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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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
European drivers have a problem. Motorists who own Nissan Navara pickups keep finding their trips cut short by an annoying noise: the sound of their trucks splitting in half.
So many Navaras — sold in North America as the Nissan Frontier — are snapping in two due to extreme frame rust that owners are pressuring governments to do something about. Check out these photos if you think it’s an isolated problem. Read More >
Tech-obsessed and financially stable Americans have an almost fanatical devotion to Tesla’s Model S. The model was deemed “Most Loved” by the Consumer Love Index two years in a row and the Tesla brand currently sits atop Consumer Report’s Owner Satisfaction Rankings.
One place it hasn’t received top marks, however, is in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s recent evaluation of electrified vehicles. The Model S failed to earn the coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation, losing out to the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius.
During the trials, the renowned Tesla only managed an “acceptable” rating in the challenging small overlap test, which simulates crashing into an overpass support beam or telephone pole. Read More >
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap crash test — the bane of every automaker’s existence — has prevented another pickup from achieving high marks.
This time, it’s the 2017 Nissan Titan — a full-size pickup struggling to stand apart from its domestic competition after recently undergoing its first redesign in 13 years.
In IIHS testing, the Titan crew cab, like many of its rivals, folded under pressure during the small overlap test. That keeps the truck out of the running for an ad-worthy Top Safety Pick rating. Read More >
The Ford Mustang just crashed headlong into a wall of bad European PR.
After landing on the continent in early 2015, the newly right-hand-drive Mustang proved wildly popular, with tens of thousands of buyers cramming waiting lists for a chance to get behind the wheel of a pony car icon.
Well, the sports car sales star just scored two out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests — a failing grade not seen on those shores since 2012. The Blue Oval did not receive a gold star. Read More >