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Insider Report: Remote trunk release sparks Honda Civic explosion

Published January 30, 2013

Common sense says that compressed gas cylinders should not be transported or stored in a closed space. In some places, that means they can’t be carried in a closed vehicle. Here in Ontario, they “Must be visible from outside the vehicle” according to Transport Canada. The reason? Even the tiniest leak can allow vapours to collect in the enclosed space, which can then be ignited easily.

The community of Stoneham, Massachusetts, learned just how easily this can happen thanks to the boyfriend of 2012 Honda Civic owner Jackie Sugrue. The boyfriend, an HVAC repair man, had left his welding tools in the trunk of Sugrue’s car. A slight leak from an acetylene tank caused vapours to collect in the trunk. As Sugrue approached the vehicle with a load of goodies from BJ’s Wholesale, she pressed the remote trunk release. Just the tiniest hint of a spark from the electric trunk release caused the Civic to explode like a bomb, sending the trunk lid flying across the parking lot. The man who was loading his trunk right next to the car was very lucky not to be injured. As you can see from the news report, the Honda looks like it was used as a car bomb.

it would be interesting to learn whether the car owner’s insurance will cover the damages. Given that it was due to improper handling of dangerous materials, my money is on no.

More: Honda reveals meaner looking new Civic

More: New Civic makes a snap of Finger Lake

How you doin’? Matt LeBlanc interviews Kimi Raikkonen

Former “Friends” star and massive racing enthusiast Matt Leblanc got together with Finnish Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen to do an interview of sorts. As with most things Kimi these days, the emphasis was more on Kimi’s dry sense of humour than any real sort of information. While fans of the F1 champ find the exploitation of the Finn’s attitude funny, I have to admit these are getting a bit tiring. The guy is an arrogant SOB and everyone goes along with it because … well, he’s Kimi.

That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate a driver with a sense of humour. Toronto’s own James Hinchcliffe (Get over it Oakville, you are part of Toronto) has more than his share of fun and even has a go at Kimi himself. Hinch, however, doesn’t treat his team and the media like garbage and actually comes out to visit the fans. Get on with it Kimi. Go racing during the off season, have some fun. Just stop being a dink.

Oh, and while I think of it: Leblanc, we know you love racing and are pretty fast. Talk to Dempsey and get your bum in a car will ya?

Don’t believe that Joey Tribiani knows how to wheel a car? Check out his lap of the Top Gear test track last season.

Jaws has nothing on this car emerging from the foam

As big and powerful as we humans tend to think we are, sometimes Mother Nature throws a curve ball that teaches us otherwise. Sometimes, she even has a sense of humour about it. Take this weird combination of stormy seas, wind and high tide in Queensland, Australia, for example. Roads were covered with a thick foam that was so deep that we see a city bus having a tough time making its way through.

But wait, what’s that? Move over Mister Policeman, there is a car emerging from the depths of the foam!

And you thought your commute was scary!

This is what it’s like to run 0-320 km/h in a Hennessy Venom GT

My friend Matt Farah from The Smoking Tire can be a bit of a madman at times. Of course that is what makes him fun to watch and even more fun to work with. His great shows ensure that he gets access to some of the world’s coolest cars, like the incredibly fast Hennessy Venom GT. This all American machine is the one vehicle that has been able to outperform international superstar cars like the Bugatti Veyron and the Koenigsegg. Farah recently was able to unleash the Venom GT on an airport strip, where he was able to put the boutique manufacturer’s machine to the test.

Farah has said about the Venom GT in the past that “They say if you spend a million dollars on a car it should give you an orgasm. This one actually does.” The faces he makes in second gear are kind of disturbing.

Stuck

As promised, I have more Super Bowl ads coming to light up your week. I know these are two Hyundai ads, two days in a row, but as a big guy who rides the occasional two wheeler, I have to say that the opening scene to this Hyundai Sonata ad made me giggle. I’m hoping I don’t look quite this ridiculous!

Vehicle Image
    • Price: $51,400

    MSRP

    • Price: $52,200
    • Price: $24,590
    • Price: $22,895
    • Engine: 3.5 V6 G
    • Horsepower: Not defined
    • Transmission: AT
    • Drive Type: RWD
    • Cylinder: 6
    • Transmission Speed: 6

    Performance

    • Engine: 3.5 V6 G
    • Horsepower: Not defined
    • Transmission: AT
    • Drive Type: AWD
    • Cylinder: 6
    • Transmission Speed: 6
    • Engine: 2.5 I5 G
    • Horsepower: Not defined
    • Transmission: MT
    • Drive Type: FWD
    • Cylinder: 5
    • Transmission Speed: 5
    • Engine: 2.4 I4 G
    • Horsepower: Not defined
    • Transmission: AT
    • Drive Type: FWD
    • Cylinder: 4
    • Transmission Speed: 6
    • City: 10.5
    • Highway: 7.3
    • Fuel Type: Gas
    • Fuel Tank Low/High: 17/17

    Fuel Economy

    • City: 12.2
    • Highway: 7.8
    • Fuel Type: Gas
    • Fuel Tank Low/High: 19/19
    • City: 9.9
    • Highway: 6.2
    • Fuel Type: Gas
    • Fuel Tank Low/High: 15/15
    • City: 9.9
    • Highway: 6.2
    • Fuel Type: Gas
    • Fuel Tank Low/High: 16/16
    • Airbags: Yes
    • ABS Brakes: Yes
    • Traction Control: Yes
    • Stability Control: Yes
    • Safety Rating: -
    • Child Sensor: Yes
    • Park Distance Control: Yes

    Safety

    • Airbags: Yes
    • ABS Brakes: Yes
    • Traction Control: Yes
    • Stability Control: Yes
    • Safety Rating: -
    • Child Sensor: Yes
    • Park Distance Control: Yes
    • Airbags: Yes
    • ABS Brakes: Yes
    • Traction Control: Yes
    • Stability Control: Yes
    • Safety Rating: -
    • Child Sensor: Yes
    • Park Distance Control: Yes
    • Airbags: Yes
    • ABS Brakes: Yes
    • Traction Control: Yes
    • Stability Control: Yes
    • Safety Rating: -
    • Child Sensor: Yes
    • Park Distance Control: Yes
    • Sunroof: Yes
    • Air Conditioning: Yes
    • Power Windows: Yes
    • Power Door Locks: Yes
    • Leather Seats: No
    • Power Seats: Yes
    • Music System: Yes
    • Navigation System: Yes
    • Cruise: Yes
    • Keyless Entry: Yes
    • Rain Sensing Vipers: Yes
    • Heated Seats: Yes
    • Climate Control: Yes
    • Steering Wheel Controls: Yes
    • Power Mirrors: Yes

    Comfort & Convenience

    • Sunroof: No
    • Air Conditioning: Yes
    • Power Windows: Yes
    • Power Door Locks: Yes
    • Leather Seats: Yes
    • Power Seats: Yes
    • Music System: Yes
    • Navigation System: No
    • Cruise: Yes
    • Keyless Entry: Yes
    • Rain Sensing Vipers: Yes
    • Heated Seats: Yes
    • Climate Control: Yes
    • Steering Wheel Controls: Yes
    • Power Mirrors: Yes
    • Sunroof: Yes
    • Air Conditioning: Yes
    • Power Windows: Yes
    • Power Door Locks: Yes
    • Leather Seats: Yes
    • Power Seats: Yes
    • Music System: Yes
    • Navigation System: No
    • Cruise: Yes
    • Keyless Entry: Yes
    • Rain Sensing Vipers: No
    • Heated Seats: Yes
    • Climate Control: No
    • Steering Wheel Controls: Yes
    • Power Mirrors: Yes
    • Sunroof: No
    • Air Conditioning: Yes
    • Power Windows: Yes
    • Power Door Locks: Yes
    • Leather Seats: No
    • Power Seats: No
    • Music System: Yes
    • Navigation System: No
    • Cruise: Yes
    • Keyless Entry: Yes
    • Rain Sensing Vipers: No
    • Heated Seats: No
    • Climate Control: No
    • Steering Wheel Controls: Yes
    • Power Mirrors: Yes
    • Max. Seating: 5
    • Number of Doors: 4
    • Seats: 5
    • Power Adjustable Seats: Yes
    • Specialty Seats: Yes
    • Interior: Yes
    • Leather Seats: Yes
    • Power Seats: Yes
    • Heated Seats: Yes

    Interior

    • Max. Seating: 5
    • Number of Doors: 4
    • Seats: 5
    • Power Adjustable Seats: Yes
    • Specialty Seats: Yes
    • Interior: Yes
    • Leather Seats: Yes
    • Power Seats: Yes
    • Heated Seats: Yes
    • Max. Seating: 5
    • Number of Doors: 4
    • Seats: 5
    • Power Adjustable Seats: Yes
    • Specialty Seats: Yes
    • Interior: Yes
    • Leather Seats: Yes
    • Power Seats: Yes
    • Heated Seats: Yes
    • Max. Seating: 5
    • Number of Doors: 4
    • Seats: 5
    • Power Adjustable Seats: No
    • Specialty Seats: Yes
    • Interior: Yes
    • Leather Seats: Yes
    • Power Seats: Yes
    • Heated Seats: Yes
    • Awards: -

    Awards

    • Awards: -
    • Awards: -
    • Awards: -

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