Transportation Department Announces Agreement
On Air Bags
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that an
agreement has been reached to issue final regulations for "smart" air bags
by June 1999. Additionally, an administration source has said that the
final regulation regarding air bag deactivation will be issued by the end
of November. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
has said that air bags have saved the lives of over 1,750 people. However,
they contend that 19 adults and 31 children have been killed because of
the deployment of air bags, most of whom were not wearing safety belts
or were riding in child safety seats that were not properly installed.
Several suggestions have
been promoted as a way of preventing future injury to children and
adults including air bag deactivation, manual cutoff switches, and smart
air bags. Smart air bags are those capable of either shutting off in appropriate
circumstances or controlling their deployment so as to protect against
injuring a wide range of occupants. Under the proposed rule for deactivation,
dealers and repair facilities would be permitted to deactivate air bags
upon the written authorization of the customer and would install labels
indicating that the air bags had been disabled. The authorization would
contain a waiver of claims against the dealer or repair facility.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA), of which we are a member,
has opposed air bag deactivation, citing statistics that demonstrate that
air bags, when used properly with safety belts, significantly reduce the
chances of death or serious injury to drivers and passengers in automobile
collisions. ASA has also said that if the rules become finalized,
it would advise its members to not perform air bag deactivation under any
circumstances. NHTSA is also working on regulations for the installation
of on-off switches that would allow the driver to activate and deactivate
the air bag with a switch installed by a dealer or automotive repair technician.
ASA Washington Representative
Bob Redding said, "Air bags have saved the lives of over 1,500 people.
We do not support air bag deactivation because it puts both passengers
and drivers at risk and it puts automobile repair facilities at the risk
of criminal and civil litigation. We look forward to reviewing the finalized
rule, but do not believe that any written waiver could completely absolve
our members from possible liability in cases of accidental injury or death."
Noisy Cassette Tape On Turns?
Recently, we had a customer purchase a 1995 Mercury
Grand Marquis from us. After owning the car for a few weeks the owner contacted
us about a noise they heard in the car when making turns.
When the customer dropped by, Mark was assigned
to the road test with the customer. At the first turn on the road test
sure enough, there was the noise. It was one quick "click" sound as the
car went through the turn. Strangely enough, Mark felt as though the noise
was coming from the driver's door. At the next turn came another click.
This time, something near the door moved and caught Mark's eye. As he glanced
down while making the next turn, he noticed an audio cassette tape
that was standing up in the drivers door storage box, moving. Each time
the car turned, the tape would swing to the opposite side and hit the door,
causing the sound.
Fortunately, the tape was the cause! Unfortunately,
not all noises are this easy to diagnose. But when they're that easy, it
sure helps the day go by! Keep an eye on those tapes.
Hey! My Car Won't Start!
Occasionally we have customers call us from their car
phone telling us that their car will not start. After questioning
them we find out that what they really mean is that the ignition key won't
turn. There's a big difference in that the problem is diagnosed differently.
If the key turns and the car won't start, there
is really not much we can do over the phone other than call a tow service
for you. However, if the problem seems like the key will not turn on, we
can often assist you through this problem. We see this often on cars today.
Most of today's cars have an internal steering wheel lock built into the
steering column. Sometimes without intention, you will park the car with
the steering wheel turned slightly off center. Or, you may move the steering
wheel a little while getting out of the car. If this happens the built
in steering wheel lock will engage. If the steering wheel was turned enough,
it can actually cause the lock to bind or what we say: "become loaded."
When this happens, you will come back to the car and find that the key
won't turn. Just wiggle the steering wheel with one hand while you are
trying to turn the ignition key with the other hand. This will free up
the internal lock mechanism and the key will then turn normally. This tip
can save a costly tow bill.
Just remember, before you
say: "my car won't start"...let us know if the key turns on....it will
make life a lot easier for everyone.
Did You Know?
Did you know that we also service cars that we did not originally sell?
Because we service so many of the cars that we sell, some people presume
that if you did not purchase your car here you cannot have it serviced
here. This could not be further from the truth. We would gladly service
any car regardless where it was purchased. Just so you know.
What To Do In Case Of
Most drivers make costly, long-term decision errors immediately
following an accident as fear gives way to anger and frustration. Questions
race through your head faster than the mind can register them. Who
was at fault? Will my car ever be right again? What are my rights and responsibilities?
A calm and informed reaction to an accident will reduce your chances for
additional grief and expense.
Move your vehicle to a safe place, then stop
and identify yourself to the other driver. (Some state or local statutes
may require the vehicle be left as is.) If it can't be moved, turn on the
hazard lights. Seek medical help if you or other parties require it, and
notify the police. Tell them who you are, where you are, and about any
obvious or claimed injuries.
Exchange information with the other
driver(s) including driver's license numbers. Get the driver's name, address,
telephone numbers and name of insurance company. Also, list any passengers
and witnesses. Get names and badge numbers of any police officers who arrive
at the scene. If there are injuries or extensive damage, the police should
file a report. Ask to get a copy.
Avoid any extensive discussions
at the scene about who is responsible for damage. If the other person admits
responsibility, offers a money settlement and you accept, any future claim
against the driver may be compromised. You or the other party may later
find damage and bodily injury not apparent at first.
Write a complete description of the accident as
soon as possible. Include weather conditions, estimated speeds, and as
much precise information as you can observe.
Take photographs if a camera is available.
Contact us by phone and we will try to determine,
from your description of damage, where to have the car towed.
Notify your insurance company of the accident
as soon as possible.
Meet Kevin Cabral
help reduce the backlog of service, we have decided to add another service
technician to our staff. We would like to introduce Kevin Cabral. Kevin
brings eight years of automotive service experience to our service team.
He is currently certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service
Excellence, (ASE), in three areas: Brakes, Suspension & Steering, and
Electrical. Kevin is also currently pursuing his masters certification
through continuing education programs with ASE. He is also a 1992 graduate
of The New England Institute of Technology. A newlywed since October ‘97,
Kevin and his wife Ana live in North Dartmouth. When not at work Kevin
is an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys basketball the most, along with
skiing and tennis. We invite you to meet Kevin the next time you are in.
Total Amount Of Repair
According to a recent report from Lang Marketing Resources Inc. The number
of service stations and garages in the U.S. has decreased by 72,000 between
1980 and 1996. During the same period, the total number of service bays
in these facilities has dropped from 660,000 to 457,000. Company president
James A. Lang said that "the second oil crisis and subsequent growth of
gas-and-go operations triggered this decline which advanced at an avalanche
pace during the 1980s but has slowed somewhat over the past several years."
The study found that while service stations and garages accounted for nearly
half the products installed by mechanics in 1985, only 35% of the light
vehicle service market found its way into these outlets last year. Lang
predicts that a continued decline in the service market product volume
in service stations and garages will force manufacturers and distributors,
which depend on them as a primary window to the service market, to expand
sales to other outlets.
We were saddened to learn of the loss of our faithful
friend and customer, Oman Price. Oman Price was known to many
as "Mayor of Point Connett," He formerly was chief
inspector of quality control at Revere Copper and Brass in New Bedford,
where he worked for 41 years before retiring in 1977. He and his
wife were married for 55 years until her death on April 1, 1997. Mr. Price
was an avid saltwater sports fisherman and a member of the Fairhaven Saltwater
Fishing Club. He particularly enjoyed fishing for bluefish and would say
that "a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work."
He enjoyed taking his family and friends out in his boat and gave away
all the fish that he caught aboard his vessel, Renee. The Price family
is one of our original customers since our opening in the early 60's. Oman
had purchased several cars from us over the years and serviced every one
of them with our service department. A few years ago, Oman was pictured
in The Dartmouth Chronicle with Sam handing him the keys to his 3rd car
purchased from us, a Buick Lesabre. The car prior to that was a 79 Chevrolet
that Oman bought from us with 2,000 miles and kept it for 12 years until
it had almost 250,000 miles. Oman usually waited while his car was
being serviced. Many times he could be overheard having conversations with
other customers in our waiting room. Often customers would tell us how
pleasant Oman was to talk to. Oman had a wealth of knowledge and was a
very kind and thoughtful person. Anyone who has had the pleasure to meet
him will agree. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Price family.
We were also saddened to the loss of George Pender, Joe
Fortes, Mariano DosAnjos, Edwin A. Terpeny, Mary A. (Adamowski) Wojcik,
Gerald D. "Jerry" Noonan, Lillian L. (Briggs) Saunders, Ray Besse,
George Leahey & Regis Spangler. Many of you may remember George
Pender. George was a technician here for 12 years until his retirement.
He was also a technician at Chrysler Motors for 24 years. George was an
Army veteran of World War II. Joseph Fortes, was a long time
customer at Giammalvos. Joe was born in Brava, Cape Verde, and lived in
New Bedford most of his life. He was a construction worker with Fleurent
Construction in Fairhaven for many years until his retirement.
Mariano DosAnjos was another customer
of ours. He was a communicant of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and formerly
was a self-employed landscaper.
Ed Terpeny, another long time customer was an avid Dartmouth
High School sports fan, Mr. Terpeny was born in town and lived there his
entire life. Before his retirement in 1990, he was a data processing
supervisor for Calvin Clothing Co. for 27 years.
Mary A. (Adamowski) Wojcik, another customer of
ours and sister to our accountant Frank Adamowski. She was a graduate of
New Bedford High School and Bridgewater State College, where she earned
her bachelor's and master's degrees in education. She taught at elementary
schools in Westport, Dartmouth and New Bedford and served as assistant
principal at the Mt. Pleasant and William H. Taylor Schools before retiring
in 1986 as principal of the Taylor School.
Gerald D. "Jerry" Noonan, another long time customer,
and a longtime journalist. Born in Lynn, he was raised and educated in
the Lynn public schools. He lived in Dartmouth 35 years. His career in
newspapers began while he was an undergraduate at the Suffolk University
School of Journalism in Boston. He was a reporter for the Lynn Item for
two years and, after graduating from Suffolk in 1949, he joined the staff
of the Rutland (VT.)
We would also like to remember another customer,
Lillian L. (Briggs) Saunders. Mrs. Saunders was formerly employed as a
nurse at Union Hospital, Acushnet Hospital and the Mattapoisett Nursing
Home. For the last several years, she had worked for the Tremblay Bus Company,
the Medeiros Bus Company and the Old Rochester Regional School District.
She served in the Army Medical Corps for three years during World War II.
Another customer, Raymond Besse, known by our technicians
as "Mr. Besse,". Ray always had a new joke for us to hear. Anyone
that was having a bad day would go home smiling after talking to Ray. His
personality was fun and inspiring. Ray often kidded that he was 30 years
old going on 84. Mr. Besse was a member of the Post 1 American
Legion State Baseball Championship league in 1929 and was a member of the
American Federation of Musicians. Mr. Besse was an avid sports fan
and enjoyed watching baseball and soccer, as well as other sports.
Another customer, George Leahey, was an insurance representative
for the former New Bedford Institution for Savings until his retirement.
Prior to working for the bank, he worked for Metropolitan Insurance Company
and for the coin department at Coca-Cola Bottling Co., which was located
on Kempton Street in New Bedford. He enjoyed sailing. Mr. and
Mrs. Leahey were married for 54 years.
A final customer, Regis Spangler, was born in Pittsburgh
and lived in Fairhaven more than 50 years. He was a self-employed mason
for many years. A veteran of the Army, he served in Korea and was
discharged with the rank of corporal. He received the National Defense
Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, three bronze service stars and
two overseas bars. At this printing, we also learned of the loss
of our customer Jack Turner. A lifelong New Bedford resident, he was a
member of Grace Episcopal Church. Mr. Turner formerly was employed by Tibbets
Engineering and the city of New Bedford for many years as a civil engineer.
He also had done private engineering consulting work.