Rear Seat Reminder Newest Technology in GM Vehicles

Recent events in the news have taught GM that a change needs to be made. Over the summer, it seemed like a weekly occurrence to hear about another child being left in the backseat of a car, oftentimes dying of heat stroke. In fact, in 2016 alone, 39 children died as a result of being left in vehicles or gaining access to an unattended vehicle, a 60 percent increase over 2015’s figure.

With technology in the automotive industry improving in new models each year, GM sought to make a change that could save lives, and their new 2017 models appear to be doing just that.

This industry-first system feature, called the Rear Seat Reminder, monitors rear door usage and is designed to remind drivers to check the back seat of their vehicle before they exit or walk away from their vehicle.

“We want to help everyone to take one simple, extra step. That’s why Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will offer the Rear Seat Reminder on a broad range of vehicles, from small cars to full-size SUVs and everything in between,” Vice President of GM Global Vehicle Safety Jeff Boyer said.

How does the technology work? The Rear Seat Reminder system will activate when either rear door is opened and closed up to 10 minutes before the vehicle is started or while the vehicle is running. Once activated, the system sounds five chimes and displays a message on the drivers electronic dashboard display that reads “Rear Seat Reminder/Look in Rear Seat” the next time the vehicle is turned off.

Since the system itself cannot detect items in the backseat, it’s crucial that the driver check before exiting.

The Rear Seat Reminder debuted earlier this year on the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia. Models to offer this feature are:

  • 2017 Buick Lacrosse
  • 2017 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
  • 2017 Cadillac CT6
  • 2017 Chevrolet Cruze and Cruze Hatchback
  • 2017 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2017 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2017 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2017 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2017 GMC Yukon
  • 2017 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2017 GMC Sierra
  • 2017 GMC Canyon
  • 2018 Cadillac XT5
  • 2018 Cadillac CTS and CTS-V
  • 2018 Cadillac ATS
  • 2018 Chevrolet Equinox

The monitoring system will be available in additional 2018 vehicle models, to be announced at a later date.

According to Kate Carr, the president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, “This new technology developed by General Motors will give busy parents and caregivers the important reminder to always check the back seat. The safest way to protect a child from heatstroke is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, and features like Rear Seat Reminder, coupled with continued public education, can help combat this preventable tragedy.”

GM continues to lead the way in advanced technology for its vehicles, and many look forward to seeing how the Rear Seat Reminder will make an impact in communities.

Vehicle Recalls You Need to Know About

As 2017 is just a few days away, many are rushing to the dealership to purchase new or used cars.  According to Forbes, dealerships do the most business between December 26th and January 3rd.

Before heading out to decide which vehicle you’ll cruise into the New Year with, check out the information below from safecar.gov regarding the recent vehicle recalls. And even if you aren’t in the market for a new car, make sure you review the information in case your vehicle is affected:

2017 Chevrolet Malibu
Units affected: 113

General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2017 Malibu vehicles manufactured on November 10, 2016. The right-hand rear side air bag inflator manifold may have insufficient welds.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear side air bag modules, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is 16146.

2016 Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot
Units affected: 43,071

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2016 Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot vehicles manufactured May 9, 2016, to July 15, 2016. The crankshaft or camshaft sensor may only work intermittently, causing the engine to stall.

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the crankshaft or camshaft sensor, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 27, 2017.

Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is S89.

2017 Ford Fusion
Units affected: 25

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2017 Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured September 27, 2016, to September 28, 2016. The left rear seat backs pivot pins may have been improperly welded.

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the left hand, second row seat back frame, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 9, 2017. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 16S43.

2016-2017 Hyundai Tucson; 2017 Santa Fe
Units affected: 5,669

Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) is recalling certain model year 2016-2017 Tucson vehicles manufactured May 19, 2015, to November 14, 2016, and 2017 Santa Fe vehicles manufactured November 28, 2015, to November 14, 2016. The affected vehicles may be equipped with an accessory trailer hitch wiring harness that, due to a malfunction of the tow hitch module, may result, in the trailer brake lights being constantly illuminated. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, ” Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected accessory trailer hitch wiring harnesses, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 13, 2017. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 153.

2016-2017 Kia Sorento; 2017 Sportage
Units affected: 10,212

Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2016-2017 Sorento vehicles manufactured October 27, 2014, to August 25, 2016, and 2017 Sportage vehicles manufactured December 10, 2015, to August 26, 2016. The affected vehicles are equipped with an accessory trailer hitch wiring harness that, due to a malfunction of the tow hitch module, may result in the trailer brake lights being constantly illuminated. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, ” Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the trailer tow hitch harness, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 18, 2017. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia’s number for this recall is SC142.

2017 Ram ProMaster
Units affected: 23

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2017 RAM ProMaster vehicles manufactured October 1, 2016, to December 7, 2016. The seat mounted side air bag inflator initiator may fail to ignite during a crash.

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the seat mounted side air bags, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 28, 2017. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is S96.

2016 Toyota Avalon; 2017 Camry
Units affected: 12

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2016 Avalon, and 2017 Camry vehicles manufactured August 3, 2016, to September 12, 2016. The front passenger knee air bag module may have been attached to the lower instrument panel with incorrect fasteners.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fasteners, and if necessary, replace the instrument panel brace and body bracket and reattach the air bag assembly, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2016. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota’s number for this recall is G05.

Note for all recalls: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Worried that you might have missed a recall on your car? Now you can look it up yourself online. All you need is your vehicle’s VIN. Simply go to www.safercar.gov and use the “Recalls Look-up by VIN” tool. Or you can just go there directly with this link https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/.

 

Lucid Motors Brings 2,000 Jobs to Arizona

In late November 2016, California-based company Lucid Motors announced that Casa Grande, Arizona would be home to their newest assembly plant. Looking to compete with Tesla in the electric-vehicle category, this startup company will begin building their new assembly plant in second quarter of 2017, with hopes of producing electric luxury sedans by end of 2018.

Arizona helped secure the deal by promising $46 million in subsidies tied to milestones the company must reach as it moves toward vehicle production. As the company begins building and production, they’ve promised to provide 2,000 jobs over the next five years, with hiring starting as early as next year.

Lucid Motors scouted out 13 other states before landing on Arizona. Through this deal, Governor Doug Ducey believes that “we’ve demonstrated that Arizona is among the most competitive states in the nation to do work and do business.”

This $700 million factory is also committed to training and hiring Arizona’s veterans, and while some of the car parts will be assembled in Sonora, Mexico, they are committed to keeping it a U.S.-based and run company.

For car enthusiasts, the Lucid Motors electric cars are something to get excited about. Having unveiled the new prototype on December 18th, these Tesla-competitors are expected to cost $100,000, include batteries capable of powering the vehicle for at least 400 miles before charging, and an interior similar to the BMW 7-series.

Beyond that, not much is known about the vehicle. When unveiled last Wednesday, the prototypes were notably covered in a camouflage exterior to keep the full design and shape of the vehicles shielded from competitors.

The company intends to limit production to 10,000 units in 2018, with plans of increasing by 60,000 units each year after that.

Will these cars actually become a competitor of Tesla, though? The company recently tested its electric powertrain using a modified Mercedes-Benz van, and released a video showing that it could hit 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds, faster than a “Ludicrous”-equipped Tesla Model S. So you can be the judge of that.

For the city of Casa Grande and its 50,000 residents, as well as for Arizonians as a whole, this plant may seem too good to be true. What happens if Lucid Motors chooses to pull out? While this is far from likely, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) stressed that should the deal not move forward, the state will not have lost any money.

With that risk eliminated, and the ACA expressing that they are “comfortable Lucid Motors currently has sufficient funding for the initial phase of the project,” this plant is something we can all get excited about, both in Casa Grande and statewide.

Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson summarized it best when he said, “For the past five years, Casa Grande has worked diligently to attract companies that could serve as economic drivers for our entire region.” It looks like he’s doing just that!

We will all look forward to seeing how the plant progresses and helps add jobs to our great state!

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