Dash Cam Time Sink

Oh the joys of dash cams… remember just because you’re the one filming doesn’t mean that you’re not int he wrong. Should you get one? Listen and find out. GM stops selling your data, Elon forces everyone to experience FSD, the solar eclipse might lead to more crashes, and New Jersey is trying to exempt all of their drivers from automated traffic enforcement.

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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.

Welcome to a Fred’s caffeine hour. Hi, listeners. Good morning,

Michael: world.

Anthony: Michael, you doing okay?

Michael: I’m making it this morning. Everything is okay. The sun’s not out, but I’m still happy.

Anthony: Okay. Well, that’s good. Hey, I, so guys, I’ve fell down a rabbit hole on the internet and I’ve spent way too much time washing.

Dash cam footage. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but it’s fascinating. People have dash cam, these little cameras on their dashboards. Some people have them in the back of their cars too, and they film driving. And sometimes you see horrible accidents that can’t be avoided. Like I’ve seen one where there’s a panel truck just driving down the highway and then a massive gust of wind just, knocks the thing over.

And just Oh my God, it’s horrific. And other times people racing each other, smashing But half of the videos I see are the people filming it, they’re at fault. They’re totally at fault. They’re like, this is my lane. I’m not slowing down. Oh, you’re trying to come in? Tough. Speed limit’s 50.

I’m doing 60. And I’m not going to adjust for you. I am not going to give way. I’m not going to yield. I’m not going to let you merge. And then, the other people, what they do is when they see an accident happen, they do, this is even worse. They decide to become vigilantes and chase the violators down.

They’ll like, do, cross multiple lanes of traffic, run through red lights, and be like, we’re gonna get him. I heard one guy, he gets on the radio, he like he calls 911, blocks a car in, and 911 dispatcher, dispatcher is saying, Sir, are you an off duty officer? No, I got him blocked in here! Are you a police officer?

Heh. You need to leave. You need to go away. We know where you are. My question, long rambling intro is, do I need a dash cam?

Fred: No dash cam here, and you thought I was bad just because I confronted a tank in the old days.

Anthony: The tank confronted you, okay? Well,

Fred: however, it’s relativity. It works both ways. Yeah, does it?

Anthony: So Michael, seriously, you have a dash cam?

Michael: The things that I fall, I fell into that same rabbit hole, probably. A year or more ago, and I occasionally will watch those because there, there are a lot of crashes that occur and that part certainly interests me due to our work, but also the thing I noticed most about it is that drivers really think they’re in the right, whether they are not like Anthony mentioned, these guys are.

But they’re posting video that shows them in the wrong while they’re claiming not to be and that for both sides, often you’ll see a dash driver with a dash cam get into a crash and then the other party who clearly. Was the cause of the accident is claiming that they’re completely innocent.

They’re telling the same thing to the police officers on scene. And then they’re coming back and making claims against the insurance of the driver who wasn’t at fault. So dash cams can protect you in that scenario. They can make your insurance claim process go a lot more smoothly. They can capture license plates and other things if you’re involved in, hit and runs and that sort of thing.

There are a lot of good uses for them. But at the same time, I think consumers who are using them need to be really concerned about who is in control of that video footage and that data. And this goes beyond video footage. There can also be audio. My, my dash cam has audio in it. And I’m basically, I’ve got it in there for a couple of reasons.

I, I’d like to be able to go back and see incidents. That took place when I’m driving. That’s interesting when someone cuts you off or almost crashes your vehicle that, it’s interesting to go back and review the footage and, just see what took place, but really it’s for protection from the other drivers who might cause a crash and who are either.

Going to lie or who don’t have a good understanding of their role in the situation. And it’s essentially to protect my insurance rates for going up. And another thing is a lot of vehicles now the, a lot of modern vehicles that have been built in the last few years, we know, for instance, We’ve discussed this in depth Tesla.

They have cameras on their vehicles already and they not only are active while the vehicle’s driving, but also for security purposes while the vehicle is parked. And the odds are that if you’re in an accident with a newer vehicle, there’s some other vehicles, Toyota’s, for instance, who. Have camera footage that they take of incidents as they happen, the odds are you’re going to, if you’re in a crash, the other driver might have dash cam footage too.

So it’s something that is becoming more and more, not only just available, but it’s becoming installed more in, in the vehicles you buy. And it’s useful. It’s certainly useful. It can be useful for dozens of different reasons, but I would caution consumers that, the end vehicle pre installed dash cams are going to be able to submit your video and possibly audio back to the manufacturer and back to the cloud, we saw that with the Tesla employees who were reviewing intimate dash cam footage from some of their owners.

So it’s And it’s, it can raise your insurance rates if you are driving like an asshole and your insurance company is receiving the feed from your dashcam. So I would, recommend it, it’s really. Only good for folks who are very, careful drivers, in my opinion, if you’re a really bad driver and, or you’re conducting, a major drug ring from the interior vehicle, then you probably don’t want all that information being uploaded to your manufacturer available to your insurance company, or in some cases available at all.

So it’s a, case by case basis, depending on who you are and what you do as to whether a dash cam might be helpful in your life.

Anthony: So I got two questions for you then. So my Toyota has at least a front facing rear facing cameras on it. So my first question is, can I get that footage? But my second question is I live in New York.

It is a no fault insurance state. Does it matter if I have footage of some guy hitting me?

Michael: The first question, I think it’s available

could you ref, could you go back and tell me the first question again? I just lost it.

Anthony: The first question is that my Toyota has a front facing camera and a rear facing camera. Can I get access to that?

Michael: Possibly Toyota has, I think it’s part of their, I think it’s Safety Sense is the name of their And they basically have, in addition to the black box you have in your car, Toyota has this entire other system that tracks a lot of the safety and performance data that the vehicles as the vehicle operates.

And that can typically only be accessed by a technician. There may be a way for you to. Download that data and look at, but I imagine it’s going to require some pretty expensive equipment. So I would say, in that situation, no, in your specific vehicle, it’s going to be difficult to access for someone who it wasn’t designed, I don’t believe with the Continuous monitoring in mind in the Toyota vehicles as it was, for instance, in the Tesla vehicles, where it’s an always on always recording and that video in the Tesla’s is going back to, command headquarters to be used in their AI machine learning training among other things.

So it’s the Toyota system wasn’t designed that way. But I’ve seen reports that have come out of the Toyota system and they have images that are captured, pre crash and to give investigators or anyone else an idea of what happened in the crash.

Anthony: Okay. So my second question is I live in New York.

It’s a not no fault insurance state, right? So does dash cam footage, does it matter? Cause they’re like, whatever you’re in an accident, you’re both at fault.

Michael: Well, I mean, that’s, I mean, if a guy runs into you and kills you, right,

Anthony: well, I don’t care then there is

Michael: going to be some fault determination in that sense, so I don’t think that no fault really comes into play in the crashes we’re talking about.

I mean, in minor crashes, no fault. Makes sense somewhat, but still, I’m not a, I’m not really a fan of not holding bad drivers accountable and no fault states lean that direction. And, I can’t say that it’s something that, I think you should probably have the dash cam is not going to be as helpful in those states for those types of minor crashes.

But, when it comes to major crashes and injuries and potential fatalities, that, that footage could be incredibly helpful in determining fall.

Fred: Okay. Well, isn’t it all about the tick tock clicks? Isn’t that why?

Michael: That is what I think drives a lot of people to purchase dash cams.

At least it seems like to me that there are a lot of people who are interested in capturing cool things that happen while you’re out on the road. I think I’ve probably driven with one for around. Probably five to 6, 000 miles now. And the most interesting things I’ve captured were a car that almost ran me off the mobile Bay bridge down in Alabama, because they completely didn’t see me in their blind spot and started coming over and didn’t stop.

And another guy about a week ago up here in, in the DC area Who instead of waiting, a split second behind me and getting into their exit, they decided to pull around me at the very last minute. To get off on their exit, crossing two lanes and, could have caused a big problem there, but I saw him in time.

Fred: So that is so

Michael: Washington.

Fred: Yeah. So what has it done for your TikTok profile so far? Not a lot, huh? All right. TikTok profile

Michael: hasn’t been created yet.

Anthony: But Michael keeps his dash cam facing inwards. So he’s very self centered. He has to use his face while driving. But Fred, I mean, the TikTok thing, that’s really more your generation thing.

We’re not hip to kind of thing. I think it’s time for you to get a dash cam.

Fred: Yeah, that’s true. Well, I, in my day we put it on note cards.

Anthony: You had a sketch artist in the passenger seat drawing what happened.

Fred: Yeah, it was about the, that was about the limit of fast response.

But I do. I do have a question, a non sequitur, but it’s related. Who pays for all this bandwidth? That people are using to send crap back to Tesla. Do they require you to have an internet account? Or is it Verizon making money off of this? Or, I hear about all this data going back to Tesla, all this data going back to GM, yada, yada.

Somebody’s got to pay for all that bandwidth. Who’s paying for that?

Michael: I’m assuming it’s the consumer. I’m assuming most of the data transfer occurs when the consumer is at home and they have access to their Wi Fi connection or maybe they haven’t, connected. I’m assuming you can access multiple Wi Fi points.

So if you pulled into your office, you might be able to update your software there, do whatever you need to do.

Fred: That’s an enormous load on your system if you’ve got, a loaded Tesla, this collecting all this stuff, including your pulse and your sexual ambitions to every time unload all that information across your home internet.

Boy, that’s a lot. That’s a real burden. Interesting to know that. I’m not going to buy a Tesla to find out, but it would be good to know the answer to that.

Anthony: Listener, if you want Fred’s to buy a Tesla, just go to centerforautosafety. org and click on vote yes for Ted by Fred buying a Tesla. And if you want to change his name to Ted, we can vote for that too.

All right. Speaking of data being shared all over the place, I think it was last week or two weeks ago, we talked about General Motors. Got caught basically selling all of their customer data to Lexus Nexus. And we were all very confused. Like, why are they doing this? Well. This is an article on Ars Technica.

After public outcry, General Motors has decided to stop sharing driving data from its connected cars with data brokers. Look, this is a positive thing. Consumers, you can have an impact, and this is a perfect example of that. Hey, GM, stop sharing our data. Hey, GM, stop making the Hummer EV. Can we get that going next?


Fred: I’m all for it. Good idea.

Anthony: Great. That’s wonderful.

Fred: I’ll put it on my TikTok feed as soon as we get one. Yeah,

Anthony: there we go. Yeah, what’s the name of your TikTok feed again? Chased by pets. Fred Talk. Talk or talk?

Michael: Talk. We’re gonna talk. Talk. It’s okay. Ted Talk. That’s a, I mean that’s a, I guess a good move or a smart move by GM to stop doing that.

But. What’s really, the reason they probably responded so quick is because they realized they were doing something they should have been doing in the first place. And, that’s not the kind of thing that consumers enjoy finding out is that, non anonymized data is being.

Uploaded to these massive data services like Lexus Nexus and the other one involved. So I don’t know that’s just that whole situation feels a little slimy to me and it probably would feel even slimy or if I was driving one of those vehicles knowing that the data. that was generated prior to GM discontinuing this agreement is still out there.

Fred: Oh, and that you are paying for transmission of that data back to the broker who’s selling it to the insurance company who’s going to raise your rates. It’s a wonderful system.

Anthony: Hey, only in America. There we go. Hey, you guys like solar eclipses? Who doesn’t like a solar eclipse?

Michael: I like a solar eclipse. I don’t think I’ve, I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced one in its full glory.

I remember one in fourth grade where we had to stay inside the classrooms cause they didn’t trust us not to look at the sun. But they seem to be generating a lot more interest now than they did in the 1980s when that occurred with a lot of people. And I know people personally who absolutely love the experience of traveling to that small band where the total eclipse is going to happen.

Anthony: Yeah, because we have an article from Smithsonian Magazine link is on MSN, talks about millions of people are expected to travel to see the total eclipse on April 8th. And with many of them driving, clogging the roads with extra vehicles, scientists are warning of potential uptick in car fatalities.

On the day of that eclipse this is the last one, on the day of the last eclipse in 2017, along with the day before and the day after, scientists found a 31 percent increase in the number of fatal crashes per hour compared to non eclipse period. That’s insane. So everyone Whoa, eclipse party, man!

Bro! Yeah! And smash them and crash them? What? I whether it was an increased crashes, Fred, when you were cutting the fence at Woodstock?

Fred: People weren’t really crashing too badly back then, I think the heart of this is astrology, basically, because, people talk about your sun signs, but then when the sun disappears, You’re in a world of hurt.

How do you know how to behave or, what the celestial influences are going to have on your behavior? So I think that’s probably at the heart of it. What is your, what’s your sign, Anthony?

Anthony: I, it’s all messed up since Pluto is no longer a planet. Like I was living my life one way and then I found out I was living it wrong.

That was very disruptive.

Fred: You’re right. It was

Anthony: it threw my whole life’s work out of whack. But so Michael, what I’m reading from this is that basically more traffic equals more deaths.

Michael: Yeah, when I first saw the headline here, I was like, well, I mean, obviously we see a lot more crashes, deaths and injuries at night.

So maybe there’s a connection between, the darkness caused by a solar eclipse and the increased Rates of crashes that they’re seeing in this study, which was a cool study. They basically took that band where the eclipse is most viewable. I think they said a 62 to 71, 71 mile wide path of totality.

And they looked at all the crashes that occurred in that band in the days before and around the eclipse. And they found that, During the actual time of the eclipse where the darkness threat would be there that we know, is a contributor to a lot of crashes that’s, that was the least dangerous time to be traveling.

It seems like everything. All of the crashes they were noticing were happening around the eclipse and the most dangerous part of that entire series of days that they studied, I believe it was like three days before and around the eclipse was the most dangerous part was the hour or the period immediately after the eclipse.

So it suggests, in summary, in some ways that people are. Going to the eclipse and having way too good of a time and driving when they shouldn’t be. Also there, some increased traffic. People are driving to areas that they’re not familiar with. But who knows, like Fred says, maybe there’s a celestial influence here as well.

Anthony: I think there could Elon Musk. We’ve all heard of full self driving. It’s a thing, right? They’re on version 12 of this beta, which you, as a member of the public, do not consent to. Not even aware of. Well, this 12, 000 level 2 driving system is it’s 12, 000 or 200 a month. Well, You go out and you’re like, hey, I want to buy a Tesla.

And you’ve purchased the Tesla. You’ve given over your money. And so Elon’s decided to break rule one of sales. Is when you come in to buy your Tesla, nope. You gotta go out and have a test drive to show you this beta software. To try and get people to upgrade to that. It’s the strangest thing in the world, cause.

If you’re selling something, somebody’s handed you a stack of cash. You’re like no, not yet. No. Let me drive you around the block in some piece of crap software we have. Elon’s saying going forward, it is mandatory in North America to install and activate full self driving version 12.

3. 1 and take customers on a short test ride before handing over the car. He said, almost no one actually realizes how well supervised full self driving actually works. Almost no one actually realizes how well supervised full self driving actually works. Oh, I’m sorry, Elon’s failed. That’s two adverbs in one sentence.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, this is kind of Elon’s pushback against, all of the fun police out here who are saying that his software is not good enough and not safe enough to be on the roads and be used by consumers. And so instead of making the software better or taking it off the roads and testing it until it’s worthwhile He’s saying well, we’re just gonna make everyone use it at least this one time when before they’re able to pull their eagle out of the dealership, which is I don’t know.

There’s something really creepy about that the fact that I could walk up to a dealership and say hey I want this car i’m not planning to ever use one Full self driving or autopilot because I think those two systems are crap and they might endanger my life, but I want to buy a Tesla. Yeah, I want to buy a tesla because it’s got good crash worthiness ratings.

I want an electric vehicle and the is the dealership really going to tell me that I have to take a ride around the block on full self drive I have to give the robot control For a few minutes and take that risk in order to purchase one of their vehicles I don’t think so. I just, I mean, despite what Elon believes is going to happen to these dealerships I don’t think there’s any way that’s going to be able to be enforced.

And, seems like it might result in selling less vehicles than it would Result in selling more full self driving packages, which as far as we know, the uptake on those is very low. It’s under 20%. And even after that, we’re not even sure how many Tesla owners are actually using it very often.

So it’s an odd way of forcing your customers to comply with how you think they should be behaving. And frankly, it’s enormously creepy, but that’s right on brand for Tesla and Mr. Musk at this point.

Fred: One of the downsides of being delusional is that you assume other people share your delusions.

And I think that’s what we’re looking at here. But, in general, it’s not a bad idea for people to be familiar with the car and to have somebody who is better informed than you inform you of the car safety features. When you take possession of the car, you’ve done that. It takes a while to figure out what all the buttons are for.

However, this is unusual in that this is making people aware of something that is absolutely not normal. A safety feature. So it’s the it’s the bizarro world of car dealership.

Michael: Yeah. And if Tesla was saying, Hey, we’re going to take all of our customers that purchase these vehicles on a demo ride that teaches them that they have to maintain control and attention at all times when they’re using these systems we’ve built that don’t quite work right, then we’d be all for it.

Right? But in this case, it’s mandating that customers use systems that there are some still some significant issues with and beyond kind of the weird control thing that’s going on here. It’s. You could use that time with your customers a lot better and ensure that they’re safer when operating those systems by investing that time and teaching them how the systems work and that they, as a driver, their full attention is needed at all times.

Anthony: I think I’d really appreciate a dealership to explain to me why I have to sit there for three hours as their Finance manager sits in his office and goes over stuff. I’m like, I’ve already written you a check What are you doing? Like just hand me the goddamn keys.

Michael: I can answer that. Just let me go talk to my manager.

Anthony: Yeah, exactly No, but it’s serious as I agree with what you guys are just saying is I think For anyone buying a new car with all these new bells and whistles and TikTok things, great, here’s a 15 30 minute demo drive to say, hey, this is how things work. Not, hey, here’s a demo drive and here I’m going to show you something that costs 12, 000 that you didn’t ask for, you don’t want, and do this.

It’s it’s like when I go buy my Lamborghini, I don’t need launch mode because I’m not going to do that. So I just tell them to skip launch mode on the demo and say, where do I put the meatballs?

Fred: No. Well, I’m not quite sure how to answer that Anthony, but I sympathize with your delusions.

Anthony: Hey, that’s my delusions are grand. Okay. Let’s talk about independent repair shops. We’ve talked about this before where independent repair shops are getting cut off. They don’t have a. Right to repair. We’ve had talked about the right to repair bills, especially in Massachusetts, where you buy something like a phone or a car, you own it.

You should be able to get access to it and fix it, or you should be able to go to anybody you want and they should be able to repair and fix it and poke around. But that’s still not happening from repair drive news. com. A reduction in the ability of independent repair shops to conduct repair work could reduce consumer repair choices.

Man, who writes this stuff? Basically, they’re still keeping independent repair shops from getting access to the computers inside cars to repair them. Instead, oh, you want that fix? Come to the dealer.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, that’s a big part of it. There is a big part of this is the change in technology that’s going into vehicles and the equipment and the salt, you know, it’s, it requires a lot of equipment, a lot of training for Technicians and independent repair shops to fix these vehicles.

Just like it requires a lot of the same from technicians and the repair shops at dealers that are to do the same thing. So it’s a huge expense for an independent repair shop to have to keep track of this situation because they’re not just keeping track of one. Manufacturer, they’re not just dealing in General Motors.

They’re dealing with 20 or 25 different manufacturers, all who have different computer systems in their vehicles, all who have a different way of communicating with their dealers about these things, sending out service bulletins and that sort of things. And so these independent shops are having to essentially rely on, third party brokers to, To acquire some of that information, like all data, which publishes service bulletins for these repair shops to use.

And it puts independent repairs at a significant disadvantage because they’re required to put out so much money on the front end to, to even be able to start to address some of these issues. So it’s difficult. All the manufacturers have not made it. Any easier. I mean, obviously they’re in competition with independent repair shops for the for consumers who want vehicles repaired, particularly after they’re out of warranty.

You can get a repair cheaper very often at an independent repair than you can by going to an authorized dealer. Consumers are aware of that and they’re often going to choose the least expensive option. The manufacturers, by withholding, service bulletins, by withholding, things like software and data systems that they use to, to power the vehicles, to control the vehicle safety and performance features, to control windshield wipers, to control anything, the independent repair shops need access and need to be able to work with that software and hardware to correct problems.

They aren’t always getting the information they need to do that.

Anthony: And as a consumer, how would I find a service bulletin?

Michael: The best way to find a service bulletin for a consumer would, you could go on the center for auto safety website, type in your make model and year of your vehicle, and we’ll pull it up for you.

Ours is based on everything that NHTSA receives. from manufacturers. So you can find on our site readily. They’re, it’s different for independent repair shops because the service bulletins that appear on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website are delayed, sometimes two months, sometimes three months, sometimes six months, and they need access to that information immediately.

So typically, they’re going to have to subscribe to a service like all data, which I mentioned that. Provide them with those service bulletins on a more timely basis. But it’s still hard, they’re All data is a third party. They’re organizing manufacturer bulletins, but these technicians don’t have access directly to for instance The chrysler mopar system or the gm system that has the most up to date and best organized information So it’s an uphill battle for them

Anthony: But that was good.

I was worried there. I handed you a layup question and I was afraid what you’re going to say, but that’s right. Go to autosafety. org. Check out your vehicle. Very easy to do while you’re there. Click on that red donate button. Oh, thanks. That felt so good. I felt someone just click on it right now.

That was a little strange. Hey, you guys ever buy a used car?

Fred: Yes.

Anthony: Fred, you’ve bought a used car, right?

Fred: I have bought several used cars. Yes. Okay.

Anthony: Well, this is something it’s surprising this has to become a some legislation that was introduced by Senators Blumenthal, Markey, and Warren. It’s called the Used Car Safety Recall Repair Act.

It requires car dealers to repair any outstanding safety recalls and use cars prior to selling, leasing, or loaning them to consumers. How is this not already a thing? This is insane. Well,

Michael: I mean, it’s a bill that’s been introduced multiple times over the past decade, and it is strongly opposed by the auto dealers Thank you.

Particularly the independent auto dealers who aren’t affiliated with a particular manufacturer. So if you take your car in, for instance, if you go to a GM dealer and you’re buying a used car, that’s a General Motors vehicle from a General Motors dealer, then They are saying that they’re repairing those most of the manufacturers say, before we sell used vehicles that are under our brand name, we’re going to repair those vehicles.

If they have a recall on them. That’s what they claim. We don’t have any proof whether or not they’re doing it, how effectively they’re doing it, but it’s what they claim. When you have someone like CarMax or AutoNation or one of these other large independent used vehicle sellers, or even smaller independent used vehicle dealers, then there’s a problem there that, They’re going to, they’re going to get these cars into their facility and they want to offload them as quickly as possible.

They, even though there’s a free repair available, they don’t really want to take the time to get that repair performed before they can sell it to a consumer. They’ve lobbied strongly against this. For many years now, and it simply makes sense to us to address this issue. You’ve got the car at a dealership.

Dealerships are far better, we think. I mean, or could be. They’re engineered to be better at discovering problems with vehicles and fixing them. And doing that when you’ve got an open recall, it’s a no brainer. And a lot of recalls are pretty quickly and easily resolved. There are some, that might have delays and there are ways to work around that.

But ultimately, we think that when people buy a car, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not there’s an active safety defect, defect on that vehicle. That should be something that’s taken care of by whoever’s selling it. And, It’s essentially these independent dealers are pushing, basically kicking the can down the road to the consumer and saying, Oh, the consumers are best positioned to do that.

What they’re really saying is we don’t want to take the time or expend the effort required to do that. And that’s a problem, especially when you have dealers who are saying, Oh, we’ve inspected this car 100 different ways and it’s passing all of our tests. You don’t have anything to worry about, buy it.

Well, a lot of those same dealerships aren’t fixing recalls, which is it’s a huge contradiction that it’s hard to justify.

Anthony: One thing I noticed missing from this is it says here that it’s requiring cars prior to selling, leasing, or loaning them. What they’re missing from that is, or renting them, because you can rent a car that has tons of recalls on it and you’ll never know.

No. No, that’s not

Michael: true? Wait,

Anthony: I’m wrong?

Michael: No. That’s what, that’s one of the weirder things here is that Congress did pass, bill that prevents rental vehicles from being rented with open recalls. I thought that was Oh good. Well, and my only real answer to that is that the rental companies have They don’t have either the money or they don’t have the lobbyists to oppose that bill at the time but the auto dealers are A pretty, a very powerful lobby and have been able to thwart attempts to pass this legislation now for at least a decade.

And I know that we’ve been pushing for action on this issue for even longer than that. It’s very difficult to get them to agree to this. You would think it would be a no brainer, right? We’re going to do the best to ensure that our, our purchasers, our consumers, our customers are safe when they drive off the lot, but the reality is the opposite.

Well, what’s more important, liquidity or safety? To me, safety to a, someone that is dealing these cars with open recalls, I’m pretty sure it’s liquidity.

Fred: Well, yeah, well, there you go. Hey, by the way, when was the legislation passed that required rental companies to update their safety?

Michael: I believe that was in 2015 with the FAST Act, and Yeah, it was in 2015 with the FAST Act.

So I believe it became official a year or two later. I can’t remember if NHTSA had to do some rulemaking around that. That took some time, but that is the law now. And you’ll. You can now using that new little tool on this is website You can easily figure out if you’re running a car by plugging the license plate in I believe we discussed this a few apps when a few episodes ago and Anthony was having some issues with the rental car You can plug in the license plate now from your rental car and check that right in the lot And I think it’s going to be pretty rare that you find one that’s got an open recall on it because rental companies so far have been relatively good at complying with the law, although there have been some exceptions.

Fred: So you think, do you think, wait, I need to ask this question, Anthony, do you think it’s merely a coincidence that following the passage of this law, Russia invaded Ukraine and China extended its high speed rail system to Laos? In Vientiane, Laos?

Michael: I have no idea how to answer that question.

Fred: Okay, well, I just wanted to bring it up.


Anthony: Thanks for sharing. Speaking of more legislation that makes you scratch your head New Jersey. Let’s talk about New Jersey. Senator O’Scanlan has a bill, state senator, I believe a S, 3067 would prevent the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and other state entities from disclosing the personal information of New Jersey driver’s license holders to help another state impose or collect a fine for alleged violations captured by automated camera ticketing systems.

If I get this correctly, I got a New Jersey driver’s plate, I got a license plate, I’m going to go into New York and I’m going to bust it. Bolt through every speed trap camera, I’m gonna be smashing things, I’m gonna do whatever I want, cross back over that bridge, and and, I’m scott free?

Michael: Well, you’re not Scott free.

I mean, I guess that’s what it’s intended to create as an environment where the data brokers who have that information, right? Whoever owns the information that connects you to your license plate, essentially, New Jersey is holding that information. And so if another state come for another state to figure that out, they’re going to have to come to New Jersey and say, Hey, who is this guy that’s going to with this license plate so we can track him down.

And New Jersey is, this bill would say that the, that New Jersey is not going to be able to turn over that information. It, it sounds good. It I think this seems a lot more difficult and a lot more unworkable in reality than it might seem. I mean, there are, a lot of data brokers out there who regularly download information, connecting people to vehicle registrations.

It happens in recalls all the time. I mean, that’s essentially how manufacturers figure out where where you are to get you a recall notice. So there’s a lot of reasons why, and good reasons why. People need to be connected to the license plate on their vehicle. Law enforcement’s another great example.

And this information’s going to be out there, so it seems like it’s going to be really hard to prevent other states from getting access to that information when it comes to specifically enforcing out of state automated traffic fines. I don’t know. It’s, from Anthony’s perspective, I’m sure you have seen some New Jersey drivers who you don’t approve of driving down your street and you don’t want them being able to get away with all this stuff.

Now I want to build a wall. If every state did this, it essentially would. The enforcement in state, I think New Jersey has banned enforcement, period, but it sets up a situation where the enforcement in state could only apply to citizens of that state rather than all the other people that have traveled in from all the other states.

It’s a weird way to approach it, um, protecting your own citizens from out of state automated traffic fines. Really, in my opinion, it gives it, Gives people the ability to thwart the law without receiving punishment and it’s state sanctioned ability So it’s an odd. It’s an odd bill well

Fred: Let’s be clear this intent of this bill Was to shield the virtuous citizens of New Jersey from the corrupt influences of other states that are abruptly and illegally invoking fines on the virtuous residents of New Jersey.

I mean this, I think this is just some right wing nut who believes that everything government does is corrupt and terrible and needs to shield his, his buddies. And Hoboken from the consequences of their actions.

Anthony: It’s simpler than that. This is, I think, just a pushback on New York City’s congestion pricing law.

And that New Jersey people don’t want to pay it. And so all that congestion pricing is being enforced by cameras. And they’ll be like, oh, all these New Jersey people coming in. But who wants to keep talking about New Jersey? They’re the world’s greatest drivers.

Michael: This is a New Jersey and New York war going on here, right?

Anthony: Pretty much. I mean, it’s Just silliness. But no, it’s not silly. Crash testing. I mean, it’s fun to watch the crash testing, not actual crash videos. Some crash videos are hilarious to watch. As long as you realize that, well, as long as you pretend there was no humans involved. But let’s talk real crash testing.

Fred The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has the most fun safe crash testing. Wait, has the most fun crash test videos online. And the government does crash testing at 35 miles per hour. IIHS does them at 40 miles per hour. But look, when I’m confronted a New Jersey driver, we’re racing. We’re doing at least 80.

So why don’t they crash test at higher speeds?

Fred: Anthony, is this an invitation to the Tao of Fred, or is this a Fred talk? You’ve now entered the Tao of Fred. I feel the same notes I do. What do you think, what part of the show are we on? All right, well, we’ll plunge ahead. Read that and first of all, be clear, we love IIHS.

We love the work that they do. We love the visibility they bring to safety problems. So this these comments are in the context of, yes, I love you and can I suggest a better way to load the dishwasher? So it’s, we have to be a little careful about this. So what they posit is that although speed has a significant impact on crash severity, More isn’t always better in a testing context.

Well, that’s true, but it’s interesting. And then they go on to say counterintuitively, testing vehicles at, say, 85 miles per hour could actually have a negative effect on their safety, which seems curious. Digging in a little bit, the assumption that, behind that statement is that the stopping distance is the same.

for both crashes. So you’ve got a finite distance between, we’ll say the front bumper and the passenger compartment. And it would be true that if you keep that distance constant and you have higher speed, then the forces that are inflicted on the passengers and the consequential damage could be safer, or excuse me, could be worse at lower speeds than they would otherwise be.

Because you’re making the further assumption that you have to stiffen the front end. in order to accommodate that higher speed. But that’s not always the case. Anthony, what about F1 cars? How did they manage? I know you’re in the Maseratis fan club, but how do they manage to keep people alive in high speed crashes?

Anthony: Well, let’s see one, professional drivers. Two, closed racetrack with only professional drivers, crash helmets, five part harness, and the drivers are encased in something called a monocoque, which is, I think it’s all carbon fiber that they every team has to prove that they can pass impact testing at some ridiculously high speed.

And I know some teams cars in the past have been delayed because they’ve failed crash testing on this. They not allow any car on the road. So I think, for example, there was a crash in the last Grand Prix where, you know, somebody’s going 180 miles per hour and then they’re into the wall and they’re sideways, whatnot.

But, they got out completely unscathed. All right, so that’s the correct answer.

Fred: Thank you, Anthony. I appreciate that. I got a correct answer! Banner Day! Show’s over! We’re done! So there’s various mechanisms like that for staging the response. To an incident to the cut to the speed of the incident, for example, in fighter airplanes, they have an injection seat, right, because they want to separate the consequences of the plane crashing from the pilot whose life they’d like to save and would be very unlikely to do that if the fighter airplane crashes with the pilot inside.

So they have an injection seat. We know of airbags that have staged deployment depending on the weight of the person in the front seat, right? So you could also stage the deployment of the airbag based on the the speed of the car, for example. So there, there’s the underlying assumption behind IIH’s statement that everything is the same except that You’re running at a higher speed really isn’t the case doesn’t need to be the case You could have for example Water filled canisters that only eject the water or essentially boil off the water When there’s a high speed crash, so there’s various ways to accommodate that so looking at the other side if you were to design the car for passenger safety at 85 miles per hour You Would you then necessarily have a more hazardous condition at 45 miles per hour?

And the answer to that is no, it’s always going to be more benign. But can you get the car companies to design cars for safety, for safe cars at 85 miles an hour? Well, that’s a tough one. And so what they say is that really we need to talk about risk, right? Doing the most for the most people.

That kind of gets into Nicomachean ethics, but, or Michael, you’re an expert on that, but so check me on that. But what, what is underlying this discussion is that most people aren’t likely to get in crashes at higher speeds. And so what the IIHS should concentrate on are the speeds at which people are most likely to get in crashes.

And what they’re saying is that’s in the range of 45, 40 to 45 miles per hour. Given that background, it doesn’t make sense to design cars for 85 mile an hour crashes because it doesn’t happen all that often. Usually the crashes are at lower speeds. So they’ve really drifted over from automobile safety into the economic realities of the car business, figuring out where investments should take place in order to protect the most number of people.

That’s something that we don’t do, but it, given that perspective, That you design the cars for the most common crashes, which are 45 miles an hour, you’re going to skew the results of that car if you then lay on an additional requirement to say, Oh, by the way, you’re going to have to keep everything the same, but accommodate an 85 mile an hour crash.

In that case, it’s absolutely true that there could be a counter influence, and you could end up with a worse situation at lower speeds than at the higher speeds. so much. But you’ve got to, you’ve got to realize that if the cars were designed initially for the higher speeds, you are always going to be more benign at the lower speeds.

Does that make sense? I mean, is it too circular?

Michael: Well, one thing I was wondering here is, would it, saying money was no object, obviously crash testing cars is really expensive and both NHTSA and IHS aren’t going to be able to test every car on the market. And dozens of different crash scenarios, but would it, if money weren’t an object, would it make more sense to test vehicles at, 10 mile per hour gradients, say, just spitballing at zero to 100, test the correct test, 10 different vehicles at all these different speeds, and then figure out what the score is from there.

Would that give you a better a better look at the overall vehicle safety? Positing that situation because obviously it’s going to be really expensive to do that. But would that be helpful? Would that provide consumers with something additional rather than, and I agree that when you have a limited resources and limitability to test, it makes sense to focus on the crash mode that you’re seeing happen the most often, or the crash speeds that you see happening the most often.

But is there a better way?

Fred: Well, the problem is the,

Power companies designed to the test. If there’s no public indication of value, or if there’s no public indication of diminished safety as you go to higher speeds, why in the world would you ever put money into an investment to do something that is going to have no visibility and no impact on your overall sales?

So what you’re suggesting, Michael, is that they should extend The test range up to higher speeds so that people can look at essentially where the car falls off the cliff, right, and where those boundaries are that makes the car unsafe, which is a wonderful idea. And yes, it would be very expensive on the other hand, if you were to just say, well, we’re going to have a test in 5 years that goes up to X miles per hour, 60 miles per hour, we’re going to put this test in place.

Thank you. Here’s, you’ve got five years to figure out how the hell to do this, and then we’re going to test and we’re going to give everybody the data. That would have a beneficial impact on safety. We don’t know what the cost would be associated with that, and clearly the car companies are, would be unhappy to make that investment.

And I think from the IIHS perspective, if they were to just say, well, we’re going up to 60 miles an hour, they run the risk of having no cars compliant. And having no information available to give to the public, because if you take all the cars that are available today and run at a 60 miles an hour, they’ll all fail.

What does that tell you? It’s just all it tells you is that nobody’s designed cars to survive crashes at 60 miles per hour. That’s not a conclusion that’s useful to anybody. I think you need to push the boundary. I think we would like to see IIHS and NCAP both push the boundaries up to higher speeds.

It needs to be done gradually so that the car companies have time to accommodate that and that they have a chance to be successful. Just taking the cars out today and running them at higher speeds. Like the people who wrote this article on IHS suggests, the only way you could do that is to build a stiffer front end, and that is going to increase the forces inside the cabin at all lower speeds, which is, I think, the negative consequences they were referring to.

Anthony: Right. And then you also have the negative consequences. We get back to those other Older, cars from the fifties, very stiff front ends and you’re just crushing over everybody else.

Fred: Right. Well, they also had one piece steering wheel columns that were pushed into the chest of the person when the driver, when the car exceeded the very small threshold of.

Speed at which, you know, the, whatever you’re running into would contact the steering box. Yeah, there’s a lot of things, a lot of things have changed for the better since then. But it’s true, if you took a 1960 Chevy Impala. Chevy Impala. I was thinking, is that the one that had the wings in the back?

I don’t know. Or a pink convertible, whatever those big ones were. Cadillac. Yeah. 57

Michael: Chevy.

Fred: And you took out all the inherently lethal features, then you ran it into a You just have the bed seat. 65 miles per hour. You’d probably have a better result. Unfortunately, none of them had seatbelts, so you would have long since floated out of the car into an early Earlier than expected death, but.

Anthony: So I think the takeaway from this is don’t get into car crashes.

Fred: Yeah, that’s a good one. Okay. That’s always reliable. Right.

Anthony: And that’s something I, from going back to the dash cam footage where I’m watching people like, nope, I’m the laws on my side, I should be staying in this lane, not letting you in.

And crashing into people, it takes me back to sailboats where there’s rules of the road. And I remember asking one of the captains and I was like, Hey what do you do in this obscure situation? She goes, looks at me and goes, don’t hit the other boat. I’m like, what? It’s it doesn’t matter what the rules are.

Don’t hit the other boat. Okay. Oh, okay. Good point.

Fred: Yeah, I had a sailboat on the first, got it. I asked an old hand who was on the deck, what speed should I approach the dock? And then he said well, whatever speed you’re going to be comfortable hitting the dock.

Anthony: Exactly. There you go.

That’s how you should drive. What speed are you, is your insurance good at? No, don’t do that, because you don’t know who you’re hitting. Hey, let’s go into some recalls. That sounds fun. Chrysler! So Michael, I gotta point out, these are not the normal notice things. You said you have links to articles.

Michael: Well, I had a, I, there is a notice down there. Maybe you didn’t see it. See, it’s right below that. But they’re very similar. There was, there happened to be an article on this issue. And that’s because it’s Something very familiar and yet new to us. It’s the 2018 to 2021 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles.

They’ve got side airbag inflate curtains that have inflators that have a very similar, it appears Exploding for lack of a better word feature similar to Takata. They are putting these. Basically, what’s happening is in Takata, we saw that moisture or humidity over time degraded the material that the inflator pellets were made out of and allowed those Basically create a condition where too much gas is being produced too quickly and the housing for the airbag inflator is not able to contain it.

It ruptures and can send fragments out of the passenger compartment injuring occupants. Here, in Takata that took months, years of time and exposure to that moisture before we started seeing that condition develop. Here, It looks like at the point of manufacture when these inflators were manufactured at the supplier, there was moisture introduced into the inflators and presumably sealed inside of the inflators.

So exposure, there’s a different mechanism here. It’s not. Exposure over time. These inflators may already be degrading, may already be a problem. And so, that’s essentially why they issued the recall. They’ve it’s about 300, I think it’s, I want to say it’s around 300, 000 vehicles here,

Anthony: 184, 000 plus,

Michael: and it’s one that owners really want to be aware of because Takata, it’s.

Potentially very dangerous. I don’t believe there have been any injuries or accidents or anything related to this issue anywhere at this point. I believe that a recall will start around the start of May, the beginning of May, it looks like. So if you own one of those vehicles, be sure to get that one repaired.

That is a really critical recall.

Anthony: Yeah, this is an interesting description of the remedy saying they will FCA, which I don’t know what FCA stands for, FCA U. S. Has a longstanding policy. That’s Chrysler? Okay. Yeah,

Michael: Chrysler.

Anthony: They have a longstanding policy and practice of reimbursing owners who have incurred the cost of repairing a problem.

So basically, yeah, you got to send in proof of payment to them and they’ll send it back to you with three box tops to your favorite cereal. Yeah. Moving on Mercedes, I’m going to say it. I’m impressed. I might have to move from Maseratis to Mercedes. They are initiating an investigation of field reports from customers, alleging that their one 67 platform vehicles displayed battery related warnings.

So they’re jumping ahead of the curve here and saying they’re catching these defects before anyone gets injured. They basically, this is a, an issue with their 48 volt ground connections that the ground connection may not be set up correctly. Is this what’s going on?

Michael: Yeah, it’s a large recall for Mercedes.

You typically we’re looking at Mercedes recalls or a few hundred to a few thousand vehicles, but this one’s over a hundred thousand vehicles. And essentially they have received Field reports from customers that they’re getting battery and related warnings. And so they’ve dived into the problem over the past year and a half or so.

It looks like this. They first received, they started the investigation in June of 2022. So it’s almost two years that they’ve been looking into this. There haven’t been any accidents or issues that they have seen or fires related to condition. I believe fire is one of their biggest concerns here. But they found a problem in the 48 volt ground connection that’s right under the passenger seat.

And it had something to do with the, there weren’t the torque specifications weren’t met during the manufacturing process. So it’s, once again, Mercedes, and we’ve talked about this before, it looks like they are getting out well ahead of a problem and doing their due diligence to make sure that, their customers are satisfied.

Anthony: Yeah, and so this is a variety of Mercedes, including Fred’s my Bach. And then lastly, we’re gonna do an investigation to Honda Insight Passports. The Office of Defect Investigation has received 46 complaints and a number of early warning reports about phantom braking, about automatic 2022.

Honda Insights and Honda Passport vehicles that allege that the AEB system has Come on. On its own, without any need to do that. This is just the investigation phase at this point, but this relates to a lot of fandom breaking stuff we’ve seen over the last few years.

Michael: Yeah, and there’s, I think we’re going to continue to see phantom breaking problems because, NITSA has yet to issue its automatic emergency braking rule, which we hope and expect will be coming out in the next, A few weeks, hopefully and that inside of that rule are some, or should be, at least we believe there will be, some provisions that attempt to address the fact that these vehicles and these systems are going to be doing their best to detect and respond to potential emergencies in their environment and that they need to get it right.

But some things are not. Reasons to stop the vehicle in the middle of the road when there could be following traffic. Essentially, we don’t want automatic emergency braking causing additional crashes. We want it functioning to prevent crashes. And it has to get it right. Automatic emergency braking shouldn’t be kicking in when you’re going over railroad tracks or when, it’s raining and the system sees something that isn’t there.

It’s really important. really for the future of automatic emergency braking and consumer acceptance of the technology that it’s not stopping your car in the middle of the road when there’s no emergency situation.

Anthony: Hey NHTSA, get your AAB stuff together. Come on. This is good stuff. We like it. And with that’s it.

That’s the the end of our show for today. Thank you for spending your time with us. And now, please go on to the rabbit hole of looking at dash cam camera videos on YouTube and also search for the 11 foot 8 inch bridge, which is just hilarious. They just keep it that way. It’s amazing. All right. Thanks listeners.

Bye bye. Bye bye. Bye everyone. For

Michael: www. autosafety.

Fred: org.


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