Archive for September, 2007

Hackers Scoff At iPhone Warning (

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
Despite Apple's dire warning of imminent "brickdom" and worthless warranties, hackers and customers who managed to unlock their iPhones say they have the law and ingenuity on their side.

Victoria plans new ‘lemon laws’ (

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
The Victorian Government is planning to introduce the nation’s first ‘‘lemon laws’’ to force car makers to replace persistently defective cars, but it will have to overcome the collective resistance of the automotive industry.

Squeezing auto lemons (Herald Sun)

Monday, September 24th, 2007
BUYING a new car is often the second-biggest financial decision a person will make, after purchasing a home.

Buyers get refund on faulty cars (Herald Sun)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007
MOTORISTS will have the right to offload faulty cars under new lemon laws to be introduced by the State Government. A paper on the proposals will be released.

Expert: Terry Jackson (

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007
Last week we provided a primer on lemon laws that can help you get either a replacement or refund for a new car that has persistent, apparently unrepairable problems.

Beware of lemon car buybacks ( via Yahoo! Finance)

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007
Avoid a bitter taste when buying a car by researching the lemon law, says Terry Jackson.

School’s in Session and the First Lesson is Tire Safety

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

(ARA) - Just under the grumblings of students can be heard the quiet elation of parents . . . school is back. This means the usual checklist: notebooks and pencils bought, backpack filled, lunchbox cleaned and tire pressure checked.

Tires? Odds are they never crossed your mind, let alone made your to-do list. In fact, 85 percent of Americans don’t check their tires regularly, according to the 2007 motorist survey by Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). But with school in session, soccer moms, college kids and everyone else driving to or dropping someone off at a campus might want to reconsider their “rubbery friends.”

“Tires are one of the most important safety features on your car,” says Fred Koplin of Yokohama Tire Corporation, manufacturer of everything from ultra-high performance tires for passenger cars and SUVs to tires for buses, trucks and airplanes. “These engineering marvels are the only thing touching the road, affecting everything from braking distance and accident avoidance to ride comfort and fuel efficiency.”

In fact, according to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) improperly inflated tires account for more than 33 thousand injuries and 660 deaths annually. Much of that can be attributed to the 27 to 33 percent of vehicles with at least one tire under-inflated by more than eight pounds per square inch (psi).

What’s the reason for such disregard? Koplin says, “It’s a combination of things; primarily a lack of knowledge and effort. It’s natural to forget, but for the best driving safety results, checking your tire pressure should become a monthly routine. It only takes five minutes. If you’re not doing it once a month, chances you’re driving on under-inflated tires.”

The new school year means daily trips carrying your most precious cargo — you and/or your kids. Whether you or your child gets behind the wheel, checking the tire pressure should become more than a chore, but a necessary part of owning a vehicle.

Yokohama’s Koplin offers a few more tips for improving tire safety:

* Check your tire pressure each time you wash your car. Seventy percent of owners wash their car each month, yet only 15 percent remember to check their tire pressure.
* Tires should be checked while cold, which means after sitting for at least three hours. Even driving just one mile causes a tire to heat up and gives inaccurate readings.
* Always inflate tires to the vehicle’s recommended pressure, usually labeled inside the driver’s door, fuel door, inside the glove box or in the owner’s manual. (The number on the tire’s sidewall is the maximum inflation pressure.) Over-inflation reduces the tire’s contact patch with the road, while under-inflation puts extra weight on its sidewalls and causes an unsafe increase in tire temperature.
* Use the “Lincoln’s Head” method to check tread depth: Place a penny head-first between the treads. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head then you have less than 2/32nds inch of tread depth left and the tire should be replaced.

Safety isn’t the only reason to monitor your tires. Tires that are under-inflated by just 6 to 7 psi can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent or more . . . and tread wear life by as much as 10 percent. Two trips to and from school each day, after-school activities, sports, errands . . . and the savings add up quickly. Proper tire care can also increase tread-life by up to 10 percent.

This year, as everyone scurries back and forth to school, remember to also add your vehicle to the study list, starting with the tires. You’ll get an “A” in safety.

You can find more information about tire care and safety at or visit the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Web site at