The push to wear seatbelts is old news, why do we still need to promote seatbelt use when it’s the law in Massachusetts?

CIOT-Infographics_1Massachusetts first passed the seat belt law in 1994 and is still considered a “secondary enforcement” law, meaning you may not be stopped for not wearing your seatbelt but you will be fined if you are stopped for another violation and not wearing your seatbelt. However, as a state, our usage is still low at 77%. Most states have stronger seatbelt laws. New Hampshire is the only state in the nation that does not have a seatbelt law other than requiring minors under 18 wear a seatbelt, although about 72% do wear seat belts.

For all those who don’t wear seatbelts, putting their lives in danger, they need to be reminded and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Click it or ticket” campaign is one way to do that. From May 18-31, there will a national program to promote seatbelt use and the police are asked to ticket people who are not wearing seatbelts.

New statistics show that people tend to wear seatbelts during the day when traffic is heaviest, but they feel they don’t need to wear them at night—WRONG! You need to wear them all the time. Some people feel they don’t need to wear them when they’re staying in town and not driving on a highway – WRONG! You need to wear them whether you’re going around town or on the highway. Seatbelts save lives and the accident fatality statistics show that time and time again.

The “Click it or Ticket” campaign was created to crackdown on violators 24-7, but a strong enforcement effort is urged between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., due to the significant number of violators and fatal crashes during this time. That’s why this year’s theme is “Day or Night: Click it or Ticket.” Massachusetts has participated in this national program since 2002. It is through this initiative the state claims seatbelt usage went from 51% to 77% in the past 12 years and fatalities involving non-restrained (belted) vehicle occupants dropped significantly from 57% of crash fatalities to 28%.

It has been well-documented that seat belts help reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Drivers and passengers increase their risk of injury or death by up to 50% when not wearing seat belts. In 2012, Massachusetts recorded 349 fatalities and 4,384 incapacitating injuries related to motor vehicle crashes on the roadway of the Commonwealth. This was a marked decrease from the 374 fatalities and 4,853 incapacitating injuries reported in the previous year.

Massachusetts law requires all occupants to be properly restrained by seat belts when riding in a private passenger motor vehicle, including vans and trucks. Please remember to “click it” all year long. Your life and your safety are in your hands.

AAA is predicting Memorial Day 2015 will see the highest volume of travel in a decade due to lower gas prices as 37.2 million Americans are expected to hit the road for the unofficial start of summer. Start your weekend by buckling up and being certain every passenger buckles up before you get on the road.

From all of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, stay safe and enjoy this beautiful weather and the long Memorial Day Weekend!

Categories: Ask Gary

What is so exciting about the new Volvo XC90 when that model has been out for years?


The luxury Volvo SUV that we’ve long been waiting for is the fully-redesigned 2016 XC90 that is a new vehicle in so many ways and is the most exciting of all the Volvo models. Its elegant Swedish design, enhanced by a bold front grille and pronounced front and rear lights, are unmistakably Volvo. And as good as it looks in the photo; the all-new XC90 is even more impressive in person.

There are three all-wheel drive engines to choose from – the Inscription, Momentum and R-Design – all with in-line 4-cylinder, supercharged and turbocharged engines. The standard features of the Volvo XC90 (the Momentum model) includes a 316 horsepower engine turbo/supercharger, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, an integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags; first, second and third-row overhead airbags, driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 19″ aluminum wheels, cruise control, an anti-lock braking system and driveline traction control. This is truly the hallmark of Volvo—the safest vehicles on the road!

U.S. News and World Report named the 2016 XC90 to the Best Cars list. The 2016 XC90 returns an EPA-estimated 20/25 mpg city/highway, and Volvo expects the hybrid to return 59 miles-per-gallon-equivalent combined city/highway, according to their review.

The 2016 Volvo XC90 seats up to seven and comes standard with heated and power-adjustable front seats, four-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a USB port, Volvo’s Senses infotainment system (with a 9-inch touch-screen), front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and front collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking. Leather upholstery, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, a 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, HD radio, navigation, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear collision warning, automatic parallel and perpendicular parking assist and a surround-view camera system are available. It even has a Wi-Fi hot spot so you’re always connected.

What more could you possibly ask for that is not in this luxury edition? A limited number of the XC90s have been produced and a limited number are currently available at Jaffarian Volvo. Come in and see this magnificent model in person; and if you’re in the market for this top-of-the-line luxury vehicle, take it for a test drive. You can even schedule a test drive on line.

Ever heard the expression “poetry in motion”? That describes the XC90 so I thought I end with my impression of this superior vehicle in that manner – the only vehicle to ever inspire me in this way!

Ode to the Volvo 2016 XC90 SUV

Natural and intuitive
Elegant, yet uncomplicated
Soft leather and grainy wood
With a crystal gearshift lever
Ventilated front seats
Four-way electric lumbar support
Like driving with a massage
Simplicity with advanced technology
You exemplify brilliance and safety
The XC90 truly is poetry in motion

The anticipation was well worth it! Come visit us and see for yourself!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

The roads are getting crowded! Any advice for drivers as the motorcycles and bicycles reappear?

MotorcycleSignMotorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month – and throughout the year – drivers of all other vehicles are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.  Because of the nice weather in New England now through autumn, motorcyclists will be returning to the road after a severe winter and they are the most vulnerable drivers.

Most motorcyclists are fully aware of the risks they undertake when riding, but the statistics stress how serious an issue motorcycle safety is. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles account for just 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S., yet motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic fatalities. The NHTSA estimates motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than passengers of other vehicles to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured.

A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates a yearly total of approximately 5,000 motorcycle fatalities from traffic accidents and many of those deaths could have been prevented if motorists were more mindful of safety.

Massachusetts mandates riders of all ages wear Department of Transportation approved helmets which do not interfere with hearing or vision; however, New Hampshire still does not have a helmet law, only a requirement that if someone under 18 is on a motorcycle, they must wear a helmet. I implore anyone who rides in N.H. to wear a helmet, despite the law not requiring use – it is a matter of life or death, and in many cases, severe disabilities result from brain injuries.

Even in the hot summer weather, motorcycle riders should dress for riding, not the beach. Be sure your body, arms and legs are covered appropriately.

May is also Bike Safety Month, so in addition to looking out for motorcycles, be aware of bicycle riders. Most town roads do not have bike lanes. Bikes, motorcycles and motor vehicles need to share the road with all displaying mutual understanding and respect. Just like motorcycles, bicycle riders need space on the sides of roads for their safety. By the way, AAA has extended their member benefit to include tire repair. A nice benefit.

AAA makes the following recommendations when sharing the road:

• For both bikes and motorcycles, be sure to give 3-feet of clearance, especially when passing a bicyclist.

• Look for bikes by checking mirrors and blind spots before leaving or entering a traffic lane.

• Especially use caution in neighborhoods where children are riding bikes, as their behavior can be unpredictable, and sometimes they quickly dart out and ride into the road.

• Always check for bikes going by before opening car doors.

When you see a motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic or tailgating your vehicle, the best solution to avoiding an accident is to move over and let them pass. Whether you’re the safe driver and the motorcyclists are driving like “daredevils,” you want to avoid any possibility of an accident. It makes no difference who is wrong or right, it’s more important to be safe.

We at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want to wish you safe and enjoyable driving this spring season! Now that the weather is finally nice, enjoy some nice drives throughout our beautiful area. If we can help you prepare for your upcoming day trip, long-distance journey or just your normal commute, come see us. Our service technicians and advisors are always happy to help.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What are the top mistakes people make when buying a vehicle?

carshopping online Today’s consumer is more educated than ever, particularly when it comes to buying a vehicle.  At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we do everything possible to support the educated consumer and have a number of efforts in place to provide important information people need when buying, leasing or servicing their vehicle, such as this Ask Gary blog.

There are, however, a number of common misconceptions and/or mistakes that people make that I’d like to share with you to help in the buying process:

  • Beware of skipping key research: It’s not just what you buy, but where you buy it. While many people conduct extensive research on what type of vehicle to buy and how much they should pay, they often skip a critical step – researching the dealership. Resources such as Dealer, and the Better Business Bureau help consumers evaluate where they should buy their vehicle to make sure it’s from a reputable dealership with a strong service culture.
  • Don’t hide your cards…and don’t let your dealer do it either: Once you’ve done your homework on the vehicle, defined your budget, defined your must-haves vs. nice to haves and researched the likely trade-in value for your existing vehicle, don’t feel like you have to hide that information from the dealer. Put it all on the table and ask your dealer to do the same. A transparent approach from both sides will make the process faster, minimize frustrations and hopefully maximize the excitement of buying your new vehicle.
  • Don’t fool yourself into a false trade-in value: learn to use Kelley Blue Book effectively. Buyers need to know how to determine the true value of their used vehicle. There are misconceptions that can cause frustration during the buying process. It is understandable that everyone wants as high a trade-in value as possible but factors including mileage, repair and maintenance history and accident history matter.
  • Only buy the features you really want/need: Don’t get fooled into buying features you simply don’t want or need.  Be clear on your “must haves” vs. “nice to have.”
  • Don’t disregard leasing as a viable option: We’ve covered this before, but there are many misconceptions about the benefits of leasing and I encourage people to evaluate leasing as a viable option.  The dealer should help you understand whether it fits your budget, car driving preferences and driving habits.  Make sure your dealer walks you through the differences between buying vs. leasing to help you make an informed decision.
  • Know the truth about warranties: Figure into your budget the benefits of an extended warranty.
  • Skimping on service will cost you: Determine where to get your vehicle serviced – it can make a difference in the long-term value and performance.  Develop a relationship with your service provider. Like going to the doctor, Jaffarian’s Service Department keeps a record of all of your service visits and helps you maintain your maintenance schedule. In addition to minimizing costly problems, this keeps your warranty valid.
  • Dealership size matters…or does it? Are there advantages to buying from a large or small dealership? Know the difference. Do you want to be the “small fish in the big pond” or the large fish in the small pond?” How important is it to you to have the personal touch?

I hope this will help enhance your vehicle-shopping and buying experience, so that you can speak with a dealer on an informed basis. Buying a new vehicle really can be a pleasurable experience. I know because of the number of letters we receive with positive feedback, as well as from our ratings on and We are here to help you make the right decision for your needs and your budget to help you avoid these common mistakes. Get informed. Stay informed!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Did someone from Jaffarian give my name to a warranty company? Is this a scam?

Angry on Phone“Who is Weatherford INT? Someone from that company called our home said they represented you regarding the warranty on our Highlander. We said we weren’t interested and hung up. They kept calling back. This went on for five more calls from the same person wanting to talk to us about our warranty.”

The answer is a resounding NO! We do not give your name out to any unrelated parties. Your warranty would only be offered through Toyota. Unfortunately, it is too easy for scammers to get public information on registered vehicles. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion or Toyota would not give out your name. It is not in our best interest or yours, to have you buy a warranty from an unknown company.

Over the years, I have had our customers come in with postcards and letters offering warranties. Many warranty companies “sell outrageously priced extended warranties. The mailings look like an important notice from your car dealer or automaker. There is always an eye-catching warning on the front of the card, such as: Final Notice: Expiring Auto Warranty,” warns a government website.

We are not affiliated with these companies, and unless it is an offer from Volvo or Toyota offering to extend your original warranty, we would agree with how you handled the solicitation. (Out of curiosity, I looked up Weatherford INT and it appears to be a reputable international company in the oil business and does not represent vehicle warranties, which only reinforces it was a scam.)Warranty

Also, be aware of services that sound like AAA and offer products and services you would associate with AAA, a highly reputable nonprofit organization. With the internet, companies can choose domain names to confuse you or company names that sound familiar.

Not only does Toyota offer a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty on all new vehicles (all components other than normal wear and maintenance items), they also offer a 100,000 mile warranty on certified pre-owned and benefits such as a transferable warranty, should you sell your vehicle while it is still under warranty. They offer extended warranties as long as you make the decision prior to the expiration of the original warranty. New vehicles also include Powertrain Coverage for 60 months/60,000 miles on the engine, transmission/transaxle, front-wheel-drive system and rear-wheel drive system.

Toyota also includes rust-through coverage for 60 months/unlimited miles. For hybrid owners, hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.

It is important to keep in mind that if you do not keep your factory recommended service up-to-date, it may void your warranty. That is another reason to have your vehicle serviced at Jaffarian Service Department –because we maintain an accurate record of all service performed and will bill Toyota for warranty-covered services.

If you purchase a Volvo, most of the service is included in the price of the vehicle and those service visits will maintain your warranty. Volvo also offers a variety of Assurance Plans, including Protection Plus, Key Protection and Tire and Wheel Protection Plans, most of which include roadside assistance. Volvo has “VIP” or Volvo Increased Protection Plans. The benefit of these plans is to avoid costly out-of-pocket expenses.

The FCC has noticed an increase in warranty scams, most of which are illegal and violate the “do not call” lists. According to the FCC: “During the calls, which are usually automated or pre-recorded, the consumer is told that the warranty on his or her automobile is about to expire and is instructed to press a number to renew it. The callers often pose as representatives of a car dealer or manufacturer, and may or may not have specific information about the consumer’s particular car and warranty. Many may actually be fraudulent—if you press a certain number or stay on the line, you may be asked to provide several types of personal information, including your credit card number, which can be used to defraud unwary consumers.”

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives more than 1,200 complaints a year against extended auto warranty companies. Consumers across the United States are alleging that US Fidelis, a company touting itself as ‘America’s leading provider of extended auto warranties,’ pressured them into buying expensive and unnecessary vehicle service contracts from which they received little or no benefit.

The BBB is warning consumers to be extremely wary of telemarketing calls and mailers which claim their auto warranty has or is about to expire. BBB advises that the deceptive solicitations could persuade car owners to purchase an extended auto service contract of questionable value.

If you purchased a vehicle from us, please call us or stop by if you want to extend your warranty. Do not give out any personal information or credit card number to someone who solicits you by phone and be assured that we have not shared your personal information. When in doubt, check with us as we are happy to help you make an informed decision about warranties.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

There are so many “packages” referenced in ads – how do I know what they include and what some features actually do?

VolvoInteriorYou are right! There are many “packages” offered to consumers and it can be confusing to understand what exactly is included so you can make an informed decision. Generally, these packages are a group of options which are sold together and have incentive package pricing. Volvo tends to offer a lot of different packages, depending on the model. Here are some examples for the XC 60:

Climate Package – includes a three-spoke leather steering wheel w/deco inlay, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, heated windshield, interior air quality system, heated front seats, and heated windshield washer nozzles.

Technology Package – includes an adaptive cruise control which adapts to city driving, collision warning w/full auto brake, pedestrian and cyclist detection w/full auto brake and distance alert, driver alert control and lane departure warning, road sign information and active high beam.

Convenience Package — includes a garage door opener; cargo area cover/rear parcel shelf; grocery bag holder; one 12V power outlet(s) in cargo area; electrically foldable mirrors; and electrically-adjustable rear seat head restraints.

Inscription Package – This package refers to Volvo’s collection of exclusive interior & exterior features that express the best of Scandinavian design, including perforated leather upholstery; black interior ceiling option; wood and leather trim; inscription branded aluminum tread plates, inscription branded floor mats; and leather front tunnel storage cover.

Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) Package  — offers a BLIS overtaking sensor; cross-traffic alert; lane change merge aid; front park assist front radar parking distance sensors, and rear park assist rear radar parking distance sensors.

The 2015 Volvo S60 is offered in a variety of options, including a T5, T6, and all-wheel drive, with a variety of trim levels with a few optional packages:

The Premier Package adds different 17-in alloys, keyless entry with push-button start, leather upholstery, a sunroof, a power passenger seat, a sophisticated instrument panel with driver-selectable themes and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Premier Plus Package contributes a rearview camera, a HomeLink garage door opener, power retractable side mirrors and a compass.

The Platinum Package tacks on auto-dimming exterior mirrors, ambient interior lighting, a navigation system with voice control and a12-speaker surround-sound audio system.

Toyota also offers packages which vary greatly by vehicle. The Toyota Tacoma truck packages are very different packages that fit that model vs. a Corolla, Camry or Prius. Premier, convenience and specialty packages, like those listed above, offer cost-effective solutions for customizing vehicles.

To learn more about the packages available for specific models and costs, check us out at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion and then come visit us in person. We are here to help you evaluate such packages to ensure you get the features and value you are looking for in your next vehicle. As the Volvo slogan reads, vehicle packages help you “Personalize the car of your choice – into the car of your dreams.”

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Isn’t drinking and driving a young adult problem for the most part?

sobrietytestLast week I discussed National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, focusing on the dangers of cell phone use. April is also Alcohol Awareness Month. This is perhaps the biggest driving issue for accidents and fatalities that could be totally eliminated without drinking and driving.

You are correct in thinking that drinking and driving fatalities correlate with age. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the statistics are as follows:

Age:               % of fatal crashes:

21-24               32%

25-34               30%

35-44               24%

45+                  14%

Some authorities focus on drinking and driving as a problem affecting only young people where the statistics are the highest, however, drinking and driving victims are people of all ages, professions and nationalities.

How big is the problem?

• Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.
• According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every day nearly 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes.

Hosting a party or going to a party or bar? Here are some tips so you or someone else doesn’t become the next statistic:
• Avoid drinking too much, by limiting yourself to one alcoholic beverage or two, depending on what you drink at parties, pubs or other occasions. Then switch to non-alcoholic beer, ale, or try a cranberry and soda with a twist of lime, sparkling cider, or other “mocktails.”
• Try enjoying great conversation, play darts or pool, tell jokes or play charades.
• If alcohol is on the drink list, have a system of taking away vehicle keys of guests as they step in the door. Never let a drunk, even a tipsy person drive, even if they tell you they’re fine to drive. If it’s necessary, call a taxi, find them a ride home and have them pick their car up in the morning.
• Remind your guests to plan ahead and define a designated driver; offer alcohol-free beverages; and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver. It is your legal, moral and ethical obligation to be sure your guests will not cause harm to themselves or others on the road when attending your party.
• Never serve alcohol to minors, even in your own home.

What other safety steps can you take to ensure your safety and others in your vehicle or on the road?
• Whenever your social plans involve alcohol, make plans so that you don’t have to drive after drinking.
• Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away, drive them home or call a cab. They may give you a hard time, but they will be grateful the next day.
• If you have been drinking, get a ride home, call a taxi, or stay over a friend’s home if possible or in a hotel. Never drink and drive, no matter how safe you think you’ll be. In 45 states including Massachusetts, there is a Designated Driver Service. Access this list before you go out.

At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we are committed to your safety. During Alcohol Awareness Month, remind the young adults in your life of making good choices and take this opportunity to personally reflect on making good decisions. We want you arrive home safely each and every day.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

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