Week In Review: Car Seats, Battery Explosions and Bad Luck
It's traditional that the week after an auto show is a little on the slow side. Car companies have introduced all they can, there's not a lot of new stuff to announce, and so forth. But it seems like someone forgot to send out the memo this time, as there was plenty of news to keep us busy. Oh, sure, we started things off with our traditional review of our favorite and least favorite debuts from the 2012 New York Auto Show. But things heated up from there, with an explosion at a GM battery lab, child seat awareness galore, and of course a celebration of everyone's favorite day to fear, Friday the 13. Monday, April 9 This Monday we gave our last look at the 2012 New York International Auto Show with our pick of the best and worst of what we saw. Honestly, New York's Studs and Duds list was a tough call. There were a lot of potential studs, and only a handful of duds. In the end, we whittled it down to the new Viper, the new Chevy Impala, the Lexus ES and a few others, including a flying car. Yes, a flying car. Which were studs and which were duds? You 'll have to click to find out. Tuesday, April 10 All parents know they should buckle up their little ones in an appropriate child seat. Or do they? The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration isn't taking any chances, and has started a public service campaign to encourage parents not just to use boosters, but to help them pick the best ones. It wasn't the only booster-related news this week, either. The IIHS announced that most LATCH points are a pain in the neck to use, and an enterprising British company is developing a car seat with its own built-in airbag. Really. Wednesday, April 11 On Wednesday morning, we learned that there had been an explosion at a General Motors-operated battery lab. While visions of flaming Chevy Volts smouldered in our heads, we learned that the building was evacuated, and that one battery engineer had been hospitalized with serious injuries. More fodder for right-wing anti-Volt rhetoric? Not exactly. The explosion was caused by gases that built up during testing, and the battery itself was experimental, not something that's used in the Volt, or any car for that matter. Thursday, April 12 Ford's SYNC and MyFord Touch systems have gotten a lot of flack lately for being difficult to use. Ford hasn't been immune to the slings and arrows of the automotive press, and it recently issued an upgrade for all MyFord Touch systems to improve the system's functionality. Ford supplied us with an MFT-equipped Edge along with instructions and the USB upgrade stick to see just how easy—or hard—the upgrade would be for the average consumer. How'd it go? You'll have to read on to find out. Friday, April 13 Friday the 13th rolled along once again, and to "celebrate," we created a list of five cars that came out at exactly the wrong time. Our criteria: The vehicle had to be good, worth recommending, and to come out right as its parent company was about to go under. Fine, the list came out a little GM-heavy, but that's not a slap against the company. Its now-defunct divisions started to make some pretty nice cars right before they were killed off. Check out the whole list for yourself.
General Motors is saying a preliminary investigation into an explosion at a Michigan-based research facility...