Know your car’s safety features
> Bluetooth, CarPlay, tethering, mirroring and what-have-you. But what about the more important things?
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
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!