Skip to comments.Mexico’s booming car industry selling unsafe cars
Posted on 11/28/2013 1:29:39 PM PST by Olog-hai
In Mexicos booming auto industry, the cars rolling off assembly lines may look identical, but how safe they are depends on where theyre headed.
Vehicles destined to stay in Mexico or go south to the rest of Latin America carry a code signifying theres no need for antilock braking systems, electronic stability control, or more than two air bags, if any, in its basic models.
If the cars will be exported to the United States or Europe, however, they must meet stringent safety laws, including as many as six to ten air bags, and stability controls that compensate for slippery roads and other road dangers, say engineers who have worked in Mexico-based auto factories.
Because the price of the two versions of the cars is about the same, the dual system buttresses the bottom lines of automakers such as General Motors and Nissan. But its being blamed for a surge in auto-related fatalities in Mexico, where laws require virtually no safety protections.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
Spokesman: These days, everyone's talking about the Hyundai, and the Yugo. Both nice cars, if you've got $3,000 or $4,000 to throw around. But, for those of us whose name doesn't happen to be Rockefeller, finally there's some good news - a car with a sticker price of $179. That's right, $179. The name of the car?
Adobe. The sassy new Mexican import that's made out of clay. German engineering and Mexican know-how helped create the first car to break the $200 barrier. At this price, you might not expect more than reliable transportation - but, brother, you get it! Extra features: like the custom contour seats, or the beverage-gripping dash. And the money you save isn't exactly small change!
"Hey, hey, we're Adobe!
The little car that's made out of clay!
We're gonna save you some money
that you can spend in some other way!
Hey, hey, we're Adobe!
Hey, hey, we're Adobe!
[ show Adobe driver get into a fender-bender. She casually steps out of the vehicle and uses her hands to mold her bumper back into its proper shape, in under six minutes! ]
Spokesman: Adobe. You can buy a cheaper car. But I wouldn't recommend it!
Announcer: Not approved for street use in some states. No warranty either expressed or implied. All sales final.
i think the increase in auto death is people incapable of multitasking multitasking
Oh the humanity. If my first car, a 1974 Chevy that I put 180,000 miles on driving to every corner of the 11 Western states in my teens and twenties hadn't had "antilock braking systems, electronic stability control, or more than two air bags" I wouldn't be alive today to tell ...oh wait. Never mind.
I remember a deported illegal somewhere in a country south of Mexico was complaining he no longer had discovery channel or nice roads to drive on.
All that safety costs money. Why make a car for Central and South America that most people can’t afford?
I remember walking through the streets of Chicago in winter and running across a Yugo half buried in a snowdrift. It had been abandoned in the street. There was painting in the visible part that read “for Gods sake, don’t buy a Yugo!”
I suppose we’ll need to be able to read that in Spanish in short order....
I guess airbags prevent accidents? More likely they cause them because of a false sense of security.
A proper analysis would reveal driver education to be the real cure.
Anti lock brakes...stupidest thing yet!!
The funny part is that decades of nanny government in the US have seemingly made cars safer, but the reality is that many are far less safe than they were in the 1950s.
Everything is trade offs. If gasoline prices are low, cars can be heavier, and heaviness equates to more safety. Perhaps the safety innovation that matters the most is seat belts. But from there, the law of diminishing returns hits pretty hard.
Safety glass is probably a good idea, if you can afford it. Air bags? Well, the jury is still out on those. Reducing the amount of steel used really matters.
If cars are being made with cheap labor, why are they so dang expensive.
There is no “cheap” labour; at least not once you factor in efficiency, and productivity per unit of labour.
“Safety glass is probably a good idea, if you can afford it. Air bags? Well, the jury is still out on those. Reducing the amount of steel used really matters.”
Ok, here’s the deal:
I was driving to work the other morning, in 3 lane northbound traffic. Typical busy traffic, I’m in the middle lane, and a car comes by on my left. I look over and there is this small lady driving, and I mean small. She was maybe 4’ or 4.5’ tall, I sped up to look again because the weird thing was she had the seat so far up she was stuck on the steering wheel. No more than 4-5” between her chest and the wheel.
The car was a newer Hyundai 4 door model. Now if that air bag deploys, that little woman will be blown apart. Shocking, just shocking I tell you /S.
Yep I knew so many people in the 70s and early 80s who had electric windows that just didn't work and never even thought about having them fixed. When I was a kid we had a 72 Gran Torino wagon and in those days the back window of station wagons was one of the first places where electric windows were standard. But the darn thing went out on us just before I started driving, which really sucked because we lived in Southern California and the AC used so much gas and the air didn't flow through as well with that back window closed. I took apart the door once looking for loose wires but everything was intact so I assumed the motor was bad, but never knew or imagined that I could get another one anywhere (this was before I discovered junk yards). I was hiking in a remote canyon with an older cousin and we came across the same model wagon rolled and flattened and it looked like it had been there for years, but the back swing-out door was intact. I told him I was coming back with some wrenches and screwdrivers to see if the motor was still there. Not being very handy with tools he was astounded that I would know how to get the motor out, or what to do with it. So I went back on my own a couple days later and got the motor out. Back then they were almost as large as a coffee can and weighed a ton. I got it home, cleaned it up, took apart the family car's back door and that thing just bolted right in place. (To this day my cousin who is president of a well-known company still tells that story with his eyes wide in amazement.)
I would love to be able to buy a car without all that crap on it.
If you know how to drive you don't need all the extra maintenance cost that crap brings. You don't need anti-loc brakes if you are smart enough to "pump" the brakes when skidding. You don't need it if you are smart enough to know the worst thing you can do is stomp on the brakes in the event of a tire blowing at highway speed. (remember the Ford Explorer rollovers)
I remember back when they started the whole mandatory seat belt thing. My then 5 year old niece gave me hell for not buckling up, I told her I had a better solution, "just don't run into anything". My sister in-law still has a problem with that.
I could see being able to choose some of these features. Antilock brakes and traction clutches, when well implemented, are almost miraculous; I can vouch for that. But there’s a way you can switch at least the traction off if you don’t want it.
Seat belts are usually a smart idea, and probably would have gotten popular on their own if the legal beagles hadn’t thought to be imperious about them. Gain something like an extra insurance coverage or lowered deductible during a crash if you had belts on, and most people would put the belts on.
And dear Heart, quite often the problem is not that you ran into something, but something ran into you. Which is less easily controlled. Again, private world solutions are usually better. Let insurance policies reflect belt usage and people will wear the belts.
Airbags prevent accidents just like condoms prevent loss of virginity.... (hmmm, that can’t be correct...?)
So I'm impressed when guys tackle these things...and my hat's off to you and my friend.
Then there were the tube tires. I can hardly imagine that.
What p****** me off is that if you’re in an accident the first question they ask is....Did you have your seatbelt on...instead of....are you okay.
With the new generation of tattling black boxes that might not even need to be asked. They’d just download the data with a smile.
But yes, this reflects an imperious attitude. It is callousness, one of the signs of degradation in humanity. (Some people think the attitudinal nasties at the end of Romans 1:21ff have to do with the previously mentioned homos. NO they don’t have to be. They stand alone quite well.)
I would love to find a Yugo more or less intact. Tube frame about 110” wheelbase, stretch the front fenders, big block, blower, narrowed 9”.... Sweet!
I would love to hear the guys trying to explain to their buddies how they got beat by a Yugo.
I don’t think the author has ever driven in Mexico City. If you ever get a chance, take a taxi ride. It’s a lot like a 2 bit shady carnival roller coaster, except a lot more scary.
To ease your mind my opinion about seat belts has changed. The bottom line is driving a vehicle responsibly takes full attention at all times and you have to be prepared for surprises. It is not a game, it is probably the most dangerous activity most people will ever engage in, and most never consider that. They cannot build a vehicle that will ever account for human error.
I have been driving for 40 years, from two wheels up to thirty plus wheels pushing a quarter million pounds. I have done this accident free by always following one simple rule "NEVER engage transmission until brain is fully engaged".
That’s what I was thinking—is it actually “unsafe” or is it just missing the required Federal safety standard equipment?
“Oh the humanity. If my first car, a 1974 Chevy that I put 180,000 miles on driving to every corner of the 11 Western states in my teens and twenties hadn’t had “antilock braking systems, electronic stability control, or more than two air bags” I wouldn’t be alive today to tell ...oh wait. Never mind.”
I’ve wondered about this too. And I drove a car even older, with NO SIDE BEAMS in the doors, and I am somehow alive today. Of course, in those days, people took driving seriously, watched the road, and so on.
“Thats what I was thinkingis it actually unsafe or is it just missing the required Federal safety standard equipment?”
This is roughly equivalent to having “substandard” insurance.
Maybe so but I would bet money that you never rode a bicycle without a helmet ;^)
If you were not so bent on being supercilious you would explain if it changed from no to yes, or from yes to no. The anecdote you shared is not clear as a reference point. You were badgered to wear them... did you agree anyhow? Or did you disagree anyhow?
Anyhow yes they help in severe maneuvers too. That’s why race car drivers wear these harnesses, it isn’t just to keep from flying out of the car in case of wreck. Take it from the Real Men: safety belts make sense.
“Seat belts are usually a smart idea, and probably would have gotten popular on their own if the legal beagles hadnt thought to be imperious about them. Gain something like an extra insurance coverage or lowered deductible during a crash if you had belts on, and most people would put the belts on.”
One of the only good things I can say about Illinois, is that they had the concept of “contributory negligence” built into the law - that is, if you got into an accident that was not your fault, you could sue for actual damages, but not a nickel for pain/suffering if you weren’t wearing a seat belt. So, it’s a free country. Don’t want to wear a seat belt? Fine. But if you get hurt, sucks to be you.
It “drives” me crazy that the state that I live in, with some of the most unsafe roads in the country, ALSO has one of the lowest rates of compliance on seat belts.
My present car, that I bought new in 1997, has the airbags but none of the rest of it. Sixteen years later it’s still soldiering on without any major issues.
Well, maybe it wasn’t because of your attitude that you forgot to make it clear. But proud attitudes do make people tend to forget stuff. It even happens to me.
If the redneck part of Illinois could divorce itself from Chicago, it would be in great shape.
These cars sound as safe as the ones I grew up riding in...
I think seat belts are a wise choice, particularly for the reason you state. I have no chance of recovering control of a vehicle that is rolling over on top of me.
I did not like being forced by law to wear them. I don't like the idea that a motorcycle cop could pull me over in a big one ton dually truck and write me a ticket for not being "strapped in".
God Bless and FRegards
I owned a ‘75 LTD, tons of metal on wheels, and it was a lot safer than several newer little cars I crushed with it.
I have taken a taxi in Cairo before. That was years ago though. They called them flying coffins.
I doubt that.
I am more libertarian than I used to be, but I am a Christian libertarian. That means, I don’t bow down to Caesar but I also don’t go out of my way to spite Caesar either. I need all my spiritual capital to rebuke Caesar’s more egregious embraces of Satan. I have more credibility about, say, Obamacare if I am not sweating the seat belt laws (even if, were I the king, I’d abolish them).
Risks have been traded off. We have better safety features and less land-yachtage.
Well, kind of good for us Nortamericanos....maybe they won’t have so many to export.
EPA’s been regulating cars like that out of existence.
Sounds like the “Hot Rod” magazine project “Bad Seed”.
They took a Chevette (last car with coil-spring double-A-arm front suspension), gutted it, put in a roll cage, and swapped in a built 500ci v-8 from some place down in Mississippi that specialized in the old Caddy big-blocks.
I think ‘74 was the worst year for regulation as Detroit built cars that wouldn’t start wouldn’t run if they did start. Horrible!
I find my car handles better (and peppier) when I turn off the traction/stability controls. I wonder how many have lost it due to the controls taking over and prevented other saving actions from being implemented.
The two biggest innovations of the 1950s were padding where a driver’s head might hit a hard surface, and seat belts, which as an option became quite popular. The industry made several more changes, based on *aircraft* safety devices, until the federal government leaped into the situation in 1965, based on Ralph Nader’s scathing, and inaccurate, portrayal of one model of car, culminating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Act in 1966.
The LBJ administration started to require cars have seat belts, but this had only limited effect until states started to mandate their use in the mid-1980s.
Car makers started offering airbags in the 1970s, but stopped because consumers didn’t want them. The government made them mandatory for drivers in 1989 and passengers a decade later.
In the 1950s, the death rate was 6 per 100 million miles traveled. This has dropped to 1.13 deaths per 100 million miles. But this is deceptive for several reasons.
1) In both cases, the majority of deaths are pedestrians, not vehicle passengers.
2) In the 1950s, the vast majority of vehicle-traveled road was lower quality state highway and local streets. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 creating the Interstate Highway system radically increased the amount of vehicle travel on pedestrian free roads. The standardization of much safer roadways at the state and local level also radically lowered the number of fatalities. So to a great extent, fatalities decreased not due to safer cars, but to safer major roads.
So the bottom line is unclear, with some safety features contributing a lot to safety, while others, less so, some creating just marginal improvements. But other demands, such as ever increasing fuel efficiency, have strongly worked *against* safer cars.
In recent years, it has reached a tipping point, because lightweight economy cars are no match for structurally sound vehicles, and are just obliterated in two vehicles collisions with them. The initiative of the advocates of lightweight vehicles is to make structurally sound vehicles socially unacceptable, and eventually to have the government restrict their use.