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The gradual replacement of mechanical components in automobiles with electronic systems brings with it definite advantages, but also poses certain potential dangers. Just think of the inevitable problems you've encountered with the computer on which you're reading these words and you'll know what we mean. But a computer crashing isn't as problematic as your car going on the fritz when its electronic systems fail.

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The brand-new Honda Crossroad goes on sale in Japan tomorrow. Honda is calling this vehicle an "active life navigator" which sounds like something a late-night infomercial would try to sell us. But this boxy family-mover has got some green credentials, with "class-topping" (in Japan) fuel economy of 13.8km/l. The Crossroad gets these numbers from either a 1.8-liter or a 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 4-wheel-drive model gets worse fuel economy than the