Latest News From Bumper to Bumper Radio

Let’s take a look at some common problems that can occur with your vehicle’s heating and cooling systems. When you know what to watch for, you’ll better understand when it’s time to call your mechanic.

Today’s Vehicle Technology Must Walk So Self-Driving Cars Can Run

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2021) – Automakers may already hold the key to improving public acceptance of self-driving cars: fine-tuning existing vehicle technology. AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey finds that only 22% of people feel manufacturers should focus on developing self-driving vehicles. The majority of drivers (80%) say they want current vehicle safety systems, like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance, to work better and more than half—58%—said they want these systems in their next vehicle. These findings signal that people are open to more sophisticated vehicle technology, which if they provide positive experiences for drivers, will open the road to self-driving vehicle acceptance.

“People are ready to embrace new vehicle technology, especially if it will make driving safer,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “Consumers are clear about what they want and if automakers seize the opportunity to provide a better experience now, it will pave the way for the vehicles of tomorrow.”

Nearly 96% of 2020 vehicle models came equipped with at least one advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning or lane keeping assistance. Consumers who buy new will likely have at least one type of vehicle safety system and in many cases, this could be their first interaction with more advanced vehicle technology. Previous AAA research has found that some systems, particularly those that provide the highest level of automation available to the public, do not always work as expected. These negative experiences could influence driver opinion of future vehicle automation. It also reinforces the need for manufacturers to continue to hone vehicle technology by expanding testing and focusing on including more real-world scenarios encountered by drivers.

Has your car needed some TLC and you haven’t gotten to it yet? Well NOW is the time to get it fixed!

Icy Temperatures Fuel Spikes at the Pump

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 22, 2021) — Motorists are filling-up to some of the most expensive gas prices seen in over a year. With the forced shutdown of Gulf Coast and some Mid-West refineries due to last week’s winter weather, gasoline stocks have tightened and gas prices have skyrocketed. On the week, 66% of state averages spiked by double digits (10–22 cents), driving the national average up by 13 cents to $2.63. That is the most expensive national average since October 2019.

“When close to 40% of U.S. crude production is offline because refineries are closed, there is going to be pain at the pump until operations resume,” said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. “The good news is the nearly two dozen impacted refiners are expected to restart operations this week, if they haven’t already. That means regular gasoline deliveries will resume and impacted stations will be re-fueled.”

Last week, refinery outages were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas.

Do your tires have worn out treads? Bulges or cracks in the sidewalls? If so, new tires should be a priority for you. Here are 5 factors to consider so you can decide for sure whether or not new tires for your vehicle should be at the top of your priority list.


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Model Y Achieves 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from NHTSA

Since the launch of Model S in 2012, we have engineered every Tesla around the same advanced architecture that maximizes occupant safety. Today, Model Y, Tesla’s mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), is the latest Tesla vehicle to earn a 5-star safety rating in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

As part of their 2020 New Car Assessment Program, NHTSA tested Model Y Long Range All-Wheel Drive (AWD). We expect similar results for all Model Y variants, including our Performance AWD and single motor, rear-wheel drive variants in the future.

What makes Model Y safe?
Model 3 and Model Y were developed largely on the same platform, and this shared architecture is fundamental to both vehicles’ safety. To accommodate its higher mass and larger cabin space as an SUV, Model Y’s body structure is fortified and strengthened even further than Model 3 in pursuit of its 5-star safety rating.

People Blame a Vehicle's Automated System More Than Its Driver When Accidents Happen

Experts predict that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will eventually make our roads safer since the majority of accidents are caused by human error. However, it may be some time before people are ready to put their trust in a self-driving car.

A new study in the journal Risk Analysis found that people are more likely to blame a vehicle's automation system and its manufacturer than its human driver when a crash occurs.

Semi-autonomous vehicles (semi-AVs), which allow humans to supervise the driving and take control of the vehicle, are already on the road. For example, the 2020 Tesla Model S offers an Autopilot system, and the 2020 Cadillac CT6 has a Super Cruise system. In both, the driver must be ready to take control of the car at any moment.

However, this new study suggests that questions are likely to arise regarding blame, responsibility, and compensation when a semi-AV is involved in a collision.

Toyota to Debut Three New Electrified Vehicles for U.S. Market

Portfolio will add two Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV)

Internal research shows BEV and PHEV models have similar environmental benefits

Latest Environmental Action Plan pursues targets in support of Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050

PLANO, Texas, Feb. 10, 2021 -- Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) announced plans to debut in the U.S. market this year, three new electrified models – two BEVs and a PHEV.

"We continue to be leaders in electrification that began with our pioneering introduction of the Prius nearly 25 years ago," said Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales. "Toyota's new electrified product offerings will give customers multiple choices of powertrain that best suits their needs."

The new electrified models further expand Toyota's U.S. leadership in alternative powertrain vehicles. Toyota has over 40% share of the total alternative fuel vehicle market, which includes a 75% share of the fuel cell market and a 64% share of hybrids and plug-ins. By 2025, Toyota's goal is to have 40% of new vehicle sales be electrified models, and by 2030 expects that to increase to nearly 70%.

2021 Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel Earns Unsurpassed 33 MPG; Joins Quickest, Fastest, Most Powerful and Most Fuel-efficient Ram 1500 Lineup Ever

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 10, 2021 -- Ram Truck today announced that a new, more fuel-efficient model is joining its half-ton truck lineup, which already consists of the most fuel-efficient 4x4s and the quickest, fastest and most powerful pickup truck straight from the factory.

2021 Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel Earns Unsurpassed 33 MPG; Joins Quickest, Fastest, Most Powerful and Most Fuel-efficient Ram 1500 Lineup Ever

Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE EcoDiesel rated at an unsurpassed 33 mpg highway

HFE EcoDiesel delivers 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway/26 mpg combined

Ram 1500 lineup now includes unsurpassed fuel economy, best-in-class gasoline 4x4s and the quickest, fastest and most powerful pickup truck

Ram is committed to innovation and powertrain leadership with 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, 3.6-liter Pentastar eTorque mild hybrid V-6, 5.7-liter eTorque mild hybrid V-8 and supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engines


The 2021 Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE EcoDiesel delivers an unsurpassed highway rating of 33 mpg. HFE EcoDiesel's city and combined mpg ratings are 23 and 26, respectively. The HFE designation, or High Fuel Efficiency, is Ram's way of highlighting this model's excellent fuel efficiency.

Clip of the Week

Bumper to Bumper helps a listener who has been noticing a knocking sound coming from their 2013 Nissan Altima.