Police find “credible explosive device” at Albuquerque rental car facility

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal and local authorities declared a suspicious device found on a rental car at Albuquerque’s airport to be safe Sunday and are now launching investigations into how it got there.

Avis Budget Rental next to the Albuquerque International Sunport was initially shut down when the device was found during a check of a returned car, police spokesman Simon Drobik said. A bomb unit was called in to secure the device.

CBS affiliate KRQE reported that officials say a “safe and credible explosive device,” was found under a car while being checked after a rental return.

Meanwhile, travelers returning cars were diverted to another lot. But the airport remained open and no flights were affected.

The device appeared to be some sort of pipe bomb, KRQE reported.

Drobik said the police bomb unit initially inspected the device but has now handed it over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Agents from ATF and the FBI will conduct a separate investigation. They will look into the location from where the vehicle was rented and who was the last to occupy it, Drobik said.

All roads in the area reopened by the early afternoon. Police also declared a parking terminal secure.
CBS/AP

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Renewed Class Action Motion Filed in Volvo Sunroof Case

Renewed Class Action Motion Filed in Volvo Sunroof Case
February 12, 2016 by Jenna Reed
jreed@glass.com

Volvo vehicle owners have served a renewed motion for class certification on the automaker. The owners allege Volvo’s sunroofs harbor a defect, allowing water to flood the vehicles. The five-year class action suit was recently given new life after the U.S. District Court of New Jersey judge opened the door for the renewed motion.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals had vacated a previous class certification last year and remanded the case back to the lower court.

“Plaintiffs have served their renewed motion for class certification and all accompanying papers upon counsel for defendants,” according to court documents.

The judge had asked that the motion be served but not filed.

Given the new motion, Volvo seeks access to additional discovery.

“For example, some of the named plaintiffs who are proposed as class representatives have driven their vehicles for nearly five years since they were deposed,” according to court documents. “If they have not experienced any further instance of a clogged sunroof drain, that evidence would be extremely probative of the purported common defect.”

In their response, plaintiffs’ attorneys say, “The motion is a thinly veiled effort to further delay these proceedings, harass these former class representatives and third parties, seek an end-run around the court’s Daubert rulings, and is entirely without merit.”

The six states the District Court judge had originally granted as subclasses for class action were Massachusetts, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, California and Maryland.

The plaintiffs contend the alleged “defect” sunroofs are on Volvo’s S40, S60, S80, V50 (model years 2004 to present), XC90 (model years 2003 to present) and V50 (model years 2005 to present).

The suit was filed in 2010 in U.S. District Court by Joanne Neale of Needham, Mass., and seven other owners.

The judge had not issued any new decisions at press time.

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Self-driving cars succumb to snow blindness as driving lanes disappear

1.jpg&MaxW=700&cci_ts=20160210100218DETROIT (Bloomberg) — In Jokkmokk, a tiny hamlet just north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, where temperatures can dip to 50 below, Volvo Cars’ self-driving XC90 SUV met its match: frozen flakes that caked on radar sensors essential to reading the road. Suddenly, the SUV was blind.

“It’s really difficult, especially when you have the snow smoke from the car in front,” said Marcus Rothoff, director of Volvo’s autonomous-driving program. “A bit of ice, you can manage. But when it starts building up, you just lose functionality.”

After moving the sensors around to various spots on the front, Volvo engineers finally found a solution. Next year, when Swedish drivers take their hands off the wheel of leased XC90s in the world’s first public test of autonomous technology, the radar will be nestled behind the windshield, where wipers can clear the ice and snow.

As automakers race to get robot cars on the road, they’re encountering an obstacle very familiar to humans: Old Man Winter. Simple snow can render the most advanced computing power useless and leave vehicles dead on the highway. That’s why major players including Volvo Cars, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.; Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc.; and Ford Motor Co. are stepping up their efforts to prevent snow blindness.

‘A lot of hype’

“There’s been a lot of hype in the media and in the public mind’s eye” about the technology for self-driving cars “being nearly solved,” said Ryan Eustice, an associate professor of engineering at the University of Michigan who is working with Ford on snow testing. “But a car that’s able to do nationwide, all-weather driving, under all conditions, that’s still the Holy Grail.”

The struggle to cure snow blindness is among a number of engineering problems still to be resolved, including training cars not to drive too timidly, causing humans to crash into them, and ethical dilemmas such as whether to hit a school bus or go over a cliff when an accident is unavoidable.

With about 70 percent of the U.S. population living in the snow belt, learning how to navigate in rough weather is crucial for driverless cars to gain mass appeal, realize their potential to reduce road deaths dramatically and overcome growing traffic congestion.

“If your vision is obscured as a human in strong flurries, then vision sensors are going to encounter the exact same obstacles,” said Jeremy Carlson, an IHS Automotive senior analyst who specializes in autonomy.

High-speed sensors

Driverless cars “see” the world around them using data from cameras, radar and lidar, which bounces laser light off objects to assess shape and location. High-speed processors crunch the data to provide 360-degree detection of lanes, traffic, pedestrians, signs, stoplights and anything else in the vehicle’s path. That enables it to decide, in real time, where to go.

Winter makes this harder. Snow can shroud cameras and cover the lane lines they must see to keep a driverless car on course. Lidar also is limited because the light pulses it emits reflect off flakes, potentially confusing a curtain of falling snow with something to avoid, causing the vehicle to hit the brakes.

Radar, which senses objects by emitting electromagnetic waves, is better. It also has the longest track record: It’s been used since 1999 in adaptive cruise control to maintain a set distance from other vehicles.

Key element

“If everything else fails, I can follow the preceding traffic,” said Kay Stepper, vice president and head of the automated-driving unit at German supplier Robert Bosch LLC. “The radar is the key element of that because of its ability to work robustly in inclement weather.”

One sensor alone will never be enough, however. “You need different types of sensors looking at the same thing, detecting the same object, to very confidently allow the vehicle to do what you expect,” Carlson said.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., is searching for solutions by logging snow miles with its self-driving Lexus SUVs near Lake Tahoe, on the Nevada-California border. Ford is testing driverless Fusion sedans in snowstorms at the University of Michigan’s Mcity, a 32-acre faux neighborhood for robot cars on the Ann Arbor school’s North Campus. Both companies declined interview requests.

Ford believes it has found a solution to snow-blanketed lane lines, it said in a press release. It scans roads in advance with lidar to create high-definition 3-D maps that are much more accurate than images from global-positioning satellites, which can be 33 feet off.

Pinpoint location

Eustice, who has worked with Ford on the problem since 2012, said they’ve also found a way to filter the “noise” created by falling snowflakes. The filtered data combined with information from the 3-D maps enable the car to pinpoint its location to within “tens of centimeters,” he said.

“That’s high enough accuracy that we know exactly what lane we’re in,” and “helps the robot to understand the environment,” Eustice said, adding that’s still only half the problem: “Then you have to decide what to do now that we know where we are.”

Lane lines can become meaningless in a snowstorm, as humans blaze their own trails in the ruts created by vehicles in front of them.

“For us to barrel down the road in our lane and ignore the ruts would be unnatural to the other drivers,” Eustice said. So Ford has to figure out how to read the ruts and navigate just like a person, which is “really hard.”

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Manhole cover crashes into SUV’s windshield, killing driver

Published February 13, 2016 Associated Press

BOSTON – A dislodged manhole cover weighing more than 200 pounds went airborne and crashed through an SUV’s windshield on a major highway, killing an art teacher as she drove to work during the Friday morning commute, authorities said.

Police didn’t confirm the victim’s name Friday, but Milton Public School district identified her as Caitlin Clavette, an art teacher at Glover Elementary School in the Boston suburb.

“Ms. Clavette was a talented and special educator who has touched the lives of many students and families over the past four years in the Milton Public Schools,” the district said in a statement. “The entire Milton community extends its thoughts and prayers to Caitlin’s family and friends.”

Clavette had taught in all four of the district’s elementary schools, the district said. She was a graduate of Winchester High School, earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and her masters from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

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Windshield Repair Misconceptions

4 Misconceptions About Windshield Repair

You’re driving down the highway, when suddenly a small object comes hurling right at your window. You think it is not big enough to do any major damage, but it still leaves a small chip in your windshield. Which leads to the ultimate question: Do you fix it or not fix it? We have all heard the phrase chips happen (haha, see what I did there?), and sometimes it’s hard to figure out the best way to handle them. Here are four misconceptions about windshield repair.

Misconception #1: My chip won’t spread
The chances of your chip not cracking are slim. Research shows that 70% of rock chips eventually will spread into much bigger ones. If the chip spreads too much (larger than a quarter), you will end up needing a total windshield replacement. That, of course,is a much more expensive repair. Get any chips taken care of as soon as possible, no matter how small, to ensure the repair is quick and inexpensive.

Misconception #2: I can buy a cheap repair kit from the store and fix it myself
We’ve all heard the saying: “You get what you pay for.” That could not be more true than when it comes to a windshield repair. You only get one shot at performing a rock chip so you want to make sure it is done correctly. Cheap repairs kits use inexpensive materials that often won’t endure the regular wear and tear of a windshield. Going to someone who knows what they’re doing and has quality materials to fix the problem the first time around means that you will save yourself time, money and the hassle of doing the job incorrectly yourself.

Misconception #3: I will have to pay for the repair out of my own pocket
For chip repair, as long as you have comprehensive full coverage on your vehicle most insurance companies, except State Farm, will completely waive your comprehensive deductible, no matter if it is $50 or $500. If you allow the chip to crack out and a full windshield replacement is required you will have to meet your deductible before the insurance company will pick up any amount for the replacement. Typically, you do not have to worry about your insurance premiums rising after filing the claim unless you were proved negligent or at fault. Windshield damage is a common occurrence that is often out of the driver’s control. Insurance companies will not penalize you for such a common incidence that requires just a simple fix.

Misconception #4:
Many shops will advertise and offer guaranteed chip repair, implying that they will guarantee the repair against ever cracking and leading you to believe that if the repair does crack out, you will get a refund of the amount you paid. THAT COULD NOT BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!
I dare say that there is absolutely NO SHOP that will do that. If you believe that I challenge you to pay cash for the repair and when/if the repair cracks further I want you to go back to the shop and get your money back without buying a windshield from them.

Did you catch that? NO SHOP will refund the cost of the repair if you do not buy the replacement windshield from them. Their implied guarantee will only cover a CREDIT towards the cost of a new replacement, and only if they have not put a time frame on the guarantee. If they do apply the credit towards a new windshield most of these shops will increase the cost at least by the amount of the repair.

Hopefully I have cleared the air about some of the most common windshield repair misconceptions. However, if you have any other questions or want to know more about how we can help you fix your windshield just give us a call! You can reach Chapman Auto Glass representative at (505) 228-5869 to get the expert advice and exceptional service you need.

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Bus Driver Flies Through Windshield After Crash With Truck, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that all new vehicles pass Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) performance tests. These tests ensure vehicles maintain a minimum safety standard. Standards concerning windshields are:
FMVSS 212 measures windshield retention in a barrier crash. Every make and model vehicle is accelerated to 30 mph and crashed head-on into a concrete barrier. The automobile must retain 75 percent of the windshield along the pinchweld perimeter. Some vehicle manufacturers require 100% retention in this severe crash test.
FMVSS 216 is the roof crush performance test. It measures the structural strength required to protect occupants in the event the vehicle rolls over. One and one-half times the unloaded vehicle weight or 6,000 lbs. (whichever is less) of force is applied at an angle to the roof. The roof structure can depress no more than five inches to pass. Note: the windshield provides 30-70% of the roof strength.
FMVSS 208 occupant crash protection specifies equipment requirements for active and passive restraints, including air bags. There can be no separation of load-bearing safety assemblies in a 30 mph barrier crash. This pertains to the windshield because the passenger side air bag deploys off the windshield in order to perform its safety function.

 

 

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Quality of Windshield Replacement in Albuquerque

Something happened earlier this week which gave me an idea for this post, which I hope/think may get some people thinking about the quality of windshield replacements in Albuquerque and what level of service you are willing to accept.

I was talking with a friend about a year ago who had had his windshield replaced before we met.  The conversation went something (actually pretty darn close) like this.

Him: Oh, you do windshields?

Me: Yes I do, do you need one?

Him: I did but the guy I had doing some landscaping said he could do it so he did it for me for a $100, was that a good price?

Me: It is lower than my price would have been, mine would have been $150.

Him: Well I thought $100 sounded good and he got it in. It leaks when I wash it or it rains so I just don’t wash it.

Me: Why don’t you get him to warranty it, come back out and fix it?

Him: I can not get him to fix it. Besides it was just something he did on the side for cash.

 

Which takes me to a windshield replacement  job earlier this week. I was doing a Lincoln Navigator for a gentleman and when I got to the job site and walked up to the vehicle the first thing I noticed was the several strips of black electrical tape that were running across the top of the windshield holding the top reveal molding in place. I asked the customer about the electrical tape and was told that when he had had the windshield replaced before and that the molding had came loose and when he took it back to the shop that they had placed the electrical tape there in an attempt to “fix” the molding issue. And over the last yr or so as the tape had come loose the customer had simply replaced it with more electrical tape….. instead of having/making the “professional” glass shop stand behind their work and warranty the workmanship of the installation which he had paid hard earned money for….. he was content to accept sub standard work and quality. I find this accepting attitude prevalent here in Albuquerque, which I admit I do not understand, why do we continue to allow this level of service??

The reason for the BLACK electrical tape across the BLACK molding at the top of the windshield was two fold.

1. They had cut the bottom portion of the molding that wraps around the edge of the glass and tried to glue the remainder of the molding to the vehicle.

2. They were hoping that the customer would forget about the tape holding the molding in place because it was black, the same color as the molding….. I mean why else electrical tape? They normally use blue or gray painters tape…..pretty sneaky.

As I showed the customer why the tape was needed and what had been done in an effort to save the cost of a new molding, a whopping $7!!  I would like to think had the customer known at the time that the new molding was only $7, he would have gladly paid the price. I also pulled out the new windshield from my van and showed him that not only did we supply a brand new molding, we also took the extra step running a small bead of urethane to adhere the molding directly to the glass thereby eliminating the risk of the molding coming loose at a later time.   Other low cost (cheap low balling) glass shops hate that we do that….. it requires that they purchase a new molding should there be a need for another replacement in the future. Our customers, on the other hand, like the fact that we take the time and care enough to take that small extra step.

 

Which brings me to another subject that I cannot stress enough and attempt to educate the public about.

We have all seen vehicles driving down the road with tape on their windshields….. You should not see this, EVER!   I repeat … NEVER, EVER!

Why is there tape on the windshield?  Most times the tape is in two strips on the top on either side of the windshield, why is it there? It is there to hold the windshield from slowly sliding down/out of place before the urethane is cured and able to hold the windshield in place (refer to Safe Drive Away Times) The tape does not hold the windshield in the vehicle, I mean stop and think about it… would you trust masking tape/painters tape to support anything with any weight to it??  Again it is ONLY to keep the windshield from slowly sliding down and out of place.

So, after letting the vehicle sit the required amt of time (again refer to the Safe Drive Away Times) before it is safe to drive, you can/should then remove the tape which means…… wait for it…… wait for it……. Which means you should never see a vehicle driving on the road with tape on the windshield!!!

 

My hope is that someone finds and reads my posts and learns something useful that will save them money, headaces and maybe their lives.

 

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Albuquerque Woman shot in the Face – through the windshield

Updated: 06/02/2014 5:36 PM | Created: 06/02/2014 5:27 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Albuquerque police are still investigating the case of a city woman who was shot in the face—through the windshield—while she was driving on Paseo del Norte near Golf Course Friday evening.

The victim is recovering at home, but detectives aren’t sure whether it was a premeditated shooting or a random act of violence. One thing is for sure: It could have been much worse if the bullet had struck her from a slightly different angle or at closer range.

The bullet punctured the windshield and tore through the woman’s nose, lodging into her jaw. Somehow, she managed to safely pull off the busy highway onto the shoulder, where witnesses saw her bleeding from the head and called 911. One witness did see somebody on the nearby pedestrian overpass, but clues were in short supply Friday night when Sgt. Shawn Casaus briefed reporters.

“There were some footprints in the area,” Casaus said. “We don’t have any suspect information. We did utilize several resources that APD has. We used Open Space units. We also used air support in trying to locate anybody who might be in the area or anybody who might be straggling around.”

Here’s the trouble with the premeditation theory:  If the shooter was on the overpass, he was probably armed with a handgun. Below him would be a stream of cars at rush hour, traveling 45 to 50 miles an hour. He (or she) would have to select a fast-moving target, aim, pull the trigger and hope the bullet hit the proper target. If the gun was a semiautomatic, the shooter would have to carefully retrieve the spent casing that would have ejected from the gun. That’s a pretty tall order.

But the trouble with the random theory—It means there is someone out there with a gun who’s willing to kill just for the thrill of shooting into traffic.

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Safelite Sued over Improper Windshield Installation

Iwona Patnaude is suing Safelite Auto Glass Company. Safelite replaced the windshield of her Toyota Tundra 6 years prior and the windshield separated from the vehicle during a rollover accident. The accident that took place December 27, 2011 occurred when the Patnaudes were traveling westbound on I-94 in North Dakota. The driver, Jason Patnaude, lost control of the Toyota Tundra when he began to “slide upon contacting a patch of snow and ice on the roadway”.

Attorneys claimed, “directional control of the subject Tundra was lost and could not be regained”.  It was at that time that the Tundra crossed the interstate’s median and rolled across the eastbound lanes and off the road. During the time of the incident, the windshield separated from the vehicle and the roof collapsed in on the family. Both Jason Patnaude and Victoria (their daughter) sustained fatal head wounds and died on scene.

Photo: Wikia

Safelite PR manager Melina Metzger has confirmed that the company did in fact replace the windshield six years ago, but declined any further comment due to the pending litigation. Pantnaude’s attorneys claim that during the accident “the windshield separated from the rest of the vehicle, contributing to the degree of crush sustained by the subject Tundra’s roof structure…The Safelite defendants’ negligent installation of the windshield on the subject Tundra resulted in its failure in the rollover incident”.

Patnaude is seeking a jury trial where she will seek reimbursement for injuries as well as damages in excess of $50,000. She sustained severe nervous shock as well as emotional shock having watched her husband and daughter pass away in front of her. Safelite is not the only defendant in this lawsuit; others include Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Motor Sales USA, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana, AutoNation USA Corp., Desert Scion/Toyota, Steve Romeo and Lisa Armstrong, as well as Centennial Toyota.

The National Glass Association has some very serious things to say about improper windshield installation and the dangers associated with it. They state, “A cracked or improperly installed windshield is dangerous…you might ask, ‘why is this important to me?’ Well, did you know the windshield of your automobile is a safety device, like air bags and safety belts? It is true. Besides the obvious role of protecting occupants from wind, water and debris, your car’s windshield can help save your life, and the lives of your passengers, by ensuring you are not thrown from the vehicle in a collision. Windshields also play a critical role in the front passenger airbag deployment on many cars. In Addition, the windshield (and rear window) helps support the roof of the vehicle in a rollover so you and your passengers will not be crushed”.

 

The National Glass Association suggests regular check ups to make sure there is not crucial damage to your windshield going unnoticed. Here are 3 tips that the NGA and AAA suggest for periodically checking on your windshield: 

  • Check the entire windshield, inside and out, for chips and cracks. Minor chips and very small cracks may be repairable, provided they are outside the driver’s primary line of sight. Any significant cracks or damage will require windshield replacement.
  • Check around the edge of the glass for damage to the surrounding bodywork. Any problems that affect the seal of the glass to the body can weaken the structural integrity and should be repaired.
  • Check the windshield wipers to make sure the rubber blades are soft and pliable. Hard, brittle or damaged blades can break and allow the metal wiper arm to scratch the glass. 

The NGA also stated, “avoid cut-rate Auto Glass Replacement”. NGA and AAA actually stated, “when it comes to Auto Glass Replacement, you get what you pay for”. The lowest bid may not be the best option for your vehicle, for the sake of you and your family. The NGA and AAA suggest you ask the Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair company if they:

  • Have NGA (National Glass Association) certified technicians.
  • Endorse and adhere to the Auto Glass Repair Safety Standard (AGRSS)
  • Use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) auto glass for auto glass replacements
  • Use the manufacturers recommended Urethane Adhesives.

The NGA has much more helpful information regarding why using an NGA certified windshield replacement and auto glass repair shop that endorses the AGRSS and uses OEM auto glass and parts is so critical. If you would like to read more on this subject, the link to this page of their website is https://www.glass.org/press/073107_AAA.htm.

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