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Brakes were disconnected, BG Automotive president says

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  March 24, 2009 10:17 AM

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BG-front.jpg(Clifford Atiyeh/Globe Photo)

After my surprise drive of the BG C100 - a Chinese subcompact retrofitted with an electric powertrain that will be sold by a Philadelphia company - I wrote that the "very firm pedal felt as if the brakes were disconnected." Well, turns out they were, according to BG Automotive president Barry Bernsten.

"I called my engineers and they advised on where we can check for problems, and sure enough, I noticed a wire was disconnected that triggers the pump that controls the disc brakes," Bernsten wrote in an e-mail this morning. "I reconnected the wire, and the brakes worked like butter. The brakes worked perfectly and stopped dead when we slammed them on, unlike the slower stop when you test drove."

I asked the company about the issue after a reader posted a comment yesterday claiming the brakes were at fault, and that Bernsten had fixed them. This would make the C100 a lot safer than during my test, when the car had difficulty stopping from 10 miles per hour. Better for Bernsten to scare a writer in a parking lot, I'd say, than a customer who just wrote a $16,000 check.

Read the original review here.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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4 comments so far...

    Posted by Anonymous March 24, 09 12:26 PM
  1. typical chinese workmanship. i work in the apartment industry and most of our replacement parts are now made in china. they last a fraction of what our old parts did. i am convinced the chinese are trying to do us in.

    Posted by jamie dunlap March 24, 09 10:00 PM
  1. stop whining and just do you job better... it not the chinese ceo's its not the chinese who over extended themselves its us.. lets stop whining and fix our own country

    Posted by don March 25, 09 08:26 PM
  1. sounds like the brake vacuum reserve should be monitored to drive a warning light, code, or limit operation of the vehicle, given that this EV is unlike a gas car (or hybrid) which will always have *some* engine vacuum available when the motor is running to provide brake booster assist. There are OBD-2 codes already available (and probably required by DOT) for this purpose (ie P0557).

    Still this is one of many flaws in this car even if it is a "prototype". Why not consult with SAE at the collegiate level for engineering and R&D vs going to china, at least for prototype development?

    Posted by carguy March 26, 09 12:42 PM

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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