Nissan kicks off National Tire Safety Week with tips for proper tire care

Low tire pressures can lead to motor vehicle crashes; Nissan’s Easy-Fill Tire Alert takes the guesswork out of filling your tires to the correct tire pressure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – To raise awareness for proper tire care and maintenance, Nissan is celebrating National Tire Safety Week from May 29 to June 4 by reminding vehicle owners of the significant role tires play in keeping them safe on the road.

Research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration1 indicates a tire that is 25 percent below its recommended pressure is almost three times more likely to be involved in a tire-related crash than a properly inflated tire. Low tire inflation also costs vehicle owners money over the long term in reduced fuel economy and premature tire wear.

“Checking tire pressure for just a few minutes each month can help protect your family, improve vehicle performance and lengthen the life of tires,” said Sarah Cardinali, senior manager, Product Safety, Nissan North America. “Our innovative Easy-Fill Tire Alert system helps drivers fill their tires to their recommended inflation rating with ease.”

To emphasize the importance for drivers to regularly inspect their motor vehicle tires, Nissan offers the following tire care and maintenance tips:

  • Inspect visually. Regularly look for visual signs of potential tire issues which may include under-inflation, damage or uneven wear. Inspect tires before a long trip to help avoid unnecessary delays or expenses.
  • Know your target. Find and adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, which is located in the vehicle’s driver-side door jam.
  • Be temperature-conscious. Tire pressures fluctuate with temperature changes. Check pressures when tires are cold (in the morning) at least once a month and following significant changes in temperature. Use an easy-to-read digital gauge for accuracy. A digital readout is displayed in the center cluster of many Nissan models.
  • Rotate and balance. Achieve maximum life and performance from tires by rotating them every 5,000-7,000 miles. Also, balance tires periodically to help minimize uneven wear and extend tread life.
  • Don’t overload. Avoid loading tires past their recommended rating. Excessive weight can weaken tires and potentially lead to blowouts.
  • Avoid obstructions. Steer clear of large potholes, curbs or other objects when possible to avoid potential tire damage.

Standard tire pressure monitoring systems on vehicles alert drivers when tire pressure is low. Auto care professionals caution that from one tire gauge to another, there can be a three or four pound difference in air pressure readings when refilling tires. Nissan’s easy-to-use technology, Easy-Fill Tire Alert, takes the guesswork out of filling tires to the correct pressure with a beep of the horn when proper pressure is reached.

 

If tire pressures drop to an unsafe level, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) alerts the driver with an alert in the gauge cluster. Once the driver stops to add air, the Easy-Fill Tire Alert system activates the vehicle’s four-way flashers to indicate that the tire is inflating, the horn then honks once to signal that the tire is at its recommended inflation level. If the driver continues to fill the tire with air, the horn honks twice to indicate over-inflation. Once air is let out of the tire, the horn chirps once more to indicate the correct pressure has been reached, making the whole process fast and easy, eliminating the need for hand-held tire pressure gauges.

“Since its introduction in 2013, more than 1 million Nissan vehicles equipped with Easy-Fill Tire Alert have been sold in the United States,” said Cardinali. “It is a staple technology in the Nissan product line-up focused on helping to give drivers more convenience and peace of mind when filling up their tires.”

First appearing on the Nissan Quest and nominated for an AOL Technology of the Year Award, Easy-Fill Tire Alert is now available on 11 Nissan models including Altima, LEAF, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder, Quest, Rogue, Sentra, TITAN, Versa and Versa Note.  

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DOT, IIHS and 20 automakers commit to AEB standard on new vehicles

McLEAN, Va. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept. 1, 2022.

Automakers making the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process.

AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

“It’s an exciting time for vehicle safety. By making automatic emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent crashes and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

Based on mounting evidence that AEB effectively reduced crashes and injuries in the United States and around the world, NHTSA and IIHS issued a challenge to the industry in September 2015 to encourage automakers to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature. A series of meetings followed to establish details of the commitment.

“IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies,” said IIHS Board Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance, Jack Salzwedel. “Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.”

“We’re getting these safety systems into vehicles much faster than what would have been otherwise possible,” said NHTSA Administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind. “A commitment of this magnitude is unprecedented, and it will bring more safety to more Americans sooner.”

“The benefits of this commitment are far reaching, from injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented,” said IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology.”

“With roadway fatalities on the rise, the commitment made today has the potential to save more lives than almost anything else we can accomplish in the next six years,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, who attended today’s announcement. “Including all models in the agreement ensures that safety isn’t for just those who can afford it.”

NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment. Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, said, “We have been calling on automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard in all new vehicles, and today is an important step toward reaching that goal. This proven technology is among the most promising safety advances we’ve seen since electronic stability control almost two decades ago. We look forward to working with NHTSA and IIHS to help put this plan into action and hold automakers accountable for their commitments.”

Today’s commitment will make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

As NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment.

The commitment takes into account the evolution of AEB technology. It requires a level of functionality that is in line with research and crash data demonstrating that such systems are substantially reducing crashes, but does not stand in the way of improved capabilities that are just beginning to emerge. The performance measures are based on real world data showing that vehicles with this level of capability are avoiding crashes.

To encourage further development of AEB technology, NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications, including systems that reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians. In December, NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018.


Fact sheet:
Auto Industry Commitment to IIHS and NHTSA on Automatic Emergency Braking

Participating manufacturers: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA — representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. new-car market.

Details of the commitment: Participating automakers commit to make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less no later than Sept. 1, 2022, and on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

What is AEB? Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems use on-board sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes or increase braking effort if the driver does not take sufficient action.

Performance requirements: Participating manufacturers will ensure vehicles have both a forward collision warning system that meets a subset of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts and an automatic braking system that earns at least an advanced rating in the current Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention track tests. The baseline performance measures are a speed reduction of at least 10 mph in either the IIHS 12 or 25 mph tests, or a speed reduction of 5 mph in both of the tests.

Safety benefits: IIHS research shows that AEB systems meeting the commitment would reduce rear-end crashes by 40 percent. IIHS estimates that by 2025 — the earliest NHTSA believes it could realistically implement a regulatory requirement for AEB — the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

Monitoring progress: IIHS and NHTSA will monitor automakers’ progress toward the commitment and provide annual updates on that progress. Commitment letters from each of the manufacturers, along with annual submissions on their progress, will be posted at www.regulations.gov under docket number NHTSA-2015-0101.

Nissan’s new car cleans itself

BY GERRY MILES

If I owned a car wash, I might not think that Nissan’s ability to develop a car’s paint that essentially renders it self-cleaning like a cat constantly slathering its own saliva on its fur to be a good thing.

But if you like technology and its advances, it could be cool.

Watch the video by clicking here.

Nissan notes it’s the first to apply the technology, called Ultra-Ever Dry®, on automotive bodywork. By creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, it effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car’s surface. So whereby air in the paint system used to be a bad thing with bubbles, until now in a properly controlled environ where in a different paradigm it can repel dirt.

Nissan in Europe has begun tests on innovative paint technology that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt. Thus, drivers may – except those in Vermont who have to deal with Mud Season (and yes, it is its own season before spring) — may never have to clean their car again.

The specially engineered super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint, which repels water and oils, has been applied to the all-new European market Nissan Note to create the world’s first self-cleaning car.

So far, the coating, which is being marketed and sold by UltraTech International Inc®, has responded well to common use cases including rain, spray, frost, sleet and standing water.

“The Nissan Note has been carefully engineered to take the stress out of customer driving, and Nissan’s engineers are constantly thinking of new ways to make families’ lives easier,” said Geraldine Ingham, Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan Note. “We are committed to addressing everyday problems our customers face and will always consider testing exciting, cutting edge technology like this incredible coating application.”

Nissan Leaf 25,000 unit US sales mark falls

Leaf_25k_1000px
BY GERRY MILES
Another month, another auto maker crosses the finish line of another sales goal.
Nissan’s all-electric Leaf had its best sales month in March, and recorded a 423.5% increase year-over-year last April wile crossing the 25,000 unit sales threshold. The result, Nissan sayeth, it is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle.

“From the beginning our goal with LEAF has been to bring affordable, zero-emission transportation to the mass market in a practical, fun-to-drive package,” said Erik Gottfried, Nissan director of electric vehicle (EV) marketing and sales strategy. “With more than 25,000 LEAFs in the U.S. and 62,000 around the world, we’re seeing the adoption curve for EVs accelerate, and there is tremendous interest not only on the West Coast but in a number of new strongholds like Atlanta, Raleigh, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis and many more.”

Nissan says LEAF sales have risen steadily since its launch with sales jumping several-fold in high-performing markets such as San Francisco—where LEAF was the top-selling vehicle for the Nissan brand in April—Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

“Pioneering the EV trail with LEAF, we’ve had the opportunity to evaluate the purchase process of EV buyers. We have maintained an ongoing dialogue with our customers, and through that we’ve learned just how different the process is for buying a LEAF versus a traditional gas-powered car,” said Gottfried. “We’ve found that customers interested in LEAF come to the showroom exceptionally well educated about the product. Then post-purchase, they stay engaged with us, connect with the LEAF owner community and share their experience broadly, which drives greater interest in LEAF.”

“We’ve also learned how infrastructure plays a role in a consumer’s decision to go all-electric,” added Brendan Jones, Nissan’s director of EV infrastructure strategy and deployment. “We already knew that areas with a higher concentration of EVs would require more charging stations, but trends show that the reverse is also true—a more robust charging infrastructure generates greater interest in EVs and stimulates more EV driving among EV owners.”

Nissan continues to make progress with its commitment to enhance the charging infrastructure in the United States and since announcing plans earlier this year to triple the number of quick chargers from 200 to 600, Nissan and its charging partners already have installed about 50 additional units where interest in LEAF and EVs is highest.

“Nissan is taking a three-prong approach to bolster infrastructure by working with commercial charging partners to bring a variety of charging options to our customers, collaborating with businesses to encourage workplace charging on their campuses and engaging in pilots with our dealers to determine how to optimize the role they can play in EV infrastructure,” said Jones. “This enhanced infrastructure—particularly with more businesses offering workplace charging as an employee benefit—builds range confidence and gives EV drivers better end-to-end charging ability, meaning they can leave home fully charged, plug in at work and be charged when they leave.”

Nissan, which now assembles LEAF, its battery and its electric motor all in Tennessee, introduced the 2013 LEAF with more customer-focused features and an expanded range of trim levels to include a more attainable version and models with more premium amenities such as leather seats and BOSE energy-efficient audio.

U.S. pricing for the 2013 LEAF starts at $28,800 and depending on location, some consumers may get the vehicle for as low as $18,800 by qualifying for federal and state tax credits, making LEAF competitive with gas-powered vehicles of its size. Nissan LEAF currently may be leased for $199 per month with $1,999 down for 36 months. Learn more at www.NissanUSA.com/LEAF.

Porsche, Nissan dealers tops responding to internet inquiries: Piped Piper

Audi, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler lauded for improvement; 1 in 4 internet queries goes unanswered after 24 hours
BY GERRY MILES

It may seem obvious if the web sites you check show a pop up screen with a salesmen at the ready to answer your posit on a new vehicle on the lot, that they want your business (and we all know how many check websites before they do their showroom shopping) but a new study sales that 1 in 4 web checks is unanswered after 24 hours.

Overall, the study by Pied Piper PSI® Internet Lead Effectiveness™ (ILE™) Study showed salespeople responded to internet inquiries within 30 minutes nearly half the time (48%).  Two years ago it took a full hour to receive the same percentage of salesperson responses. Pied Pipe said that today the first response to a customer internet inquiry is an auto response 79% of the time, a personal response 14% of the time, and no response of any type 7% of the time.

Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to actual industry sales success.

Audi, Porsche and Hyundai dealerships showed the most improvement from the previous year. Nissan, as well as Chrysler Group LLC brands Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler, recorded the second year in a row of solid gains, which pushed Nissan, Dodge and Jeep into the top five of the rankings.

“Dealership performance handling internet leads can be invisible from dealership management, or even worse, hidden behind misleading data,” said Fran O’Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC.  “Shining a light on actual performance is the first step.”

Chrysler Group’s recent efforts have successfully pushed Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler’s PSI-ILE rankings from 27th, 30th and 29th in 2011 to 3rd, 3rd and 6th in 2013.

The study said that Mini, Volvo and BMW salespeople were twice as likely to reply with an answer to specific customer questions as salespeople from Lincoln, Kia or Land Rover dealerships.  Dealers encourage follow-up by telephone if customers provide a phone number.  Salespeople from Ford, Nissan, Honda, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz dealerships all attempted to follow-up by telephone at least 60% of the time.  Salespeople from Lexus, GMC, Volkswagen and Land Rover dealerships were least likely to attempt to follow-up by telephone.

Of course you can’t call whom doesn’t give you a number, and that makes sense. And if you ping the dealer with a question and the sales folk are all busy at that time, response time can be delayed. That makes sense, too.

If nothing else, it shows that Internet tire-kicking is taken seriously and those who treat it so will likely reap the benefits in the showroom with a sale.

The 2013 Pied Piper PSI® Internet Lead Effectiveness™(ILE™) Benchmarking Study (U.S.A.) was conducted between April 2012 and March 2013 by submitting internet inquiries to a sample of 11,353 dealerships nationwide representing all major brands.

Nissan’s new 2013 Pathfinder wins ‘Best Large Utility’ in Chicago

Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan Americas (right) accepts the 2013 Drivers' Choice Award from MotorWeek senior executive producer and longtime host John Davis on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at the Chicago Auto Show. (Photo by Tim Cadet)

Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan Americas (right) accepts the 2013 Drivers’ Choice Award from MotorWeek senior executive producer and longtime host John Davis on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at the Chicago Auto Show. (Photo by Tim Cadet)

 
By Gerry Miles

Never underestimate the power of an award. After redesigning its Pathfinder this year, the folks at Nissan were rewarded by MotorWeek  who named it “Best Large Utility” in its 2013 Drivers’ Choice Awards, recognizing the move to providing additional comfort and luxury over past SUV editions.

Pathfinder and the other 2013 Drivers’ Choice Awards winners will be featured in a special episode of MotorWeek, beginning Feb. 9.

Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, said: “The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder was completely redesigned to provide best-in-class standard towing capacity with cargo space for the entire family, and neither were compromised in pursuit of class-leading fuel efficiency. This honor solidifies the Pathfinder’s unparalleled versatility, and we sincerely thank MotorWeek for their recognition.” ;

The Drivers’ Choice Awards recognize the best models in a variety of lifestyle categories ranging from family sedan to luxury car, large utilities and pickups. Awarded annually since 1983, MotorWeek bases its Drivers’ Choice Awards on superior performance, technology, practicality, dollar value and driving experience. Unlike other industry benchmarks, MotorWeek’s award categories reflect consumer buying trends and the full range of buyer preferences.

MotorWeek’s longtime host John Davis added: “With a lighter unibody chassis and V6-only power, the Nissan Pathfinder remains plenty capable off road and can still tow 5,000 pounds.”

The all-new 4th generation Pathfinder features a completely redesigned chassis and body, with a class-exclusive Xtronic CVT® transmission to get a class-leading fuel economy of 26 mpg highway and a more comfortable ride than the previous edition.

While most vehicles “downsize” to increase fuel economy goals, Nissan says its 2013 Pathfinder is slightly larger than before with best-in-class interior passenger volume and best-in-class front headroom and front legroom.

Adding to the convenience items is Nissan’s Around View Monitor***, a class-exclusive 3rd row recline* and Easy Fill Tire Alert. Pathfinder claims it maintains a class-leading standard towing capability* of 5,000 lbs and intuitive 4WD, featuring class-exclusive selectable 2WD, Auto and 4WD lock modes.

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