The Weekly Roundup: Distracted Driving Rises in BC, Big Ford Recall, and More...
What's happening in the Canadian automotive world? We rounded up the most important news of the last week (or so) to deliver the highlights in two minutes...
1. Distracted driving on the rise in B.C.
#SaferYouSaferMe. Did you know #RichmondRCMP have already issued 321 tickets for distracted driving and speeding from January to April this year? #RichmondRCMP will be conducting increased enforcement May 17 to 23 in support of Canada’s Road Safety Week. https://t.co/eBWELWRmtG pic.twitter.com/iyNzowq77e— Richmond RCMP (@RichmondRCMP) May 23, 2022
Despite strict penalties and special awareness campaigns, more and more British Columbians are getting pulled over for distracted driving offences.
According to CBC there was a drop in tickets issued during the pandemic (40,010 violations in 2019 vs. 24,719 violations in 2020). But with traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels, offending drivers are starting to rack up hefty fines again and run the risk of higher auto insurance premiums.
Distracted driving can be just as hazardous as driving under the influence, yet 42% of Canadians admit to driving distracted.
According to the Motor Vehicle Act, drivers in B.C. cannot hold, operate, or watch the screen of a phone, tablet, laptop, or any other handheld device. Fully licensed drivers may use the hands-free or one-touch function, but the device must be securely mounted at all times.
One offence can land you a fine of $368 and four penalty points. A second offence inside a year can land you a driving ban and an invitation from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to the Driver Improvement Program.
2. Ford recalls affect over 400,000 vehicles in Canada
7,600 Mustang Mach-E vehicles have been recalled in Canada this month | Photo: Ford
Ford has issued concurrent recalls this month; the largest one affecting 394,000 vehicles in Canada because of concerns over vehicles that may not shift gears properly.
Vehicles included in this recall are:
- Fusion (2013 to 2016)
- C-Max (2013 to 2018)
- Escape (2013 to 2019)
- Edge (2015 to 2018)
- Transit Connect (2013 to 2021)
The other recall issued this month affects 7,600 Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles that have been flagged due to a battery voltage contractor problem.
If you think your vehicle might be affected by either of these recalls, find out more about your next steps.
In other June recall news, Fiat Chrysler recalled over 55,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Rams.
3. Tesla has 3 years’ worth of Cybertruck orders
Production delays: Tesla Cybertruck is backed up with enough orders for a 3-year waitlist. | Photo: Tesla
The Tesla Cybertruck is one of the most talked-about vehicles in Canada and the US despite the fact that it is still not in production. Although Ford has officially beaten Tesla to the punch, that is to assemble and deliver an electric truck first, there are still hundreds of thousands of pre-order holders waiting for their Cybertruck.
In fact, according to Insideevs, Tesla says that they have enough orders to fill three years’ worth of production. This means that recent hopeful hand-raisers may have to wait a full four years before taking delivery. Tesla Cybertruck production is not expected to begin before next year.
As a reminder, the Cybertruck was revealed in November of 2019. Also, Tesla stopped taking orders for the funky electric truck in May due to the overwhelming demand.
4. Toyota is thinking about introducing its own small truck
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is one of the stars of the small truck segment | Photo: Hyundai
The small truck segment, in order words all non-full-size pickups, is growing rapidly. In about three years’ time, three extremely important players have been added to the roster. Ford’s been extremely busy relaunching the Ranger and introducing a true game-changer in the compact Maverick.
Toyota’s been in the truck business for a very long time and has created a number of legendary trucks of its own. In fact, their Tacoma, despite its relative age, continues to be a go-to in the midsize segment.
According to Motor Trend, Toyota is considering launching a compact truck to take on the likes of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. The giant Japanese automaker certainly has the tools and expertise to make it happen.
Their global platform, the TNGA, has all the workings of an architecture that could handle the business of working for a truck. The ultra-popular RAV4 uses it as its foundation which means that electrified powertrains could easily be a possibility.
5. The all-new 2023 Honda HR-V
The 2023 Honda HR-V has greater size, power, and technology than its predecessor | Photo: Honda
The first-generation-for-North-America Honda HR-V was a well-appreciated small SUV by Canadian families moving out of compact cars. At the time, the SUV shared numerous components with the sub-compact Fit but despite this fact, it still offered one of the largest interiors and trunks in the segment.
Honda Canada has just released details and information on the all-new 2023 HR-V and it will clearly pick up where the previous model left off. The biggest bit of news is that the new HR-V grows in size, power, and technology, thanks in large part to the fact it will henceforth be assembled on a mix between the CR-V and new 11th-generation Civic’s platform.
The new HR-V is longer overall, is wider, and gains an extra 45 mm of wheelbase for more interior room. The cabin’s dashboard is strongly related to the new Civic’s, with which it happens to share its 158-horsepower 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine. The HR-V arrives later this month.
6. Environmentalists Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Tara Cullis drove across Canada in a Volvo C40 Recharge
Zero Anxiety: Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Tara Cullis comfortably made the drive from Vancouver to Toronto | Photo: Volvo
As far as environmentalists in Canada or North America are concerned, few are better known than our own Dr. David Suzuki. He, along with his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis has just arrived in Toronto following a long road trip from their home in Vancouver to attend the world premiere of their play What You Won’t Do for Love.
The long trip was not completed via air travel but rather from behind the wheel of a new 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge electric crossover. Thanks to regular fast-charging locations, Dr. Suzuki reports that the 4,100-km trek was completed with zero mileage anxiety.