Is anything being developed to minimize pedestrian and bike accidents?

Animal detection VolvoYes! I am pleased and proud to announce that both Toyota and Volvo have new initiatives to increase safety and minimize accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles, some of which were covered in the blog two weeks ago, with the introduction of the new Volvo S90.

Let me start by telling you a bit about the magnitude of these types of accidents.

Large animals have been responsible for far too many deaths or accidents in the U.S.
• An estimated 1.2 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the U.S. each year, costing more than $4 billion in vehicle damage, according to State Farm Insurance.
• The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually.
• Deer collisions usually occur most often in the fall during deer migration. In states outside of New England, other large animals, such as moose, are responsible for additional crashes and fatalities.

Accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists are increasing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
• This organization claims that pedestrian deaths rose 10% in 2015; motorcycle deaths by 9%; and bicyclists by 13%.
• NHTSA estimates that an automatic braking system is not a substitute for driver attention; however, automatic pedestrian braking systems are very helpful.

To minimize theses types of accidents, Volvo offers its new pedestrian and animal detection system. The Volvo S90 and XC90 have this powerful feature, which detects pedestrians, cyclists and — in a world’s first—large animals on the road, such as deer or moose.  This safety system operates in both day and night, offering drivers peace of mind while on the road.VolvoBikeSystem

The way it works is that the vehicle uses cameras, radar and infrared sensors to detect living objects in the car’s path of travel.  The vehicle will warn the driver and, if necessary, automatically brake if the driver doesn’t intervene. Now that is amazing!

The Volvo S90 also offers “city safety technology.” This enables the Volvo S90 to detect whether there’s a collision risk if a driver is approaching slower moving or stationary vehicles from behind. This is great for distracted drivers who don’t always pay attention.

Toyota is among a select number of vehicle manufacturers that have entered into an agreement with the NHTSA to make front automatic emergency braking systems standard by 2022. While many people might be concerned that autonomous vehicles (self-driving) are dangerous; they are actually safer vehicles because the human errors have been eliminated. (Volvo has been working on and testing autonomous vehicles in Europe.)

Somewhat similar to the Volvo system, this is designed to include protection for pedestrians and bicyclists. Toyota is promising to have a system that includes pedestrian detection standard on most of its models by the 2018 model year.

Toyota has launched a strategy that will bring automatic braking to most of its lineup, not just the premium vehicles. The technology will be a relatively low-cost ($300 to $635) option for the RAV4 Hybrid SUV, but Toyota hopes to have it available or included in nearly all of its models by the end of 2017-2018. It’ll be easy to find in the near future, too. The Avalon sedan is next in line for this innovative braking system.

Watch for these exciting and safe vehicles. We have a limited number of Volvos with these features at  Jaffarian Volvo Toyota and I’m sure we’ll be among the first to get the new Toyota vehicles in when they are available. Come in for a test-drive.

Enjoy this beautiful weather and rest of the fast-fleeting summer!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Jaffarian seems to be very committed to supporting local youth. But do you just do charitable work at Christmas?

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My grandparents set the Jaffarian standard for giving back to the local community and as we all know there are ongoing needs year-round right here in our local surroundings. My brothers and I were raised by our parents to give back to the community — it truly is in our DNA.

Over the years, Jaffarian Volvo Toyota has committed to focusing our charitable giving by supporting local organizations benefiting youth.  We believe in giving back locally, particularly in the area of youth sports, which can help kids build important life skills like teamwork, sportsmanship and discipline.

Earlier this year we established the Jaffarian Youth in Motion Fund, enabling members in need at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lawrence and Greater Haverhill to participate in sports and activities to enrich their lives and help them reach their fullest potential. Each club leverages the funds donated to promote kids trying a new activity or sport that otherwise may not have been possible due to financial constraints. The Jaffarian Youth in Motion Fund is an all-year round commitment working closely with these two great local Boys & Girls Clubs.

So here we are in Back to School season! The reality is that many local kids need back to school supplies. The local need is real so we decided to jump in to help local families.  We are currently accepting donations in the Jaffarian Toyota Showroom to help local families get ready for back to school by giving their school-aged children new backpacks and supplies to start the school year strong and with a smile.  Please join us as we fill the back of a Toyota Tundra. We will accept donations through August 31, but hope to get a big supply gathered by mid week next week (August 24th) so the Emmaus House in Haverhill can organize and distribute to as many local kids prior to the first day of school.  We will then deliver any additional supplies gathered.

Please join us in helping those children in our community get a great start to the school year; and have the backpacks and supplies they need. It may not be the holiday season, but the joy of giving has no limitations any time of the year.

Thanks in advance for your help with our Back to School Supply Drive!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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Is Volvo coming out with any new vehicles since they introduced the XC90? I don’t want an SUV.

S90 VolvoYou are in luck because Jaffarian Volvo just introduced the 2017 S90, an elegant luxury sedan that combines beautiful natural materials with the latest in Volvo’s safety features and high technology.

Here are some of the new features this vehicle offers:

• Park assist— This is an intelligent system that parks the car perfectly for you. While searching for a parking space, the system works out whether a space is large enough, then takes over the steering to guide you into it! How’s that for those of us who dislike parallel parking!

360-degree camera –This option makes parking and low-speed maneuvering in narrow places a simple operation, providing a bird’s eye view of everything surrounding the car on the center 9.3″ display screen.S90 screen

• Active high-beam –You’ll no longer have to think about when to switch between low and high beams, as the active high beam automatically reacts to oncoming cars.

Pilot assist—yes that’s (auto) pilot! This intelligent system automatically maintains a set distance or speed to the car in front of you and is standard on the new Volvo S90. It also gives gentle steering inputs to keep you properly aligned within your lane markings. It is the only vehicle in the U.S. with semi-autonomous driving technology. At your command, this car will assist with steering, acceleration, deceleration, and braking up to 80 mph, while allowing you to stay in complete control.

Large Animal & People DetectionVolvo S90 detects pedestrians, cyclists and – a world first – large animals in the road, like deer. Your car will warn you, and if necessary, automatically brake if you don’t intervene.

• City Safety Technology—This enables the Volvo S90 to detect whether there’s a collision risk if you’re approaching slower moving or stationary vehicles from behind. This is great for distracted drivers.

• Choice of Trim & Engine—The S90’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine has two choices: the base T5 trim is turbocharged and produces 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque with front-wheel drive; or the top-of-the-line T6 trim, on the other hand, is both super and turbocharged, and boasts a 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It has all-wheel drive.

• Sophisticated Color ChoicesLeather seating in a choice of standard or inscription S90 interiorleather is standard in all S90s and either is available in a choice of three colors. There is also a sophisticated color palette in standard or metallic colors for the exterior.

Optional Packages customize your vehicle to meet your personal needs—With too many features to include here, Volvo S90 owners can customize their vehicles with an upgraded sound system; or with vision, climate, or convenience packages. Your sales advisor will be happy to review those options with you.

Jaffarian Volvo has a limited number of these vehicles in stock and we’d be happy to order one customized just for you. This is a beautiful vehicle! I encourage you to schedule a test drive and experience the newest luxury sedan from Volvo!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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With the heat wave we’ve been experiencing, how do I prevent my vehicle from overheating?

The best way to Overheating1prevent your vehicle from overheating is by keeping up with routine maintenance so all fluids, such as coolant, are checked regularly. If you are going on a long trip, I suggest you have a gallon of distilled water and a gallon of coolant in your trunk. Signs of overheating include the temperature gauge moving to the high range or steam coming from the engine. If you don’t have distilled water, bottled or tap water will do.

Engines most often overheat because they are working too hard, low on coolant or there is a problem with the cooling system. Less likely, engines can overheat from severe strain on an extremely hot day driving on a lot of inclines. Overheating may also be caused by a defective water pump or engine thermostat. Only a professional can properly diagnose the problem. The cost of an overheated engine may be significant because it can damage or destroy your engine. So the key is in preventing overheating.overheating-car-temp

Should you see your engine overheating, you want to do the following:
• Pull off to the side of the road as soon as possible, given that you can pull off safely.
• Rev the engine by stepping on the gas before shutting the vehicle off.
• Shut the vehicle off. If you cannot pull over immediately, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows. Cranking the heat up will actually help drain heat out of the engine.
• Open the hood carefully  to prevent burns. You may want to wait a few minutes for the engine to cool off.
• When the hood is open, first look for obvious signs of leaking coolant.
• Top off the coolant reservoir with coolant or water.
• Call for help and if you don’t have AAA or service available from your vehicle’s manufacturer, wait for 20 minutes for the engine to cool before continuing with your drive to a service station.
• If you’re stuck in traffic, put the vehicle in neutral and your fan and heat on high.
• If your temperature gauge goes back to hot or the engine gets steamy, pull over and repeat the steps above.
• Get to a service station as soon as possible, as prolonged overheating will lead to significant damage to your engine and potentially other components of the vehicle.

If you’re in the area, please visit us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Departments before you go on an extended trip or confirm your vehicle has been recently serviced.   If your vehicle is overheating, get your vehicle in for maintenance as soon as possible. For your convenience, you can schedule service on line 24/7.

Enjoy this hot summer weather and keep your vehicle in tip-top shape with a service appointment.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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My friends smoke pot and then drive home. They say they’re fine. Is it different than drinking and driving?

smoking pot in carThat’s a great question and as many followers of this blog know, we repeatedly discuss drinking and driving, which is illegal and proven to be highly dangerous. The short answer is the effects can be different than alcohol, but the reality is one is impaired and driving impaired is illegal.  Marijuana is  illegal in all New England states. Drivers can be cited for driving under the influence of prescription drugs if it impairs their ability to drive.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, after the state of Washington legalized marijuana, the number of traffic fatalities doubled among those who were under the influence of marijuana while driving, from 8% to 17%. Therefore, there is a need for more education, more enforcement and blood tests to measure THC (the chemical found in marijuana) in the body.  Because of the nature of the drug, it is more difficult to determine legal limits, as they do for alcohol with the .08 being the legal limit. They are concerned about the number of states legalizing marijuana based on Washington’s record of fatalities.

Marijuana tends to affect people differently than alcohol does. The reality is both affect capabilities critical to operating a vehicle.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse,  “The effects of specific drugs differ depending on how they act in the brain. For example, marijuana can slow reaction time, impair judgment of time and distance, and decrease coordination. Drivers who have used cocaine or methamphetamine can be aggressive and reckless when driving. Certain kinds of sedatives can cause dizziness and drowsiness. All of these impairments can lead to vehicle crashes.

Research studies have shown negative effects of marijuana on drivers, including an increase in lane weaving, poor reaction time, and altered attention to the road, according to the National Institute.  Use of alcohol with marijuana made drivers more impaired, causing even more lane weaving.


Drivers who smoke marijuana within a few hours of driving are almost twice as likely to get into an accident as sober drivers. While alcohol is still the most common accident-inducing substance, a recent survey quoted on the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s web site found that 6.8 percent of drivers who were involved in accidents — most of whom were under 35 — tested positive for THC.

If you or your friend every say: “I’m a better driver when I’m stoned.” This is definitely not true. A major issue with drugged driving is that when you’re high, you don’t always realize that your judgment is impaired. This is especially true for teens or young drivers who are already at-risk drivers. Combine this with a few hits of pot, and the buzz can become a killer. If you are stopped, and have marijuana in your vehicle, you run the risk of arrest and a record that may follow you for years.

Though it varies by person, it generally takes at least 3–4 hours to come down from a high. Unlike alcohol, no amount of strong coffee or food is going to sober you up faster.

All of the medical research, including a study published in the British Journal of Medicine, conclude that pot smokers are impaired drivers. Bottom line – marijuana affects reaction time, spatial sense, and perception — all of which are crucial to safe driving. So when a person is driving high, they may end up following another car too closely (and brake too late), make unsafe turns, or misjudge road hazards. The fact remains: pot and driving don’t mix.

As many studies show, smoking pot and driving is a bad combination. Don’t let your friends fool you into thinking they are ok.  Just like with alcohol, determine a designated driver for everyone’s safety as driving impaired is a danger to everyone on the roads.  All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota want you and your friends to be safe.


Ask Gary Jaffarian

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Are “buzzed” drivers drunk drivers? What is being done to discourage this behavior?

DrinkingatBBQ“America has more drunk drivers than most countries have people.” True or False? According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), this sadly, is true. The other staggering statistic is that 10,000 people a year die in drunk-driving accidents. “Buzzed” drivers are drunk drivers and contribute to these statistics. The most dangerous hours to be on the road are midnight to 3 a.m. when a life is lost every 23 minutes in this country from drinking and driving.

The NHTSA campaign that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” to coincide with young people being out of school and adults out later in the summer months drinking and driving.

Just being a little buzzed means you’ve had too much to drink and your judgement may be impaired. It can be a rationale for drinking and driving… “I’m only buzzed.  I’m not drunk.” Think again. The NHTSA is not buying it, and neither am I. It’s like the old saying, “You can’t be a little pregnant.” You either are impaired or you’re not. You were either drinking or not. Your blood alcohol level is either a .08 or higher (in the impaired driving range) or it is not.LegalLimit Chart

“Alcohol not only impairs your ability to drive, it impairs your judgment about whether you can or should drive. Too often, people who drink think they are okay to get behind the wheel because they only feel a “buzz.” The truth is you don’t have to be falling down drunk to be a menace to everyone around you on the highways. Remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” according to the NHTSA, who asks that you designate a sober driver every time you are out  drinking.

Another campaign: “Buzzed. Busted. Broke. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.” This campaign, sponsored by the Ad council, has a pledge on line to not drive buzzed and more than 19,000 people have signed it. To add your name, click here. If you get caught, plan on a bill of about $10,000 in legal fees, court costs, higher insurance rates (if you don’t lose your license) and fines. Drinking and driving and texting are the biggest causes of distracted driving which is rampant. This past year has seen a major increase in highway fatalities from the previous year.Buzzed driving poster

Remember to plan ahead if you are going to drink:

1. If I want to drive, how will I get home? Another driver, a taxi, or walk?

2. Do I have a designated driver who will use his/her own vehicle?

3. If I’m going to a friend’s home, can I stay overnight?

If you want to drink enough to get a buzz, consider yourself a potential drunk driver and plan when you are sober, not afterward.

All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota want you to have fun. Plan accordingly and help make the roads safer for everyone.

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P.S. As I write this blog with the news on in the background, comes the news of a bright 21-year-old MIT Student who was in New York this past weekend with friends and killed by a drunk driver in an SUV—the drunk driver was an off-duty police officer. No one is exempt from a lack of judgement.


Categories: Ask Gary, Uncategorized

Can I lease a pre-owned vehicle? That would be ideal given my budget and low-mileage driving.

Certified Pre-ownedToyota2The answer is yes! You cannot lease a used vehicle, but it is possible if you purchase a certified pre-owned vehicle at an affiliated dealership such as Jaffarian Volvo Toyota. In this case, that would mean you could lease a certified pre-owned Toyota or Volvo.  Certified pre-owned vehicles account for 3+ million sales.

What is required for a certified pre-owned vehicle?

    • Less than 85,000 miles;
    • Less than 6 years old; andVolvo-CPO-intellichoice-image-v1
    • Exterior condition and appearance is free of dents and scratches.

The following is offered on a certified pre-owned Toyota:

  • 12-month/12,000-mile limited comprehensive warranty.
  • 7-year/ 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
  • 1 year of free roadside assistance.
  • 160-point quality insurance inspection.
  • CARFAX vehicle history report.
  • Eligible for standard new car financing rates.
  • Reconditioned to Toyota’s exacting standards by factory-trained technicians.
  • Warranty honored by any Toyota dealership in U.S. and Canada.
  • Trade-ins accepted.
  • Jaffarian  Toyota offers a large selection of certified pre-owned Toyotas.

To be certified, a 160-point inspection is completed which includes the following :

  • Engine compartment is checked, including checking the oil, brake, clutch, transmission, transfer case, washer and power steering fluid levels, among many others.
  • Steering system—vehicle tracks and drives straight on level surfaces.
  • Transmission and transaxle—makes sure they are operating smoothly.
  • Braking system— Brake pads and shoes must have minimum of 50% wear remaining.
  • Frame, structure and underbody are checked for damage.
  • Interior condition and appearance— All fabric seats, dashboard are free of holes, rips, tears, excessive wear or fading.
  • Audio, music and alarm systems are checked to be certain they are all working normally.
  • Instrument panel and electronic systems to be certain the odometer and speedometer are functioning properly.
  • Tires and suspension system — All four tires must be of the same brand, model, size, tread design and load rating or they are replaced.

Volvo offers a similar certified pre-owned program (CPO):

  • Volvo Financial Services provides premium financing and leasing– both affordable and competitive financing – on Volvo Certified Pre-Owned vehicles.
  • Each model has to pass a rigorous 130-point test, have less than 80,000 miles, and receive a clear CARFAX Vehicle History Report.
  • Volvo repairs or replaces any needed components, carefully checking the exterior and powertrain.
  • Each vehicle is subject to a road test.
  • The factory-backed warranty fully covers every part of a certified pre-owned Volvo that is not specifically excluded, including the replacement or repair of thousands of components.
  • Volvo includes free roadside assistance and a zero deductible for all warranty visits.
  • Warranty coverage is provided at any authorized Volvo dealer across the United States.
  • Owners can extend the warranty coverage on a CPO Volvo. You can purchase additional coverage equal to 8 years/100,000 miles or 8 years/125,000 miles by purchasing a Volvo Increased Protection (VIP) plan through a Volvo dealer.
  • For cars certified after January 2, 2013, Volvo provides 7-year/100,000-mile exclusionary CPO warranty coverage from the original in service date of the car.

It is a great benefit for consumers to have the option to lease a certified pre-owned vehicle. if you are not sure of whether to lease or buy, whether to buy certified or pre-owned or new, please come in an visit us to help you make the best decision for your budget and driving needs. We are here to help you make an informed decision and have many certified vehicles as well as pre-owned. As shown above with the in-depth inspections that are done to qualify as a certified pre-owned vehicle, consumers have a great option to consider a certified pre-owned vehicle in their vehicle search.  As I always say, do your homework on the vehicle and the dealer!

Safe driving this summer and enjoy this beautiful summer weather!

Ask Gary Jaffarian



Categories: Ask Gary, Uncategorized

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