Category: Safety

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 14, 2015

original_bmw_battery

Last month, I shared the story of an unexpected double front airbag deployment in a BMW X5. In the twenty days since then, that car’s owner has been working with BMW NA, which conducted an independent examination of the car while it was in dealership custody. Yesterday he heard from a BMW consumer service representative, who told him that BMW has determined the reason for the deployment.

If this was Upworthy, or if we used the Upworthy Generator to create headlines, we’d have to title the article “What This BMW Representative Told A Father About His Airbag Deployment Will Break Your Heart. The Worst Part Is At 4:23 In The Call Record.”

But seriously, if you have a BMW you might want to click the jump, because there’s a good chance that BMW’s reason for the deployment applies to you as well.

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By on July 13, 2015

E Class

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class can basically drive itself. But if you prefer to pilot the car yourself, and you happen to get into a crash, the 2017 E-Class will pump static into the cabin to save your ears.

As Wired reports, the new E-Class will be equipped with what Mercedes-Benz is calling “PRE-SAFE Sound” to play a 85-db noise to coax the ear into protecting itself.

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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 11, 2015

Nurburgring_lap

After speculation that Germany’s famed Nurburgring would lift speed limits at the track for manufacturer testing this year, GTSpirit.com has reported that officials will keep the limits in place for at least this year.

“There is no change in the situation so far and the speed limit at three sections of the Nordschleife will not be lifted during the 2015 season,” track spokesman Uwe Baldes told GTSpirit.com.

Nurburgring management implemented speed limits in three portions of the track after a Nissan GT-R GT3 crashed and killed a spectator during a race held in March. The limits effectively ended the manufacturer arms race for the fastest production time around the circuit.

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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 9, 2015

Hummer H3. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

General Motors is recalling nearly 200,000 Hummer H3 and H3T models due to an increased fire risk, Autoblog is reporting.

According to the automaker, the car’s HVAC system can overheat and melt surrounding plastic, which could increase the chance for a fire in the car. GM says the fire has burned 42 cars and injured three people so far, but no crashes or fatalities have been reported. The recall effects 2006-2010 H3 models and 2009-2010 H3T cars.

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By on July 6, 2015

Car2Go in Seattle

Police in Denver say suspects in a drive-by shooting in January may have rented several Smart Fortwos under fake names to use in connection with their crimes.

The Denver Post is reporting that in affidavits filed by detectives investigating the Jan. 4 shooting, Denver police asked the car-sharing company for GPS data from the cars when investigators learned multiple cars were rented with bogus names.

Surveillance camera footage from a nearby business showed the vehicles near the shooting at the time the crime was committed.

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