Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators

By Chris Bruce

Mazda RX-8 badge

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Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.

As with the rest of the vehicles with these faulty inflators, it’s possible for the part to rupture when deploying the airbag and potentially spray shrapnel at the occupant. Mazda’s defect notice goes into a bit more detail than most about the problem saying: “some propellant wafers have been produced with an inadequate compaction force, or may have been exposed to uncontrolled moisture conditions (those wafers could have absorbed moisture beyond the allowable limits).”

This isn’t Mazda’s first difficulty with Takata-supplied airbags this year. The company was among the seven automakers that recalled vehicles in hot-weather states over the inflators. It also had to recently fix 42,000 Mazda6 vehicles in China over the issue.

Repairs of the Mazda6 …read more    

Ford Fiesta becomes UK all-time best seller

By Noah Joseph

Ford Fiesta in London

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We may regard Ford as an American automaker, but ask a Brit and they may tell you otherwise. The Blue Oval has, after all, been selling cars in the UK since 1903, and started manufacturing there as far back as 1911 when it began local production of the Model T in Manchester. Last year Ford ended 100 years of vehicle manufacturing in the UK when the last Transit van rolled off the assembly line in Southampton, but it’s still the biggest-selling automotive marque in Britain.

Ford has led the British market for 34 out of the past 45 years, selling more Fiestas than any other company sells any other car in the UK since 2009… when it overtook the Focus. In fact the Fiesta has now become the best-selling car in British history, topping 4,115,000 units since its introduction in 1976. The previous record was held by – you guessed it – another Ford: the Escort sold 4,105,961 units over the course of its 32 years on the British market.

Although the Fiesta is no longer manufactured in the UK (previous versions having been built at Dagenham until 2002), engines are: the EcoBoost line …read more    

2015 Toyota Yaris to start at $14,845* and look like this

By Noah Joseph

2015 Toyota Yaris

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Toyota released a new Yaris in Europe and its Vitz clone in Japan a few months ago, so we knew it would only be a matter of time before it would launch the new hatchback here in North America. And that time has come.

The new, more distinctive 2015 Yaris features far more aggressive exterior styling, a look set apart by that large lower air dam and X-motif front end. It rides on a retuned suspension hooked up to an altogether more rigid chassis, and Toyota promises it will ride more quietly and comfortably than the model it replaces. Inside the new model has additional soft-touch materials in a more comfortable cabin equipped with everything from a 6.1-inch touchscreen display to nine airbags.

The 2015 Yaris comes in both three- and five-door bodystyles, and three trim levels that seek to eliminate the need for options packages. In fact the only option to speak of is a dealer-installed nav system. Power comes from a modest 1.5-liter four with variable valve timing, dual overhead cams and sixteen valves, sending 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

For all the updates, Toyota has …read more    

Drivers Still Using Modafinil to Stay Awake Longer?

Recently I met up with some old buddies that are in the long-haul trucking business, yes, they’re truck drivers. Pretty exciting gig, good pay, see the country, drive to your heart’s content. The perpetual problem they have though is keeping awake for those long hauls. There are laws that prevent drivers from driving more than 11 hours in a given work day, but some seem to just use that as a guideline more than a law as this is difficult to enforce I understand. Personally, I hope most of them are not abusing that law since I don’t necessarily enjoy the thought of getting hit by a big rig.

modafinil online

This brings me to the point of this post, a little off topic, but the majority of these drivers I know were talking about how they stay awake on long drives and we got a mixed bag of the following:

  • Red Bull
  • to a lesser extent, 5-Hour Energy
  • Good old fashioned caffeine pills
  • and something I haven’t heard of in years, Modafinil pills

What the heck is Modafinil?

According to the good Wikipedia, it’s an FDA-approved drug that treats wakefulness disorders of narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. It’s often sold under the brand names: Alertec (CA), Modavigil (AU, NZ) and Provigil. Most importantly, the guys that use this drug can’t say enough good things about it’s ability. It sort of reminds me of that movie “Limitless” and the NXT drug that Bradley Cooper got hooked on that gave him amazing mental abilities until the effects ran out and he was fiending for more.

So where’s the negative in all this?

A quick search on WebMD and I was able to find these pretty innocuous side effects: Headache, nausea, nervousness, anxiety, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping may occur. Not the worst things to trade in for a temporarily amplified brain.

Why isn’t everyone using it then for endurance drives and epic studying sessions?

Turns out the body builds a tolerance to it pretty fast so it’s not wise to take it every day, you need to pace yourself. Another major turn off is the price, it’s often so expensive to fill an RX in the US that people are buying Modafinil online from Canada, India & Turkey to save a few bucks.

Am I also a medical doctor?

Not at all, so do NOT take anything I say as medical advice. Consult your own physician before taking anything mentioned here, besides, you need a prescription anyways.

Would I take it?

Probably not. I’m not much of a pill popper, so I would recommend these alternatives to pills from Marc & Angel’s blog. Would love to hear anyone else’s experiences with using Modafinil to stay awake while driving and if they purchased Modafinil online or from their local drug stores.

Enjoy and drive alert!

Reference: Truck driver legal driving limit times found at this handy site.