Monday, July 07, 2014

2262 Part Time

Cars in the news again. Some bad some good. The bad is pretty scary. And this time it's not about Chevy. It's about airbags.

There's a huge recall on because Japanese airbag maker Takata made airbags whose explosive stuff may prematurely explode. The problem is even worse because Takata makes airbags for seven major automakers.

Airbags have always been a bit of a tradeoff. Die or suffer severe whiplash from an injury, or have the crap beat out of you by an airbag. Those things deploy quick. And to anyone who has had one do so, it's pretty clear it's not like diving headfirst into a pillow full of marshmallows.

At least in a crash you are arresting a lot of forward momentum. Imagine if one suddenly went off while you were cruising merrily down the street.  

But apparently with this defect you wouldn't just get hit by an airbag. The malfunction, which is exacerbated in more humid climates, actually explodes the inflator canister, causing metal shrapnel to shoot through the car's interior. Yes, the article I read said shrapnel. 

They also said the recall identifies inflators that Takata made in Mexico and Washington State. Ah, international quality control...

On a happier note, Ford Motor Company just inked a deal with Heinz to buy ketchup byproducts so they can use them to make car parts. They'll use the stems, peels and seeds from 2 million tons of tomatoes Heinz processes each year. 

Dried and processed tomato skins can be made into cupholders and wiring brackets. Pretty cool that two American icons are now together. Ford and Ketchup. Maybe they can make something out of apple pie too.

And good that Ford is making cars out of recycled tomatoes. Chevy, meanwhile, is looking for ways to recycle lemons. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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