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.
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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.
Hubby has a 2012 Mercedes GLK AWD and actually hates the way it drives because of that. He has a bad back and we bought it because he could barely get in and out of my Jaguar anymore. I still drive the Jag because I love the way it drives. lol
I do agree the push for lighter vehicles is a bad idea. Small cars are great for urban driving, but are unsafe in high speed collisions.
One more thing. You would be surprised at how little difference there is in vehicle weight between comparable cars then and now. The older cars look heavier because they are longer.
About the same weight:
He needs to check the manual - mine allows me to turn it off by holding a button for 3 seconds. It leave a light on the instrument panel to let me know it's off, but it's no big deal. Turning it off gives me peppier acceleration and crisper shifting of the tranny - especially downshifting when you step on it.
I'm envious - I bet the Jag is a fine ride...
I love my Jag!! I almost refuse to drive the Mercedes even though it is newer. Lol