Category: Safety

By on March 27, 2017

autonomous testing tesla

Every time we write an article about autonomous vehicles, our comments section is quickly populated with discourse over how litigation would be handled in the event of a crash. Who do you sue?

You can’t fault the driver, because a truly self-driving car takes them out of the equation. Suing the manufacturer doesn’t work because, assuming the system functions properly, they’re still saving lives and shouldering all of the risk would discourage companies from bothering to pursue the technology.

However, autonomous accidents will happen and someone is inevitably going to appear in a courtroom. The justice system has to decide how that will be handled, but Automotive News’ Katie Burke has an interesting solution. It relates to how the United States deals with legal actions involving vaccinations.

Read More >

By on March 23, 2017

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, Image: Ford

Calling the blistering Shelby GT350 Mustang “track-ready” has led to unexpected consequences for Ford Motor Company. As of late yesterday, the automaker finds itself the subject of a class-action lawsuit.

Owners of 2016 models are turning up the heat on the Blue Oval after their vehicles’ transmissions and differentials overheated, forcing the cars into performance-sapping (but component-saving) “limp mode.” Certain GT350s — base and Tech Package variants, to be exact — came from the factory without transmission and differential coolers. While fast, the models created headaches for some owners. Many drivers suddenly found themselves stuck in limp mode mid-race, or on the road. Read More >

By on March 16, 2017

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai is issuing a recall for 977,778 Sonatas because some seat belts could detach from the anchor pretensioner.

The recall includes 2011-2014 model year Sonatas and 2011-2015 Sonata Hybrids.

According to NHTSA’s recall report, the pretensioner is attached to the sill before the seat belt linkage is connected to it. “If, during vehicle assembly, the connector does not fully latch when the linkage is pressed onto the connector, the seat belt can detach from the anchor pretensioner.”

Read More >

By on March 6, 2017

2017 Chrysler 300 Interior, Image: FCA

Once upon a time, a three-on-the-tree shifter or a floor-mounted unit with a lever the length of a ski pole was the norm for rowing through the gears. Then GM graced us with the automatic transmission, and the world soon grew used to a column-mounted shifter with a selector gauge mounted atop the steering shaft, smack dab in front of the driver’s eyes.

With a few exceptions caused by automakers trying to be sexy, this trend carried over into console-mounted shifters. Americans liked their beer cold, their country free, and their PRNDL choices straightforward and obvious.

Unfortunately, with mechanical linkages no longer required, a shifter can now be anything the automaker wants it to be, leading some companies — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles especially — into new and potentially deadly territory. With backlash against unorthodox shifters growing, it seems FCA has received the message. Read More >

By on March 4, 2017

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

Unexpected fires rank among the topmost fears of any automaker, and Mercedes-Benz is dealing with plenty of them.

After reports of 51 fires in late-model vehicles, 30 of them in the U.S., the German luxury automaker will recall roughly one million vehicles worldwide to prevent an electrical fault from causing even more. Read More >

By on March 2, 2017

tesla

We’ve covered a number of accidents involving Tesla’s nifty but not fully-autonomous Autopilot system already — some unfortunate, one fatal, but mostly just embarrassing.

This video, shot months after Tesla founder Elon Musk hammered home the technology’s limitations as investigations swirled, shows a crash that falls into the latter category. It also perfectly showcases the technological and human failings that have led to Autopilot-related crashes. Read More >

By on March 2, 2017

underride testing IIHS crash safety semi

The next time you’re driving behind a semitrailer take notice of that metal bumper hanging off the back. That’s the underride guard, and its job it to prevent your minuscule hatchback from hurdling beneath its hulking mass on the off chance that you have a collision.

Sadly, not all guards are created equal and some buckle during an accident — allowing the car’s passenger compartment to impact the rear of the trailer, frequently shearing off the part of the vehicle that your head occupies.

To further scare you out of tailgating trucks, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a 2011 report stating that the majority of those guards would fail and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s minimum structural guidelines for underride bars was inadequate. While some manufacturers had begun installing stronger and safer guards, mainly to satisfy higher Canadian standards, the initial round of IIHS’ testing resulted in most underride guards failing in a 30-percent overlap test.  Read More >

By on March 2, 2017

2016 chevrolet impala

Pity the poor passenger car. Once on top, now increasingly being spoke of in sentences that use the word “endangered.”

If last month’s sales figures tell us anything, it’s that the current trend towards spacious crossovers and SUV shows no signs of abating. With the segment now relegated to second-class status, passenger car makers face rising inventories and a growing need to sweeten the sales pot.

General Motors recently idled some plants and cut shifts to draw down a glut of unsold vehicles, but February’s dismal sales did nothing to help. Well, it’s March now, so bring on the crazy sales! Read More >

By on March 1, 2017

gear selection joystick

Oddball gearboxes have been around forever. Cord’s 810 had a Wilson preselector back in the 1930s, Chrysler had the the mid-century pushbutton PowerFlite, and Oldsmobile was throwing Hurst Lighting Rods into its H/O cars in the 1980s. However, the overwhelming majority of automatic and manual transmissions have come with a strikingly familiar column or floor-mounted shifter. More recently, automakers have become a little more experimental.

Modern electronics allowed for an influx of paddle shifters, followed by an array of gear selectors that seem to serve aesthetics more than basic function. Knobs, buttons and joysticks are replacing traditional designs, occasionally at the expense of consumer safety. Read More >

By on February 27, 2017

2011 Ford Flex

It’s getting harder to ignore automotive safety recalls, but it’s easy for one to go unnoticed if it’s handed down after the owner buys a vehicle used.

While the circumstances surrounding the purchase of a vehicle involved in last weekend’s incident in Lake St. Clair aren’t clear, one thing is: the owner had no knowledge of a nearly two-year-old power steering recall. On the surface (so to speak), this seems to be the culprit behind the saga of the USS Ford Flex. Read More >

By on February 17, 2017

Autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid Fr

Apparently, it’s not just Uber drivers who enjoy extended naps behind the wheel.

Ford engineers, tapped to put the company’s self-driving technology on the fast track to production, are taking the off-ramp to Slumberville so often that the company has had to get other engineers to devise ways of keeping them awake.

It turns out that riding in the driver’s seat of a self-driving car is as conducive to glassy-eyed lethargy as reading about “mobility solutions.” Read More >

By on February 16, 2017

Texting and Driving

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (a research arm of AAA) released a report yesterday detailing their findings on hazardous driving behaviors across different age groups.

Unsurprisingly, Millennials fared about as well as they might if they stepped on your lawn.

Read More >

By on February 15, 2017

2016 Ford Explorer

After the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration launched an investigation into reports of a sulphurous exhaust smell in the cabins of 2011-2015 Ford Explorers, numerous complaints have rolled in concerning newer models.

Now, a California police officer claims the exhaust led him and his patrol vehicle on a date with a tree. Read More >

By on February 15, 2017

lamborghini-veneno-5

A recall report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have some owners of Aventador and Veneno models donning their flame retardant suits before hopping behind the wheel.

Read More >

By on February 14, 2017

2008 Pontiac Solstice, Image: General Motors

General Motors has issued an airbag recall for the long-gone Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. The recall relates to the passenger presence sensor (PPS), which may become damaged and cause the passenger airbag to not deploy during a crash.

We initially covered this issue in 2015 after noticing that complaints were piling up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and that the PPS design was similar to other models already recalled by GM. Read More >

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States