Better World Club

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

fus•ion hy•brid [fyoo-zhuhn hahy-brid]


1. the act or process of fusing the hitherto-contradictory concepts of "Ford Motor Company" and "cutting-edge environmental technology".

Yes, Toyota and Honda have been producing mainstream hybrid electric vehicles for years now, and much has been written about GM's upcoming Volt. Now and seemingly out of nowhere, Ford has shown itself to be a high-mileage player with its upcoming Fusion Hybrid.

The Fusion Hybrid is labeled with a 2010 model year but will be available in showrooms in the spring of this year. It competes in the same class as the Toyota Camry Hybrid, but beats the latter in mpg (41/36 versus 33/34) and aesthetics (the Camry Hybrid is just plain dowdy, like your aunt who collects egg cups and wears sweatshirts with photos of her Yorkshire terriers on them).

The Fusion Hybrid represents a solid first attempt at a mainstream hybrid sedan and should give Toyota a run for its money. Though, it's being marketed as a 2010 model, it will actually be available in showrooms in the spring of 2009.

Things People Like About The Fusion Hybrid:

- An American automaker has actually produced a mainstream hybrid-electric sedan for sale to Americans! What a concept!
- The best fuel efficiency in its class: 41/36 city/hwy mpg.
- An LCD dash display coaches drivers on how to conserve fuel while they drive.
- Acceleration up to 47 mph using the electric battery alone.

Things People Don't Like About The Fusion Hybrid:

- The rear end needs a redesign. (I hear you, Sister!)
- Interior styling could be updated.

Quick Stats:

MSRP: $27,270
Fuel Economy: 41/36 city/hwy
Basic Warranty: 36 months/36,000 miles (average: 42 months/43,068 miles)
Torque: 136 lb-ft (average: 224.62 lb-ft)
Standard Engine: 2.5L I4

Hybrid Tax Credit Information:

The Fusion Hybrid qualifies for a hybrid tax credit of $3,400, subject to phase-out.

Recall Info:

None yet.

NHTSA Safety Info:

Frontal Driver Rating: Not Tested
Frontal Passenger Rating: Not Tested
Side Driver Rating: 5 Stars
Side Rear Passenger Rating: 4 Stars
Rollover 2 Wheel Drive Rating: 4 Stars
Rollover 4 Wheel Drive Rating: 5 Stars

[The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rates vehicles of all makes and models to determine their crash and rollover safety. Our ratings are created with data gathered during controlled crash and rollover tests. Vehicles with the highest ratings receive a 5-Star Rating.]

Warranty Info:

Basic (mo.): 36
Basic (mi.): 36,000
Powertrain (mo.): 60
Powertrain (mi.): 60,000
Rust (mo.): 60
Rust (mi.): Unlimited

Really Long List of Standard Features:

- Power Door Locks
- Child Safety Door Locks Located On Rear Doors
- Vehicle Anti-Theft Via Alarm, SecuriLock(TM) Engine Immobilizer and Exterior Monitoring
- Electronic Brake Force Distribution
- Traction Control Controlled By ABS
- 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes
- AdvanceTrac(TM) Vehicle Stability Control System
- Regenerative Braking System
- Front Power Vented Disc and Rear Power Solid Disc Brakes
- Battery Saver
- 275-Volt Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery
- 2 Front Power Outlets, 1 With 110-Volt Inverter
- Audio and Navigation Pre-Wiring
- EasyFuel(TM) Capless Fuel Filler
- SULEV Emissions, AT-PZEV Emissions
- Hybrid 2.5-Liter Atkinson Cycle, I4, 16-Valve, DOHC, Sefi Engine; Front Mounted With Horsepower Of 156@6000, Torque Of 136@2250, Alloy Block and Alloy Cylinder Head; Permanent Magnet Electric Motor With Horsepower Of 106@6500 (Hybrid System Net Horsepower Of 191)
- SYNC(R) Telematics Includes Automatic Collision Notification, 911 Assist(TM) Emergency Response, Vehicle Diagnostics and Vehicle Service Reminders (Requires Paired Wireless Enabled Phone)
- SYNC(TM) Wireless Communication Access For Bluetooth(R) Enabled Devices
- Radio Antenna
- Front Auxiliary Audio Input Jack
- AM/FM Radio With 6 Speakers Total; 6-Disc CD Changer; MP3 Player; Sirius(R) Satellite Radio (Includes 6 Months Of Service, Unavailable In Hawaii and Alaska)
- Perimeter Lighting Located On Exterior Mirrors
- Front Foglights
- Quad Halogen Headlights
- Automatic Headlights
- Front Air Dam
- Front and Rear Body Color Bumpers
- Metallic Paint (If Selected)
- Chrome Located On Exhaust Pipes
- Chrome Grille
- Separate Driver/Front Passenger Climate Controls
- Automatic Climate Control
- Interior Air Filter
- Digital Clock
- Steering Wheel Mounted Controls For Audio and Cruise Control
- Compass
- Tire Pressure Monitor
- Maintenance Interval Indicator
- SYNC(TM) Voice Activated Controls For Phone, Audio and Bluetooth(R) Wireless Enabled Devices
- Trip Computer With Average Fuel Consumption, Miles To Empty, Instantaneous Fuel Consumption and Trip Odometer
- Cruise Control
- Tachometer
- Ambient Lighting
- Illuminated Entry
- Front and Rear Map Lights
- Rear Carpeted Floor Mats
- Unique Color-Keyed Trim Located On Center Floor Console and Instrument Panel
- Leather Located On Shift Knob
- Front Carpeted Floor Mats
- Carpet Located In Passenger Cabin and Trunk
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Keyless Entry Operated Via Key Fob and SecuriCode(TM) Door Pad
- Remote Trunk Release Located Inside Vehicle and On Multi-Function Remote
- Multi-Function Remote Operates Anti-Theft, Door Lock/Unlock, Illuminated Entry, Trunk and Perimeter Lighting
- Driver Airbag With Dual Stage Deployment
- Front and Rear Pretensioners With Force Limiters
- Rear Electronic Parking Aid With Ultrasonic Sensors
- Trunk Anti-Trap Device
- Side Guard Door Beams
- Passenger Airbag With Dual Stage Deployment
- Front and Rear Side Head Curtain Airbags
- Front Side Airbags
- Rear 3-Point Center Seatbelt
- Crumple Zones
- SYNC(R) Crash Sensor Sends GPS Signal (Requires Paired Wireless Enabled Phone)
- Personal Safety System(TM) Includes Pretensioners With Load Limiters, Driver Airbag With Dual Stage Deployment, Passenger Airbag With Dual Stage Deployment, Front Passenger Seat Position Sensor and Crash Sensor
- Front and Rear Outboard 3-Point Seatbelts
- Front and Rear Automatic Locking Retractors
- Passenger Airbag Cutoff Sensor Activated By Seatbelt Engagement or Weight
- Driver Manual Lumbar Support
- Front Dual Reclining Folding Bucket Seats With Driver Adjustable Seat Height and Headrests
- Front Passenger Power Seat Adjusts 6 Ways Total
- Cloth Seats
- Rear 60/40 Split Bench Seat With Manually Adjustable Headrests and Fold-Down Armrest
- Driver Power Seat Adjusts 8 Ways Total
- Power Rack and Pinion Variable Assisted Steering
- Telescopic Steering Column
- Tilt Steering Column
- Glovebox
- Front Covered Lower Console Storage Located On Floor
- Front Dual Seatback Storage Pockets
- 4 Front and 2 Rear; 6 Cupholders Total
- Independent Wishbone Front Suspension With Coil Springs and Gas Shock Absorbers
- Front Stabilizer Bar
- Rear Stabilizer Bar
- Independent Multi-Link Rear Suspension With Coil Springs and Gas Shock Absorbers
- Aisin Continuously Variable Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission With Overdrive
- Alloy Wheels, 17-In. X 7.5-In.
- SBRP225/50VR17 BSW All-Season Tires
- Compact Spare Tire
- Electrochromic Interior Rearview Mirror
- Vehicle Speed Sensitive Intermittent Windshield Wipers
- Front Dual Illuminated Vanity Mirrors
- Rear Window Defroster
- Tinted Glass
- Dual Body Color Folding Power Adjustable Heated Exterior Rearview Mirrors
- Front Dual Sunvisors
- Power Window Lockout
- Power Windows With Driver One-Touch Up and One-Touch Down

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Looking for a Hybrid Mechanic in the SF Bay Area?

BWC Members Receive a 15% Discount!

Hybrid Haven is a light-service auto facility operated by an ASE L1 certified Master Diagnostic technician with over 30 year’s experience in the auto industry. He has been factory trained by Toyota for 16 years, of which the last 9 dealt primarily with Hybrid technology. During his tenure with the auto dealership service was provided to hybrid vehicles referred by the insurance industry.

Hybrid Haven is a single employee auto facility providing service to hybrid cars and light service to regular vehicles. Light service is defined as fluid changes, scheduled maintenance, brake service, electric steering, low tire pressure monitoring system, and general diagnostic service. The shop is a sheet metal A-frame structure measuring 3,000 sq. ft. Hours of operation are, Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturdays 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, and closed Sunday and Monday.

Hybrid Haven is pleased to offer the members of Better World Club a 15% discount on all services and labor except parts and fluids. BWC members can take advantage of this great deal at our Member Login Page.

Hybrid Haven
301B 2nd St
Petaluma, CA 94952
707-766-9700 (phone)
707-766-9799 (fax)

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No More Blindly Groping Through a Kitchen Drawer for AA Batteries During a Power Outage

BWC Members Save $7 on the Hybrid Solar Lite!

Hybrid Solar Lite is a Super Bright (40 lumens/1 Watt), environmentally safe, solar powered flashlight. It will hold its solar charge for years so it does not need to be stored in the sun! Just throw it in the glove compartment, a backpack, etc. The solar power is rechargeable over and over, and, in addition, a back-up battery can be used if the solar power is discharged. This means the Hybrid Solar Lite is always ready. The Hybrid Solar Lite features power source indicator lights, is waterproof to depths of 80', and extremely durable.

Hybrid Solar Lite encourages the use of alternative energy and allows you to take a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle while saving money - no costly batteries to pollute landfills and water supplies. With Solar Lite you can save money, contribute to environmental protection, and be prepared for any emergency! Solar Lite is Guaranteed for Life and makes a great gift that says you care - about people and the environment!

The Hybrid Solar Lite normally sells for $24.95 plus shipping and handling, but Better World Club members can get one for just $17.95 plus s/h. BWC members can take advantage of this great deal at our Member Login Page.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lemon Information for the 2008 Toyota Prius

Better World Club's "Lemon Information" highlights consumer complaints against a different car model each month. We are not editorializing or claiming that these cars are necessarily lemons. Instead, we are merely providing information and ask readers to form their own opinions.

Component: Fuel System
Consequence: The fuel gauge does not work, and the driver cannot completely fill the gas tank due to a faulty fuel bladder. [NOTE: This same complaint was lodged by five different Prius owners.]

Component: Seat Belts
Consequence: The left-rear and center seatbelt receptacles are positioned backwards. Thus, when passengers are seated in the left-rear and center seats, seatbelts cross awkwardly at the adjacent receptacles.

Component: Interior Lighting
Consequence: The interior display is reflected in the windshield at night. This causes a distracting 6-inch-long line of blue light to appear in the middle of the windshield.

Component: Headlights
Consequence: Headlights fail to project far enough down the road.

Component: Headlights
Consequence: Both headlights work when they are initially turned on, but the driver-side light turns off after a few minutes.

Component: Airbags
Consequence: The Prius was struck on the passenger side by another vehicle. None of the airbags deployed, resulting in the deaths of two of the vehicle's passengers.

Component: Seating
Consequence: Middle-back seat is incompatible with at least 3 different child restraint/booster seats.

Component: Cruise Control
Consequence: The cruise control suddenly turned off while the Prius was driving 65 mph on the highway. This caused the car to quickly slow, almost as if the breaks were being applied. The driver had to pull over, turn the car off and then back on before the cruise control could be reset. The problem occurred three more times since.

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