January 28, 2011

Auto Briefs

New airbag requirements, Ford Touch training, Gen Y wants high-tech cars


(General Motors)

Stronger side air bags required by 2018
New cars and trucks will need to have larger and stronger side air bags to prevent motorists from being tossed out of their vehicles in rollover crashes. The Transportation Department says more than 8,000 people were killed in rollovers in 2009, according to the most recent data available. The changes to the air bags are expected to prevent nearly 400 deaths and nearly 500 serious injuries every year. Car companies will begin phasing in the changes in 2013 and all new cars will be required to have the protections by 2018.

--The Associated Press


(The Associated Press)

Ford offers buyers Touch system training
Ford dealers are inviting customers who buy a vehicle with MyFord Touch back to the dealership a week later for free tutorial sessions to learn more about the new touch-screen system. The system allows customers to control navigation, radio, communication, heating and cooling in one of three ways: A touch-screen, a five-way controller on the steering wheel or with voice commands. However, Consumer Reports earlier this month called the touch-screen system (shown at right) complicated and distracting.

--The Associated Press

Survey: Gen Y wants more technology in cars and in buying experience
Generation Y, a growing consumer segment for automakers, wants more high-tech bells and whistles in vehicles, according to an annual survey released at this month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In essence, Gen Y wants its cars to be an iPhone on wheels, according to the study by the automotive sector of Deloitte LLP, a New York-based consulting firm. Its main findings:

• More than 69 percent of the 19- to 31-year-olds interviewed will buy a used vehicle in the future.
• 48 percent plan to drive the same brand in five years.
• 73 percent prefer imports, up from 48 percent in 2009.
• Nearly 89 percent ask friends for advice on a brand or model before buying a car.
• 67 percent look for information on a brand or model on social networking sites, up from 25 percent in 2009.
• More than 52 percent say a bad experience with a dealer would cause them to never consider that brand again.

--The Associated Press


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