NHTSA demands all cars self-brake, comedian’s Aston for sale, Lincoln MKCs at fire risk

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NHTSA wants mandatory automatic braking on all new light-duty vehicles

Intake: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is asking the Biden administration to require automatic emergency braking, including for pedestrians, on all new light-duty vehicles. If the proposal is adopted, most all cars and light trucks would be required to have the crash-avoidance technology three years after the rule is finalized. Tougher requirements would take effect four years after that finalization. NHTSA projects the proposal could prevent at least 360 deaths and reduce injuries on U.S. roads by at least 24,000 a year. Said Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s chief counsel: “In this rule-making, we’re proposing to require that the systems be much more effective at much higher speeds.” The proposal would require the systems to avoid other vehicles at speeds up to 50 mph if a driver fails to react. If a driver brakes, but not enough to avoid a wreck, the system would have to fully avoid another vehicle at speeds up to 62 mph. It also would require vehicles to be able to stop and avoid pedestrians at speeds up to 37 mph.

Exhaust: NHTSA estimates the cost per vehicle to be $82 for each design cycle change per model, according to the proposal. “We know we’re throwing a challenge out here,” Polly Trottenberg, deputy secretary of the U.S. Transportation Department, said at a press event Wednesday. “But we know that a lot of this technology is already pretty well-developed, and this is a time to take things to the next level, to make this technology more universally deployed and more stringent.” Steven Cole Smith

Going, Going, Goon! Peter Sellers’ Aston Martin DB4GT heads to auction

Peter Sellers 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT on set
Ealing Studios

Intake: A 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT owned by British comedy legend Peter Sellers and driven by him in 1963’s The Wrong Arm of the Law is to go under the hammer at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on July 14. As ‘”Pearly Gates” in the 1963 Ealing Comedy, Sellers escaped the rozzers in their wheezing Wolseley 6/90 thanks to the 306 hp of the DB4GT’s 3.7-liter straight-six engine. The DB4GT’s getaway go was also aided by its 12-plug head, weight-saving magnesium body panels, and Perspex rear window. Almost all of the 75 D4GTs built by Aston Martin were two-seaters, but Sellers’ car had occasional rear seats installed, which allowed his unlikely accomplice Inspector Parker, played by Lionel Jeffries, to join him in the speedy chase scenes. A confirmed car enthusiast, Sellers did much of the on-screen driving himself, although the sketchiest stunts were done by Aston Martin dealer Ken Rudd, who also had a cameo as a gang member in the movie. During filming, the car’s original engine was damaged and the car was returned to the factory where it was fitted with a bigger four-liter block. A different DB4GT was also used in a scene where it leaps over a humpback bridge. Sellers bought the DB4GT in late 1961 or early 1962 and had it serviced regularly at Aston Martin Feltham where he met expert mechanic Richard Williams, who he hired to look after his car collection. The car had several owners after Sellers, er, sold it, including the chairman of the Aston Martin Owners’ Club, Gerry Keane. It has since been totally rebuilt and repainted in Goodwood Green.

Exhaust: Sellers’ DB4GT ticks all the boxes and “It really has all the credentials to be one of the most coveted examples,” says Bonhams’ Senior Collector Car Consultant James Knight. As a result, Bonhams expects the car to fetch £2.2–£2.6 million ($2.7–$3.35m) but we wouldn’t be surprised if its celebrity provenance sees the price go even higher. Nik Berg

Toyota’s first U.S.-made EV will hail from Kentucky

Toyota Georgetown, Kentucky, plant

Intake: According to a report from Automotive News, Toyota has selected its plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, to build its first U.S.-made EV, a forthcoming three-row crossover. The batteries for the new EV will come from a plant that’s being built in Liberty, North Carolina, which just received a $2.1 billion investment yesterday. That North Carolina plant will have six battery production lines—four for hybrids and two for EVs. Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant is currently responsible for the CamryCamry HybridRAV4 Hybrid, and the Lexus ES sedan, but production of the ES will be phased out of the plant by 2025. Adding the EV to the Georgetown plant is not expected to have a major impact on production, which the plant says is 550,000 vehicles annually.

Exhaust: The Inflation Reduction Act’s heavy emphasis on North American EV and battery manufacturing is largely the reason behind this move. Since the law passed last August, automakers and suppliers have earmarked more than $50 billion in investments for EV and battery production in North America. — Nathan Petroelje

Lincoln MKCs being recalled for under-hood fires

2019 Lincoln MKC (compact CUV)

Intake: Ford is recalling about 142,000 Lincoln MKCs and is advising owners to park outdoors and away from structures while it investigates the cause of under-hood fires. The cause is not clear but it is believed the fires originate near the 12-volt battery, says Automotive News. The model years being recalled are 2015–2019.

Exhaust: Ford said it is aware of 19 potentially related reports of under-hood fires, including seven reports since December, while the vehicle was parked and turned off. Ford said it is unaware of any physical injuries related to this issue. The MKC was Lincoln’s entry-level SUV, based on the Ford Escape. It was replaced by the Lincoln Corsair, which is also Escape-based. The Corsair and Escape are not part of this recall.SCS

Indy fan whose car was damaged by the flying tire will get a new one

Damaged Indy 500 Fan Car on flatbed

Intake: IndyCar fan Robin Matthews saw the crash that caused Kyle Kirkwood’s tire and wheel to clear the fence in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, but she didn’t realize that it came down on her white Chevrolet, nicknamed Snowball, until after the race. The impact (pictured above) totaled the vehicle, which had to be towed away. Matthews was treated with a chance to kiss the yard of bricks, and IMS president J. Douglas Boles gave her a ride home. “I didn’t see it come down,” Matthews told the Indianapolis Star. “I came down, and they said, ‘Robin, it’s your car!’ I thought, ‘No.’ I thought somebody was pranking me. It’s a car. It’s fine.”

Exhaust: On Wednesday a  spokesperson told the Star that Penske Entertainment, which also owns the IndyCar Series as well as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, would also give Matthews, a race fan from Indianapolis, a new car to replace the one that was damaged when Kirkwood’s car launched off the back of Felix Rosenqvist’s after Rosenqvist hit the wall between Turns 1 and 2. Kirkwood’s car flipped, and his tire went soaring over the fence, and the corner of a grandstand where many fans were watching the race, before landing in the parking lot, where it crushed the Chevrolet. No one was injured by the flying tire. SCS




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    I hope you can turn off the “mandatory” automatic braking. Sometimes these things freak out at things in front of you for no good reason.

    I bet IndyCar fan Robin will never get “tired” of this story. Ba dum tish!

    NHTSA estimates the cost per vehicle to be $82 for each design cycle change per model, according to the proposal.
    Only a complete idiot would trust government bureaucrats to be accurate on cost estimates. I believe you can add at least $500 to the cost. Sure makes me feel great that at my age, every one of my cars will last until I take my last breath. None of my vehicles have a “black box” to record my driving and I pay attention so I don’t need any of the crash avoidance nonsense, sensors (that don’t always work) to keep you in your lane and I’m not stupid enough to take my hands off the wheel because I’m “driving” a self driving car which I don’t have nor will I ever have or even ride in.

    This tech is already baked into many cars, and is often found as an option as part of a package. Based on the recent vehicle purchase I made, the NHTSA estimate is far closer than yours, as doing a seat-of-the-pants valuation of items in the package wouldn’t allow for this one item to cost $500. You have to remember that most of the components already exist in the vehicle and computer chips are cheap. You can buy a dual-core based computer brand new for less than $50.

    Great: more computerized BS for new cars, all to level the field down to the lowest common denominator. Some of us don’t just hammer the brakes, but can actually turn the steering wheel while braking a necessary amount to drive around another spinning or veering car, deer, bicyclist, or whatever. Gov’t regulators live in a parallel universe, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some in Congress and the regulatory agencies are invested in companies who would reap profits from such legislation.

    So, will anyone keep track of rear end collisions of cars that use automatic braking to determine if it increases those?

    Cue the ’80s-era comments about tech, computers taking over, cars getting more complicated and people thinking they can manually do a better job than the computer. Sounds like ABS complaints all over again.

    People should take a page from the airline industry where they discovered that pilots became increasingly dependent on autopilot and did not know how to fly their planes when they needed to

    What do real people do when these automated gadgets start doing the thinking for them? play with their phones or sit in the back seat.

    I would bet 360 Americans die a year from licking poisonous frogs or falling into abandoned wells. I really don’t see the need

    More ammunition on why I don’t see myself owning a new car any time in the near future

    We need to get rid of or at least cut the bloated useless NHTSA. There just another agency made to fix a problem of 50 years ago that’s just absolutely useless. This 82 dollars per car BS. Yea right. I dont need abs. Air bags. The last thing the NHTSA has done was make seatbelts mandatory. So pack up your stuff in your office and get real job where you need to actually show how you have made profit. What does the entire cost of this organization cost. Just another waste of money.

    when I was driving my Semi Truck with all the braking assist goodies on a snow and ice covered highway, the damn thing saw a bridge and decided it should emergency brake. Can you say Jack Knife, They have a ways to go perfecting these wonder gadgets. LET ME DRIVE Go back to real Driver TRAINING please

    [The mandatory automatic braking rule] “… also would require vehicles to be able to stop and avoid pedestrians at speeds up to 37 mph.” This requirement needs some clarification. If a drunk pedistrian or erant child steps 10 feet in front of a vehicle traveling at even 25 MPH, stopping is a phyisical impossiblity.

    The vehicle “totalled” by the flying tire at Indy hardly looks totalled to me.

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