Cars, Local News, Safety, Volvo

Volvo to implement 180 km/h speed limit in Malaysia


Volvo’s resurgence in the past decade is truly a story to be marvelled at, having gone through a successful transformative era which saw the introduction of a new range of ravishing cars, most of which are properly luxurious and powerful.

The younger folks may not know this, but Nils Bohlin, a little-known Volvo engineer who invented the V-type three-point safety belt design some 60 years ago, has saved more lives than anyone else in the world. That’s because, instead of monetising his invention, the company chose to share the patented design to competitors in an effort to encourage mass adoption.

Fast forward today, Volvo makes some of the most technically advanced cars from a safety standpoint, but in 2008 it also made a promise that nobody should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo car by 2020. It’s a bold proclamation, but there are proactive measures in place to realise that goal.

To start, the company will impose a 180 km/h speed limit on all its cars globally, with hopes to highlight the dangers of speeding. A quick check with a representative from Volvo Cars Malaysia also revealed that the speed cap will be introduced here, although the period with which it will be enforced has yet to be specified.

The problem with speeding, Volvo says, is that above certain speeds, in-car safety technologies are no longer enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident. Despite that, speeding remains ubiquitous and is one of the most common reasons for fatalities in traffic. “People simply do not recognise the danger involved in speed,” says Jan Ivarsson, one of Volvo Cars’ leading safety experts. Thoughts, guys?

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Cars, International News, Safety

Nissan recalls 345,700 cars in latest US Takata batch; 10 million inflators recalled for 14 automakers – report


Nissan is recalling a further 345,700 vehicles for the replacement of faulty Takata airbag inflators, Automotive News reported, the latest in a long line of recalls for airbag inflators from the Japanese automotive safety equipment manufacturer.

The latest recalls involves the 2001-2003 Nissan Maxima, 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder, 2007-2011 Nissan Versa sedan and hatchback. Further afield in within its luxury brand, Infiniti also involves the 2001-2004 Infiniti I30 and I35, 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4, 2003-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45, and 2006-2010 Infiniti M35.

The majority of this affected batch are in the United States with 307,962 units, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documents submitted by Nissan on January 2, Automotive News reported.

“Nissan Group is committed to the safety and security of our customers and their passengers. Nissan Group is implementing the next phase of the Takata inflator recalls in accordance with the predetermined coordinated remedy schedule set by NHTSA,” a spokespersons for Nissan said to Automotive News in an e-mailed statement.

The most recent Nissan recall in Malaysia was in August 2019 for the Navara D40, Grand Livina and X-Gear.

The affected vehicles were previously repaired with a non-desiccated Takata inflator, and are now due to receive a final countermeasure part’, the spokesperson said, while NHTSA documents stated that the affected airbag inflators are non-desiccated, and the inflater propellant, ammonium nitrate, can degrade due to “prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures and high temperature cycling.”

Nissan will start contacting vehicle owners in February in order to replace the affected parts with new, desiccated inflators ‘manufactured by a different supplier’ and at no cost to onwers, NHTSA documents said. The recall for affected Nissan vehicles is part of Takata’s January 8 announcement to recall 10 million inflators involving a larger group of brands including Honda, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, BMW, Subaru, Ferrari and Mazda, according to Automotive News.

The latest Takata airbag recall for Nissan in Malaysia was for 11,971 units of the Grand Livina, X-Gear and Navara (D40) last August, while the most recent overall for Malaysia was in October by Honda Malaysia for 23,476 units of the Accord, City, Civic, CR-V, Insight, Jazz and Stream that were previously recalled, though most recently as a preventive measure.

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Local News, Safety

Ensure use of suitable child car seats, MIROS advises


With the use of child car seats becoming mandatory as of January, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) has advised parents to purchase suitable child seats or child restraint systems (CRS), and this means doing a bit of research into finding the right device, The Star reports.

Its director-general Dr Siti Zaharah Ishak said that according to the guidelines, every child below the height of 135cm (or approximately below 12 years old) should use a CRS, and a suitable unit should correspond to the height and weight of the child.

Based on ECE R44/04 or R129 standards, the guidelines specify four different types of seats – from birth up to 13 kg (Group 1, up to a height of 83 cm, approximately zero to 18 months), 9-18 kg (Group 2, 71 cm and above, approximately 15 months to four years), 15–25 kg (Group 2, 100 cm and above, approximately four to seven years) and 22-36 kg (Group 3, up to 135 cm, approximately six to 12 years).

She said that a correctly installed CRS may help to reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and by 54% for children aged one to four years old, and reduce the need for hospitalisation by 69% for children aged four years old and below, and reiterated the importance of parents utilising these devices for their children. Based on recent observations during Ops Hari Raya 2019, MIROS found that only 33% of children were placed in a car seat.

“The seat can reduce the risk of injury or being thrown out of the car or hitting the hard object in the car during harsh braking or collision. Seat belts are a proven intervention to reduce the risk of fatalities during road accidents for adults. However, it is not designed to protect a child, ” she explained.

The transport ministry has said that enforcement of the use of CRS will not begin straight away, with drivers not being penalised for the first six months when the ruling comes into effect. “We want the people to really know and understand that the CRS is for safety. That is why the soft-landing approach is taken for the first phase of the implementation. This is like an educational or advocacy stage before the enforcement phase takes effect,” transport minister Anthony Loke said last week.

Meanwhile, the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry (KPDNHEP) says it will closely monitor the online sale of CRS to ensure these items comply with the stipulated standards. Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the ministry will ensure that the issue of fake and unsafe goods being sold does not crop up.

“The guideline on the characteristics for child restraint seats has already been issued, and we will conduct enforcement in line with the conditions stipulated by MIROS, namely, product safety standard and trademarks, whether false or genuine. And if an outlet advertises (its products), we will ensure what is advertised are available on the products sold,” he said.

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BMW, Cars, Local News, Safety

ASEAN NCAP – F30 BMW 318i scores four stars in test; five-star rating for AOP, four-star rating for COP


The Asean New Car Assessment Programme (Asean NCAP) has conducted crash tests with the F30-generation BMW 318i, which scored five stars for adult occupant protection (AOP) and four stars for child occupant protection (COP). Points weighting for AOP, COP and safety assistance systems are 50%, 25% and 25% respectively, for which the BMW 318i scored 48.92 points, 18.38 points and 14.58 points respectively.

Asean NCAP stated that it is aware that the F30-generation 318i is not the latest iteration of the BMW 3 Series, which is now the G20-generation model. This previous generation model was still tested, however, as it is still available in the market for purchase as new, and therefore its safety rating is still of interest, adding that the latest G20-generation car also lacks front passenger seat belt reminders.

The 318i was considered to perform well in the adult occupant protection category, however its performance in the child occupant protection and safety assist systems were unexpected, Asean NCAP said. As tested, the F30 BMW 318i featured six airbags and electronic stability control, however Asean NCAP noted that the car lacked seat belt reminders (SBR) for both front and rear occupants.

Data fron the frontal offset impact test demonstrated adequate protection for the driver’s chest and the front passenger’s lower legs, with a ‘good’ rating observed for other regions of the driver’s and passenger’s bodies. For the side impact test, a ‘good’ rating was observed for the occupant’s upper body region. AOP scores comprised of 15.22 for frontal impact, 16.00 for side impact and 4.00 for head protection technology for a total of 35.22 from a possible 36.00 points.

Meanwhile, child occupant protection in the F30 318i fared slightly lower, where it scored 22.74 in the dynamic test, 7.00 in vehicle-based assessment and 6.28 for installation, for a total of 36.02 points from a possible 49.00 points.

The dynamic test assessment was conducted for 18-month-old and three-year-old child occupants; these were restrained with a rearward-facing Britax Baby Safe Plus installed via ISOFIX and supporting leg for the 18-month-old representation, and a forward-facing Britax Duo Plus installed via ISOFIX and top tether for the three-year old representation.

Here, the 18-month-old child dynamic test scored 8.00 in the frontal impact and 4.00 in the side impact for a 12.00 point total, and the three-year-old child dynamic test yielded 6.74 in the frontal impact and 4.00 in the side impact for a 10.74 point total.

Tested for the sedan vehicle category, the F30 BMW 318i scored a total of 81.88 points, making the previous-generation car eligible for a four-star Asean NCAP rating.

ASEAN NCAP F30 BMW 318i crash test, front offset

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Cars, Honda, International News, Safety

Honda Accord awarded five-star ASEAN NCAP rating


The tenth-generation Honda Accord has been awarded with a five-star safety rating by ASEAN NCAP following its evaluation in crash tests carried out in July. The sedan obtained an overall score of 91.79 out of 100, including a frontal offset impact test, side impact test, and evaluation of safety features.

The Accord, which is the only Honda model to be tested this year, also received a score of 49.07 for Adult Occupant Protection (AOP), 23.28 for Child Occupant Protection (COP), and 19.44 for Safety Assist Technologies (SATs).

The new Accord made its ASEAN debut in Thailand in March this year, followed by Indonesia in July, the Philippines in September, and Singapore and Vietnam in October; it’s due to be introduced in Malaysia. The automaker says that sales in Thailand have been positive, the car having received 6,300 bookings as of October. That’s more than swell, if you consider that the state the D-segment sedan market is in right now.

Aside from a redesigned exterior, the biggest change comes in the form of new powertrains – the 2.0 litre and 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated engines seen previously have been replaced by a 1.5 litre turbo and a 2.0 litre hybrid. The 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo mill is the same as that on the Civic and CR-V, with the latter’s output tune of 187 hp (190 PS) and 243 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 5,500 rpm.

As for the Accord Hybrid, its Sport Hybrid i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) system combines a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC engine with two electric motors. The Atkinson-cycle engine is good for 145 hp and 175 Nm, while the pair of e-motors deliver 184 hp and 315 Nm, with total system output rated at 215 hp.

Like the current car, the new Accord is equipped with the full Honda Sensing suite of safety features, with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the last working together with a Low Speed Follow (LSF) function all grouped under its umbrella.

Other safety features include six airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, VSA, Hill Start Assist, Honda LaneWatch and a multi-angle rear view camera.

GALLERY: 2019 Tokyo Motor Show – Honda Accord, Japan version

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