Return to 'Giammalvo Quarterly' News Letter 'Page'

A Publication of Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales & Service
Vol. 11  No. 4         Fall 2005

Our Corporate Logo

Automakers Provide Relief In Katrina's Wake


    Responding to the need for relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, automakers are stepping up to the plate. In addition to the industry's own financial woes, some automakers have suffered damaged or destroyed dealerships, as well as the impact on their employees and families. Still, they are finding a way to help.

    Toyota said that 15 of its dealerships in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama suffered extensive damage, with at least five totally destroyed. Yet Toyota companies pledged $5 million to disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    "We're hopeful that aid may quickly reach those who fell victim to the torrential wind and rain," said Toyota Motor Sales USA President and COO Jim Press. "It's gratifying to be of some assistance during this difficult time." Toyota is contributing $3 million to the American Red Cross (ARC) while the privately owned Toyota distributorship for the Gulf of Mexico region established a $2 million relief fund to specifically aid Toyota and dealership employees and their families in the Gulf States region with both immediate and long-term needs.

    Honda Motors has pledged $5 million, generators and other equipment and supplies for relief agencies.

    General Motors said it is donating $400,000 to the American Red Cross hurricane relief fund, and the GM foundation will match employees' collective donations up to $250,000. GM also is making 25 vehicles available to the Red Cross to use as needed.

    Nissan North America Inc. said it would donate $500,000 in cash to the ARC and provide 50 full-size trucks to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to assist with relief and recovery efforts. In addition, Nissan will match dollar-for-dollar employee donations to the ARC's Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund up to a total of $250,000 in employee contributions.

    DaimlerChrysler donated $1 million to the ARC and has offered some payment relief to affected customers.

    The finance arms of Ford Motor Co., BMW, Volkswagen of America Inc., Audi of America Inc. and Bentley Motors Inc. are offering payment deferrals to qualifying customers affected by the disaster.

    (Sources: Toyota, Honda, GM, Nissan, Ford, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, VW, Audi)

Volkswagen Agrees To Pay 1.1 Million For Violations

Source: Motor Age

WASHINGTON (June 15, 2005) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)             announced a major Clean Air Act settlement with Volkswagen of America Inc. to resolve the automaker's failure to promptly notify EPA and correct defective oxygen sensors on at least 329,000 of their 1999, 2000 and 2001 Golfs, Jettas and New Beetles. An EPA spokesperson confirmed that this is the largest civil penalty to date for this type of violation, eclipsing the previous $900,000 fine to Honda in 1999.

There are three primary conditions to the settlement, which is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

1. Volkswagen will pay $1.1 million for its failure to file an emission defect information report (EDIR) for one year after discovery of the emission defect.

2. Volkswagen has consented to improve its emissions defect investigation and reporting system to ensure future compliance and prevent future reoccurrence.

3. Volkswagen has completed a voluntary recall of the affected vehicles at a cost of more than $26 million.

According to EPA, vehicles with the defect may release thousands of tons of harmful pollutants including non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) and carbon monoxide (CO). NMHC are key reactants in the production of ozone, a major contributor to cancer producing smog. CO impairs breathing and is harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma.  The defect occurs gradually on engine start-up in cool and damp environments when the oxygen sensor cracks from "thermal shock." The malfunction indicator light (MIL) illuminates, telling the owner to "Check Engine." Volkswagen received numerous warranty claims associated with cracked oxygen sensors during the winter of 1999 to 2000, but did not report the defect to EPA until June 2001.

Thomas V. Skinner, acting assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, stated, "Reliable and effective automobile pollution control systems are an important part of this nation's air pollution reduction strategy. This case demonstrates EPA's commitment to ensuring that automobile manufacturers comply with emissions regulations."

Kelly A. Johnson, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, said; "The penalty imposed in this case underscores auto manufacturers' obligation to promptly alert the EPA of defects in emission control devices. The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously enforcing companies' responsibility to adhere to environmental laws."      

NHTSA Announces Tire Safety Ratings

Passenger vehicle tire quality has improved since last year, according to ratings released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  NHTSA’s 2005 ratings cover more than 2,400 lines of the most popular passenger vehicle tires sold in the U.S. The agency rates tires based on traction, treadwear and their ability to resist heat. This year, nearly 90 tire lines received the highest possible rating for traction. Also, five tire brands (Big-O, Goodyear, Michelin, Bridgestone and Cordovan) produce tire lines that received exceptional ratings for tread durability. This year, nearly 700 tire lines were given the highest grade ("A") for heat resistance. "Higher quality tires, along with good maintenance, provide consumers a greater margin of safety. The tire grading system is a big help in the often-confusing process of selecting tires," said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D.

Because heat can increase the risk of blowout, temperature ratings are important. Tires with the highest heat resistance are graded "A" followed by "B," or "C" (lowest). A "C" grade represents the minimum performance required in a high-speed test set by federal regulation. For some consumers, stopping distances on a wet road can be important. Traction ratings are expressed in letter grades from "AA" – the highest - to "C" – the lowest. Tires with a higher grade allow a vehicle to stop in a shorter distance on a wet road.
Tires with a higher treadwear rating should last longer. In grading for treadwear, tires are ranked numerically according to durability. The higher the number, the more durable the tire. Tire ratings can be found on NHTSA's web site at Here consumers can view ratings for tires used on passenger cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles and light pickup trucks. Under federal regulation, ratings also must be molded into the outer sidewall of all passenger tires. In addition to tire ratings, consumers can find other valuable tire safety information at:


Drivers Using Cell Phones Are More Likely To Crash

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Using a cell phone — even a hands-free one — while driving quadruples the risk of getting into a crash with serious injuries, a study finds. Research released Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that using a hands-free device instead of a handheld phone while behind the wheel will not necessarily improve safety.

"You'd think using a hands-free phone would be less distracting, so it wouldn't increase crash risk as much as using a handheld phone. But we found that either phone type increased the risk," said Anne McCartt, one of the study's authors and the institute's vice president for research. The study found that handheld devices were slightly riskier than hands-free ones, but the difference was not statistically significant. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found no difference in the risk posed to male and female drivers or to drivers older and younger than 30. More motorists are using cell phones on the road than ever, and lawmakers are grappling for ways to reducing driver distraction. Talking on handheld cell phones while driving is banned in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. In Connecticut, drivers will have to use hands-free devices beginning Oct. 1. Some cities, such as Chicago, Santa Fe, N.M., and Brookline, Mass., require hands-free devices in automobiles.

Eight states — Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma and Oregon — prevent local governments from restricting cell phone use in motor vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The study found injurious crashes were four times as likely when drivers were using cell phones. The researchers used cell phone records to compare phone use within 10 minutes before an actual crash with cell use by the same driver during the previous week. It studied 456 drivers in Perth, Western Australia, who owned or used mobile phones and had been in a crash that put them in a hospital emergency room between April 2002 and July 2004. Each driver's cell phone usage during a 10-minute interval prior to the accident was compared with use during at least one earlier period when no accident occurred. Each driver, in effect, served as his or her own control group in the study. The institute had tried to conduct the study in the United States, but could not gain access to records from phone companies. The phone records were available in Western Australia, where handheld phone use has been banned while driving since 2001. Weather was not an issue in the crashes, with nearly 75 percent occurring in clear conditions. About 9 out of 10 crashes involved other vehicles and more than half of the injured drivers said their crashes happened within 10 minutes of the start of the trip. Many studies examining cell phone use in vehicles have been based on police reports, but critics say those records are unreliable because it is difficult to corroborate whether a driver was using a phone.

A survey released earlier this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 8 percent of drivers, or 1.2 million people, were using cell phones during daylight hours last year. It represented a 50 percent increase since 2002. Jim Champagne, chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said the study reinforced the need for driver education. His organization urges state lawmakers to refrain from enacting handheld cell phone bans because they "incorrectly send the message to drivers that as long as they are hands-free, they are safe."

In Passing.

(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)
Note: Due to recent requests, we will be adding family survivors to our customer’s obituaries as space allows.

WINTHROP, IOWA -- Julie Mae (Sylvia) Kaufman, 68,  died Thursday, June 30, 2005, at the Buchanan County Health Center in Independence, Iowa, after a long illness. She was the wife of Melvin Kaufman. Born in New Bedford, Mass., she was the daughter of Mary Oliveira and Leo Sylvia. She lived in Kingsville, Texas, for many years before moving to Winthrop. She was a 1954 graduate of New Bedford High School. Mrs. Kaufman was a Navy veteran and was stationed in Kingsville. Survivors include her widower; two sons, Randy Kaufman of Independence, and Kevin Kaufman and his wife, Sonia, of Houston, Texas; three sisters, Jean Giammalvo and Delores Monteiro of New Bedford, and Janice Cutting of Lady Lake, Fla.; two brothers, Lionel Sylvia of Kissimmee, Fla., and Leo Sylvia of Fairhaven, Mass.; and several nieces and nephews.

NEW BEDFORD -- Private services were held for Julio Cezar, 85, of New Bedford, who died Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005, at Sacred Heart Home after a long illness. He was the husband of Irene M. (Mattos) Cezar. Born in New Bedford, he was the son of the late Julio and Mary (Incarnatio) Cezar. He was an electroplater for Alberox until he retired. Survivors include his widow; a stepson, Joseph Soares of Leesburg, Fla.; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two nephews. He was the brother of the late Joseph Caesar.

NEW BEDFORD -- Jerrold J. Rogers, 74, of New Bedford, died Tuesday, July 12, 2005, at home. He was the husband of Carol (Cunningham) Rogers; they were married 52 years. Born in New Bedford, he was the son of the late Alfred B. and Alice (Jennings) Rogers. He lived in this area all of his life and was a parishioner of St. Mary's Church in South Dartmouth and was formerly a member of St. James' Church in New Bedford. He was a graduate of New Bedford Vocational School, Bristol Community College, and Roger Williams College. He was a sergeant in the New Bedford Police Department for 26 years until he retired. While on the police force, he served as a patrolman, taught at the police academy, and worked in the communications and planning departments. He was a Navy veteran during the Korean War. He was a shipmate of the United States Navy Memorial Foundation, a member of the American Legion, and the Fort Taber Historical Association. He was also a member of the New Bedford Whaling Museum; to which he had donated his grandfather's octant, which is on display in the Azorean Whalemen's Exhibit at the Museum. He enjoyed to travel, tell stories to his grandchildren, play golfand march in the Veterans' Day Parades. Survivors include his widow; two daughters, Linda Rogers of Rochester and Wendy Rogers and her husband, Dan Fisk, of Atlanta, Ga.; four sons, Michael Rogers and his wife, Mary Menke Rogers, and Darren Rogers and his wife, Susan, all of Charleston, S.C., Scott Rogers and his wife, Jean, of Dacula, Ga., and Christopher Rogers of Bridgewater; two sisters-in-law, Nancy Cunningham-Brown, and Louise Cunningham-Russell; eight grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and cousins. He was the son-in-law of the late Arthur A. and Caroline C. Cunningham.

NEW BEDFORD -- Madaline I. (Niles) Masse, 76, of New Bedford, died Saturday, April 30, 2005, at St. Luke's Hospital after a brief illness. She was the wife of Dorius "Ted" T. Masse. Born in Dartmouth, she was the daughter of the late John H. and Margaret (Hamm) Niles. She lived in New Bedford most of her life and was a communicant of Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. She was a cook for the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School until she retired.
Mrs. Masse was a member of the Holy Name Couples Club. She enjoyed sewing and arts and crafts. Besides her widower, she is survived by two sons, Wilfred Masse and his wife Jane, of Westport, and Ted T. Masse Jr., of Westport; three brothers, Mervyn C. Niles of Richmond, Va., Eldon M. Niles and his wife Annette, of Ottawa, Ill., and Clyde J. Niles and his wife, Joan of Lakeville; three sisters, Ellen Dimmick of Ottawa, Ill., and Ethelyn M. Bowling and Joan E. Breault, both of New Bedford; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

We appreciate your business.
Please drive carefully.
Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales, Inc.
1476 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: (508) 999-3213

Ccontact Us

Return to Sam Giammalvo's "Home Page"