0 to 60 to outrun your insecurities

Know the difference between laminated glass and tempered glass? Did you know that a laminated glass breaking tool for sale online will not actually break laminated glass? I answered no to both of these questions so it’s a good thing I listened to this episode. Plus some cars are tracking your ever move and then selling the data to your insurance company… without your knowledge or consent. IIHS adds a new test for partial automated driving features and everyone – almost everyone – fails, Tesla is on trial and blames its customers. And Fred breaks down 0 to 60 in one second nonsense claims.

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note: this is a machine generated transcript and may not be completely accurate. This is provided for convience and should not be used for attribution.

Fred: Oh, good morning.

Anthony: Hey everybody. How are we doing? So I want to start off with a little fun driving incident I had the other day. I’m I’m driving, come up to a intersection, and I stop because it’s a red light, making a left turn, light turns green, and I can’t go because there’s people in the crosswalk.

And I don’t want to hit them. But the guy in the massive truck behind me decides to blare on his horn really loud. And so I, respond with the Hawaiian good luck sign. And continue on my very way. And he decides, and now we’re on residential streets and he’s swerving all over the place. I’m like, is this guy just drunk?

Is this the problem? Is he behind you? Yeah, he’s behind me. And then I make another left onto an even tighter residential street. And he’s like revving up and back me, revving up. It was the strangest thing. Eventually I turned another left and he just gave me a dirty look and went on with his life.

But I told my wife this story and she said, if I told you that I did this, you’d be mad at me.

Fred: Yes, she would. And she should. Yeah, well, I think that’s got a lot to do with the power of controlled substances.

Anthony: It could be. It was very, I mean, it was very strange. So,

Michael: it was just The number one thing I think that a lot of people wrestle with when they’re in a car, they’re it’s like a keyboard cowboy on the internet, they’re Isolated in their own little space.

They feel safe. They feel like they can do it. They feel like they can flip people off and have no repercussions. Right? Anthony, Right? And you never know who’s behind the wheel there. And like I’ve probably said before, I try to treat bad drivers, every driver on the road, like it’s my grandmother, like if they do something stupid, I just shrug my shoulders and go, Oh, there’s grandma driving bad again, and let them go because you never know what’s going on.

You never know if they’re going to have a gun, if they’re going to pull in front of you, start brake checking you messing with you, there’s just. An endless amount. And, what are you going to win out of any of that?

Anthony: I mean, I was calm, but okay. Apparently I treated my grandmother and the massive truck behind me poorly.


Fred: Well, in those rare instances where I’ve had audible exchanges with people who are contributing their opinion to my driving skill, I tend to say, Oh, Merry Christmas. They find it baffling and they don’t really know how to respond. They look puzzled and they drive away. Just a suggestion.

Michael: That sounds similar to what we tend to say in the South, which is God bless you when we mean something completely different.

Anthony: Well, I mean, in my defense, I was driving in New Jersey. So, I mean, I took on some of the local flavor.

Fred: Oh, well, there you go. Yeah.

Anthony: Hey, in case you were wondering, listen, this is the Center for Auto Safety podcast, and don’t drive like me with my gesticulations. But here’s a topic we’ve talked about before, I’ve.

I mean, I’ve been an advocate of this. This is insurers using your automate, your data, your driving data. To adjust your rates. Problem with this, and the New York Times article we’re linking to, is they’re doing this and not telling you about it. You’re not getting a heads up. And so, from the New York Times article this driver who’s never been in an accident tried to renew his insurance, and he finds out everyone’s denying him.

Because, Apparently, his lease on a Chevrolet Bolt was sending, unbeknownst to him, his driving data off to LexisNexis, which has a risk solutions division which sounds crazy. So, this guy managed to get

Michael: That’s another word for, we’re tracking all of you people, not anonymously. Right. That’s, that, LexisNexis, I guess they cut their teeth as a massive legal database of court cases and things like that, but it looks like they’re expanding into you.

Anthony: Yeah, so this is crazy. So the guy managed to get a copy of his report using the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and from the article, what it contains stunned him. More than 130 pages detailing each time he or his wife had driven the Bolt over the previous six months, included the dates of 640 trips, They’re start and end times, the distance driven, and the accounting of any speeding, hard braking, or sharp accelerations.

The only thing he didn’t have is where he’d driven the car. Now, I’ve we’ve talked about this, and I’m like, hey, if my insurance company will lower my rates by tracking me, I’m okay with that because I’m making that choice. I’m opting in. But the situation here is that this is happening without your consent.

How is this, what’s going on here, Michael?

Michael: Yeah, I mean, it shouldn’t be happening without consent, although I’m, just guessing that the consent is probably buried. And a line of boilerplate language that you have to agree with, on my phone, I don’t know if everybody has this experience. I get this new, you need to install this new software every once in a while, probably once a month.

I also get, Samsung has It’s a privacy policy, it’s privacy policy or it’s legal agreement or whatever. And I don’t have a choice at all. Right. So I have to hit the button to keep using the phone essentially. I don’t,

Anthony: I always swipe that notification away. I just ignore it.

Michael: You don’t know where it goes, but some people are stuck.

I think, even if it’s. It’s buried in print and they’re somehow notified about it. I feel like people need to make an affirmative choice in this situation. If GM was tracking data that’s anonymized and providing it to insurance companies is a general look at how people in area X are driving and whether we need to raise rates in, Spokane versus Seattle.

I think that’s okay. And I think that’s something we can all agree with but a company that’s tracking your each and every trip and it’s Specifically focused on you and your driving behavior and this is a company that you’re paying to provide you insurance That gets really hairy and I don’t think that’s something most people want unless they’re Going to the insurance and agreeing to that process.

We see a lot of the tracker tracking fobs and other little things that can be plugged into vehicles to lower your rates, hopefully. And I’m sure the result of that is sometimes people do have their insurance. Race, but you don’t expect you know, I don’t expect volkswagen in my vehicle to be tracking me and then Selling that information to lexus nexus which then buys it, which then sells it again to my insurance company that’s Probably the kind of thing most Americans are completely against, and it’s something that really undermines, we’ve seen similar things before with Tesla videos and other things that really scare people because their privacy has been compromised without their consent.

Fred: Well, Lexis and Nexis probably bought, excuse me, a restricted data set that only includes the information that they can resell to the insurance companies. That does not mean that additional information is not available in the data set. For example, where you went and when you went there. I think that this is a cause for great concern, particularly where you could be prosecuted for where you’ve gone, when you went, and when you could be prosecuted for looking for health care in certain states.

I think that, the mere existence of this data set is a huge concern. Back in the days of Richard Nixon in the White House, we used to say, just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not watching you. I think that, that’s still something that’s a cause of great concern.

This really needs to be A subject of some restrictive legislation, I think as a minimum this is a horrible situation.

Michael: Yeah, and we, last week we saw the, Biden administration attempting to crack down on bulk data sales. That are similar to this type, but they are really only protecting Americans from bulk data sales to China or Iran or North Korea.

And I think we covered, they’re not. They’re not trying to prevent domestic or friendly countries, France, England, other countries that are not in, the situation that we’re in with North Korea, they’re trying, they’re not preventing the type, the bulk data sale to those parties.

So, It’s you know, I don’t want any of them getting my information and I don’t know about you guys, It seems like they’re probably going to be worse effects on me As you know a normal american citizen from Insurance companies than there’s going to be from North Korea or China, maybe I’m naive, but I think my pocketbook probably is scared of insurance companies and the domestic companies that I deal with and pay for services, surveilling me than some.

international party who I don’t even know or have no relationship with and really has no interest in me.

Fred: Well, many of the car companies have been talking about the value of the data stream that they can recover from cars. And this is exactly what they’re looking at, getting your individual performance data, reselling it to third parties under whatever pretext.

Anthony: So how does this work, Michael? Cause you mentioned that, okay, this might be buried in some sort of legal agreement and this might be too far down the rabbit hole, but I remember a year or so ago, I was going in for a minor surgery and I’m wearing just a paper gown and that’s when the anesthesiologist comes over to me with like four pages of legal documents to sign this stuff and I’m laughing at him and he’s like, what’s funny and I’m like, there’s no way this holds up.

I’m wearing a piece of paper, nothing else. And you had a team of lawyers write this. But I was like, sure, I’ll sign this. He’s like, what, because you’re just in a paper gown? It’s not going to hold up? And I’m like, ah, I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think this will

Michael: work. As long as you’re, I don’t know why a paper gown would prevent it from holding up.

It clearly works. Very insecure about your clothing choice,

Anthony: but I, so I mean, this is a situation where they have teams of lawyers write this stuff and I’m essentially naked and I’m being like, Hey, you need this done. So sign this page. It’s we’re putting a gun to your head type thing.

And I ran this past one of my friends is a class action lawyer and he just said, yeah, there’s no way that holds up in court. But I mean, I, thankfully I woke up from the end. Anesthesia. At least, I think I did. Hello? Hello? Hello? Anyway, so, with this buried inside these agreements we click on in cars, like, how to, I mean, has anyone tested these things and be like, wait, page 78?

I mean, the average consumer didn’t go to law school and you need to have a legal education to agree to these things. They’re not written in colloquial English.

Michael: Well, I mean, I think what your legal education tells you is that if it’s something you’ve got to have, you don’t care what it says in some sense, you can read it, but it doesn’t really do you any good to go through 20 pages of legalese when you know that in order to acquire this service or this product, you’ve got to sign anyway, right?

Anthony: So I bought the car and if I want to turn it on, you’re agreeing to 78 pages of.

Michael: Yeah, well, I mean, from the perspective of a manufacturer who wants to collect as much data as possible and sell it for the highest price they can get to as many people as they can, they want to construct a legal document that takes away as many opportunities for you to prevent them from doing that as possible.

Anthony: I don’t like it. All right, moving on. Cause I’m gonna start wearing tinfoil around my head. Another thing that I’ve thought, Hey, this is a good idea. And I thought people were doing well. Was Partial Driving Automation Systems. I guess that’s how you’d say it. The level 2 ish plus systems.

So, IIHS, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, came out with a new ratings program to encourage automakers to incorporate more robust safeguards. And so what they did is they evaluated automation systems from BMW, Ford, GM, Genesis, Lexus, Mercedes, Nissan, Tesla, Volvo. And basically said most of them don’t include adequate measures to prevent misuse and keep drivers from losing focus on what’s happening on the road.

They all essentially fail except for some Lexus system where they’re like, eh, that’s okay.

Michael: I mean, they’re looking at a lot of different areas here, too. It’s They’re looking at driver monitoring and, rating vehicles based on whether the driver monitoring is effective. We think driver monitoring is critical to, any type of, from driver assist all the way up to the highest level of automation that a human might have to retake control of the vehicle.

You’ve got, the vehicle needs to be monitoring that human to, for a lot of reasons to make sure they’re paying attention, reminding them. Thanks. To pay attention. And what happens when, the driver doesn’t respond to these reminders. So there’s a lot of, a lot that goes into this and a lot of testing.

That’s, it’s difficult to test these vehicles. They all have somewhat different systems. We applaud IHS for taking this on because it’s something that’s needed. It’s something that’s a probably wouldn’t get to for another decade. And, it’s providing consumers with really good information, like the fact that Tesla makes the absolute worst systems of every manufacturer tested, both full self driving and autopilot tested separately came in last place.

So, which is fairly funny given that Tesla has spent the last decade claiming they’re going to have self driving cars on the road any day when you know, they’re actually Behind every other manufacturer that’s making this technology in safety ratings

Fred: Let me just interrupt for a second. I just want to remind our listeners that the IIHS is an independent Nonprofit organization set up by the insurance industry to test cars.

This is not a government testing program. So when we talk about IIHS, it’s a private organization, analogous to Euro NCAP. Neither of them is a government organization, but when we talk about NCAP program, that is the United States government program for testing cars. Just wanted to make sure people understood the difference and the IIHS can be a lot more aggressive and flexible in their test program than the United States government NCAP program.

Michael: Yeah, and that’s really important particularly in the last decade or so, we have seen IHS take the lead in a number of areas where traditionally NHTSA and NCAP would have been involved. But NCAP has become so slow and so unable to respond to some of the new tech and changing technology landscape that IHS has, been forced to step up and, change, introduce some new crash tests, introduce, IHS, we’ve talked about them a lot on this program when it comes to, testing different dummies and rear seats and making sure that AEB works at an automatic emergency braking, works at night and in low light conditions and any number of areas where we’ve seen weaknesses and this is safety testing.

I just has stepped up in many of those cases to ensure that consumers have at least some type of rating system that they can refer to in those areas when they’re purchasing vehicles.

Fred: And I also want to remind listeners that when we talk about dummies, We’re not talking about the three of us. We’re talking about anthropomorphic test devices, just to be clear.

Anthony: Hey, speak for yourself from the report. There is a great quote. Some drivers may feel that partial automation makes long drives easier, but there’s little evidence it makes driving safer. It’s very cool. Check out these links we have in the description. Very neat stuff. Now, speaking of our friends on autopilot and Tesla land, There’s a finally going to trial is Autopilot, and Tesla’s been doing the, it’s the driver’s fault.

But, lawyers, they do discovery, and they get access to things, and it looks like it might be Tesla’s fault. So, the lawyers for the defendants in this case, or the plaintiffs, sorry have testimony from Tesla witnesses indicating that before this speech, Particular accident, the automaker never studied how quickly and effectively drivers could take control if Autopilot accidentally steers towards an obstacle.

Which is insane. I mean, hey, we’re going to develop a system. We’re going to give it a stupid, dangerous name. Let’s not test it if it goes wrong. Like, how? How?

Fred: Well, not only do they not test how effectively people can take control, but they’ve got testimony from their own executives saying, oh man, I really lost control.

attention to the vehicle because I was doing all this stuff when I was driving. These same executives who’ve gone on to careers in other self driving automobile programs.

Anthony: Not other self driving. Remember Tesla does not do self driving. They do not do autonomous vehicles.

Fred: Well, they’ve demonstrated several times that they don’t do effective self driving and that’s what all these lawsuits are all about.

Michael: So this crash was, Interesting. The Tesla once again is claiming that the driver, was, I think in this case, it was playing a video game while on autopilot. What happened here was Walter Wang is the guy’s name, an Apple engineer. He was driving down a highway and the Tesla thought that median on a ramp was a lane.

And that. Median ended in a barrier essentially that barrier Did not have a crash attenuator on it either like you might see on some barriers, that could be a bunch of trash cans filled with sand essentially or some other type of mechanism intended to reduce the crash force So tesla here is blaming both.

The driver for Whatever he was doing the driver for hitting You for not paying attention, essentially, and they’re blaming the barrier for not having this crash attenuated on it. But what they’re not doing is blaming the vehicle that completely misinterpreted its environment and drove this guy into a barrier at highway speeds.

Which is pretty clearly the, I would say that the approximate cause of the crash. So Tesla continues to pursue this strategy of blaming drivers. And in this case, I don’t know if they’re going to get away with it. I certainly hope they don’t because I’m a little sick of Tesla blaming drivers after they’ve essentially set an attention trap for these drivers by saying, Hey, these cars are going to drive themselves.

Maybe you should pay attention. And it’s, if at some point a case doesn’t find against Tesla, I just don’t think that the law there is going to be very protective at all of people as the these systems, these level two and level three systems develop and are put on the roads.

Fred: Now another aspect of this that was not brought out in the reports relates to the duty of care that we’ve been talking about for self driving vehicles.

The incident occurred in 2018, which is now six years ago. And Tesla has been successful in forcing this incident into a product liability lawsuit, which is still going on, still unresolved, six years after the fact, six years after the loss of life by this Apple engineer who was relying upon the car.

So, and that’s because Tesla doesn’t settle. Tesla doesn’t settle. And there is no legislatively established duty of care associated with these vehicles, had they been a duty of care. This would have been a clear cut case that duty of care had not been implemented, in my opinion. But, that’s a side issue, but it relates back to one of the issues that really needs to be legislatively addressed.

Anthony: This podcast brought to you by Tesla where the customer is always wrong. No, I’m kidding. It’s not brought by Tesla. That’s insane It’s brought to you by you brought to you by you. Yeah, go to autosafety. org click on donate That’s what keeps us going and we’ll keep telling you more about how Tesla’s so great another Tesla tangentially related story.

I mean, it involves a Tesla. I don’t necessarily know that Tesla was unique in this problem is a story from the Wall Street Journal, where unfortunately a woman was driving her car accidentally backed into a pond of some sort. The electrical system died, and she couldn’t open the windows. She couldn’t open the doors because all electrical system.

And unfortunately, she got trapped and pass away. So, I don’t think this is a unique situation to a Tesla. I think it’s more of a, maybe an electrical car situation. I don’t know. But one of the things they talked about here is, there’s no way to break the glass on these. And this is something that, is it a laminated glass versus tempered glass?

I remember years ago a friend, she had like this hammer in her car and it was this weird looking hammer and it was designed to break window glass. I don’t know if that’s something they still make.

Michael: Oh, they make it. Okay. In fact, they make it and They sell it all, if you search Amazon for laminated window emergency tool, it’s going to sell you one of these tools.

But the fact is these tools won’t work on laminated glass. They work on tempered glass.

Anthony: So what’s the difference?

Michael: Laminated glass is essentially it’s got layers of some other material besides just glass plastics typically that essentially it’s been in front windows forever it’s what prevents individuals who aren’t wearing their seatbelts or who somehow collide with their front windshield from being cut to bits essentially it’s going to if you it’s going to you know it will break but The layers of plastic on the outsides are going to prevent the shards of glass from making contact with the passenger of a driver.

That glass is it’s very strong in many ways, and it performs better in crashes than glass. Tempered glass, which essentially shatters at the side of anything, it’s tempered glass is what’s behind some of the sunroof and rear window that, they’re referred to by consumers often explosions because they’re really loud, but some of the breakage of these windows, one of the, And so the tool will not work on the laminated glass and laminated glass is now being installed on, I think, about a third of the vehicles on the market in the side windows of the car.

So if you’re submerged. You’re going to have some type of high powered implement or equipment to get out of your car with laminated windows. You’re not going to be able to just crack it and escape. And this is partly because, one of the reasons that laminated glass is grown in popularity in the side windows when it used to just be on the front window is because NHTSA had in 2011 Put out a new rule around mitigating ejections from vehicles, basically preventing people from flying out of their cars in a crash.

And a lot of manufacturers had met the standard by using head curtain, airbags, side airbags, essentially airbags that keep your body from leaving the car through a window. But a significant percentage of manufacturers said, Hey, we can just put laminated windows here and they’re going to prevent, bodies from leaving the car.

Tempered glass would not if it shatters in these crashes, but laminating glasses does or laminating glass does. And so they’ve installed this on a lot of vehicles. And now we’re at a point where when you buy a car, You really, you’re, a lot of people have windows on their side of their vehicle that they don’t know what they’re composed of.

They don’t know if it’s tempered or laminated. The escape tool’s only going to work on the tempered, so there are going to be a lot of folks out there with this escape tool in their car thinking they’re prepared for an emergency. When in fact, if they do become submerged or if their vehicle catches on fire, they’re not going to be able to break that window and get out on their own.

Anthony: So, what do you do?

Fred: Let me jump in for a sec. People might wonder why tempered glass would be a good thing to put in the cars at all. Tempered glass is designed to break into very small pieces because you can’t get stabbed to death by a very small piece of glass. You can get scratched. But it’s not going to produce a long, sharp shard that can sever your artery, for example normal glass can do that.

So the tempered glass is designed specifically so that it will spontaneously break up into many small pieces so that you cannot injure yourself. I just wanted to clarify that point.

Anthony: So what do we do?

Michael: Well, I mean, if you’re Listen to this podcast and you want to know if your car has tempered or laminated glass.

I think the first thing everyone should figure out what they have in their vehicle and No, because you’re not gonna have time to do this if you’re submerged or if your car catches on fire. You’re not gonna have time to read an owner’s manual or anything like that. So figuring it out before this happens is critical.

Figuring out which windows in your car are made out of tempered glass could be critical as well. A lot of rear windows are made of tempered glass, so even if your side windows are laminated, you can still escape through the rear. So, That’s really important. It’s just hard to figure out. AAA did a study on this about four or five years ago, and they’ve published a list that they update occasionally that, that has all the major vehicle models and let you know whether you’ve got.

Tempered glass laminated glass and where it’s located on the vehicle. So that’s a good place to start You can also and I think probably the easiest way To figure this out is a lot of windows are marked if you look in the corner the bottom corner of these of a window on your car. It will often simply note laminated or tempered That’s the easy way to do it If that’s not on your vehicle, roll your window down and look at the top edge of the glass.

And typically on the laminated glass, you will see multiple layers, at least, three layers there on, on the laminated glass, on the tempered glass, it’s going to be all one homogenous layer. So that’s. That’s not, probably not a perfect way to do it, but it’s a way that’s somewhat easy to figure out.

Anthony: But a simpler way to just take one of these tools and just start smashing your windows and see how it breaks?

Michael: Yeah, well, you’re gonna know immediately then, because it’s either gonna shatter or it’s going to, you’re gonna create a little, a bullet hole and you’re gonna have some, I don’t know, a radial pattern, a spider pattern coming out of it but that’s expensive.

Fred: Well, another possible approach is to refuse to buy a car that traps you inside of the car if the electrical system fails.

Michael: And there’s another issue here that could have been at play that, we didn’t see covered, but beyond simply escaping through windows in a submersion they’re, It’s very hard, difficult to open vehicle doors when you’re submerged.

You typically, from what I understand, you have to wait until the pressure equalizes, which means essentially waiting until your car is almost filled with water, and then you should be able to open the doors once the pressure is equalized. I don’t recommend that way. It’d be great to get out quicker.

But even in that situation, if you have a vehicle that relies on electronic door latches which Tesla does, which a number of other manufacturers do, and, even going way back, even going back 20 years, I believe there were Cadillacs and some other vehicles that have had this technology for a while.

It’s, if that’s disabled, then if that’s disabled and you have a laminated window, you may not be able to escape. I mean, I think in this situation that occurred in Texas, there were emergency services arrived and they weren’t able to get into the vehicle for almost an hour, I think it was. So that’s a, a terrible situation and something that I think could be avoided.

But however, there’s, NHTSA’s having to do a balancing act when they make these rules, right? There are a lot of people that are ejected from vehicles every year and die. And that was the point of NHTSA’s ejection medication rule. And there are, relatively, Compared to the ejections, there are relatively few incidents of submersion or incidents where people may have to escape a burning vehicle and that sort of thing.

So, NHTSA has to perform a balancing act here. They know that manufacturers are going to install laminated windows to meet their their requirements. Safety standard. And they know that when they do that that folks who are occupants in these vehicles are going to experience more difficulty in emergency egress.

So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a tough call. And it’s a window into the balancing act on, life and death that NHTSA has to perform in a lot of its rules.

Anthony: Okay. And that’s the end of the Tao of Michael. Laminated versus tempered glass explained.

Michael: Are you telling me I went too far into technical stuff?

Anthony: No, it wasn’t at all. I think that’s great, but I mean, I, the takeaway, I think from the consumer point of view is don’t get submerged or go back to an old crank window or ride the bus. But I don’t know. Instead, I’m gonna jump to the Tao of Fred. How’s that transition? So Fred, you know I like to go fast in my little Corolla.

I go 0 60 in like, Nine seconds, maybe? I don’t know. It seems pretty fast to me.

Michael: Flipping everybody off along the way.

Anthony: Look, I, that’s the only time I’ve actually flipped anybody off in a car ever. Oh, that was very casual. Oh, listen, I’m flipping both of you off right now. Very uncharacteristic of a New Yorker.

I don’t believe you.

Fred: Hey, very uncharacteristic of a New Yorker in New Jersey to get off my internet. Offer a famous hand gesture, .

Anthony: So anyway let’s talk speed. ’cause you know that, that guy, what was his, what’s his name? Elon. He made this claim. I, he just makes all sorts of claims.

And so, but he’s saying their new Tesla Roadster, which is supposed to come out in 2017 is going to go zero to 60 in less than one second with thrusters. So basically saying, Hey, if you buy this car, I will give you a concussion. That’s it. I will give you enough G forces that you crap your pants.

Why do I’ve asked before, why do we need cars like this? I mean, Porsche is coming out with their most powerful car ever. I can is this why is this the problem? We don’t,

Michael: We don’t need this. No, let’s just be clear. We want them for some reason. And it’s not just men, it’s probably primarily men, but It’s another sale sales feature, right?

It’s the fast, some people love to own the fastest car. They’re going to, maybe they’re not even using it. Maybe they drive great. Hey, wait a minute. It’s just a towel right

Fred: of the towel of Michael. Come on. He’s tempered glass. All right. So I did I applied a little physics to this.

Just for fun. And it turns out that going from 0 to 60 in one second as claimed by Mr. Musk. He

Anthony: claimed less than one second, but we’ll say one second. We’ll say one second.

Fred: Just take one second for the hell of it because that made my arithmetic a little bit easier. But making that claim suggests that you can accelerate at three G’s three times the force of gravity for one second.

And the means that, which is possible, you can probably survive that. But again, your seat would have to exceed the NHTSA standards for seat back strength because normally 3Gs would cause the seat back to collapse, but that’s a separate matter. What the proposed manner for doing this is is to essentially attach a rocket engine to the car that you can use whenever you feel like exploring your testosterone threshold, I guess, and bragging rights associated with this.

That’d be great. But my goodness, you’re. You’re trying to impress people with a rocket exhaust coming out of the back of your car. Now, granted, it’s a coal gas rocket, but still it’s a rocket. Did you guys ever have those pump up rockets when you were a kid where you fill it up half of the water and then pump the hell out of it and off it goes?

3 G’s. Yeah, those were roughly accelerating at 3 G’s more or less. So that’s basically what Mr. Musk is suggesting, that he turns the Tesla into a pump up rocket. And so it’s possible Porsche is doing it for reasons unknown, except that it’s Porsche and Bugatti, and apparently there’s some small subset of people who are really concerned about their ability to drive at unsafe speeds as quickly as possible.

Interesting. My guess is that they’re not concerned about the welfare of people who are in the car. So, is it possible? Yes. Is it practical? No. Does it mean that you’re going to have a really odd looking car for all of the circumstances except that one time at the stoplight when somebody from New York offers a famous hand gesture and you want to really get away from them quickly?

Certainly possible. That’s all the Tao’s got to say about that for today.

Michael: Do you think it’s possible to accelerate fast enough to outrun your own insecurity? Maybe that’s what they’re going for.

Fred: I don’t think that’s possible. No, I think they’re closely coupled.

Anthony: Oh, I think you just wrote our next online ad.

Thank you. So, CNN, we have a link to their take on it, and they’re talking about the Porsche, which is coming out with an electric 1, 000 something horsepower iCan Turbo GT. But they have a great line in their article. It says, Performance figures like these serve little practical value, of course. It would be impossible to approach this car’s potential other than at a track, and a few would have the driving skills to do it.

So, whenever they do these 0 60 times that are crazy, I always like to see how fast does it take an F1 car to go from 0 60. So, 0 60 in an F1 car does about a little under 3 seconds. But these are done by people who have really thick necks, because they exercise their necks so they can withstand G forces.

They’re in cars designed to go this fast. They have, as Fred pointed out, they have seats that are not going to break under 3, 4. I think the highest they get up to is like a little over 4 G’s in some corners of doing this. But, and they’re highly trained on closed racetracks. With 19 other people who are also highly trained.

Wha How Wha I mean, you Going faster than an F1 car? Like, this is You’re right, Michael. You’re outrunning your securities. Insecurities.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, I think that NHTSA could step in here. I mean, NHTSA could step in a lot of areas involved, not just this vehicle weight, vehicle sizes, but vehicle speed is, a critical safety feature.

Not only do you need to get to a certain speed to be safe, that’s why we have minimum speeds on interstates, because slow people on interstates are going to create a lot of problems. But we need to, most humans are not trained. And I know I’m certainly not trained to operate a vehicle that goes zero to 60 in one second.

That’s just far outside what I think I’m capable of. And the fact that. I could just walk into any store selling these things, buy one, hop in it, and then go out on the roads and endanger people. It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s, we’re putting we’re valuing the ability of someone to get their rocks off in a car over the other people on the road.

And that’s that’s crazy. Completely, at least from my perspective, makes no sense whatsoever.

Anthony: Wait, you have, like, 200 grand sitting in your pocket and you just go out and buy a car? Is that, I think that’s, I mean No. Oh okay, I just wanted to clarify, because you said you can go in and I’m like, No.

Wait a second that t shirt should be nicer that you’re wearing. Yeah, so, listeners, I’m curious, does anyone listening to this show, I already know the answer, but does anyone listening to this show have a car that will go so fast that you get mildly concussed? If so, let us know, like, maybe you do, maybe you’re trained, or maybe, you go on track days.

I mean, you’re not, please don’t tell me you’re doing it on the throughway. If you are, I want to hear other way. No judgments.

Fred: Well, Wile E. Coyote has tried this several times. You’ve seen it on TV where he straps himself to a rocket and lights the fuse. And, somehow that never ends well for him.

Anthony: But it’s funny. Hey, let’s talk about Jeep. Who wants to talk about Jeep? I want to talk about Jeep. If I can find where my Jeep article went. Where did my Jeep article go? Eh, you know what,

Michael: Yeah, that’s the Jeep’s, that’s where they had the Jeep Hybrid, and apparently, there’s a lawsuit file that apparently claims that Jeep knew that these vehicles were going to be subject to fire prior to selling them.

They essentially knew there was a safety defect and sold the vehicles, which is a violation of federal law. I hope that this is looking into this case. It’s probably news to them as well. Because it appears to be something that, that a group of attorneys had to figure out using internal Chrysler documents, but.

That’s not a good way to sell things. In our opinion, it’s probably the worst way to sell things. And, Jeeps and Stellantis, Chrysler in general, have never been exactly on our good list for their actions around recalls and their adherence to the Safety Act. So, I’m interested to see what happens next here.

Anthony: So, from this article we’re linking to in Jalopnik, there’s a line that says, The suit also claims the company omitted safety equipment from the car that could otherwise have saved the Jeeps from catching fire. Like, what, were they supposed to include fire extinguishers? Like what’s the safety equipment?

Michael: I’m assuming that could be something as simple as, a battery management system that, that, that prevents the hybrid propulsion system from having that type of problem. And there could be any number of safety items that could be put into these vehicles that could prevent the fires in these situations.

Fred: No, you may recall, we actually had some folks on from DuPont who were talking about silicon polymers that can be used to isolate cells and reduce the propagation of fire. It’s bound to come up by our inquiring listeners as to what is the comparison between EV fires and internal combustion engine fires, and it turns out there’s data on that.

The National Fire Prevention Association offered some data at the recent SAE Government Industry Conference. In Washington, they, according to their data, EVs have a rate of about 25 fires per 100, 000 vehicles produced. ICE, on the other hand, have a rate of about 1, 529 per 100, 000 cars you produce. So the ICEs are, oh, I don’t know, 10, 100, 50 times or so more likely to have a fire.

than the electric vehicles, just for perspective.

Anthony: Where do the hybrids fit into that? Well, hybrids are electric vehicles.

Fred: I think they’re higher. Yeah that I can’t verify. I’ve just got the electric vehicle data.

Michael: Just going back to what I remember about that data, the hybrids have a, an even higher rate than ICE because essentially they’re combining the two systems, the two problems into one.

There was one other thing on this article I that I wanted to get to, but I’ve completely blanked on. Oh no.

Fred: The granularity problem though. Any particular design that has a defect in the design is going to skew the data. And apparently this Jeep has a known design defect that is skewing the data.

At least go to

Michael: one thing I think. To keep in mind as well, when you’re talking about the fires that occur here, a lot of the ice and hybrid fires that we see are going, or might be post crash one thing we’re interested in looking at is, when there’s not a crash, when these vehicles are just driving down the road or parking in the garage, what do the numbers look like then?

Also, something to really keep in mind is that when you have a battery that’s on fire and it’s in a thermal runway, the temperatures that are generated by it are going to be significantly higher than what are generally going to be generated by an internal combustion engine fire which does have some safety implications.

Fred: Right. And of course, it’s very difficult to extinguish the electric battery fire. Versus the fire of a conventional internal combustion engine.

Anthony: Listening to you two, it makes it really easy to figure out what kind of car to buy. None! Nothing’s good in the two of your mind. I can’t get anything.

It’s not a hybrid, it’s not an ICE, it’s not an electric vehicle. Come on. You just make me want to talk about recalls now. Well, then do it! Okay, I will. The first one, this is a dumb article. I’m saying in the Wall Street Journal, someone wrote an op ed titled, When is a recall not a recall? And basically it’s someone saying, Oh, Tesla had a issue of recall for every car they ever produced.

But it wasn’t a recall because software was updated over the air. And I, like, just get over it. Like, I mean, Are they just trying to redefine the word or they’re stuck back in, the 1970s where You know, a recall involved going to Joe the mechanic at your dealership and be like, Hi Joe, how’s the wife and kids?

Good, great. Can you rotate the air in my tires? Also, I have a recall where I need a windshield wiper blade replaced. Okay, great. Good to see you, Sam. Like, it’s just, what, who, why? Is this some weird, and they always use the example, iPhone’s recalled every month because they keep putting new software on it.

Well, the next time your iPhone’s driving down the highway at 60 miles per hour, steering into fire trucks, let me know.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, this is just the latest stupid piece by someone who doesn’t really understand how the federal law on safety defects works, that’s a recall is just the nomenclature that has been implied to the process that’s used here to identify alert owners or safety defects and have them repaired.

They’re, sticking to a dictionary definition of the word recall is, you’re, you either, you’re really dumb or you’re purposefully putting blinders on so that you’re not seeing that a recall identifies this entire process, whether you’ve got an OTA software remedy or a just a regular software remedy, or you have to bring the vehicle in and repair the fuel pump or repair the fuel tank.

The process itself. is not intended just to be the part where the vehicle is brought in. One of the most important parts of every recall process is notifying owners that there is a dangerous defect in their vehicle. What a lot of these people are essentially arguing is that, well if we can fix it with an over the air software update, why are we having to send notice to these people?

To let them know that their life was at risk or to let them know that they had a significant safety risk in their vehicle. Every other manufacturer who may not be using OTAs or software remedies yet is having to do the same thing with physical parts. This is simply a, a language argument that Elon and a lot of, his I don’t know what to call them.

Fan boys are continued to point out and it’s just simply incorrect. It’s a terrible way to look at the law and the regulation and it’s not going to work. And this is not buying it. Hopefully this is going to update their recall. System to, eliminate some of the issues here. Like I, I understand that if you’re a Tesla owner and you’re getting notifications of recalls and software updates by email or through your app that you don’t need a postcard in the mail.

Okay. That’s great. But surely that’s not everything that’s behind. You know this argument. I think what ultimately these people are arguing for is that if you can fix a safety defect with an over the year recall software well an over the year software update Then it doesn’t qualify as a recall and that’s just that just reflects a complete misunderstanding Of the vehicle safety act and federal law.

Fred: Okay, michael. Here’s a question for you If you have a car A vehicle that is inherently unsafe, such as the aforementioned rocket powered go kart that Elon Musk wants to put out. Can you ever have a safety recall associated with a car that is inherently unsafe? Can I answer this one? Oh, sure.

Anthony: Okay, because that car is driving so fast, you can’t even recall it.

I don’t even know what happened. Brain damage.

Fred: Light speed. Oh, by the way, if you are accelerating at three G’s, you can leave the atmosphere in about 45 seconds. Just

Anthony: Only if you think there is such thing as an atmosphere. Well, I’m not sure how it runs.

Michael: Flat Earth has come to the podcast. I, yes, if there’s a vehicle that’s inherently unsafe, it can and should be recalled.

The, I guess that comes down to the nuts and bolts of proving that it’s inherently unsafe. Tesla could easily make these vehicles. Inherently safe by refusing to allow customers to use that acceleration feature on public roads. Teslas have the ability to geofence their vehicles.

They’re not using it for autopilot or full self driving, but they certainly could, and they could do it easily given technology that’s already in the vehicle. So yes, I would say that. Putting vehicles on the road that accelerate that quickly, that vehicle would be inherently unsafe. Were there not somewhat of a limitation in the system that could, restrict the vehicle operation to race tracks and places where, it might actually be fun to hop in one of these cars and go that fast.

I can admit that it would be fun.

Anthony: Okay, moving on to our next recall. And this is you know what? It’s an over the air type thing. I think Chrysler this is the 2023, 2024 Dodge Hornet 36, 000 plus vehicles they may have been built with a noncompliant tire placard reporting an incorrect vehicle capacity weight.

So this recall, you have to go to the dealership and get a new. Tire placard sticker. I yes, this needs to be done. I get it But this is one where people are gonna be like, oh, what the hell I gotta go back there and the scene of yeah

Michael: I mean look there’s it’s a non compliance You know that the top we see a lot of these every year and it’s essentially around tires and Other pieces of the vehicle that have to be labeled in a certain way.

There could be misprints, they could leave out information and inevitably when that’s discovered, essentially what they have to do is send out a sticker essentially to their owners who can then put the sticker over the current placard corrected version of it. So it’s, it’s something that happens a lot.

It’s not. They’re, we don’t like to divide up recalls and say that some are far, more dangerous than others because they can all be very dangerous. But in this case, I wonder, how many Dodge Hornet and Alfa Romeo owners before they load up their car for a vacation are weighing it to make sure they haven’t put too much luggage in not many.

But but, it’s a much more important on large trucks and, vehicles that are carrying heavy loads frequently.

Fred: Sure. But the implication of this is that you’re going to wear out your tires prematurely, or you’ll have under inflated tires. If the placard is incorrect. So, this is, it’s not an inconsequential consideration for automobile automotive safety to get the right information to the people who need the information.

Anthony: So for those of you who had a drunken tattoo night and bought a Dodge Hornet make sure to get your new sticker and apply for it. Oh my God. Stop with your opinions, Anthony. Okay. Moving on Nissan, a little over 12, 000 vehicles. This is 2024 Nissan Pathfinders. And 2024 Infinity QX60s. Now this one is much more dangerous.

If the rivet is missing, oh. This is a rivet missing in a lap belt pretensioner. So if the rivet is missing, the occupant may not be restrained as intended during a collision. We definitely want people to be restrained during a collision.

Michael: Yeah, and this one, it’s relatively simple, you’re missing a ribbit the front lap seat belt pretensioner is not going to work properly And as we’ve spoken about a number of occasions, we love pretensioners and we love for them to be functioning correctly.

They’re going to significantly Increase your chances of surviving and a number of different types of collisions. And we want pretensioners moved to rear seats where they’re not required right now and where a lot of manufacturers simply leave them out due to cost concerns when they could be significantly protecting rear seat passengers and crashes.

Anthony: This is why I don’t buy any automobiles made by Boeing. Last recall, Kia. 36, 248 vehicles, 2019 2020 Kia K900s, and 2018 2022 Kia Stingers, oh, and 2023 Kia Stingers? Okay, come on, listeners, take a guess, what is this about? If you said rear view camera, You would have a good guess, but not today. Today, this one is about fires.

Michael: Yeah. Well you did say Kia. Well, ,

Anthony: so this is an oil feed, pipe and hose assembly that’s leaking and causing fire. Is that what

Michael: Yeah, it looks like, so they got this they got this oil feed, pipe and hose simply that’s really close to the exhaust manifold where, you know. Any automotive designer wouldn’t know there’s going to be some additional radiant heat there.

And whatever they built this oil feed pipe and hose assembly out of is not resistant to radiant heat coming off the exhaust manifold. So it deteriorates and. Can lead to oil leaks and engine compartment fire while you’re driving. Which, ultimately just makes me say yeah. Everyone, I’m going to say, everyone go get this fixed as soon as you can.

It doesn’t look like the recall is going to start until around the end of next month, end of April. But also why is this happening in the first place? Right. Question. We know that, exposure to radiant heat is going to occur when you have hoses and pipes near the exhaust manifold.

Why are you building components out of materials that aren’t resistant to that heat? And why was this designed this way in the first place? Why does this have to be a recall? Is there something that Kia needs to do to ensure that vehicles like this are never making it off the line in the first place?

Versus Getting them off the line, exposing their customers to these types of risks. And once again, a fire risk from Kia and Hyundai, which have had numerous recalls for fire risks in

the past.

Fred: Do either of you speak Korean? I’m just wondering if Kia is Korean for sketchy.

Anthony: I don’t know. Interesting.

Fred: So, so why would this happen, Michael?

There’s a couple of reasons why it might, and I’ll bore you with a little bit of engineering here. People probably simulated it with with very powerful computers and looked at the heat transfer rate versus the fluid flow through it to see if the fluid flow was sufficient to cool it, and they probably came up with the answer yes.

This harkens back to my engineering experience, which is that sophisticated computer engineering tools are generally a great way of getting to the wrong answer more quickly. There could be a lot of other reasons, but that’s my guess.

Anthony: I like it, I think it’s a good guess, and I think the people at the IRS should listen, okay?

You’re coming up with the wrong numbers, people! Sorry, that was a side rant. Hey, let’s finish up with Listener Mail! This came in from astute listener Shiro and he says, To answer Fred’s questions in regard to March 7th podcast, Why Europeans are so much more aggressive than NHTSA about safety ratings?

We covered this earlier, but, it’s a good well thought out message. So, I do not think much, there’s much difference in safety enhancement desire between Euro, NCAP, and NHTSA. One of the big differences is that Euro NCAP is a separate party from government in contrast with U. S.

NCAP, which is under NHTSA. Therefore, Euro NCAP is able to proceed quicker, like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, than NHTSA can. Which has to file, follow certain steps for legis like, legislation. Look I’m stumbling, it’s just, it’s my fault, not the listener’s email. Also, NHTSA has been sw swinging between Democrat and Republican administrations as pointed out by Michael a number of times, and historically a small comment focused on Republican slowdowns, new regulation, or rating implementations compared to Democrats, which want to pursue things more quickly.

Which, separate from the listener email. I think it’s a great argument to, hey, let’s fund NHTSA over like a five year period so we can get it out of political games, like any regulatory body. Oh, I’m a socialist now, aren’t I?

Fred: Well, I’m flattered that our listeners are smarter than we are, so thank you for that.

Michael: Yeah, and we the listeners correct, I mean, NCAP in America is administered by a government agency. It was intended to be very flexible and to be able to respond to things like all the new technologies we’re seeing on the roads now. However, it is subject to political whims, and we Do not see a lot of improvement in rulemaking or regulation or NCAP, or even in enforcement when a Republican is in office, that’s just the way it is.

Safety is not something that that they prioritize in governance. Um, what’s also interesting is that the euro in cap is euro in cap is really moving Fast, I mean they’re doing things. We talked about them a couple weeks ago where they put in the test for Buttons versus touchscreens where they’re going to give additional points to manufacturers who have preserved safety features and buttons versus forcing consumers to go through a touchscreen to access things like defoggers, defrosters, windshield wipers emergency lights and other things.

So they move fast. And even I wouldn’t, I don’t even know that IHS. Keeps up with Euro NCAP, although they’re certainly a lot closer to that than NHTSA is. So, There’s also a lot of pressure that NCAP is subject to through Lobbying through automaker pressure that Euro NCAP doesn’t really have to deal with.

And also there’s the matter of funding. IHS receives funding from the insurance industry. Euro NCAP receives funding from a lot of different sources. NHTSA’s funding is already in question and NCAP funding is essentially determined by Congress which as we all know is a really difficult place to get funding measures through, particularly increased funding for safety efforts.

So there is a lot behind that question and, the listener summed it up pretty well.

Anthony: listeners for sending in your questions. Please send in anything you got, including the guy who keeps sending stuff about perpetual motion one day will work maybe. So, please like, subscribe, tell all your friends, donate once, donate twice, donate three times.

And every time I hear Michael say the word defogger, I always hear defrogger.

Until next week. Thanks. Goodbye.

Fred: Thanks for listening.

VO: For more information, visit www. autosafety. org.


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