Category: Government

By on July 26, 2015

1999 Grand Cherokee Launch-12

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will fine Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $105 million for botching the recall of more than 11 million cars, including 1.6 million Jeeps with a fuel tank issue, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The automaker faced fines of up to $700 million.

As part of the settlement, FCA will agree to an independent monitor to audit its recalls. On Friday, FCA announced it was recalling 1.4 million cars and trucks for software that could be hacked and controlled remotely.

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By on July 21, 2015

General Motors CEO Mary Barra Testifies Before Senate Committee About GM's Recalls

A U.S. Senate committee has shot down a number of auto safety measures including one that would hold executives criminally accountable for not disclosing known automotive defects, reports the New York Times.

“Hiding these deadly defects with near impunity is what the industry has succeeded in doing,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., according to the story. He introduced many of the failed provisions.

Another proposal that would have made it illegal for used-car dealers to sell vehicles with outstanding recalls was rejected by the committee.

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By on July 16, 2015

US Senate Wing of the Capitol

U.S. rental cars will need to comply with open recalls before being driven off the lots, a U.S. Senate panel decided Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

The measure was an about-face from an earlier proposal backed by automakers, consumer groups and some rental car companies, which would have allowed rental cars with known defects to continue to be driven, as long as those defects were disclosed to consumers. NHTSA asked lawmakers to consider the proposal on pulling defective cars off the road in February.

The bill’s opponents said the revised amendment could harm consumers by filling dealerships with rental cars waiting to be repaired.

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By on July 14, 2015

Hummer H3. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Jalopnik has an interesting story today about how General Motors negotiated its way into recalling 200,000 Hummers only after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration threatened to launch a formal investigation.

Last week, Hummer recalled nearly 200,000 SUVs due to an increased fire risk because of a faulty HVAC harness that could melt and catch fire.

GM knew about the problem in 2008, Jalopnik writes, and did nothing until issuing a recall this July.

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By on July 12, 2015

Barack Obama + Connected Vehicles

Car dealerships may be forced to pay some of their employees more under new overtime rules proposed by President Barack Obama, Automotive News is reporting.

The proposed overhaul for employees who make less than $50,000 a year could impact dealers who make a significant portion of their earnings from salary, rather than commission.

The suggested overtime rules would apply to roughly 40 percent of the American workforce, rather than the 8 percent the current rules apply to now. The Department of Labor estimates more than 5 million workers would be covered by the new rules.

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By on July 12, 2015

All you need is love. Strickland. Picture courtesy detnews.comThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is blocking former chief David Strickland from testifying in a California civil lawsuit for Toyota on issues regarding its push-button start systems in some of its cars.

According to the Detroit News, NHTSA officials told lawyers in a letter that Strickland would be barred from testifying in the case as an expert witness.

“The agency has been roundly criticized for its relationship with Toyota in terms of recent enforcement actions, particularly regarding unintended acceleration,” NHTSA’s lawyer wrote in the letter. “Given this history, Mr. Strickland’s testimony as a former NHTSA administrator describing Toyota’s actions or conduct in this matter with approval, will likely diminish the agency’s ability to pursue a vigorous enforcement review of Toyota moving forward.”

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By on July 10, 2015

A recalled Chevy Cobalt ignition switch is seen at Raymond Chevrolet in Antioch

 

Two proposals for reforms to how the U.S. handles safety recalls and penalizes automakers are winding through a Senate committee.

A proposal backed by three Senate Democrats would make automakers include a recall warning light in the dashboard of new cars to notify owners of a safety recall and lift the cap on delayed recall fines and more. A less-aggressive proposal put forward by Republicans would require dealers to notify owners if their cars have been recalled, something most automakers already do but aren’t required by law.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 25 percent of recalls are never completed.

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By on July 9, 2015

dog-in-car-window-no-caption-encouragement-card-dayspring-4677-7-546x800

Passersby can now break a window to save a dog from dying inside a car on a hot day in Tennessee, according to Time.

That state added to its “Good Samaritan” law to include protecting pups from sweltering heat by breaking a window. According to the Humane Society, a car can heat up in 30 minutes to nearly 120 degrees inside if the outside temperature is 85 degrees.

According to the new law, people should reasonably search for the owner of the car or notify police before breaking the car’s window. Bark Post reports that 16 states have similar laws on the books.

 

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By on July 7, 2015

1024px-Peugeot_308_CC_e-HDi_FAP_110_STOP_&_START_Active_(Facelift)_–_Frontansicht,_10._September_2011,_Düsseldorf

Automakers PSA (Peugeot and Citröen) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are most at risk if Greece’s economy fails and the country backs out of the Euro, according to a report by Automotive News.

Analysts say the two automakers have the largest share of southern European markets — including Italy, Spain and Portugal — where the economic impact of a Greek failure could hit the hardest.

Although the automakers have a large share of those markets, its a relatively small portion of their overall sales, the report states.

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By on June 29, 2015

Electric Bus In Athens, Greece

Some transit authorities offer free service to encourage ridership. Greece is offering free service this week because no one has money.

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