A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Mitsubishi’s warranty upgrade
Mitsubishi is now offering an eight-year/150,000km warranty as standard on its passenger car range in Ireland. Models include the new Outlander along with the upcoming Colt replacement, the Space Star.
The new warranty is fully transferable to any owner during the cover period. It’s a major leap for the brand from the current three-year manufacturers warranty and marks the latest round in the use of warranties to lure customers to forecourts.
Up until now the Korean brands have led the way with Kia offering a seven-year/150,000km warranty, while Hyundai offers a five-year unlimited mileage package as standard. Renault followed suit with a five-year unlimited mileage deal.
Kim Kilduff, sales manager with Mitsubishi Motors Ireland said: “The launch of our new eight -year warranty, at a time when we are launching new environmentally friendly models, will further enhance this reputation and demonstrates the confidence Mitsubishi has in its vehicles and technology. The new . . . warranty will also provide customers with significant additional peace of mind and another reason to choose Mitsubishi.”
Formula 1 in slow lane
For a sport timed down to the thousandth of a second and measured in millimetres, Formula 1 seems to be finding it surprisingly difficult to get to grips with a calendar.
With little more than two months to go before the Australian season-opener in Melbourne on March 17th, organisers have yet to confirm how many races there will be in 2013 and where two of them will be held.
The fans can expect to see fewer teams on the grid, with HRT supposedly seeking a buyer. But they are also still waiting for a definitive driver line-up with vacancies at Caterham and Force India.
The first official test of the new campaign kicks off at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain on February 5th with McLaren set to be the first out of the box with plans to launch their car on January 31st.
Most, but maybe not all, teams will have their new cars ready to hit the track as soon as the off-season testing ban is lifted. July is the month of uncertainty as things stand, with the German Grand Prix - triple world champion Sebastian Vettel’s home race - scheduled for July 7th at a venue to be decided. – (Reuters)
Silent but deadly? US proposal for soundless electric cars
Electric cars, which have soundless engines, would need to make noises to let pedestrians know they’re near, under a US proposed rule released this week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Sounds would need to be detectable when vehicles are travelling slower than 29 km/h so electric and hybrid-electric cars can be heard by bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly the visually impaired, under the rule.
The so-called quiet-car rule, which would have to be made final before it takes effect, would save 35 lives over each model year of hybrid vehicles. It would also prevent 2,800 injuries, said the agency.
“To add about a $30 (€23) or $35 item to a car for this kind of injury and death prevention, it’s hard to argue against,” according to Jesse Toprak, an analyst for industry data provider TrueCar.com.
“I’m sure all of us have experienced at some time the fear of getting struck by a Prius.”
Adding external speakers to quiet vehicles would cost about $25 million a year, or about $35 per light vehicle, said the agency. About $1.48 million of the annual costs would be to equip large trucks and buses and motorcycles with sound, it added.