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  • CRASH VIDEO: Here’s what happens to a child strapped in a non-compliant pocket-type child car seat

    warning-makeshift-child-seat

    With child car seat awareness at a high now thanks to unfortunate accidents which involve children being thrown out of cars in accidents, there needs to be further education on what kind of child seat should be used to ensure that children are safe and secure in cars.

    We reported sometime last month that there was a certain “pocket” child car seat on sale on the market which is being claimed by sellers to be suitable for children up to 18 kg. A quick check on local classified sites show these seats being sold for as little as RM45.

    As we’ve said before, these are not real child car seats and should not be relied on for safety. According to MIROS director-general Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon, tests have shown that the harness-styled or portable car seat disintegrated upon impact. Its material durability was dreadful as it did not withstand the crash.

    We’ve written about this before but today we can show you what actually happens to a child being strapped in such a child seat in a crash. Please watch the video below which was produced by manufacturer Britax.

    As you can see, the harnesses on the seat are pretty much useless. If you know of any parents who are using this type of child seat, please inform them that they should look for a proper child car seat instead.

    These pocket-type child seats should be replaced with ECE R44 or ECE R129 child seats. Look for an orange label that says either R44 or in the case of the newer R129 standard it should say i-Size.

    “We found that 80% of the child and toddler car seats sold in the market are already in compliance with UN ECE R44 specifications,” said MIROS PC3 lab crash specialist Yahaya Ahmad, adding that he observed that Malaysian retail prices of UN-compliant child seats have decreased significantly over the years.

    The two child seats that we are offering as part of our Free Child Car Seat Rental for Raya program are priced at RM499 for the seatbelt installation version and RM999 for the Isofix installation version. These are retail prices and they can usually be obtained at a discount.

     
  • ASEAN NCAP releases star rating vs price chart – Proton Iriz is the cheapest five-star car on the list

    Proton_Iriz_Drive_ 036

    The New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) has released a star rating versus price (on-the-road inclusive of insurance) chart, comparing the affordability of each car vis-a-vis their occupant protection.

    And, surprise surprise, the cheapest car with a five-star safety rating in Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) is the Proton Iriz – the national B-segment hatchback scored 14.07 points (out of a possible 16) in the frontal offset crash test and is equipped with stability control as standard, even in its most basic RM41,077 1.3 Standard M/T form.

    In fact, Proton should be commended for having not one, not two, but three of the cheapest five-star cars in the country, with the RM57,686 Preve Executive M/T and the RM75,749 Suprima S Executive, both with six airbags and stability control. It has to be noted, however, that there’s a cheaper (RM69,120) Suprima S Standard with two airbags and no ESP, which gets its rating bumped down to four stars.

    ASEAN-NCAP-Vehicles-Star-Rating-AOP-vs.-Price-Chart

    Click to expand

    Elsewhere, the RM85,500 Ford Fiesta 1.5 Titanium/Sport, RM86,985 Honda Jazz 1.5 V and RM89,467 Honda City 1.5 V make up the non-national offerings under RM100k. There are class dynamics at play too – a five-star-rated Honda Civic 1.8 S can be had at RM113,198, but you’ll need to spend RM133,715 on a Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0V with the Additional Safety Package to get the same rating.

    Moving down to four stars, Perodua dominates the cheap end of the scale, with the RM24,437 Axia Standard E M/T, the RM40,862 Myvi Standard G M/T and the RM52,332 Alza SX M/T beating out the RM54,888 Kia Picanto 1.2 M/T in terms of price, although the latter has six airbags, ABS and ESP which the P2 cars don’t have.

    Most base model cars without stability control, such as the RM71,774 Jazz 1.5 S, RM74,007 City 1.5 S and the RM113,930 Corolla Altis 1.8E, also fall into this category. Also interesting to see is the difference in ratings between two nearly identical vehicles – the Chevrolet Colorado pick-up gets five stars, but its Isuzu D-Max sibling only receives four stars, despite both being tested with ESP.

    ASEAN-NCAP-Vehicles-Star-Rating-COP-vs.-Price-Chart

    Click to expand

    Also released is the chart for Child Occupant Protection (COP) – here, the Nissan Teana is the only car that has achieved a five-star rating. Most of the other cars on the chart get four stars, with the Axia and Myvi beating the Iriz in terms of price.

    Only seven cars (Proton Saga FLX+, Preve and Suprima S, Nissan Almera, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Colorado and Subaru XV) get three stars, and only six cars get two stars. Shockingly, half of the latter are seven-seat MPVs and SUVs, cars which are more likely to carry children; these include the Alza, the Toyota Avanza and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

    To view the full ASEAN NCAP crash test results on all vehicles tested (and Euro NCAP and ANCAP scores too), visit our sister site CarBase.my.

     
  • Volkswagen Malaysia opens new Shah Alam parts hub

    vw parts hub

    Volkswagen Group Malaysia has announced the next step towards enhancing its after-sales service in the country with the establishment of a new parts hub in Shah Alam. The installation serves as an extension of Volkswagen‘s Parts Centre in Singapore, which has been managing daily orders and deliveries of VW spare parts in the region since July 2014.

    This should be good news to Volkswagen owners in the country, as it should mean a shorter waiting period for replacement parts. The 10,000 sq ft storage centre here will receive parts from the Singapore centre and also from the Volkswagen plant in Kassel, Germany.

    For an efficient delivery turnaround time, the Shah Alam parts hub will work hand-in-hand with its counterpart in Singapore to process order submissions twice-a-day. Distribution of parts like market focus inventory, campaign and high demand parts will be dispatched twice-daily to dealerships nationwide from either Singapore or Shah Alam.

    “With the establishment of this seamless integration between dealerships and the parts hub, we have significantly reduced the waiting period,” said Volkswagen Malaysia MD Armin Keller in a statement. The introduction of the parts hub follows on the opening of the first Volkswagen Technical Service Centre in Malaysia back in April.

     
  • Next-gen Mercedes-Benz CLS to drop Shooting Brake

    CLS Shooting Brake

    According to CAR Magazine, the next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS will not feature a Shooting Brake version. After only one generation, the German manufacturer is pulling the plug on the variant due to lacklustre interest from North American and Chinese customers.

    Apparently, the replacement CLS estate had already been signed off in Stuttgart, approved to great internal acclaim. Unfortunately, due to a lack of interest from North American and Chinese importers, the management decided to abandon it at the eleventh hour.

    The magazine opines that brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes are progressively phasing out differing bodystyles as part of cost-cutting missions due to the slowdown in markets such as China and the Middle East – the axed CLS Shooting Brake is yet another example of market realities dictating the future of product planning.

    The CLS Shooting Brake was revealed in June 2012 and is currently available in its facelifted guise. As for the third-generation CLS, that’s due to arrive in the market sometime in 2018.

     
  • Toyota recalls another 29,985 vehicles in Malaysia over Takata airbags – Vios, Corolla Altis and Yaris affected

    Toyota-logo

    Following on the recall issued in May for 97,000 vehicles over faulty Takata airbags, UMW Toyota has announced that Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has expanded the coverage with another recall, this time involving nearly 30,000 vehicles.

    UMW Toyota says it has received confirmation from TMC that 29,985 units of the Toyota Vios, Corolla Altis and Yaris have been identified as having faulty passenger side airbag inflators. The vehicles involved in this recall exercise were manufactured from April 2007 to December 2008.

    toyota recall july 2015a

    The company says it will contact all customers to carry out the necessary corrective measures on the affected vehicles, and on these cars the inflator will be replaced with a newly-manufactured one at no cost to the owner.

    UMW Toyota adds that no other Toyota models sold by it produced after December 2008 are affected by the recall or involved in this campaign. Customers wishing to find out more may call Toyota Malaysia at 1800-8-869682.

     
  • PLUS Travel Time Advisory for Hari Raya Aidilfitri

    highway

    PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) is anticipating an increase in traffic on the North-South Expressway (NSE) throughout the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays – it expects around 1.6 million vehicles to be using the NSE every day on peak days during this period.

    As such, PLUS is implementing various strategies to cope with the traffic increase and at the same time, help the public enjoy a smoother journey during the holidays. We already know about the initiative to distribute traffic and encourage motorists to travel on off-peak days.

    To recap, there will be toll rebates of between 30 and 50% on July 13-15 as well as July 21-23. On these days, those travelling more than 100 km on the NSE and ELITE highway and who pay toll electronically via PLUSMiles and Touch ‘n Go cards or SmartTAGs will enjoy a 50% toll rebate on July 13 and on July 23.

    On July 14 and July 22, this will be 40%, while on July 15 and July 21 it will be 30%. The toll rebates will be offered all day long on these selected days and not restricted to any particular time.

    Plus TTA Raya 2015

    Click to enlarge.

    Meanwhile, as is the usual festive season practice, PLUS has issued a Travel Time Advisory schedule (TTA) for peak days travel on the NSE between July 16-20 (see graphic above for details)

    The TTA focuses on traffic distribution and is aimed at reducing traffic congestion on the mainline, most notably at major stretches, toll plazas and rest areas. PLUS added that it will be deploying more staff on the highways during the festive period.

    It also announced that the Fourth Lane Widening Project between Shah Alam-Rawang-Jalan Duta and Nilai Utara Interchange-Seremban highway stretches had been completed, so road users can expect smoother travel on the mainline during the holidays.

    It also said that the Bandar Ainsdale Interchange, which is located 5 km from the existing Seremban Interchange, will be opened on July 10 to help distribute the traffic at the particular stretch.

     
  • Suzuki Swift facelift final prices revealed: RM58k-74k

    2015_Suzuki_Swift_GLX_facelift_Malaysia_ 002

    Suzuki Malaysia Automobile (SMA) has released finalised prices for the facelifted Suzuki Swift (which is still only available for booking) – the updated version of the company’s most popular vehicle will be a hair cheaper than before.

    The bargain basement GA kicks off the new range, priced at RM58,227 on-the-road without insurance; before this, it had an indicative price tag of around RM59k. Elsewhere, the existing GL and GLX trims now cost RM100 less than their predecessors; the former retails at RM65,788, the latter at RM73,688. Metallic paint remains a RM500 option except on the GA, which is strangely only available in metallic Bayside Blue.

    Powered by the same K14B 1.4 litre VVT four-cylinder engine with 95 PS and 130 Nm, mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox, the Swift gets only minor updates this time around, with a reprofiled front bumper and an LED high-mounted third brake light.

    2015_Suzuki_Swift_GLX_facelift_Malaysia_ 012

    Taking over from the pre-facelift GL, the base GA gets 15-inch steel wheels (with plastic covers, 175/65 tyres) and unpainted door handles and wing mirror caps. Inside, it’s even more basic, with no radio, driver’s seat height adjustment, seat back pockets or even a spare tyre (only a tyre repair kit), and the door mirrors can only be adjusted manually.

    What you do get as standard are air-conditioning, all-round power windows, a fuel consumption gauge (instantaneous and average), ABS with EBD, Isofix child seat anchors and dual airbags (the old GL had just one airbag).

    The new GL is where it starts for most buyers, with 16-inch alloys shod in 185/55 rubber, body-coloured door handles and wing mirrors, a space-saving spare tyre, a four-speaker factory radio with USB, power-adjustable wing mirrors and a more comprehensive trip computer that adds on range, outside temperature and gear position. Also in are chrome door pulls, a driver’s seat height adjuster and one seat back pocket.

    2015_Suzuki_Swift_GLX_facelift_Malaysia_ 028

    The GLX throws in quite a bit more. From the outside, LED daytime running lights and fog lights are obvious cues, along with new double five-spoke 16-inch wheels that look sportier than the GL’s multi-spoke items. The wing mirror have turn signals and can be electrically folded. Safety-wise, the GLX gets rear disc brakes and front seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters.

    In terms of equipment, the GLX receives a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio buttons and telescopic adjustment, keyless entry and push-button start, auto climate control and a touchscreen navigation system with Bluetooth and two extra tweeters to make it six speakers in total. GL and GLX buyers can choose from five colours – Bayside Blue, Supreme Red, Superior White, Olive Grey and a new Lagoon Turquoise.


    Suzuki Swift GLX facelift
    Suzuki Swift GL facelift

     
  • Honda Civic Tourer sets new Guinness World Record

    Civic Tourer World Record

    The attempt by a Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC to set a new Guinness World Record for the ‘Lowest Fuel Consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries’ has been accomplished. Two members of Honda’s European Research and Development Team drove the car to a record average of 2.82 litres per 100 km (100.31 mpg) over 13,498 km in a 25-day drive across all 24 contiguous EU countries.

    Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren, the two members of the R&D team, took on the challenge to showcase the real-world fuel economy of the Tourer. The distance travelled was akin to driving to Australia from their home in the UK, with nine refuelling stops in total. Achieving an incredible average 1,500 km on each tank of fuel, the total cost was just 645 Euros (RM2,716).

    Setting off from Aalst in Belgium on June 1 and returning to their start point on June 25 after navigating the continent in a clockwise direction, they recorded fuel economy figures that exceeded the Tourer’s quoted efficiency of 3.8 litres per 100 km (74.3 mpg) by more than 25%.

    Honda targets new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for fuel efficiency with 13,000km drive across Europe

    The rules for setting the record stated that the same two drivers must be in the car for the whole journey and drive approximately 600 km each day each day, working out to around 7.5 hours of driving daily. The title attempt required cars to have a fuel/mileage logbook, GPS readings, video and photographs and independent witness signatures for proof.

    The record-breaking car – a standard model, as stipulated by the rules – was fitted with a tracking device. Fuelling was carried out at regular filling stations, with the tank filled to the maximum at each stop to ensure no weight advantage.

    Both team members were amateur drivers who adopted careful and sensible route planning, whilst anticipating road conditions ahead with smooth driving without harsh acceleration or braking.

     
  • Win special passes and merchandise to Marvel’s Ant-Man with the Driven Movie Night giveaway!

    ant man

    Comic fans, brace yourselves. Marvel Studios is bringing another superhero to the big screen! This time around, you’ll be able to catch Marvel’s newest superhero in Ant-Man ahead of the rest of the Malaysian public – yes, we’re giving away 40 passes for you to catch the premiere with us.

    Twenty lucky winners are set to join us for the local premiere of Ant-Man at GSC 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya, on Wednesday, July 15 at 9.15 pm. Each winner is entitled to two passes, so take part now!

    The next evolution of the Marvel cinematic universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

    Aside from the movie, there’s exclusive movie merchandise – courtesy of Marvel Malaysia and Hasbro – to be given away. For a chance to take one of these items home, you’ll have to join us for the movie first. The merchandise list reads as such:

    1X Marvel’s Ant-Man Binary Watch (worth RM800 each)
    1x Marvel’s Ant-Man Polo T-shirt (worth RM700 each)
    2x Marvel’s Ant-Man T-shirt (worth RM500 each)
    2x Marvel’s Ant-Man Notebook (worth RM250 each)
    2x Marvel’s Ant-Man Cap worth (RM250 each)
    2x Marvel’s Ant-Man Earphones (worth RM300 each)
    2x Marvel’s Ant-Man Pin Badges (worth RM200 each)
    3x Marvel’s Ant-Man Lanyard (worth RM250 each)
    3x Marvel’s Ant-Man Keychain (worth RM200 each)
    3x Marvel’s Ant-Man Puzzle (worth RM200 each)

    To be in the running, all you have to do is answer two questions related to the movie in the contest form below. Hurry, the contest ends on July 13!

    Here are some things to note: The contest will run until 12 pm on Monday, July 13, 2015 and winners will be will be notified via email and SMS on July 14. The announced results are final and any disputes will not be entertained. The movie screening will be held at 9.15 pm pm on Wednesday, July 15 at GSC, 1 Utama, and winners must collect their passes at the above venue one hour before the screening time. This contest is open to Klang Valley residents only.

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  • East Coast Expressway Phase 2 tolls open; no charge

    toll booth

    All 10 toll plazas along Phase 2 of the East Coast Expressway (ECE) begin operations today, even through no toll rate for that portion of the highway has been set just yet, according to Bernama.

    In a statement released yesterday, the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) said that the move was done in order to ease traffic at the Jabor toll plaza on Phase 1 of the expressway, as motorists using that route are currently required to pay the toll fare at Jabor and make a U-turn in order to enter Phase 2.

    As such, from today onwards, users will be able to enjoy uninterrupted travel along both ECE1 and ECE2, only stopping at any of the toll plazas when exiting the ECE2 and paying only for the distance travelled on ECE1. The toll rate for ECE2 will be announced at a later date.

    Even without having to pay the toll fare for ECE2, however, motorists are advised to retain their toll tickets and only submit them to the toll operators as they exit the ECE2. Those who damage their tickets will have to pay the maximum ECE1 toll rate, while those who lose the tickets will be charged a fine as well.

    In the same statement, LLM also advised users to fill up their fuel tanks before entering ECE2, as the petrol stations along the highway are not yet ready for use.

     
 

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