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DETROIT — Rear Seat Reminder, an industry-first feature designed to remind drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicles under certain circumstances, will be offered across many Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year.
The system monitors rear door usage to remind drivers to check their rear seats before walking away from their vehicles.
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“GM’s Rear Seat Reminder feature is an initial step to use technology to help remind drivers to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle under certain conditions,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety. “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.”
Thirty-nine children died from heatstroke this year as result of being left in vehicles or gaining access to an unattended vehicle, a 60 percent increase over last year’s figure.
Rear Seat Reminder debuted earlier this year on the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia. Models to offer the feature include those listed below as well as some 2018 vehicles models that will be announced at a later date:
- 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 Rear Seat Reminder works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors. The feature is intended to 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 the system is activated, the vehicle is designed to sound five chimes and display a message in the driver information center that reads “Rear Seat Reminder / Look in Rear Seat” the next time the vehicle is turned off.
“This new technology developed by General Motors will give busy parents and caregivers the important reminder to always check the back seat,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “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.”
The feature cannot actually detect items in the back seat, so it is always important to check the rear seat prior to exiting the vehicle.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
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FYI–I don’t want to misrepresent…this did not happen at Ron Westphal Chevy, although we have seen similar situations here. We have many customers with a variety of challenges, both physical and mental, who visit us regularly. We are grateful for all our clients and I’m proud of entire Ron Westphal Chevrolet staff on their fair and friendly treatment to all.
The EPA’s gas mileage ratings for 2017 will make some folks change their minds about which vehicle to purchase.
New-car shoppers will see mileage numbers on the window stickers of many 2017 model-year cars that are lower than their 2016 predecessors, even though the cars have no mechanical or aerodynamic differences. It’s due to a change in the way that the Environmental Protection Agency calculates window-sticker gas mileage in an effort to better reflect real-world mileage, according to the agency and automakers.
EPA’s gas mileage ratings drop for some 2017 models
The change could meaningfully affect EPA ratings on nearly 30% of all new cars, a Cars.com analysis of 2017 model-year EPA data indicates.
The analysis looked at the top 75 best-selling vehicles through July with no mechanical or aerodynamic changes. Out of that group, there were 84 variations of individual vehicles (the V-6 versus the four-cylinder, for example). Twenty-three of those, or 27.4%, received a lower EPA highway and city combined driving mileage rating for the 2017 model year.
The revisions could cause consumers to change their minds about models. Bill Meyer, a Kansas City attorney, saw that the 2017 Volkswagen Passat that he has been eyeing fell 4 miles per gallon, from 38 mpg to 34 mpg, in its EPA highway mileage rating, and 2 mpg combined.
“When I looked at the window sticker, I thought, ‘Wow, this is taking a big hit,'” Meyer said. “Why is there such a mileage discrepancy? Thirty-four is not nearly as interesting to me as 38. So it’s making me rethink my decision.”
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Models seeing the drop of a single mile per gallon in their combined ratings included versions of Honda Accord, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Sonata. Versions of the Volkswagen Passat and Toyota Camry Hybrid fell by 2 mpg in combined highway and city driving.
The recalculation means shoppers cannot compare 2017 mileage numbers to their 2016 predecessors, but Cars.com has learned the EPA plans to address this soon with updates to its website that will allow shoppers to compare the new numbers with models as far back as the 2011 model year.
Real-world mileage shouldn’t change for drivers, but the EPA ratings could fall noticeably in the agency’s biggest adjustment since it issued sweeping changes to window-sticker mileage ratings nearly a decade ago.
The analysis turned up more changes than in the EPA’s own checks into gas mileage on 2016 model-year cars. The agency ran 1,209 fuel-economy results from the 2016 model year through the agency’s updated calculations. Just 15% of that group — 186 variations — fell by 1 mpg in combined. Thirteen, or about 1%, increased by 1 mpg. The combined mileage stayed the same for the remaining 84%.
EPA figures are seldom whole numbers, so rounding can mask — or exaggerate — actual changes. Some cars may actually see their values increase, the EPA notes, but the difference is “so small and subtle” that the perceived change could be more the result of rounding.
“Some of those changed because they were 26.4 before and now they’re 26.6 after,” says Byron Bunker, director of the compliance division at the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “When you change these methodologies you’ll move some more for rounding.”
EPA’s gas mileage ratings
When the EPA issued its broad update of fuel-economy ratings back in 2008, it required automakers to go from two testing cycles to five, adding tests for things such as cold-weather operation, higher speeds, faster acceleration and air-conditioning usage. It also tried to reflect other real-world factors such as road conditions and wind.
Still, a lot of automakers stuck with two-cycle testing and applied what’s called a “curve fit” — a mathematical correction that aligns the results from two cycles to a hypothetical five-cycle test. The EPA developed the math from data it gathered from 2002 to 2006.
“The manufacturer can choose to run all five or run just the city-highway [cycles] and just apply the curve fit,” explained Ryan Harty, who manages Honda’s environmental business development office. “Not all labs have that [five-cycle] capability, and I think EPA recognized that.”
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EPA’s gas mileage ratings. Source: Kelsey Mays, Cars.com