Filed under: Truck , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Ford , GM , GMC , Nissan , Toyota , Ram Car buyers have a responsibility to be well-informed consumers. That’s not always a very simple task, but some guidelines are self-evident. If you live in a very snowy climate, you generally know a Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro might not be as viable a vehicle choice as an all-wheel drive Explorer or Traverse , for example. If you want a fuel-efficient car, it’s generally a good idea to know the difference between a diesel and a hybrid. But what if it’s kind of tough to be an informed consumer? What if the information you need is more difficult to come by, or worse, based on different standards for each vehicle? Well, in that case, you might be a truck shopper. For years, customers of light-duty pickups have had to suffer through different ratings of towing capacities for each brand. For 2015 model year trucks, though, that will no longer be a problem. According to Automotive News , General Motors , Ford and Chrysler Group have announced that starting with next year’s models, a common standard will be used to measure towing capacity.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Technology , Toyota Five years ago, if you owned a vehicle with push button start, you probably owned a luxury vehicle or high-end sports car. For 2011, there are 189 vehicles with push start technology, including many vehicles that retail for less than $20,000. But while the technology has proliferated to nearly every vehicle segment, each automaker has its own keyless ignition mechanism. Automotive News reports that the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) International isn’t crazy about this, and it’s looking to standardize keyless ignition systems. The move can be at least partially viewed as a reaction to unintended acceleration issues faced by Toyota . Some Toyota owners who reported reported the UA phenomenon were unable to turn off the vehicle because Toyota’s programmers necessitate that the star/stop button must be pressed for three or more seconds to cut off power to the engine. According to Automotive News, the SAE proposes that drivers should be able to stop the vehicle by pressing the button for .5 to two seconds, or by briefly pressing the button two or three times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also reportedly added that it may propose a rule this year to standardize the systems, leading at least one automaker to consider waiting to redesign their systems until uniform standards can be agreed upon. Interestingly, a poll by AN revealed that while General Motors , Ford , Volkswagen , Honda , Nissan , Chrysler and Hyundai planned to comply with the SAE standard – only Toyota says that it won’t follow the guidelines until it learns if NHTSA will chime in with its own regulations, as well. [Source: Automotive News – sub.