Nearly 43 million Americans are expected to start their summers with a Memorial Day weekend getaway, according to AAA.

The long holiday weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer vacation season, will see the second highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes dating back to 2000, trailing only the bar set in 2005. Overall, an additional 1.5 million more people will take to the nation's roads, rails and runways compared with last year, a 3.6% increase.

"Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth," said Paula Twidale, Vice President, AAA Travel. "Families continue to prioritize spending their disposable incomes on travel, and near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day."

AAA predicts that during the 2019 Memorial Day holiday the vast majority of travelers – 37.6 million – will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 3.5% more than last year.

INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while New Yorkers and Washington, D.C., could see three times the delay.

"Drivers in the most congested metros should expect much worse conditions than normal," said Trevor Reed, Transportation Analyst, INRIX. "Travelers should anticipate delays to start on Wednesday and continue through Memorial Day. Our advice to drivers is to avoid the morning and evening commuting times or plan alternate routes."

AAA to rescue more than 353,000 motorists
AAA expects to be called on to rescue more than 353,000 motorists at the roadside this Memorial Day weekend. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons for call outs.

AAA recommends motorist take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. Be prepared for emergencies with a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.

Source: AAA, eDriving

Read More
  • Airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may not function in a crash due to faulty electrical signals entering the airbag computer, according to a NHTSA investigation.
  • While it’s not a recall, the investigation covers more than 12 million cars between the 2010 and 2019 model years.
  • The investigation is not related to the Takata recalls.

As many as 12.3 million late-model cars may have defective airbags that won’t deploy in a crash, and as records indicate, at least eight people may have died as a result.

An ongoing investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into airbag control units manufactured by ZF-TRW found evidence of two crashes involving 2018 and 2019 Toyota models in which their airbags did not deploy. One person died, which has prompted NHTSA to gather crash data from all automakers that installed these particular airbag computers on their cars between the 2010 and 2019 model years, including Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, and Toyota.

Stray electrical signals entering the car’s wiring between its crash sensors and the airbag control unit can disable or damage the control unit due to “electrical overstress.” The frontal airbags, side airbags, and seatbelt pretensioners are all potentially affected by the computer failure. Since opening the investigation in March 2018 after learning of six crashes involving Hyundai and Kia models where the airbags did not deployleading to four deaths and six injuries in those carsNHTSA has found that certain cars use varying levels of signal protection to prevent this from happening.

After those crashes, Hyundai and Kia recalled more than 1 million cars between February and June 2018. NHTSA said these cars used the “lowest levels of [circuit] protection” while Hyundai and Kia models outside the recall had “higher levels of protection.” In September 2016, FCA recalled 1.4 million cars for the same problemafter at least three people died and another five were injured in crashes. NHTSA said that the FCA vehicles under recall used a “midlevel” circuit protection and that these defects had only occurred so far in FCA models with sensor wiring harnesses routed across the front of the vehicles.

The potential defect is not related to the Takata airbag inflator recall in which the airbags deploy and shoot shrapnel into the driver’s face. The investigation, which does not include every FCA, Hyundai, or Kia model previously recalled, does not necessarily preclude a new recall nor does it assume that a defect exists. But the likelihood is high that it does. Here are the cars currently included in the investigation:


2012-2014 TSX, TSX sport wagon, and TL; 2015-2017 TLX; 2014-2019 RLX (including hybrid)


2010-2011 Nitro


2012-2019 500


2012-2014 Ridgeline; 2012-2015 Civic (including natural gas and hybrid); 2012-2016 CR-V; 2012-2017 Fit and 2013-2014 Fit EV; 2013-2015 Accord and 2014-2014 Accord hybrid


2013-2019 Sonata (including hybrid)


2010-2012 Liberty; 2010-2018 Wrangler; 2015-2017 Compass and Patriot


2012-2016 Optima Hybrid; 2013 Forte and Forte Koup; 2013-2019 Optima; 2014 Sedona


2013 Outlander; 2013-2017 Lancer (including Evolution, Ralliart, and Sportback)


2009-2012 Ram 1500; 2010-2012 Ram 2500 and 3500; 2011-2012 Ram 4500 and 5500


2011-2013 Corolla Matrix; 2011-2019 Corolla; 2012-2017 Sequoia and Tundra; 2012-2018 Avalon (including hybrid); 2012-2019 Tacoma


Source: Car and Driver

Read More

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands, 15 May 2019 – LeasePlan Corporation N.V. (LeasePlan; the "Company"), one of the world's leading Car-as-a-Service ("CaaS") companies and a leading Pan-European used-car market place, today reports its Q1 results.

Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan:

"We delivered solid results in both of our businesses this quarter, while continuing to make significant strategic investments in and our Digital LeasePlan initiative.

In our core Car-as-a-Service business for new cars, which operates under the LeasePlan brand, our fleet grew a healthy 3% and we delivered solid growth in our Repair & Maintenance Services and Damage & Insurance services. We also successfully issued our first ever Green Bond, which we will use to purchase or refinance electric vehicles. The high level of demand for the bond was a clear indication of support from European investors for our sustainability strategy and will help us accelerate the transition to zero emission mobility., our disruptive, digital, used-car marketplace, continued to grow rapidly, supported by a new store opening and our continued commitment to revolutionizing the customer experience for used-car customers.

Going forward, we will continue to invest in in order to accelerate its growth. We will also continue to invest in our Digital LeasePlan program, through which we are bringing LeasePlan firmly into the digital world."


Q1 2019 financial highlights

  • Net result stable at EUR 132.0 million
  • Underlying net result down 7.1% to EUR 149.6 million due to long-term strategic investments in Digital and of EUR 16.8 million
  • Serviced fleet up 3.1% with growth in both Europe and Rest of the World
  • Lease & Additional Services (CaaS) underlying Gross Profit up 4% to EUR 390.8 million
  • Profit and Loss on Disposal of Vehicles (PLDV) and End of Contract Fees underlying Gross Profit down from EUR 25.2 million to EUR 18.8 million as a result of EUR 10.8 million lower PLDV
  • B2C volumes up 40% to 14,700 vehicles in Q1 and a 21% runrate for B2C sales penetration, Used Car as a Service (UCaaS) contracts up 22%
  • Underlying return on equity down slightly to 16.7%


To read the full financial report, please click here.

Read More

Detroit – The U.S. government is withdrawing a proposal to require all passenger vehicles to have safety systems to prevent unintended acceleration.

The government said Monday the rule isn't needed because the auto industry has installed systems voluntarily.

The industry opposed the rule. It was proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2012 after a series of unintended acceleration problems with Toyota vehicles.

The agency says all 2018 passenger vehicles have systems that override the throttle if a driver presses the gas and brakes at the same time, and it doesn't expect any automakers to remove the brake-throttle override system in the future.

But Jason Levine, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, said it will take years to find out whether automakers installed the systems because of the pending rule. "With no requirement, the control system can disappear from future models or be sold as a luxury with no recourse for consumers," Levine said.

The move comes as the administration of President Donald Trump pushes to reduce or eliminate regulations, which Trump considers an unnecessary burden on industry. "NHTSA does not find that there is presently a safety need for a BTO (brake-throttle override) requirement," the agency said in the withdrawal notice, which was posted Monday on a government website.

The rule also would have required vehicles to return to idle if a driver stops pressing the gas pedal. But NHTSA wrote that it needs a broader understanding of safe design of vehicle electronic control systems to make a decision on that.

Override systems would have been required in passenger cars, trucks and buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Most large trucks and buses weigh more than that, however.

The proposed rule was an outgrowth of investigations in 2010 into claims that electronic defects were causing unintended acceleration in some Toyota models. An investigation by NHTSA and a separate study by NASA ruled out electronic defects in high-speed crashes and determined that in some cases drivers had inadvertently pressed the brake and gas pedal at the same time or that gas pedals had become trapped by floor mats.

One accident that gained attention was the August 2009 high-speed crash of a Lexus near San Diego that resulted in the deaths of four people. Investigators determined that the driver, a veteran California highway patrolman, had applied the brake of the loaned car but was unable to override the accelerator, which was trapped by a floor mat.

In February 2011, Toyota Motor Corp. recalled 2.17 million vehicles in the United States to address accelerator pedals that could become entrapped in floor mats or jammed in driver's-side carpeting, prompting NHTSA to close its investigation. The agency also fined Toyota $50 million for not recalling millions of vehicles in a timely fashion.

The rule was aimed at minimizing the risk that drivers would lose control of their vehicles as a result of either accelerator-control system disconnections or accelerator-pedal sticking or floor-mat entrapment, the safety administration said at the time.


Source – Associated Press

Read More

How to extend truck tire tread life


With tires being one of a fleet's biggest costs, it's important to have a program in place that enables you to get the most value out of the tires you buy. Here are a couple of steps that can help you extend tire tread life.

Watch the video above on the Fleet Equipment website to learn more.


Source: Fleet Equipment

Read More