AUTO MAKERS PLEDGE GREATER COOPERATION ON SAFETY EFFORTS

The U.S. government and a group of 18 automakers said today they are committed to exploring new ways to improve automotive safety and expressed a willingness to share some information or best practices about ways to track data and defects.

The commitment comes on the heels of a two-year period of automotive history characterized by record-setting numbers of recalls, record civil penalties levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a number of Congressional hearings to investigate companies including General Motors, Takata and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

But this week, at several events and news conferences, the U.S. government stressed that it is less interested in pushing for recalls and levying fines after safety problems occur and more interested in preventing safety defects before they occur.

"Today, the Department of Transportation and the automakers represented here are taking a strong stand in favor of a new approach, an approach that leans heavily on being proactive, and less heavily on being reactive," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Friday at the Detroit auto show.

Foxx outlined four broad principles that automakers agreed on. They include a commitment to explore the possibility of sharing traffic and safety data as well as some research and development.

The four main principles include:

 

  • Enhance and facilitate proactive safety
  • Enhance analysis and examination of early warning reporting data
  • Maximize safety recall participation rates 
  • Enhance automotive cybersecurity.

"Perhaps years from now we will look back at this moment, at a time when there may have been some skepticism about the safety of the automotive industry in general, and see that the industry stepped up and made a hard pivot with us towards a more proactive culture," Foxx said.

The agreement is modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration's Safety Management System. That system allows airlines to share data anonymously that helps to improve safety and avoid crashes.

Foxx said the FAA's system "has dramatically reduced aviation accidents in our skies and it relies on information sharing and the trust established by FAA and  its stakeholders."

Foxx and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind were flanked by a number of top automotive executives, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, Toyota President of North America Jim Lentz, Hyundai North America President and CEO Dave Zuchowski and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

"I see this as a real opportunity and a foundation that we can build on," Barra said. "I do think we will look back and see that this was very historic."

Said Hyundai Chief Legal and Safety Officer Gerald Flannery: “Hyundai has worked enormously hard the past several years on a wide variety of safety issues. We will be broadening our scope and working even more diligently with our partners in this collaborative effort to improve vehicle safety."

Friday's agreement came after a whirlwind week Rosekind, who met throughout the week with a number of automakers and top executives. On Tuesday, Rosekind said he had "great optimism," about the agreement but wasn't yet sure it would come together.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this week that he appreciates the new approach that Rosekind is taking, even though the Auburn Hills automaker was subjected to $175 million in civil penalties.

"I think Rosekind is trying to transition NHTSA into a different kind of relationship with the (manufacturers)," Marchionne said after a meeting on Tuesday. "I agree with the end goal. We aren’t going to agree with each other every step of the way."

 

- DETROIT FREE PRESS 01/15/2016

Removing Rust

 

When the paint on a car begins to wear off the metal underneath can rust but have no fear because car rust can be removed. To repaint that car you need to remove the car rust first and there are many chemicals on the market that can do just that. These car rust removers are not inexpensive and the chemicals are very harsh. The following article will show you several car rust removers that are inexpensive, all-natural and some are even homemade.

1. Distilled Pure White Vinegar

Vinegar is a potent and natural solution to many rust issues. The chemicals in vinegar will eat away at the molecular bonds that attach rust to the surface of the metal. The type of metal will factor in to how well the vinegar will work on the rust. Use sandpaper to remove any loose rust in the area. Soak a rag in the vinegar and hold it on the rust spot for several minutes. The longer you apply the vinegar the more rust that will be removed. Wipe the area down with a clean rag. You may have to repeat this several times to remove all of the car rust.

2. Baking Soda

The same product that helps keep the inside of the refrigerator smelling fresh can also be used to remove car rust. The active ingredient found in baking soda bubbles and fizzes. This chemical action interacts with the organic molecules in rust causing it dissolve. Once the bond between the rust and the metal is dissolved the rust will easily be removed. You need to create a paste so that the baking soda will actually stick to the metal. Mix baking soda with very small amounts of water until the consistency resembles thick oatmeal.

3. Soda

There have been many myths about a certain brand of soda that can remove car rust and just how it manages to do this. Soda can remove rust from some metals including chrome. The reason soda can remove rust is because it is very high in citric acid and acid is used to remove rust. You can saturate a rag in the soda and vigorously wipe off the car rust. This is best used on small areas and used to remove rust from chrome.

4. Fresh Lemons

The reason why soda can remove rust is the same reason that lemons can: the acid. All citrus fruits can remove rust because they all contain citric acid. Lemons work best because they contain the highest content of this acid. Cutting a fresh lemon in half and then rubbing it vigorously over the car rust will work to remove it. Another alternative is to use fresh lemon juice that is not from concentrate. Soak a rag in it and then scrub the area. This is best used on small patches of rust that are superficial. Lemon juice on overly rusted metal can work but it will take a long time, a lot of lemons and a lot of hard scrubbing.

Removing Dents

Removing minor car dents from your vehicle is not difficult, and getting out a dent caused by an unguided shopping cart can be easily done. Shopping carts can sometimes accidentally bump the side of the car, and cause small dents in the car. Although this is a collision-type dent, it is typically small and shallow, allowing you to remove it by yourself.

Using Dry Ice

This is a more traditional method, which can be done in an hour or so. Find some dry ice from your local garage, or a props store. Wearing gloves, or using a pair of barbecue tongs, touch the car dent with the dry ice. You can repeat this as often as you need to, until the dent is gone.

Use a Plunger

Take the sink plunger from your house, and use this to pull out the dent. Dip the plunger into some soapy water, and then press it to the dent. Pull the plunger, as if you were unblocking a sink, until the dent is removed.

Use a Hairdryer

If you can plug a hairdryer in to your garage, you can use this to get rid of your dent. You need to warm up the hairdryer, and then apply it to the car dent. While the metal is warm, spray compressed air onto it. The dent should then pop out.

Remove Scratches

 

Car scratches are more than annoying. They mar the finish of your car’s paint and make it less valuable. There are some cheap ways to eliminate car scratches that are more effective than a new paint job.

1 - Touch-Up Paint

The very careful application of touch-up paint can make car scratches look like new. You need to use a very fine brush and make sure the area is completely cleaned first. After that, take an extremely fine brush and paint along the scratch. Your color needs to be an exact match for the paintwork on your car. Wipe away any excess paint from outside the scratch and then leave to dry.

After it’s dried decide if you need to add an extra coat of paint or whether you just need to wax. If you add a second coat of touch-up paint to the car scratches, wax them once dry.

2 - Polish

Polish is mildly abrasive so you can use it to eliminate car scratches by gently taking off some of the paint. Put the polish on a cloth and wipe over the scratch. Rub the surrounding area, too, so the paint matches. Wipe the polish off and the car scratches should be invisible. Protect the areas by applying wax.

Rust on a Car

 

At some point during its life you will inevitably find rust on a car, somewhere. Rust is a more or less unavoidable symptom of an aging vehicle. Chrome and metal bumpers are particularly susceptible to rust over the years and there are a couple of main causes.

1 – Weather Conditions

We all know that rain will make metal go rusty eventually. Left outside, a metal object will become wet exposed to the elements. When this happens, oxidation takes place and cars are a prime target. Even the body work can be affected badly if there are chips or scratches in the paint work. Exposed metal will be vulnerable to rain and sun as well as extreme temperatures. This is one of the speediest ways for a car to become rust infested.

2 – Regions

Coastal regions can play a huge part in the oxidizing destruction of a car. Salty sea water is a serious enemy of metallic objects and will attack without remorse if metal is left untreated or exposed. Cold climates and extremely warm climates will have a similar effect and cause rust on the vehicle.

3 – Neglect

Even though the two previous points might play huge roles in causing rust on your vehicle, you should also consider the idea of neglect. If you fail to clean your car or protect your car inside a garage or wax your car you will leave it open to attack. Keep your car out of the weather and look after it to prevent rust from attacking your own vehicle.