Looking back: The Firestone-Ford controversy

Rollover accounts for a majority of road-related incidents in the country. According to the website of the lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.,® rollovers could be a result of almost anything: a defective tire, poor road condition, defectively manufactured car suspension components, and driver negligence. Whatever the cause of a rollover might be, it could be life-changing for the victims, and may even be tragic for some.

In August 2000, incidences of rollover caused two closely-knitted companies, tire manufacturer Firestone and automaker giant Ford, to part ways in a somewhat bitter manner. The issue started when Firestone initiated the recall of 6.5 million of its tires, most of which had been mounted to Ford Explorer – Ford’s most profitable car unit during those times. The recall was made after the company learned about tire tread separation, triggering road accidents such as rollovers.

But the move did not significantly curb road incidents across the country. In fact, by 2001, rollover incidents involving Ford Explorer mounted with Firestone tires climbed to more than 200! Firestone said that there’s something about Ford units that makes them more prone to rollover crashes. In retaliation, the automaker giant promised that it will remove all Firestone tires equipped on their Ford Explorers, totaling 13 million tires, all at their own expense.

The two decided to end their partnership in a curiously distasteful way. The two giants of the auto industry had a century-long supply relationship before Firestone vowed not to enter into any agreement with Ford in 2001. Harvey Samuel Firestone and Henry Ford were personal friends, and they were even connected more closely in a marriage with their grandchildren, William Clay Ford, Sr. and Martha Parke Firestone.

Until now, nothing is really clear about who’s at fault. That’s why the website advises car owners to have their vehicles secured with an insurance that could cover for any untoward incidences, such as property damage and bodily injury. Most importantly, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® recommends inspecting your car for any defects before hitting the road is always a wise, reliable way to keep rollover accidents at bay.

Why you should start thinking mobile first!

In an era where connectivity is the new currency, nothing connects us best to everything than our smartphones. Whether you are spending some idle time in the comfort of your home or on the go somewhere far, your mobile phone is your way to connect and interact with the world. That’s why advertisers and marketers choose to go mobile first, for increased product recall and brand awareness.

Recent studies suggest that 78% of Facebook users and 60% of Twitter users in the U.S. are on mobile. This means that the mobile platform could be your key in increasing product awareness. Mobile advertising can be so effective that 41% of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile advertisements alone.

And this advertising medium is not limited to certain industries. In fact, more and more sectors are beginning to realize how helpful mobile marketing is for their business. For instance, many law firms now benefit from the connectivity legal apps for attorneys provide. Now, potential clients will never have to worry about documenting accident data and capturing photos during an injurious car-related incident.

But what makes a mobile site or app stand out? Here are the two most important things that your potential clients must be probably looking for in your mobile website:

Visibility

Smartphones don’t have the luxury of desktop screens. So you have to be precise on what you want to say. Go for shorter but wittier call-to-actions. Use prominent buttons with shorter action words. Your content should also be published in a font that’s highly visible, but not too large to be truncated.

Interaction

One of the greatest mistakes that a mobile site could do is to leave its potential clients hanging. After talking about how well your brand is to your customers, now what? Should they view your video? Click buy? Subscribe to your newsletter? Whatever it is that you want your potential clients to do on their end, make sure that your mobile site is as interactive as it can possibly get.

How Volkswagen’s cheat device works

German automaker giant Volkswagen is recently under fierce criticisms following the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) revelation of a cheat device installed in some of its newer diesel units. According to EPA, the software was sophisticatedly designed to defraud standard emission tests in the U.S. This fiasco, which was dubbed to be the most disastrous that Volkswagen has ever been into yet, ignited the ire not just of authorities around the world, but also of consumers who have to suffer from a decreased resale value.

More and more people are planning to file for a Volkswagen emissions lawsuit after learning that the company deliberately tricked them to believe that what they are buying is a combination of power and fuel efficiency. But how does Volkswagen’s knotty software really work? Below is a brief rundown of how it functions:

Software analyzes testing conditions

The software was intricately programmed to identify whether the car is under a standard emission test. Its analysis depends mainly on four different but interdependent factors: the speed of the car, the movement of the steering wheel, the atmospheric pressure, and how long the engine is operated. A speed that is beyond 65 mph but with a fixed steering wheel and an engine operated in a relatively shorter period of time could mean that the vehicle is under an emission test.

Software switches to safe mode

Once the engine detected that it is running under testing conditions, it will automatically switch to a safe mode to emit less amount of oxides. Vehicles with this cheat device are installed with a nitrogen oxide trap (NOx trap), which filters dangerous nitrogen oxides and reduce toxic emissions. However, because NOx trap only works better when there are more oxides trapped in the filter, it would require the engine to combust more fuel, making it fuel-costly.

Software switches back to normal mode

Because operating in safe mode could cost more fuel, the software switches back to normal mode when in road conditions. But because the trap doesn’t anymore filter enough oxides to allow it to work more efficiently, the car emits oxides up to 40 times more than what the law allows.