Chevy Spark only tiny car to get acceptable rating in new IIHS crash tests

 
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Automotive News
January 22, 2014 – 12:01 am ET

Most of the tiniest cars on the road fared poorly in the challenging new small-overlap crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with only the Chevrolet Spark getting an acceptable rating, the group said today.

The Spark was the only tiny car to earn a top safety pick award in small-overlap front crash testing conducted by the group. Introduced in 2012, the small-overlap test re-creates conditions in which the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or object. During the test, the front quarter of the driver side of the vehicle collides with a barrier at 40 mph.

The test is more difficult than a head-on collision because the front-end crush zone is bypassed, directing energy through the vehicle differently than intended, which can result in the passenger compartment collapsing.

“Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That’s why it’s even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection,” Joe Nolan, IIHS vice president, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as a group, minicars aren’t performing as well as other vehicle categories in the small-overlap crash.”

Tougher tests, such as the small-overlap front crash test, have thinned the ranks of IIHS top safety picks for 2014 — with 70 percent fewer vehicles earning the honor than last year. The IIHS started requiring vehicles to ace the new small-overlap test this year to receive the award.

Because of the revised testing, and increased importance of the small-overlap test, the Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius C and Toyota Yaris lost top safety pick status from last year.

The worst performing vehicles in the group were the Honda Fit and Fiat 500 — with both having the structure of the vehicle “seriously compromise” the passenger compartment. According to the IIHS report, the driver door of the Fiat 500 tore open at the hinges during the test, which creates the risk of the driver being ejected.

Most injuries to the crash dummies in the vehicles involved the left leg, but the Fit, 500 and Hyundai Accent were downgraded because injuries also affected the left thigh or hip. The Fit and 500 were the only vehicles that recorded elevated risk to the right leg as well as the left.

While the structure of the Spark did intrude into the passenger compartment, it was limited to the upper area of the compartment and it was the only vehicle to achieve good injury measurements for all body regions during the tests.

The vehicles tested were the Chevrolet Spark, Mazda2, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, 2014 Ford Fiesta, 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Accent, Fiat 500 and Honda Fit.

Gabe Nelson contributed to this report.

You can reach Sean Gagnier at sgagnier@crain.com.

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New 2014 Malibu Receives 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score

New Car Assessment Program includes Chevrolet’s updated midsize sedan

2014 Malibu 5-Star NHTSA Rated

DETROIT – The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan has received the highest possible 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.   

“Safety is an increasingly important consideration for new vehicle buyers, especially for those in the midsize segment,” said Gay Kent, General Motors general director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness. “The customer is at the center of our day-to-day operations and when we design vehicles, it’s their safety that we have in mind.”

Safety technologies featured on the Malibu include an ultra-high-strength steel safety cage, rollover protection and 10 standard airbags including knee airbags for both driver and front passenger.

In addition to these passive safety features, several other available active safety technologies, such as Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, can assist in avoiding a collision. Side Blind Zone Alert uses sensors to warn drivers of vehicles entering their blind spot on either side. The pairing of Rear Cross Traffic Alert, new to Malibu for 2014, and rear vision camera can make backing out onto busy streets a less-stressful affair.

Every Malibu comes with OnStar service standard for the first six months. In the event of a collision, OnStar Advisors can contact the vehicle even if occupants cannot respond.

Malibu had its best retail sales year since 1999 last year.

 

From GM News….

Chevrolet Sweeps 2014 NACTOY Awards

Corvette Stingray, Silverado pickup represent brand’s first double win

2014-01-13

 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Chevrolet Silverado

DETROIT – The all-new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Silverado 1500 are the 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year.   

It is the first time Chevrolet has won both awards in the same year. The Silverado was last named Truck of the Year in 2007 and the Corvette was last named Car of the Year in 1998.

“Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand’s more than 100-year history,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “The Corvette and Silverado truly embody the passion, commitment and focus that is driving us to deliver the most expressive designs, innovative technologies and engaging performance in every vehicle that wears the bowtie,”

The Corvette received 211 points topping the Mazda3 with 185 points and the Cadillac CTS with 94 points. The Silverado received 219 points to the Jeep Cherokee with 174 points and the Acura MDX with 97 points.

Presentation of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards open media days each year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Forty-nine automotive journalists from the United States and Canada vote to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.

Chevy Sweeps NACTOY Silverado and Corvette

The new Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque from a 6.2L V-8 engine – and 460 horsepower /465 lb-ft with the available performance exhaust system – enabling models with the available Z51 Performance Package to sprint from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds.

Silverado’s available 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 generates 355 horsepower for confident towing and hauling, yet seamlessly switches to four cylinders to save fuel during light-load driving. With an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of up to 23 mpg, Silverado offers the best fuel economy of any V-8 pickup.

“It is a distinct honor for the entire Chevrolet team to have both the Corvette and Silverado recognized with the prestigious North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards,” Batey said.

From GM News….

Chevrolet Complete Care

YOUR COMPLETE OWNER BENEFIT PROGRAM

 

Chevrolet Complete Care is more than our promise to be with you all the way. It’s our commitment to ensure your satisfaction with excellent service and the support you would expect when purchasing a Chevrolet.
 

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE

Chevrolet Complete Care is committed to giving you the utmost confidence in your Chevrolet vehicle purchase. This comprehensive coverage enhances the overall ease of owning and driving your Chevrolet with benefits such as:

  • Included Scheduled Maintenance† by Chevrolet Certified Service Experts
  • 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
  • Excellent Warranty Coverage to protect your investment
  • Courtesy Transportation
     

2 Years/24,000 Miles of Included ScheduledMaintenance†

No one knows your vehicle better than the Chevrolet Certified Service Experts. They carefully assess and care for your vehicle while keeping a detailed history of your maintenance visits. Included with your purchase of any 2014 vehicle purchased after May 1, 2013, this expert care ensures your vehicle’s overall performance for the long run. Services include:

  • Replace engine oil and oil filter (excludes Spark EV)
  • A thorough 27-point vehicle inspection provides a detailed assessment from Chevrolet Certified Technicians
  • 4-wheel tire rotation (excludes dual rear wheel vehicles, all Corvette models and select Camaro models – ZL1 model and 1LE package cars – due to their unidirectional tires. See the Owner’s Manual for details.)

5 Years/100,000 Miles of 24-Hour Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation†

When you’re on the road, you can rest assured that we’re with you all the way. Chevrolet Complete Care gives you the steadfast confidence to make every drive as stress-free as possible. And when you need help getting back on the road, our 24-Hour Roadside Assistance is there for you. This helpful service includes:

  • Emergency Towing (to the closest Chevrolet dealer from a legal roadway)
  • Jump Starts (at home or on the road)
  • Flat Tire Changes (spare installed if equipped)
  • Fuel Delivery ($5 worth of fuel delivered on the road)
  • Lockout Service (keys locked inside vehicle)
  • Courtesy Transportation provides alternate transportation options when your vehicle is undergoing warranty repairs

Warranty Coverage

We’re with you all the way. This is our commitment to maintaining a high degree of quality, dependability and reliability through coverage that protects your investment. Our warranties make sure that you’re covered when life happens. This coverage includes:

  • 5-year/100,000-mile† Powertrain Limited Warranty
  • 3-year/36,000-mile† Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty
  • 6-year/100,000-mile† Rust-Through Protection Warranty
  • These warranties are completely transferable with your vehicle through ownership changes.

 
CONNECTIVITY

Almost every Chevrolet vehicle is connected by OnStar. This extensive support service is enhanced through your in-vehicle technology. From viewing vehicle diagnostics on your mobile phone to effortlessly navigating your next destination through simple voice directions, OnStar gives you the convenience and control with a powerful array of services, in addition to 24/7 access to a live Advisor with the push of a button.
 

ONSTAR

A 6-month subscription to OnStar† standard on most Chevrolet vehicles† keeps you even more connected to safety, convenience and navigation. Connect your drive with a 24/7 live Advisor at the press of a button. OnStar can help with locating a dealer, Automatic Crash Response and 24-Hour Roadside Assistance by pushing the blue button or sending your Directions & Connections® Plan directly to your car for more convenient access on the go. This useful service includes:

  • OnStar Automatic Crash Response with Enhanced Crash Data
  • OnStar Directions & Connections® Plan
  • Automatic and On-Demand Vehicle Diagnostics
  • Stolen Vehicle Assistance

 

ONSTAR REMOTELINK KEY FOB SERVICES

Included with all 2014 vehicle purchases, RemoteLink Key Fob Services† gives you access to other features such as remote start, as well as locking and unlocking your doors even when miles away from your vehicle. This is included for five years after purchase of your 2014 Chevrolet vehicle, with or without a paid OnStar subscription. With RemoteLink Key Fob Services, you can:

  • Unlock your automatic door locks remotely if your keys are locked inside (if equipped with power locks)
  • Remotely start or turn off your car (if equipped with factory installed and enabled remote start)
  • Activate your vehicle’s horns and lights to help locate it in a crowded parking lot

 

Experience another level of control over your vehicle even when you’re not in it. With OnStar RemoteLink®† mobile app, you can view real-time fuel information, track navigation, keep tabs on fuel range, gallons of gas remaining and more. Anywhere you get mobile connections, you can:

All 2014 Silverado Light-Duty Trucks Earn 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score

New Car Assessment Program includes regular and double cab configurations

2014-01-09

 Silverado Sierra 5-Star NHTSA Rated

DETROIT – The regular and double cab versions of 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra1500 have received the highest possible 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

Joining the previously tested 2014 crew cab models, which also received a 5-star overall score, all cab configurations of the Silverado and Sierra 1500 series now have the highest possible Overall Vehicle Score. These models are the first pickup trucks to receive the 5-star NHTSA Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the implementation of more rigorous requirements for the 2011 model year.

“Our incredibly capable trucks have been engineered to be some of the safest,” said Gay Kent, GM general director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness. “We’ve designed the vehicle structure, strategically placed high-strength steel and developed the occupant restraint system to achieve high levels of safety performance.

“This level of vehicle performance is complemented by a full array of other advanced safety features to help protect our customers, no matter which new Silverado or Sierra they choose.”

Offering fully boxed frames and extensive use of high-strength steel, the Silverado and Sierra also offer available segment-exclusive safety features such as Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Safety Alert Seat. Safety features include:

  • Forward collision alert technology helps prevent frontal crashes by alerting the driver when the truck is closing in on a vehicle ahead too quickly, giving him or her additional time to react and avoid a crash.
  • Lane Departure Warning technology can alert the driver when the truck drifts over a lane line when traveling at least 35 mph.
  • Safety Alert Seat can warn the driver of traffic approaching from the left or right using directional seat vibration pulses. This patented warning approach is tied to all of the on-board crash avoidance systems.
  • High-strength and ultra-high-strength steels are used extensively throughout each truck’s fully boxed frame to help improve performance in crashes.
  • Rear Vision Camera with Dynamic Guidelines allows the driver, when in reverse, to see the area directly behind the vehicle via the eight-inch monitor on the center stack, allowing for easier parking and backing maneuvers.
  • New, standard lap belt pretensionsers in the front-seat outboard safety belts.
  • Six standard air bags and 360-degree sensor system, including dual-stage frontal air bags, head-curtain side-impact air bags with rollover protection, and seat-mounted side-impact air bags.
  • Available trailer-sway control works with StabiliTrak to provide the driver with additional assistance when towing a trailer. When it senses trailer sway, it intervenes with braking and/or reduced engine power to help bring the trailer under control.
  • Four-wheel, four-channel, antilock disc brakes that help provide straight, more controlled stops by preventing wheel lock-up in most road conditions.
  • OnStar is available, using GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash. OnStar service also includes MyLink mobile apps, which offer vehicle information and OnStar services via the customer’s smartphone. Visit Onstar.com for details and system limitations.

Chevrolet AppShop Offers Connected Car Personalization

Growing list of in-vehicle apps to include news, music and vehicle data

2014-01-05

Chevrolet MyLink Enhanced with AppShop

LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet is adding a new level of infotainment personalization with Chevrolet AppShop, demonstrated today at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. AppShop will be available this summer on select 2015 models in the U.S. and Canada with MyLink technology, including the Corvette, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Volt, Silverado and Silverado HD.

Chevrolet AppShop is accessible through an icon displayed on the available MyLink screen that allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organize, update or delete them. Available apps will connect drivers to music, news, weather, travel information, vehicle data and more.

Chevrolet AppShop Offers Connected Car Personalization

Chevrolet AppShop Offers Connected Car Personalization

Chevrolet AppShop Offers Connected Car Personalization

“We listen to our customers, and they want more choices like they have with their smartphones,” said Alan Batey, senior vice president of Global Chevrolet. “They’re telling us they want more integration, more options, and more control in a safe manner. Chevrolet AppShop is an in-vehicle information resource that allows our drivers to customize and refine their experiences from their Chevrolet.”

A seamless data connection for Chevrolet AppShop will be offered with the brand’s broad deployment of high-speed 4G LTE connectivity through OnStar, General Motors’ telematics service that has provided wireless connections to vehicles for more than 17 years. Every Chevrolet with AppShop will come equipped with OnStar 4G LTE hardware with data plans available at an additional charge.

Chevrolet AppShop should help keep smartphones in pockets. Features that require a large amount of attention – such as those that use a keyboard – are unavailable while the vehicle is in motion. While some apps may be familiar to owners, the functionality of these apps may vary between AppShop and a smartphone. For example, The Weather Channel offers audible five-day forecasts to help keep the driver’s eyes on the road.

“At General Motors, we are trying to minimize driver distractions through the use of technology,” said Phil Abram, chief infotainment officer, GM Global Connected Consumer. “In addition to AppShop, Chevrolet offers features like text-to-voice and smartphone voice pass-through integration to create a safer driving environment.”

Among the apps Chevrolet demonstrated at CES is a Vehicle Health App that’s expected to be available for customers by the end of 2014. This app uses vehicle data to provide on-demand diagnostic reports and maintenance notifications, and also provides contact information, appointment scheduling and, on properly equipped vehicles, navigation routing to the owner’s preferred dealer. The Vehicle Health App builds on the OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics and RemoteLink smartphone app already offered through OnStar.

Here is an initial list of the other planned apps:

  • iHeartRadio (U.S. Only): Offers instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation’s most popular live radio stations from anywhere in the United States, plus Custom Stations inspired by an artist or song. A Favorites menu allows easy access to stations saved across any iHeartRadio-enabled device.
  • Priceline.com: Allows search, comparison, and booking of a hotel room. With more than 200,000 hotels from which to choose, this app gives travelers the freedom to experience a little more and go a little farther because a place to stay the night is always just a few touches away.
  • The Weather Channel: Provides visual and audible weather information needed along a driver’s route, including current conditions, hourly and five-day forecasts.
  • NPR: News, culture and humor from NPR and 900-plus public radio stations nationwide, including live broadcasts and more than 80 all-music streams. Uses vehicle location to automatically localize listening to the nearest NPR member station.
  • Slacker Radio: Handcrafted internet radio service with more than 13 million songs, plus news, sports, comedy and weather. Playlists can be synchronized with a smartphone, tablet or web browser.
  • TuneIn Radio: Expands in-car radio listening to more than 100,000 radio stations and more than 2 million podcasts streaming from every continent, including sports, news, talk and music.
  • Cityseeker: A car concierge that provides relevant and personalized information about attractions, museums, restaurants, nightlife and shopping based on a vehicle’s location.
  • Eventseeker: Seek, share and live with personalized information about events, concerts, sporting events, festivals, performing arts, family-friendly activities and more. Never miss an event again.
  • Glympse: The pioneer of temporary, person-to-person location sharing. Allows a driver to share real-time movement with anyone, including speed and estimated arrival time.
  • Kaliki: A spoken-word news and entertainment app that delivers up-to-the-minute headlines, traffic, sports, weather and marquee episodic content from North America’s leading publishers, broadcasters and producers.

AppShop will be standard on properly equipped Chevrolets with MyLink technology. The apps above would all be free to download with an active data plan.

Chevrolet Accelerates to 4G LTE Speeds in 2014

Bowtie brand models in U.S. and Canada to get OnStar 4G LTE by summer

2014-01-05

Chevrolet Speeds Up With OnStar 4G LTE

 LAS VEGAS – Starting this summer, Chevrolet will have some of the fastest vehicles on the roads, and that has nothing to do with horsepower. Chevrolet drivers will be enjoying high-speed data – made possible by a new OnStar 4G LTE connection in the vehicle, running on AT&T’s network, the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

Chevrolet today announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt would be the first General Motors’ vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV. In the Canadian market, OnStar with 4G LTE will be introduced on the Chevrolet Trax as well. The majority of the 2015 Chevrolet lineup in the U.S and Canada will have a 4G LTE connection built-in at vehicle launch. More models will be announced later this year.

“Chevrolet is expected to implement the broadest deployment of 4G LTE in the automotive industry,” said Alan Batey, senior vice president of Global Chevrolet. “The fact that OnStar with 4G LTE will be available in models that range from the Chevrolet Spark to the Silverado to the Corvette, is indicative of our broad commitment to deliver more value and convenience through smart technology applications. This new, purposeful technology solution will make our consumers lives easier to connect.”

Vehicles Equipped with Built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot

The 4G LTE rollout will bring a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot to most Chevrolet vehicles, which allows passengers to connect their personal devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless internet. Each vehicle can accommodate multiple devices at one time.

Chevrolet Accelerates to 4G LTE Speeds in 2014

“We know that our customers rely on being connected on a daily, if not hourly basis, and they expect to be provided with the information and content they desire with no interruptions,” said Mary Chan, president, GM’s Global Connected Consumer. “A 4G LTE hotspot that’s built into a car’s architecture will provide a more consistent and powerful Wi-Fi connection than a smartphone.”

With OnStar’s 4G LTE connection, the vehicle acts as a mobile hub, giving customers easier access to apps and services that require a high-speed cellular or data connection. The vehicle will employ a wireless connection that does not rely on a brought-in mobile device.

In collaboration with AT&T, the data connection in the car will be fast – and flexible. Current AT&T customers will be able to add their vehicle to a shareable bucket of data through AT&T Mobile Share plans. All drivers can also pay for data as a standalone option. Additional pricing and data packages for OnStar 4G LTE will be announced later in 2014.

Chevrolet AppShop Offers Connected Car Personalization

Chevrolet MyLink will offer consumers an enhancement with the built in AppShop, available on select 2015 Chevrolet models in the U.S. and Canada. AppShop will benefit from the embedded 4G LTE connection.

Chevrolet AppShop is accessible through an icon on the MyLink screen that allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organize, update or delete them as needed. Available apps will connect drivers to vehicle data, music, news, weather, travel information and more.

“The built-in 4G LTE connection will allow our vehicles to be updated with the latest software and apps,” said Chan. “This means that the driver’s vehicle infotainment systems can keep getting better after purchase as customers can continue to add on and customize their features.”

Chevrolet Accelerates to 4G LTE Speeds in 2014

An initial list of planned apps announced today includes Vehicle Health, iHeartRadio, Priceline.com, The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.

OnStar’s 10th Generation to Debut

Chevrolet’s 4G LTE launch coincides with the 10th hardware generation of OnStar, a service that debuted in GM vehicles in 1996. The upgrade will allow for voice and high speed data services.  

“We are focused on constantly improving the OnStar service so that the system continues to remain a trusted value-add for GM drivers,” said Terry Inch, chief operating officer, OnStar. “4G LTE will enable the most powerful OnStar connection ever.”

OnStar Advisors currently respond to approximately 185,000 calls every day or more than two calls every second. OnStar is standard across the 2014 Chevrolet lineup. The OnStar RemoteLink Key Fob Services smartphone app, which allows owners to lock or unlock doors, activate the horn and lights, and remotely start a properly-equipped vehicle, is included for five years for properly equipped Chevrolet vehicles in the U.S.

 

From GM News