Achieves Highest Possible Ratings for Automatic Emergency Braking and the Five Tests Used by IIHS to Evaluate Crashworthiness

• All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan named Top Safety Pick+ for 2016

• 2017 Pacifica's available Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, earns "superior" rating from IIHS; features sensor-fusion technology – the industry's first minivan to be so-equipped

• All-new Pacifica achieves "good" rating – the highest possible score – in each of five tests used by IIHS to evaluate crashworthiness

• 2017 Chrysler Pacifica's body structure 72 percent high-strength steel

• All-new Pacifica minivan benefits from more than 100 available safety and security features

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited scored highest possible marks in IIHS crash tests.

Four-Part Policy Lays the Foundation for the Next Revolution in Roadway Safety

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation is issuing Federal policy for automated vehicles, laying a path for the safe testing and deployment of new auto technologies that have enormous potential for improving safety and mobility for Americans on the road.

“Automated vehicles have the potential to save thousands of lives, driving the single biggest leap in road safety that our country has ever taken,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This policy is an unprecedented step by the federal government to harness the benefits of transformative technology by providing a framework for how to do it safely.”

The policy sets a proactive approach to providing safety assurance and facilitating innovation through four key parts. Vehicle performance guidance uses a 15-point Safety Assessment to set clear expectations for manufacturers developing and deploying automated vehicle technologies. Model state policy delineates the Federal and State roles for the regulation of highly automated vehicle technologies as part of an effort to build a consistent national framework of laws to govern self-driving vehicles. Finally, the policy outlines options for the further use of current federal authorities to expedite the safe introduction of highly automated vehicles into the marketplace, as well as discusses new tools and authorities the federal government may need as the technology evolves and is deployed more widely.

AAA testing shows no benefit to splurging on premium fuel when not required by the manufacturer

ORLANDO, Fla. (September 20, 2016) – According to new AAA research, American drivers wasted more than $2.1 billion dollars in the last year by using premium-grade gasoline in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel. With 16.5 million U.S. drivers having used premium fuel despite the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation in the last 12 months, AAA conducted a comprehensive fuel evaluation to determine what, if any, benefit the practice offers to consumers. After using industry-standard test protocols designed to evaluate vehicle performance, fuel economy and emissions, AAA found no benefit to using premium gasoline in a vehicle that only requires regular-grade fuel.

“Drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “AAA cautions drivers that premium gasoline is higher octane, not higher quality, and urges drivers to follow the owner’s manual recommendations for their vehicle’s fuel.”

ATLANTA, Sept. 15, 2016 -- Will you be able to get a "steal" when buying or leasing your next set of wheels? While negotiation tactics matter, experts say that timing is a bigger factor than shoppers may realize when it comes to getting a great deal on a new car.

September is an exciting month for bargain hunters with summer clearance and back-to-school sales. Likewise, car dealers are in the prime of summer selldown season, when they try to clear their lots of the outgoing model-year vehicles to make way for new inventory. Accordingly, September is an excellent time to buy or lease a new or used vehicle, and the editors at Autotrader are offering tips to guide shoppers through this process.

"To maximize your chances of getting a great deal on your next car, carefully consider the time of year, the time of the month and even the time of day that you plan to buy, as these things can really make an impact," said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. "Once you've done your homework to figure out what vehicle you want and what you should pay for it, grab your calendar and get strategic.  For a better chance at driving away in your dream car, take advantage of the leverage you have in the end-of-year car shopping season."

Penton's WardsAuto unveils its first list of best automotive user experiences, to be honored at WardsAuto UX Conference, Oct. 4

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Penton's WardsAuto announced the Wards 10 Best User Experiences list of 2016. The inaugural selection of the best "user experiences" in today's vehicle yields a list with three American automakers, three German, three Japanese and a Korean, illustrating that every major market in the world is engaged in this vital and rapidly growing aspect of vehicle development.

The evaluation drills deeply into the user-friendliness of vehicle systems designed to engage occupants while minimizing distraction and frustration, preventing accidents and improving safety in neighborhoods and on the highway.

Gas prices have fallen for eleven of the past 12 days, reaching today’s average of $2.18 per gallon. Drivers are saving two cents per gallon compared to one week ago, but are paying five cents per gallon more on the month. Overall gas prices remain lower than last year due to the relatively low price of crude oil with drivers saving an average of 18 cents per gallon compared to a year ago.

The national average price for unleaded gasoline is expected to keep moving lower as we head into fall barring any unexpected disruptions in supply or spikes in the price of crude oil. Pump prices typically decline during this time of year due to lower driving demand after the busy summer driving season has concluded and the changeover from summer-blend to a cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline, which takes place in many parts of the country starting on September 15.

The Car Care Council announced its partnership with Family Service Day®, an award-winning organization with a mission to help independent automotive businesses do well by doing good. Family Service Day’s flagship initiative, Keeping Cars Kickin’, is a program where repair shop owners and employees across the country provide necessary preventative maintenance and car-care education at no charge to local families who need help caring for their vehicles.

“We are thrilled to welcome Family Service Day as a partner in our efforts to strengthen the automotive industry and provide services designed to make vehicles last longer, perform better and keep drivers safer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The Family Service Day program parallels the mission of our organization to promote the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.”

Nader Holds Four-Day Conference to Commemorate Fiftieth Anniversary Year of the Publication of Unsafe at Any Speed

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2016 -- Today, September 9, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's signing of the National Highway Traffic Safety Act, a result of Ralph Nader's landmark book Unsafe at Any Speed, which was published the previous year. The book opened with the faulty rear suspension system of the General Motors Corvair, This defect could cause the Corvair to skid violently and roll over. The corporate negligence that had produced the various Corvair defects, Nader said, was "one of the greatest acts of industrial irresponsibility." More broadly, Unsafe at Any Speed documented how Detroit habitually subordinated safety to style and marketing concerns. The main cause of automobile occupant injuries, Nader demonstrated, was not the "nut behind the wheel" so often blamed by the auto industry, but the inherent engineering and design deficiencies of motor vehicles that were woefully unsafe, especially in terms of "crashworthiness"—no seat belts, etc.

New AAA Foundation report reveals habits and characteristics of the American driver

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 8, 2016)- American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year, according to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The research finds that more than 87.5 percent of Americans aged 16 years and older reported driving in the past year. During this time, drivers travelled nearly 10,900 miles on average and spent more than 290 hours on the road.

“The amount of time the average driver spends behind the wheel each year is equivalent to seven 40-hour weeks at the office,” says Jurek Grabowski, research director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “It’s clear that traveling by car remains a central part of American’s lives.”

Owning a car can be a dream or a nightmare depending on how well you take care of your vehicle, says the non-profit Car Care Council. The following are six things that many motorists do that can harm their car and their wallet.

  • Ignoring the check engine light. Ignoring an illuminated check engine light can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, this warning light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.
  • Failing to change fluids and filters. Many fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Checking fluid levels regularly, along with the filters, helps ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and extends vehicle life.
  • Neglecting your tires. Your vehicle’s tires should be checked frequently for inflation and tread depth. Underinflated tires can wear out more quickly, needing to be replaced sooner, and can negatively impact safety, gas mileage and performance.
  • Not following a service schedule. Because many car parts and components wear out or become damaged over time, vehicles need to be routinely serviced in order to perform optimally. Routine inspections and timely repairs will help keep your car running efficiently and will help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
    Keeping a dirty car. Allowing your car to go too long without a wash leads to buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, increases the potential for rust from road salt and interferes with proper visibility needed for safe driving.
  • Being a severe driver. Whether it’s stop-and-go traffic, extreme weather, rough roads or heavy loads, it can sometimes be difficult to limit severe driving conditions. However, you can drive smart and improve fuel economy by observing the speed limit; avoiding aggressive driving, including quick starts and stops; not hauling unnecessary items; and keeping your vehicle properly tuned.

“Because auto care isn’t always a top priority for car owners, they might not realize they are doing things that adversely affect the performance, safety and value of their car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Routine maintenance can go a long way toward saving money, avoiding headaches and protecting your vehicle investment.”