I asked myself a few weeks ago, and it’s become a bit of an obsession for me since then. Partially, I’m curious about national gasoline prices, how they fluctuate relative to oil prices, how consumer usage of gasoline effects pricing, etc. Partially, I’m curious because automakers are working awfully hard to produce vehicles that consumer less fuel.
As far-fetched as it may sound, gasoline prices may have peaked (or may be peaking soon). Read more…
Does it seem like GM has been in the news a LOT lately? Have we written a ton about their issues? Yes and yes. In the midst of their recall nightmare, comes news of what could be a major annoyance for consumers. Coming to certain GM trucks will be a new system that won’t let the truck drive until the front occupants are buckled up. We call it an annoyance, what do you think?
The new safety initiative came to light last Monday. It calls for introducing the new “belt assurance system” to select 2015 models including the GMC Sierra, Colorado, Silverado and Chevy Cruze. The system will not let the vehicle shift our of park until the driver and front passenger are buckled in.
Let’s state the obvious first. Yes, we are in favor of safety. And yes, seat belts do save lives. However, truck owners don’t always need their seat belts. There are plenty of times when a truck is used in the field for repairing fence, loading/unloading hay, while hunting or other work situations. Also, there are times when you need to simply back in or pull forward for getting the best spot to load your truck or hook up your tow. With GM’s system, all of these times, you would need to have a seat belt on.
GM says the system uses sensors to detect a passenger through its module that turns the airbags on and off. When it notices a passenger, it will communicate to the brakes and transmission to prevent the driver from shifting into gear until the passenger is buckled.
Sounds simple, right? What could go wrong? A LOT of things. Imagine not being able to drive your truck because a sensor went bad. With GM’s history of quality issues, we can only imagine what else could go wrong.
Our larger peeve is GM is looking for owner feedback before it becomes “standard,” according to an Autonews.com story. What does “standard” mean to us? It means the NHTSA could see this as a good idea and set a mandate for all automakers to use it. Yes, this means it could filter its way into Toyota products.
Last week, we said we are in favor of keyless ignition. It makes a LOT of sense and has a history now of working well. This system? Well, we applaud GM’s efforts to encourage seat belt usage and there are plenty of times when driver’s should be buckled up. This just doesn’t seem like the right way to go about it.
What do you think? A good idea or a dud?
EDITOR’S NOTE: As we head into Memorial Day weekend, we are pulling out an old post from our Archives. This feel-good story is just great and needs to be shared and shared again and shared once more. God Bless our Troops!
Sun Toyota near Tampa, Fl is giving one brave Marine, a brand new 2012 Toyota Tundra Crewmax Limited 4×4 full-size pickup truck on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012. A very, cool way to give him back some mobility.
While the GM ignition switch fiasco continues to make news, people are wondering what is the likely outcome of recall? A big fine – yep, $35 million. More congressional hearings – yep. How about no more ignition keys?