By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A report from AAA shows a record number of drivers need help on the road. The company responded to millions of calls for roadside assistance last year, many of them drivers in newer cars. 3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan explains why some new automotive technologies could be to blame.
Every day, tow truck driver Ed Rostamian comes to the rescue of dozens. He says, “70 to 80 calls a day.” His first call on this shift: a dead battery in a hybrid Toyota.
AAA rescued a record 32 million drivers in 2015, commonly with battery or tire issues. And it’s newer vehicles that are having problems.
AAA says about 40 percent of new cars don’t come with a spare tire. When Michelle Stevens got a flat on her way to work last year she only had an inflator kit in her trunk. She says, “There was too big of a hole even to use that so I had to call for a tow truck.”
AAA says newer technologies in cars are contributing to breakdowns. Keyless ignition systems in some vehicles can put a major strain on the battery. AAA Spokesperson John Townsend says, “That along with all the electronics on cars today will drain the battery more quickly. The life expectancy rate of a battery is only three years and if you have that battery for more than 3 years you’re living on borrowed time.”
On this call, Ed found his customer’s battery was a goner. He says, “100 percent, back to the dealer to get a new battery.”
AAA says checking your tire pressure on a regular basis and testing your battery once it reaches three years old can help ensure you face fewer problems on the road.