Anyone who has ever played Grand Theft Auto knows the video game doesn't exactly promote safe driving. But a new Xbox game does. Last week Volvo launched Volvo Drive for Life. The game features Volvo S40 and S60 cars and the XC90 sport wagon. Gamers drive the vehicles at Volvo's proving grounds in Sweden, race in the Italian Grand Prix and negotiate various highway conditions. The game also contains videos of vehicle crash tests and a look inside the car company's safety center. Volvo says it hopes the game, developed jointly with Microsoft Corp., educates consumers and stirs interest in its vehicles. The game is available at Volvo dealerships. A spokesman says it is up to car dealers to decide whether to charge for it or give it away for laptop test drives.
COFFEE BREAKS? Can a cupholder be unsafe? Maybe, if its location causes people to spill coffee or other liquids into the transmission shifter and nearby electronics on certain Mercedes cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 11 complaints and one petition for an investigation. Those who have complained say spills cause cars to slow down or stop. Affected vehicles are 2000-01 C-, E-, CLK- and SLK-class cars. If a recall is necessary, it could affect more than 150,000 cars.
MAYBE IT'S A FUND-RAISER -- There hasn't been much to celebrate this year at Delphi Corp. An accounting scandal cost the CFO his job; sales have fallen at main customer and former parent General Motors; and the supplier took a trip to bankruptcy court in October. CEO Steve Miller has told anyone who will listen that Delphi's costs are out of whack and that it is pushing the UAW for a new contract with wages at half the current level. But none of that has stopped the Troy, Mich., supplier from hosting a holiday party for invited members of the media in early December. The place: The champagne and martini section of a swank restaurant in suburban Detroit. The invite doesn't say whether it's BYOB.
EASING THE TENSION -- Thanksgiving Eve is one of the busiest days of the year for air travel. But the Lincoln brand, to promote the new Zephyr sedan, is helping to ease the tension. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, Lincoln will sponsor free neck and shoulder massages for American Airlines passengers at New York's LaGuardia Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Lincoln says the massages are part of its effort to market the mid-sized sedan to young, upscale consumers.