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Move to ensure safety of cruise control system in UAE

Ministry of Economy to submit proposals aiming to set new standard for cruise control systems

  • By Samir Salama, Associate Editor
  • Published: 21:00 July 22, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • The Consumer Protection Department will submit proposals to ensure safety of cruise control systems. Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Abu Dhabi: The Consumer Protection Department will submit proposals to ensure safety of cruise control systems, a senior official said on Sunday.

The Ministry of Economy’s move includes a new standard for cruise control systems, visits to car factories and education campaigns for drivers, among other steps, said Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy.

The move, he said, was prompted by a series of complaints presented to the department over failure of cruise control systems, which automatically control the speed of motor vehicles.

“Many drivers of new and older cars complained their cruise control systems quit on them all of a sudden. Motorists could not operate the cruise control or apply the brakes and the cars continued at top speeds, posing a real risk of causing fatal crashes,” Al Nuaimi said. Al Nuaimi advised motorists to immediately report such problems to their car dealers and to their service centres and have them fixed immediately.

“In many cases the problem was that motorists failed to regularly maintain their vehicles. Because the cruise control system is operated by electrical switches, it is possible the contacts have worn out or become corroded. Taking those apart for inspection and cleaning eliminates that possibility. Motorists should also check the fuses related to the system, and if they have a multi-meter, check that the wiring from the fuse box to the module is intact,” Al Nuaimi said.

He noted that many cruise-control modules are not known for their long-term durability. “Usually a driver will see failure in the module’s electronics, the plastic gears, the motor, or the various mechatronic contrivances that make these contraptions work. Complicating matters, these have to be replaced,” he said.

Periodic maintenance of these vehicles should be done without fail, Al Nuaimi stressed.

Al Nuaimi said that 176 recalls were ordered by the Ministry of Economy over the last 18 months, of which 80 per cent involved car repairs.

He said visits will be made to leading car factories to get to know the latest developments in the highly evolved versions of cruise control systems and what safety features should be met in the new standard for this crucial device.

“Education campaigns are also planned to promote road safety and to encourage the commitment of all drivers to adopt safer behaviour with special focus on cruise control systems,” Al Nuaimi said.

On July 13, an Emirati woman was saved by traffic police patrols in Dubai while she was driving her car on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. The 20-year-old woman said she lost control of the car when the cruise control failed while driving at a high speed.

The Emirati woman told the police that she went through a few minutes of horror before she could stop her car at Al Muhaisnah interchange on the way to Al Warqa. It took police patrols four minutes to stop the car and rescue the woman.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 13:52 July 23, 2013

    I can't totally agree with this. Motorist need to drive under cruise control to recognize whether their control system is working or not? Instead please advise all the motorists to inspect their vehicle with an authorized dealer and that dealer shall advise the life of the cruise control. Or let the drivers avoid cruise control of the vehicle of the manufactures who cannot guarantee that. And this can be listed out and notified the public. The same way let all new cars guarantee their system.

    Jayesh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:02 July 23, 2013

    Cruise control systems work fine every where in the world but only if drivers know how to use it correctly. Thre are too many people here driving vehicles with too-dark tinted windows who can barely see the traffic around them - much less see it at night. Does this sound like someone who can be trusted to operate a cruise control device? Read the owners manual to understand how the vehicle is safely operated. The manual contains info on your cruise control and also states DARK TINTED windows are dangerous. Maybe authorities should simply forbisd cruise control systems in vehicles. Bricks used to be placed on the gas pedal in bygone days... at least drivers then knew how to use the brick and take it off.

    Louie Tedesco, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 11:44 July 23, 2013

    Anything man-made will always have faults. Its best not to go with cars with these feature but if one already has one, one should know how to maneuver the car if the cruise control malfunctions. Knowledge is power.

    Jigz, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:51 July 23, 2013

    Why you cannot mention the make and model of the vehicles involved in the cruise control incidents? Instead of telling us to report the malfunction and wait till the accident occurs, how about letting us know which models are having the defects so most of us can do something about it.

    Naz, AUH, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:27 July 23, 2013

    What?? Motorists are supposed to check with multi-meter the wiring to the fuse-box? Is he joking or what? Cars are driven by ordinary motorists, not automobile or electrical engineers.

    Suhail Falak, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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