Know your car’s safety fea­tures

> Blue­tooth, CarPlay, teth­er­ing, mir­ror­ing and what-have-you. But what about the more im­por­tant things?

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

3. AIRBAG The new Volk­swa­gen Jetta has six airbags – dual front airbags, dual front side airbags and two cur­tain airbags for front and rear pas­sen­gers. The front pas­sen­ger airbag can be de­ac­ti­vated when a child seat (MUST face the rear) is on the front pas­sen­ger seat. The switch to de­ac­ti­vate it, via the car key, is in the glove­box. A sim­ple graphic in­struc­tion is printed on that pas­sen­ger’s sun vi­sor. More de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion is in, yes, the of­ten ig­nored Owner’s Man­ual. Read and un­der­stand them for the sake of your kid! 4. ANTI-THEFT Those strange things (above) near the in­side rear-view mir­ror is part of the Jetta’s anti-theft alarm sys­tem. It has a sig­nal horn in­de­pen­dent of the ve­hi­cle’s power sup­ply and a time-con­trolled alarm that sounds in re­sponse to unau­tho­rised open­ing of the door. The alarm, in­clud­ing ul­tra­sonic in­te­rior mon­i­tor, pro­tects the doors, boot, en­gine com­part­ment and ve­hi­cle in­te­rior against unau­tho­rised ac­cess. The ul­tra­sonic sys­tem also de­tects any­one try­ing to get into the car through a bro­ken win­dow. The in­te­rior mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem can be dis­abled, such as when leav­ing a pet in the car for a short time.

The sys­tem has tilt sen­sors too. If they de­tect any change in the car’s po­si­tion (caused by an at­tempt to tow it away) the alarm will sound.

An­other se­cu­rity fea­ture is the “Safe­lock”. It pro­vides an ad­di­tional level of anti-theft pro­tec­tion by en­sur­ing that the doors can no longer be opened from the in­side. This makes it more dif­fi­cult to break into the ve­hi­cle. While this is a use­ful anti-theft sys­tem, it is im­por­tant that no one is left in the ve­hi­cle when the Safe­lock sys­tem has been

ac­ti­vated.

5. BRAKE PAD WEAR IN­DI­CA­TOR It’s quite a sim­ple sys­tem, where a warn­ing in­di­ca­tor on the me­ter clus­ter will re­mind you that it’s time to check and most likely re­place your brake pads. Yes, those in­ex­pen­sive­but-VERY-im­por­tant bits that stop your car! 6. ELEC­TRONIC STA­BIL­ITY CON­TROL (ESC) In as few words as pos­si­ble, the ESC sig­nif­i­cantly boosts the car’s road-hold­ing, con­trol and the safety of car and oc­cu­pants (and other road users and pub­lic prop­erty too).

A few months ago, one An­ton van Zan­ten was hon­oured by the Euro­pean Patent Of­fice for his in­ven­tion of the pi­o­neer­ing elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gramme. The Dutch­man and his en­gi­neer­ing col­leagues “are the guardian an­gels of many driv­ers”, ac­cord­ing to the man­age­ment of Ger­man en­gi­neer­ing and elec­tron­ics cor­po­ra­tion, Robert Bosch GmbH.

7. ICRS The In­tel­li­gent Crash Re­sponse Sys­tem is de­signed to help keep you safe in the event of an ac­ci­dent. Should a col­li­sion oc­curs and causes the airbags to de­ploy, the ICRS will be ac­ti­vated, by au­to­mat­i­cally un­lock­ing all the doors, dis­abling the fuel pump, and turn­ing on the haz­ard lights.

8. ABS, BA, HHA Anti-lock Brake Sys­tem: When brak­ing, wheel speed sen­sors mea­sure the ro­ta­tional speed of each wheel. Should one or more wheels start to lock, the sys­tem re­duces brake pres­sure to that wheel. This pre­vents the wheels from lock­ing (which is NOT good) dur­ing heavy or emer­gency brak­ing, en­abling the ve­hi­cle to re­main steer­able. Brake As­sist: Dur­ing emer­gency brak­ing, BA aids the driver by in­creas­ing the brake pres­sure au­to­mat­i­cally to a level ex­ceed­ing the lock­ing limit. The ABS is thus quickly brought into the oper­at­ing range, which en­ables max­i­mum ve­hi­cle de­cel­er­a­tion to be achieved (mi­nus the lock­ing!). Hill-Hold As­sist: Also known as Hill-Hold Con­trol or Hil­lS­tart As­sist, this fea­ture holds the ve­hi­cle when the foot brake is re­leased by tem­po­rar­ily lock­ing the brake pres­sure (for a max­i­mum of 1.5 sec­onds) to pro­vide com­fort­able start­ing-off with­out rolling back. This fea­ture op­er­ates on in­clines greater than 5% and is fit­ted in com­bi­na­tion with both the man­ual trans­mis­sion and the Di­rect Shift Gear­box (DSG). Other safety fea­tures in the new Volk­swa­gen Jetta are: Full-sized spare wheel – no speed and mileage lim­its! Safety-op­ti­mised front head re­straints. Speed-sen­si­tive electro­mechan­i­cal power steer­ing – no more messy and leaky hy­draulic fluid! Bon­net re­lease ONLY when driver’s side door is ajar. Corner­ing lights (pix, top right). This fea­ture can be dis­abled by the driver.

Speed warn­ing – use­ful when your son or daugh­ter who just got his/her driver’s li­cence is driv­ing! Anti-pinch sys­tem on all four win­dows. Heated ex­te­rior mir­rors with en­vi­ron­ment light­ing and curb view. Front and rear fog lights. Head­light washer. Park dis­tance con­trol, front and rear. So, there you go. Those are the safety fea­tures the new Volk­swa­gen Jetta 1.4L TSI is equipped with. Keep in mind there are other fea­tures, mostly un­seen, that com­ple­ment them such as the chas­sis con­struc­tion, crum­ple zones, “safe” ma­te­rial in­side out, and many oth­ers. It’s good to know that they are avail­able in a car like the new Jetta.

Be ad­vised that those fea­tures men­tioned here are NOT sub­sti­tutes for driv­ing safely with due care and at­ten­tion, and will not func­tion un­der all cir­cum­stances, speeds, weather and road con­di­tions. You should not as­sume that these fea­tures will cor­rect er­rors of judg­ment in driv­ing.

Lastly, spend some time to read your car’s Owner’s Man­ual for de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the car’s care and main­te­nance. Bet­ter un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the safety fea­tures will make you value your car and safety even more.

Car com­pa­nies won’t in­clude owner’s man­u­als in a car if those thick lit­tle books aren’t use­ful, right? I still want you to con­tinue read­ing Gear Up! for many years to come, just as much as car com­pa­nies like Volk­swa­gen wants you to re­main a mo­torist ... in one piece!

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