Category: Safety

By on November 27, 2015

Paul Walker’s father, acting on behalf of the late-actor’s estate, filed a lawsuit against Porsche this week for failing to include safety features, such as stability control, side impact protectors and a fuel-line cutoff that the family said could have saved the actor’s life in a crash, the Associated Press reported.

The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT lacked basic safety features to protect Walker in his fatal crash in November 2013, the wrongful death lawsuit alleges. A similar lawsuit was filed against Porsche by Walker’s widow and daughter in September. Porsche has denied wrongdoing in those lawsuits.

According to the report, Porsche said this month that the car Walker was riding in while Roger Rodas was driving — which spun out of control, hit three trees and burst into flames — had been modified and improperly maintained. Walker was “a knowledgeable and sophisticated user of the 2005 Carrera GT,” the company wrote in response to the lawsuit.

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By on November 25, 2015


A federal judge Wednesday denied a request to make available communication between GM and its lawyers over certain cases involving defective ignition switches, Reuters reportedThe documents will remain secret because of attorney-client privilege, the judge wrote.

Lawsuits against GM allege that the company tried to further cover up its defective ignition switches. Those lawsuits sought to uncover documents between the automaker and its lawyers in three separate cases.

“… the case evaluations have all the hallmarks of dispassionate, sober evaluations (perhaps, in hindsight, too dispassionate and sober for their own good) by counsel of the costs and benefits of litigating the cases to their conclusion — just what one would might expect in a defense file and in the absence of a crime or fraud,” Judge Jesse Furman wrote in his ruling. Read More >

By on November 25, 2015


Federal regulators have postponed rules to require hybrid and EV carmakers to add audible warnings to their cars to alert nearby pedestrians, bicyclists and visually impaired people, Reuters reported.

The audible warnings would be installed on cars made by Ford, Honda and Toyota and be activated when those cars are traveling slower than 18 mph. According to the report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says hybrid and EV cars are 19-percent more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash when compared to gasoline cars. The rule could prevent 2,800 crashes with pedestrians. Read More >

By on November 25, 2015


Good news! That “mysterious device” that extends the reach of keyless entry systems so meth heads — um — ICP fans — er — idiots can rummage through your car and borrow your wallet, purse or golf clubs without bringing them back is now on sale!

For 15-percent off for the holiday weekend only, you can have your own Chinese-made codes that totally won’t be used for going through your neighbor’s Prius and stealing his iPod.

The code scanner uses “brute force” or “nerd magic” to pick up key codes and open car doors. The device sells for around $100 on many easily found sites, but for savvy shoppers looking to spend their saved dough on cheap cough syrup, it’s 15-percent off for you!

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By on November 23, 2015


Ford announced Monday that it would no longer use airbag inflators made by beleaguered supplier Takata. It’s the latest automaker to join a growing list of companies abandoning the controversial parts maker, Automotive News reported.

Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Toyota all announced they wouldn’t be using the airbag inflators, which could explode and spray metal shards into drivers and passengers, after the company’s record recall and fine by the Department of Transportation. Roughly 1.5 million Fords have been recalled as part of the airbag recall that has affected 19 million cars by 12 different automakers.

So far, eight deaths and nearly 100 injuries have been blamed on the faulty airbags.  Read More >

By on November 23, 2015

Tesla Model S Center Stage

On Friday, Tesla announced a voluntary recall of every single damn Model S on the planet to check the front seatbelt installed on those cars. According to the automaker, one belt in a car that was sold in Europe wasn’t connected to an outboard lap pretensioner. The car was not involved in a crash, nor was anyone injured because of the defect.

According to Tesla, the automaker has inspected more than 3,000 Model S cars for similar faults and found none.

Regardless, the automaker said it would ask owners to bring in 90,000 Model S cars — literally, all of them — for inspection because having a seatbelt that doesn’t work is probably bad.

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By on November 11, 2015

Ford Oakville Assembly Plant. Photo courtesy

The United Auto Workers in its latest proposed contract with Ford will protect workers from discrimination based on those workers’ gender identities or expressions, a potentially sweeping measure for a normally conservative industry.

According to the contract, the proposed agreement would protect any employee regardless of “race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, union activity, religion, or … any employee with disabilities.”

The UAW’s contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles included for the first time language that covered gender identity for those workers. Read More >

By on November 9, 2015


Forbes reported that American Honda and Acura are effectively finding owners of potentially defective Takata airbags through social media and rolling billboards plastered on their trucks.

The automaker, who has been particularly aggressive in finding and recalling its cars with defective airbags, is pushing messages to potential owners in their Facebook feed. The automaker may be matching Vehicle Identification Numbers obtained from state agencies with names and locations in Facebook. Read More >

By on November 7, 2015

Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-TX)

Through an amendment by U.S. Representative Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) to the transportation funding bill, the House voted in favor of dialing back planned budget increases for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday, Automotive News reported.

Those planned increases of $46.3 million for 2016 and $76.7 million by 2021 have been cut by $15 million per year.

Burgess is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and is responsible for a 62-page draft bill that would have credited vehicles with three advanced safety devices an additional 3 grams of CO2 per mile, up to 6 grams of CO2 per mile for a car that communicates with the road.

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By on November 6, 2015

Takata Logo on Belt

Toyota said Thursday that the world’s largest automaker would no longer use the beleaguered company’s airbags, joining Honda, Mazda and others, putting in doubt that supplier’s viability, Bloomberg reported (via Fortune).

Reuters (via Automotive News) reported that the automotive supplier, who was hit with a $70 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this week, is preparing for the worst.

“We are considering some plans to survive, but it is not at the stage I can talk about yet,” CEO Shigehisa Takada said Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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