No Speeding for You!

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The inevitable has happened.

Volvo just announced that it will limit the top speed of all its new cars to 112 MPH, beginning with the 2021 model year – to “highlight the dangers of speeding.”

But it’s not just top speed Volvo intends to limit.

In addition to electronically preventing its cars from exceeding 112 MPH anywhere, it plans to limit you from exceeding the speed limit in school zones, near hospitals and – implicitly – everywhere else.

“We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even the obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behavior,” croons Volvo’s president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson.

Italics added.

Samuelsson is saying – openly – that what Volvo is about to do everyone else must also do. In other words, a fatwa from the government – or the de facto equivalent – outlawing (or rendering impossible) “speeding,” period.

Because everyone knows that it’s ipso facto “dangerous” to ever drive even 1 MPH faster than whatever speed the government – which is all knowing – decrees to be the “safe” speed.

And more than just that.

If a fatwa is hurled that requires all new cars to be incapable of being driven faster than the posted speed limit because that’s always “dangerous” then why not also a fatwa  requiring them to be incapable of accelerating “excessively” fast – even if the car never actually exceeds the limit?

Throttle inputs can be controlled – and countermanded just as easily as speed is limited in almost any modern car, not just Volvo’s cars. No more burnouts – or even passing – for you!

As the opening monologue from TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man put it… we have the technology

Some of you reading this already know – possibly because I’ve warned about it for at least the past three or four years.

Many new cars have a curious little icon that pops up on the LCD touchscreen, or in the main gauge cluster. It looks like a speed limit sign – black numerals on the usual white background. It changes as you drive, to indicate the PSL on the road you’re driving on.

And it turns an angry red as soon as you drive faster than the PSL.

In other words, the car knows you’re “speeding.” It just hasn’t done anything about it . . . yet.

But it could.

The system is primed and ready – not unlike the Patriot Act.

All it will take is the flicking of the proverbial switch – the sending of new programming– via the “connectivity” most new cars also already have and all of them will soon have. The new programming will reconfigure the ECU, the computer which controls most of your car’s operating parameters – to countermand your acceleration inputs.

In the interests of saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety!

Remember: Almost all new cars have drive-by-wire throttle control, which means the accelerator pedal isn’t physically connected to the throttle, as was the case in the past. Instead, sensors send data about how far down you’ve pushed the accelerator pedal and that data is interpreted by the ECU, which sends a signal to open (or close) the throttle accordingly.

But it could just as easily belay your inputs. No matter how hard you mash the gas, the engine doesn’t react accordingly. The same principle – and technology – can also be used to prevent “abrupt” steering inputs; many new cars already have electrically rather than hydraulically controlled power steering – with electric motors controlled by computers the (ECU). These can just as readily be controlled by programming – and not by you.

If it saves just one life. 

Literally- that is Volvo’s  argument, the core tenet of its Vision 2020, which “…aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.”

Hopefully you’re not in a rush to get to the hospital after severing an artery in a chainsaw mishap. Or because your wife went into early labor and the doctor had warned you about potentially lethal complications.

There is also the soul-killing aspect of all of this.

The marrow-sucking of every last morsel of pleasure that might come from driving, from being in control of your car – and not under the control of a bureaucratic hive-nexus.

Volvo appears to not understand that driving – and transportation – are two very different things.

Both aim to get you from A to B.

But the main reason people buy a car rather than a bus ticket is because they want to be the one behind the wheel, the one in charge of what goes on. The one making the decisions.

Volvo is urging that almost all of that be taken away – while still expecting people to pay extra for the privilege of being the meatsack who’s along for the ride.

. . .

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. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $5 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.  





  1. Most accidents occur because we are surrounded by shitty drivers driving shitty cars on shitty roads. All of these due to massive government failures everywhere. Drivers’ Ed? Spare me. DMV driving test? Yawn. Illegally obtained drivers licenses so that people without the first clue can drive a car? How about “road taxes” that get spent on bike lanes and subways, instead of guard rails and lane markers? And Volvo is going to single-handedly solve all this? Talk about the idiotic arrogance of that statement.

    • Indeed, James –

      Almost all the focus is on enforcement of various laws that decree driver behavior in a one-size-fits-all template that presumes any violation of the decreed behavior is synonymous with “dangerous” driving. This is why we have Face Diapering. It is based on the same principle. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t lost control of your car (or that you’re healthy). The possibility – based on the fear – that you might is warrant enough to justify police action. And Diapering action.

      Rather than focus on the presumption of harm as the basis for harming people who haven’t caused any, I advocate the sane standard – which is to hold specific individuals responsible for any harms they actually cause but to leave them be if they do not cause it. This is an objective standard and so a fair and just one. If I lose control of my vehicle and damage someone else’s, it’s obvious I am responsible for that and right that I be held responsible for it. But it is wrong to punish me or anyone else for “speeding” or making a right on red because “it’s the law” – because that’s not enough. Unless you believe in totemic worship of laws as such – without regard to right.

    • Hi T,

      I’m working up a rant… if this stands, it is The End. The only people who will want to buy a new car that isn’t just a transportation appliance will be Clovers… which appear to be the new majority.

      I feel very tired this morning.

      • Eric,

        The old Nissan 240SX, a sporty notchback from years ago, was limited to 110 mph, thanks to insurance company pressure. I think that’s a big reason why that car didn’t last too long on the market. Why buy a sporty car when you can get a Camry to go as fast?

    • Hi T and Eric,

      Are the auto companies supporting this? If so, there must be some plan to retroactively mandate such limiters on older cars in order to be licensed. After all, why would any sane person buy a car with this feature? As for the reassurance that “drivers will be able to override the device simply by pushing hard on the accelerator”, what makes anyone think that this feature won’t be eliminated, or that it will allow a reasonable “out” from the nanny car programming?

      “The speed limiter device, called intelligent speed assistance (ISA), uses GPS data and sign recognition cameras to detect speed limits where the car is traveling, and then will sound a warning and automatically slow the vehicle down if it is exceeding the limit.”

      So, if you stomp on the gas it will let you “speed” but it doesn’t say you can turn the fucking thing off. So, will your car be constantly beeping at you and fighting with you if you want to “speed”. Is there any evidence that speed limits enhance safety? We do have a good historical case study suggesting otherwise. When the 55 MPH speed limit was scrapped, all of the safety hysterics insisted that mass carnage would be the result, didn’t happen. I’ve read studies that show that red light cameras increase accidents. All of the evidence suggests that speed limits are set to promote revenue generation and have nothing to do with safety. If they were about safety then they’d need to show data that showed at least a strong correlation.

      “Safety campaigners described the move as one of the biggest leaps forward in 50 years and said it could save 25,000 lives by 2037.” They just pull these numbers out of their ass. It’s like the ludicrous claims of lots of people harmed by VW emissions or the straight up fraud of thousands of deaths caused by exposure to ETS. These people are never held accountable. They never have to prove, or even show evidence for, their asinine assertions. Even when their claims are exposed as fraudulent, it makes no difference. In 1992 the EPA released a report claiming that ETS caused 3,000 deaths per year. This report was based on knowingly fraudulent research, and was severely rebuked by judge William Osteen in 1998. Did this make any difference? No, that study is still cited as valid and most anti-smoking organizations offer estimates that vastly exceed even those absurd claims. After all, as the vapid, petulant, mental adolescent AOC recently opined, “it’s more important to be morally right than factually correct.”

      To those who think the war on smoking is irrelevant, it is not. The fraudulent case against ETS created the excuse for regulatory agencies to become public health crusaders, vested with enormous, unaccountable power. The assault on personal freedom and property rights (in the name of saaaaaaafety) owes its’ “legitimacy” to the success of the anti-smoking crusades.

      Hopefully, there’s still enough of the vestigial remains of independence left in the American soull to resist this shit here, probably not.


  2. My parents had a turbo white volvo station wagon with a a tan interior and sunroof in the late 80’s. Helluva car. Great visibility and quite quick and a super cool euro interior. Loved that car.

  3. Based on this, I wish Volvo would start building trains, and leave the car-building to those who are sane. But I’m sure they have a different definition of “sane” than I do.

    • A friend had a “sport” coupe Volvo back in the late 80’s or early 90’s. It would run like a big dog and after he rebuilt the engine he used a bigger turbo. It was wicked fast…and an oil burner too but what the hell. Just add a quart for the next few hundred miles and stand on it. I let him use my bass boat and used his car for half a day doing errands in east Texas. We both were smiling by early afternoon.

  4. that 94 f150 is looking better everyday.

    but really, you couldn’t pay me to drive a volvo anyway…like a prius, i don’t want to be seen driving what looks like a gay spaceship

    • Hi Mike,

      I don’t loathe the old RWD Volvos of the ’70s and ’80s; they were slow, but very solidly built – just as Mercedes’ cars used to be!

      • Hi Eric, the Volvos back then were advertised as the car you wanted to own if “safety” was your thing, and they were also quite durable. I remember a magazine ad that had a picture of 5 Volvos stacked one atop the other to prove their point of how solid it was. As you’ve always said at least back then we had a choice- if you were obsessed with saaaaafety then you could buy a Volvo based on that…. or not, it wasn’t rammed down our throat by Uncle.

        • I recall that ad…..for safety. I also recall they had fudged it and added structural additions to those cars in the ad. It was a big shitty when it came out about the alterations. I don’t doubt they were strong, just not THAT strong. I believe it was Car and Driver that outted them. Think about it a second and it becomes clear one car can’t support 4 more unless it has a ROPS system….which in effect is what they had.

          • The Volvo car-stacking ad in the early 1970s was legit. Those were real unmodified new Volvos. Each car sat on a wooden cradle to hold it steady and distribute the load. Even the bottom car; its tires were not carrying any of the load.

            But that’s not cheating. They were showing off the strength of the car’s roof pillars, not the strength of its suspension or the crane operator’s jenga skills. They had a supply of new Volvos that were basically free because they had been totaled in a flood. They stacked as many as they could until the stack toppled over.

            The scandal was in 1990, when they ran an ad showing a monster truck crushing a bunch of other cars but unable to crush a Volvo. Supposedly they got the idea for the ad because someone saw a Volvo stand up well in a real car-crushing monster truck show. But when they filmed the actual ad they cheated — they reinforced the Volvo and they cut the roof pillars in the other cars. Oops.

        • Also, that Volvo ad (and another one with an IH truck sitting on the roof) were absolutely ridiculous to anyone with even the barest minimum of common sense or at least some observation of the real world.

          The TIRES on the bottom car were not the slightest bit affected by the weight of four additional cars or a 15,000 pound truck!

          Any old hillbilly that had ever loaded sh1t in the back of his old pickup could see it was fake.

          • Those ads always looked like BS because if you see cars stacked at a junkyard the suspension on the bottom one is compressed to the stops and the car is pushed down into the mud. Damage or no damage the suspension will compress.

            Another thing, the cars up high in the stack don’t have their suspensions extended as happens when a car is not resting on its wheels.

            This would imply Volvos have no suspensions. Just rigid mounting.

            • Well it really was an impressive advertisement because they didn’t have “photoshop” back then.

              Must have had some steady handed Swedes cutting out pictures of cars (and a truck) with scissors!

  5. Eric,
    Take a break and read some comments from “Medical Clovers” in the comment section of this article:
    That crazy Rand Paul guy had the audacity to say parents could refuse vaccines. The whole edgy teen defying mom on reddit to get vaccines smells so bad of astroturf. And our losers in congress brought this kid on to testify before a congressional panel… for what? I watched what I could stomach from it and had to turn it off on CSPAN. Just a big brainless circle jerk of pharma/medical representatives and brain dead baboons. The kid seemed like he had been coached and had some great linguistic programming buzz words. This county is drowning in bureaucracy and we are loving every minute of it.

    • I can’t read anything from general population or mainstream media on vaccines any more. The stupid burns too much. The inability to properly calculate risk and reward or rather the belief that vaccines have no downside risks and that the “authorities” are doing things with vaccination where their understanding is rather limited is just the start. That alone is impossible let alone explaining to people that vaccination for most things came well after the disease itself had been practically beaten by other means such as nutrition, sanitation, and treatment. And then the most rational argument of all, not overwhelming a baby’s immune system with many vaccines at once is just something that can’t be grasped at all. That’s there is a difference between one at a time and many at once.

      All these people just repeat everything they are told without considering the interests of those telling them these things. Then they insult people who deviate from that. Are some people against vaccination equally dumb? Sure. But at least they are suspicious. I am not opposed to vaccination but there is more to the story for certain. Risks, coverups of incompetence, greed, just plain not understanding, and more.

      • “All these people just repeat everything they are told without considering the interests of those telling them these things.”

        Give them a break. Thinking is hard. Really hard for those who have not done so since they were broken of the habit in grade school.

        I don’t have kids so I don’t really care but I have discussed vaccinations with some parents. Sorry, tried to discuss. Send them the link to the pharmaceutical companies own warnings and possible side effects web page. Ignored. ‘Don’t have time to read it’. Too busy watching football/hockey/real-morons-of-Hollywood…..

  6. FYI Volvo has already had this feature in their commercial Vehicles for about a decade. My father in law took immediate retirement when his old cement truck was replaced with a new Volvo, complete with enough surveillance equipment to make the NSA giddy. Not seeing the writing on the wall, several guys who he worked with for decades stayed on and embraced the new paradigm. Within 6 months half of them were fired, some just months before retirement, after their Volvo’s snitched on them for violating some new safety policy. It turns out that those same Volvo’s have also required 30% more maintenance, with significantly more downtime than their predecessors. I’ll confess to being a little tough on Eric when his points get a little too ‘victim-y’ for my taste. But I’m willing to eat my words here. Because everything he is predicting is spot on and already happening. Be advised and be vigilant.

    • The feature in in the engine control unit, not the vehicle.
      Most Volvos are sold with Volvo engines. There are other options, just as with all commercial vehicles.
      My contract with Truckmovers was cancelled because I told the sales manager at a Volvo dealership in East St. Louis that I wouldn’t drive a Volvo if it was given to me. He really didn’t like me saying that I would trade it for almost anything else, especially a Pete.
      My objection to Volvos has always been their reliance on unstandardized logos instead of English labels in the cab. Beyond that, I have nothing good to say about them.
      It is really silly to blame on Volvo what the federal government is forcing on all the manufacturers.

  7. So a chinese company has finally implemented more big brother tech voluntarily into their car. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Volvo nearly died once now its digging the hole and jumping in on its own. No one wants a car that forces you to drive speed limit. However maybe all agw should drive these new volvos. They can set an example of following the law.

  8. Granted who goes over a 100 mph much but the sanctimonious lecturing about it “to highlight the dangers of speeding” is nauseating. It seems to be the typical we’re so much more moral and good swedish mindset.

    • Hi Mark,

      The item of real concern is this business of the car enforcing speed limits – as well as acceleration. Imagine a 460 horsepower Corvette that won’t accelerate any faster than a Camry – and which will not let you drive faster than any PSL, regardless of the idiocy of the PSL.

      Makes my teeth ache… severely.

      • Eric I had a hertz rental car with this feature unknown to me. Almost got into real trouble on a 2 lane Georgia blacktop at night passing a car when it kicked on with an oncoming vehicle approaching. When I returned the car I told the desk person do you know how dangerous this is? Last time with hertz. The volvo thing is usual corporate nannyism insanity.

          • I have probably gotten out of being in more accidents with the gas pedal then the brake. Sometimes the answer is more speed not less. Slamming on the brakes is often the problem that causes a wreck.

            • I’ve generally found that the steering wheel is more useful than all the pedals combined. This is especially true with tractor-trailers, which are far more maneuverable than stoppable or capable of acceleration. Situational awareness is more effective in prevention than anything is in mitigation.

      • Eric I am almost glad for this being it will starve the tax parasite cops out of ticket money. I also would not mind if cars had the breath test where you cant start the car if drunk. it would starve the beast billions worth.

          • Can’t imagine the crap they will come up with to replace that revenue. Probably write more tickets for pedestrian and bicycle “violations” for starters.

            In my own town, they are cracking down on unregistered vehicles stored in peoples private yards. Unless its completely out of sight of the road, and your neighbors don’t rat on you , it’s going to probably get ticketed and then towed.

            • If this is such a concern for you, why do you not relocate?
              My favorite part of living in a van is the ease with which problems related to location can be resolved with a turn of the key. The same was equally true while trucking or RVing.

                • Most Americans cannot get an allodial title on land anymore, and without it, all you get is a permit to pay property tax forever.
                  I’m waiting for the Great Correction to begin and I’ll be looking for turnkey farm land to live on and rent out to the former owner who is newly bankrupt. I’d especially like to find a partner in a excavation business who would like to have a share in a development of four-season hydroponic walapinis.

                  • Thanks for the info. As an old organic gardener I highly value any way to do so. I have save my search on this and will continue in depth tomorrow. Thanks again.

                  • Morning, Vonu –

                    This is – sadly – true. I paid off my house more than 15 years ago and yet I am still paying to live in it. If I fail to pay, it will be made very clear to me who actually owns my house.

                    The only reason it’s worth it – paying endless rent to the government, I mean – is because it does at least cost less than paying rent (or a mortgage) to a landlord or bank. In my case, at least. The tax to live in “my” paid-for house amounts to about $2,000 annually – so about $160/month in “rent” … which is as close to nothing as I think it’s possible to get short of doing as you do and living in a van.

                    Problem for me is that I can’t do that with five cats!

                  • I don’t understand this allodial title stuff. So you go through the procedure to get it with government and then government promises it can’t take your land for failure to pay property taxes. It makes no sense for either government will deny the title or simply ignore the limits such title is supposed to have upon it.

                    • If you do not have an allodial title, you owe property tax on your land. If you do have allodial title, you owe no tax on and that you actually own. Allodial titles are issued by courts not county clerks. They are not available in most jurisdictions anymore.

                    • The closest thing to an allodial title today is the property tax exemption that non-profit organizations can have on their real estate. So not for an individual person. And even for those organizations they can be iffy. Some churches and other fraternal groups near me have found when they operate banquet hall businesses the county wants property tax on that portion. Up to about 15 years ago, those organizations never lost the exemption in court, but they have been losing them pretty regularly since. The government wants more and more, and non-profits are the fruit that hasn’t been picked much yet.

                    • Courts are government. Furthermore my question remains, why would government honor this?

                      Wages aren’t income but the IRS still demands taxes on wages. Why would the county care what kind of title you have? They say you owe, so you do. How is a piece of paper going to stop them?
                      Fight in court year after year?

          • Hence the new laws against talking on your cell phone and other things in the car that can distract you from looking straight ahead with your hands at 10 and 2.

            The State Highwaymen will not be denied their take.

        • Sez spqr70ad, “I am almost glad for this being it will starve the tax parasite cops out of ticket money.” Replies Guerrero, “Hence the new laws against talking on your cell phone and other things in the car that can distract you from looking straight ahead with your hands at 10 and 2. The State Highwaymen will not be denied their take.”

          These two guys beat me to it.

          Considering how much blather has for so many decades been spewed forth by cops, politicians, and insurance company executives on the subject of how “speeding” is the primary cuuse of crashes, I had long wondered why auto manufacturers didn’t build their products with speed limiters. Over time as I learned how much governments depend on ticketing drivers as a primary source of revenue, the epiphany came.

          The idea is not to prevent drivers from speeding. The idea is, rather, to catch drivers speeding so they can pay more of their, ah, fair share of taxes.

          I can picture the aforementioned cops, politicians, and insurance company executives becoming, in private, quite angry as they contemplate the possibility of not being able to continue the speeding-ticket racket. Or, rather, I *could* picture it. Coz it’s not gonna happen. The “new laws” mentioned by Guerrero are merely *one* category of laws you can break. And there are so many, many other pretexts you can give a cop to write you a piece of “payin’ paper.”

          And if you don’t give a cop a pretext? Four words: Heien vs. North Carolina. This SCOTUS decision gave the cops the legal authority to make up the law on the spot. No, those who need your money more than you do will *not* be denied their take.

      • I used to lease a 2011 Ford (con)Fusion – (will never make the mistake of leasing ANY vehicle ever again). Keep in mind this is a vehicle with a 240 HP V6…the damn thing was purposely limited to a top speed of 75 mph, which was NEVER mentioned in the lease agreement! When I pointed this out upon the first time getting the oil changed at the (stealer)ship, they said, “Yeah, Ford’s been doing that and not bringing it up, we get that complaint all the time!”.

        I suspect that any class-action lawsuit alleging fraud or failure to disclose a material fact on Ford’s part would have fallen on deaf ears in court – thanks to S-a-a-a-a-f-t-e-e-e-e-e concerns.

        • Can’t imagine it’s not disclosed somewhere in tiny print in the lease. It’s not like anyone actually reads the entire lease.

          • How would you know if it is or isn’t in the lease if you didn’t read it?
            Not reading the whole lease is similar to not reading the whole package insert. Side effects are usually exhaustively detailed in a PDR file, but doctors rarely read them, either. Who else can be blamed when the most affected can’t be bothered to do their own vetting?
            Why would a matter of programming that didn’t change the nature of the lease be detailed therein?
            caveat emptor

        • The way leasing a car works it may not be Ford that did it. I doubt it was Ford. It was more likely the leasing company which is the owner of the vehicle. Their motivation was likely some odd idea of preventing damage to the vehicle.

      • We’ll just have to learn to live with anything that we will accept.
        My daily driver and nightly sleeper is a 2003 E-150 and I already have funds waiting for the eventual drivetrain R&R. Ford added the blackbox in 2005, so I’ve got what will probably be my last vehicle.
        If we won’t buy them, eventually, they will not sell them. Nobody can make unsaleable products forever.

  9. God damn this sounds depressing…. for a moment in history this new range of Volvos actually seemed quite cool (head of my department, who is a car guy got the XC90 with every option available, and man its plush, and pretty fast)….. but they just wouldn’t have it… they just want to be the boring clover car that they were in the 80s it seems…

    • Hi Nasir,

      Yup. And it begs the question – why would anyone bother spending money on a “fast” car that can’t be driven any faster than a Prius?

      It’s as pointless as a hard-on in a men’s locker room… assuming you’re not gay, of course.

  10. If I remember correctly, Japanese motorcycle manufacturers speed limited their motorcycles to 300 kph voluntarily some years ago. I don’t know if they still speed limit their bikes but I suspect they do.

  11. Saw this the other day and figured Eric would have something to say about it… lolol.

    I wonder,,, soon they will limit your lane control. Say your moving along and a child comes out of a driveway… You swerve to the left but there is a yellow no passing line and the car disobeys your input. You road kill the kiddie. Who will the lawyers blame?

    The government and society in general takes away any fun in activities whether it be dodge ball, driving or flying. As a Private Pilot I watched them take all the fun out of flying to where I had no desire to partake. This is essentially what they’re doing to driving. Eventually only Corpgov transportation will be available.

    There’s really no way to stop it, especially when they have Mr. Digital to control your every action. I have always maintained, digital is the worse thing for liberty that mankind ever invented next to the military and police. It has been converted to a ball and chain on just about everything one does these days. I have noted even the most avid liberty advocates carry Mr. digital every where they go and tracks everything they say or do.

    • Hi Ken,

      I agree. Ever read the Dune series? The story takes place in the distant future, after a war against what the author – Frank Herbert – styled thinking machines. Which were outlawed after the war.

      • I really dug Dune. It was ahead of its time in some respects although many a good writer had touched on the subject. Sad now that I felt compelled to give away countless sci-fi books I simply had no place to store.

        My cousin with the big bucks built a 3 bedroom house with a study, a den, another room for a library an office and then most all rooms with floor to ceiling bookshelves. Yep, he reads a lot.

        Not that I like it but I began reading Kindle years ago because I had no time to find books except online and I could download them to my phone. I could catch up on several pages or even chapters waiting to load.

        I got a bad rap from the stupid set for not being interested in what I was doing. 51 years of having a CDL and they think I should watch with baited breath knowing I’d see nothing new unless some incompetent poop damaged my rig or the load.

        I’ll give an example. I was living away from home(as usual) in an RV(as usual) and at the end of the day instead of participating in dick measuring contests I chose to read. One day one of the more sane members of the crew walked into my RV where I was re-reading an old Heinlein novel that had one of those “artists renditions” on the cover and it was a really hot, exotic woman. He comes in and says “What you reading? Oh, romance novel eh? Looks good to me, a lot of people read them”. I just nodded and closed the book. Then he says “wanna get high?”. Why not, drinking beer is getting me nowhere by itself. He was probably the best of the best in my world. BTW, if that swag is the only thing that existed I would have never gotten high more than once in my life.

  12. The new work trucks come from the outfitter with speed limited to 72 MPH by default. In the city that’s just fine, but out in the way out west we have 75 MPH speeds on the highways, and mountain passes that allow for a fair amount of variation in speed on the downhill side, even when downshifted. Coworker heads home after picking up the new ride and as the vehicle has a fit going down Vail pass thought it was breaking down. Slamming on brakes, warning buzzers, etc. Nope, turned out they didn’t know that the limit was supposed to be set to 82. So a day wasted running back to Denver to get the thing reprogrammed.

    Oh, and if he exceeds the max speed the truck “punishes” him by forcing him to drive at 70 for a few miles/minutes.

    I wonder if the PSL on Swedish roads is based on revenue or physics? Because if they’re based on physics I could see where this might make some sense. Mostly because you wouldn’t want to speed in the average vehicle anyway. But if the Swedes follow the US tradition of using PSL as a revenue enhancement tool they’re just going to show the hypocrisy of “safe speeds” by decreasing revenue. And I’m certain if you (actually your cruise control) gets a speeding ticket will they pay it?

  13. I wonder if the real reason is they simply decided to put cheaper tires and other components on the cars.

    Remember the V6 Mustang speed limiter? People removed it only to have the driveshaft let go when they exceeded the former maximum top speed.

    Also remember 55NMSL era cars where the quality of components suffered likely because you weren’t supposed be going faster than 55mph?

    • There is indeed a lot of that. My current 1996 Ford Escort (LX wagon!) has no limiter that I know of and a 120MPH speedometer, but people on the FEOA forums say they would consider its functional top speed to be 70 because of tiny bearings. My previous car was a 125MPH mini muscle car chipped to 108 because of the original tires and who knows what else. Tires, actually, are a common reason for factory governors.

      • My 1995 V6 Ford Contour SE was limited to 112 MPH due to the speed rating of its tires. I heard there was an aftermarket chip your could install to eliminate the restriction.

        • If it were truly up to the speed rating of the tires, replacing them would fix it.
          The problem has nothing to do with the tires, it is totally related to software.
          It would have been a lot easier to thoroughly vet the vehicle before buying it, if such problems are deal killers. I’ve never owned a vehicle whose tires were a factor in the speed it would do.

          • It’s common for manufacturers to limit a car’s top speed to the speed rating of the tires, probably for liability reasons. Depending on the car, it may or may not be easy to fix.

            • It probably has more to do with upselling you into tires that are rated for speeds that most of the vehicles they are on couldn’t cruise at.
              The DOT date is more important than the tire’s speed rating unless you are hell on tires.

  14. This latest intrusion won’t hurt Volvo’s sales in the slightest. There’s a streak of Clover in most Americans out there, and that streak will make them wonder why there’s a problem with doing the speed limit at all times. If you’re not doing anything wrong…ad nauseum.

  15. My last 3 GM trucks were limited to 99mph. I think since ’07? I heard you could ask the dealer to turn it off, but not sure. My ’07 would shut the engine down fairly violently, but my ’11 and ’14 did it smoother.

  16. Looks like my two 2014 Volvos will be my last. It really is a shame because they are great cars. Volvo really needs to stop drinking the cool aid.

  17. My takeaway from this is no one should ever buy a Volvo. I once had a rental car that was speed gimped to 80mph, this was in Florida where the psl on most highways was 70. Great fun and oh so saaaaafe when trying to pass someone, especially since it started beeping and flashing hysterically the closer I got to the forbidden limit. Needless to say we never rented from that company again. My newest car is a 2010 Mazda; being 72 I’ll most likely need one more car in my lifetime, guess I’d better start looking now for a decent used car pre 2015 before they disappear, can always put it up on blocks in the garage till I need it.

    • My Focus has something like that, but it can be changed by the driver. It’s a parental control designed to prevent the newly licensed kids from going too fast. If there’d been an owner’s manual for the car, it probably would have had instructions to change the speed setting. Next time you rent a car, consult the manual or owner’s forum for it, and you’ll find instructions on how to change the speed limiter.

  18. Wait until the cars start “asking” for the speeding tickets by sending your speeding violation straight to the PO LICE, or the court, for that matter.

  19. And of course if all cars had this and couldn’t speed politicians will have to come up with some new tax to make up for the money they’ll lose from sweet, sweet, sweet speeding tickets they won’t be able to collect on anymore. I guess they’ll call it your State GPS Service Fee.

  20. Eric,

    The Big Four motorcycle companies long ago agreed to limit their bikes to 186 mph; even if it’s capable of more than that (and a Kawi ZX-14 or Suzuki Hayabusa could certainly do that), they’re limited to 186 mph. I don’t know how the Isle of Man TT racers get around that, because they ROUTINELY exceed 200 on the mountain course…

    • Probably something to do with the engine computer and can probably be reprogrammed out just as with the similar limiters on cars. My old car was chipped at 108 out of deference to weak tires, but yet there are stories of people getting them up to around 130. Do the math. Also I doubt a race bike would have that limiter anyway.

      • There was a big to-do in the motorcycle mags about the “gentleman’s agreement” to limit motorcycles’ top speeds. They did so to avoid gov’t fatwas here and in Europe. Now, I know that on the first gen ZX-14, you could defeat the limiter; but it would keep the gear indicator reading 6th; your gear indicator wouldn’t work.

        That said, either the Big Four did away with the limit; or there’s a way to defeat the electronic nanny. At the Isle of Man TT, they ROUTINELY exceed 200 on the long straightaways…

        • A little perspective. I am an ex-motorcycle roadracer. I’ve hit approx. 170mph around Daytona. Wanna know why they put chicanes before the bank sections of big banked tracks like Daytona, Pocono, etc…? Because novice roadracers (there were only two class levels when I did it, novice and expert), could not turn the bike at 140+. The centrifugal force of the wheels going that fast made it very hard to turn the bike. On a fast chicane at a track I forget the name required very difficult force to turn the bike back and forth.
          I won a lot of races cause I figured it out how to get the bike turned at approx. 100mph, but they later changed it to a much slower chicane cause novice racers were crashing a lot, at high speed, at this chicane. I witnessed a few bikes going down a very fast straight and go straight up into the wall. Happens all the time to novice street bikers on the street, they go way past 120, get to a turn and can’t turn it with disastrous results.

      • I know that the high performance sportbikes have a race mode available. Because sportbikes have so much power, they have a rain mode, a street mode, etc. selectable map. They also have a race map, but I believe you need a special key or plug-in device to access it.

        • Hi Mark,

          Yup – the new sport bikes are as as ruined as new cars, almost. I much prefer my older sport bikes – which haven’t got a got-damned ECU trying to program me. When I’m on my ZRX1200, I am the decider!

          • Believe it or not, the great MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi preferred bikes WITHOUT all this gimmickry like traction control. TC makes the bikes faster, so the racers use it. Rossi preferred bikes without it, because when the TC is in your throttle hand (i.e. the rider), it separates the men from the boys.

            I prefer older bikes for the same reason you do; they have none of the high tech BS to get in the way…

  21. Fortunately, We The People have electronic maps in the U.S., and those foreshadow how this escalation of vehicle speed fatwas will unravel.
    Our electronic maps, offered by various debt-based corporations, have been causing fits for the AI people that want driverless cars. Many of these folks are not the deluded bunch that want to foist driverless cars on commuters, but they are tasked with developing these systems for uses in the freight and shipping industries.
    If you have any GPS visible when driving, you will notice that many of them show the posted speed limit where you are, and can show warnings as Eric mentions in his article.
    You have also noticed that your GPS can be very wrong about where you are, what the speed limit is, and may not even think you are on a road.
    You can get updates for most GPS systems, but after every one you will continue to see the same errors all over the place.
    We The People seem to think that since many maps are electronic, we can just click a button or send an email to tell [someone] when the map is wrong. Well, we can DO that, but it does not cause the resolution you think it would.
    The problem with our electronic maps that are incorrect relates to people having to talk to each other.
    There is no process by which a person can tell a Map where the correct information is.
    When you report a problem with a map you establish that some part of the map may be incorrect, but you do not have a way to articulate what should be on the map. Even with an open-source map which allows you to specify what was wrong, that text comes from a person and is given to a person that will probably not be able to understand what specifically is wrong and will not usually take the proper action to have the data changed.
    We people cannot communicate the sum of all details when a region of a map is wrong, and therefore it rarely gets fixed in a timely matter.
    I ask the older readers to recall going to a rural gas station 30 or more years ago and getting a paper map which was accurate down to the Dirt Roads!
    Now we have electronic maps which are not accurate on dirt roads, and may be just wrong for years at a time.
    You see, all the companies want to keep and monetize their data, and so it is never truly under public control, and that means bad data.
    So I agree that some car manufacturers and the U.S. Oligarchy want to limit speeds, but until all that GPS and map data gets shared and corrected, no one has the data to make a car limit its speed with any reliability.
    And I am CERTAIN that many vehicle manufacturers know this. Notice how Volvo put a hard-stop on the speed?

    • My grandmother’s 1960 Buick LeSabre does have a tattletale buzzer you can scroll up or down, manually on the dashboard, that will buzz at the speed you want to be “buzzed” at. Apparently self-regulation didn’t catch on, because I hadn’t seen anything even remotely related to that, until now.

      • My grandparents’ Olds 98 had that too. You just moved this white needle to where you wanted the buzzer to come on.

        • Back in the 90s around 15 was when we started getting out with our parents cars (of course this is after I left the US). I remember some of the Toyotas had a little chime that would ring at around 120 km/ph (around 75mph). I guess the point was to remind you you are going too fast. But as a 15 year old – it soon enough became a challenge amongst us – who could get it to go off quickest!!!!

          Yes i know it sounds unsafe and all that – but somehow none of us guys from back then has ever had an accident I can recall (not even a minor one). I guess in the back of your head when you know that its only you who’s responsible for your own safety – you know how much you can push it – and then dont go further….

      • I would love that!

        Cruise control doesn’t work worth a damn except on flat roads and minimal traffic.

        • mostly, I just gotta know, why is that? Even on big rigs the speed never falters unless the load is too great for the engine to pull in that scenario.

          I used to have a 98 that would pull 120 mph with a 14′ Uhaul trailer behind with a house full of furniture inside. Don’t believe I ever had any kind of vehicle that wouldn’t hold a steady speed no matter if you were bearing down on a semi or a brick wall.

          • Oh, it holds speed (80mph) all right – while running five grand or so on the tach! Damn little cars, anyway.

            Letting it slip back about 5mph lets you just coast over the hill without all that extra noise, wear and tear, and gas consumption. We gain a couple miles per gallon driving on manual. For one thing, I can see the road ahead of me which the cruise control can’t.

            Anyway, Wyoming north/south seems like it is mostly uphill and upwind both ways.

            • I know what you mean. Parts of Tx. and NM seem like you’re always pulling hard in either direction. It’s that up and down thing constantly that drives me crazy.

              • I-25 and I-90 through Wyoming are all up and down except for a few relatively flat stretches along the North Platte.

                Those downhills can be a “blue light special” if you’re not careful, but I still hate that high revving four-banger – hence a driver set “over-speed” alarm would be nice in lieu of cruise control.


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