NYT plays catch-up on quiet hybrid cars story
The NYTimes goes A1 today with "Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety." The problem is that this is old news. If the Times is going to catch-up on a not-that-major story like this, it should do so inside. Adding to the oddity, this wasn't even a staff piece; it was by a freelancer, Jim Motavalli.
The basic issue of hybrids being too quiet has been around for years. Many hybrid owners and pedestrians knew about this a long time ago. And the media got to the story a few years ago. The East Bay Express and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had it in 2005. Knight Ridder had an article in 2006. The story grew in 2007, with articles from the likes of the WSJ and the AP. (As for how much of a safety problem there actually is, it's a bit murky; that'd be a good subject for further examination).
As for the newer news -- that there is indeed a move toward putting speakers on the cars to make them safer for pedestrians -- that was last month's story. There was a batch of articles in September, from Bloomberg, LATimes.com, CNET, and others, after Nissan announced that it would be putting speakers on one of its cars.
And it was back in April that Senators Kerry and Specter introduced legislation looking to address the issue.
So what we're left with is the NYT trying to put a cute story on the front page, but actually rehashing old news.