Category: Safety

By on June 29, 2016

2012 Prius Plug In Hybrid, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Toyota will recall a total of 3.37 million vehicles to resolve two safety-related issues, one of which involves an environmental control that can quickly become very bad for the environment.

The largest of the two recalls concerns faulty side curtain airbags that could partially inflate without warning, according to the Associated Press. The issue isn’t related to the Takata airbag recall — rather, the problem stems from small cracks in some driver and passenger side airbag inflators, which can widen over time and lead to the partial inflation of the side curtain. Read More >

By on June 28, 2016

GC Shifter

Like the rapidly accumulating clouds of an approaching thunderstorm, the number of crashes and injuries related to the misuse of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Monostable shifter are beginning to mushroom.

An investigation into the shifter, like the one in the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee which crushed and killed Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, found 266 crashes that injured 68 people. Originally, the shifter was fingered in 121 crashes and 41 injuries.

Read More >

By on June 27, 2016

tesla autopilot

There’s no shortage of safety-minded autonomous technology on Tesla vehicles, but a video suggests some features could say “forget it” when asked to work.

YouTube user Kman recently posted a video showing real-world testing of the collision avoidance abilities of the Autopilot feature in a Tesla Model S 90D — tests that nearly got his friend splattered across the pavement. Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

Volvo Autonomous Drive, Image: Volvo Cars

We’re told the future will bring us a blissful, autonomous driving experience that allows us to enjoy the scenery as we read our tablets and enjoy a Venti Macchiato, free of the burden of driving decisions and liability.

Now, for the less happy stuff: who should your safety-minded car kill if it’s forced to make an autonomous Sophie’s Choice-style decision — an occupant or a pedestrian?

A study published in the journal Science tackled that question, with researchers posing various scenarios to 1,900 participants via an online survey. The results show our sense of moral duty is matched by our sense of self-preservation. Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-004

It didn’t take long for perennial automotive litigant Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro to assemble a class action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the wake of actor Anton Yelchin’s death.

The Seattle-based law firm filed suit against FCA yesterday, alleging the recalled Monostable gear shift levers in certain models pose a risk to drivers, and could have contributed to Yelchin’s death. The firm, acting on behalf of three clients in California, Florida and Ohio, called the shifters “dangerously defective” and demanded a jury trial. Read More >

By on June 23, 2016

2015 F-150 Crash Test

After reports surfaced last year of automakers only adding driver’s side small-overlap crash protection to their vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put the claims to the test.

A study of seven compact crossovers showed vast differences in safety between the driver and passenger side of the vehicle during small-overlap crashes, Automotive News reports, prompting the IIHS to consider adding another category to its testing criteria. Read More >

By on June 22, 2016

traffic

Statistics show that, as a whole, teen drivers are unsafe, and could easily saddle you with a huge repair bill.

So, what’s the best state to live in if you’re planning to hand your keys to someone aged 15 to 24? A new study by WalletHub maps it out, ranking each state based on three categories — safety conditions, driving laws and economic environment.
Read More >

By on June 22, 2016

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude side

A software fix issued to Jeep dealers sheds light on how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to stop the accidental rollaways plaguing many of its vehicles.

The dealer service document, issued for recalled 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees with the confusing Monostable shift lever, was obtained and published by Jalopnik.

FCA voluntarily recalled 1.1 million vehicles in April after the shifter, which sometimes stays in gear after drivers think they’ve shifted into “park,” was linked to hundreds of rollaways and 41 injuries. That was before the shifter became the focus in the recent death of actor Anton Yelchin. Read More >

By on June 20, 2016

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

Less than two days after Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died in a bizarre vehicle crash in his Los Angeles driveway, the maker of his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee says it will investigate the incident.

Yelchin, 27, was found crushed between his SUV and a brick gatepost two nights ago. The vehicle, which was found in neutral with the engine still running, apparently rolled backwards down the steep driveway and hit him.

Police reports identified his Grand Cherokee as one of the models recalled due to its confusing Monostable shift lever, with Reuters now reporting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles promises to conduct a “thorough investigation.” Read More >

By on June 19, 2016

Anton Yelchin

According to multiple news reports, promising young actor Anton Yelchin, known for his portrayal of Chekhov in the reborn Star Trek movie series, was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against his mailbox at his driveway security gate.

The Jeep was parked on a steep hill but found in neutral gear when he was discovered dead.

Considering recent recalls with Fiat Chrysler Automobile shifters, could a badly designed shifter have killed the 27 year old? And could this be the first death attributable to the design flaw?

Read More >

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