Tag: NHTSA

By on July 19, 2016

gas-pump-save-ftr

The federal agencies reviewing the country’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets are pleasantly surprised by the amount of fuel-saving technology in modern vehicles, and hint that the target they decided on back in 2011 is still doable.

Those agencies just released a technical assessment report (TAR) to guide the review process. In it, they figured that vehicles will average between 50 and 52.6 miles per gallon by the target year of 2025 — if gas stays stable and consumers continue buying SUVs and trucks.

That’s not too far off the original target, and judging by the optimistic tone of the report, it’s likely the 54.5 mpg mandate will stay intact. (Read More…)

By on July 16, 2016

fusion-hybrid-window-sticker

Business is about to get much more expensive for automakers with thirsty fleets.

The penalties leveled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration against automakers who miss their annual corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards are about to go up in August. Way up. (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2016

Tesla Model X

Tesla’s Autopilot system is many things to many people — an automated folk devil to safety and consumer advocates, or a nice thing to have on a long drive (according to Jack Baruth) — but it isn’t the cause of a July 1 rollover crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The automaker’s CEO took to Twitter yesterday to claim that the Model X driven by a Michigan man wasn’t even in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash. Elon Musk said that data uploaded from the vehicle shows that Autopilot wasn’t activated, and added that the “crash would not have occurred if it was on.”

Tesla then released those digital logs to the media. (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2016

2012 Tesla Model S

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has no plans to remove the Autopilot feature from his vehicles, despite demands from safety and consumer groups.

Musk told the Wall Street Journal that lack of education is the problem, not the technology behind the semi-autonomous driving system. The executive’s comments come after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration delivered a lengthy list of questions to Tesla as part of its investigation into the fatal May 7 crash of a Model S. (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2016

Volvo Autonomous Drive, Image: Volvo Cars

The National Transportation Safety Board plans to investigate the fatal May 7 Tesla crash to see if the trend of increased automation in driving functions has a dark side, Bloomberg reports.

Already, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the incident and the role the vehicle’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system played in the crash, but the NTSB has a broader scope in mind. As vehicles increasingly rely on electronic aids for safety, drivers could be letting down their guard. (Read More…)

By on July 5, 2016

Explorer-side

Numerous reports of an exhaust smell in the cabin of late-model Ford Explorers prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation.

According to Reuters (via Automotive News), safety officials began looking into 2011–2015 Explorers last Friday after receiving 154 complaints of an exhaust odor. The issue, which is reported to be a factor in one crash (that didn’t result in injuries), persists in some vehicles even after they were repaired to correct the problem. (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2016

Tesla Model S, Image: Tesla Motors

Safety advocates are claiming Tesla’s reputation as a leading innovator in the automotive world could breed overconfidence in its new technology, putting drivers in danger.

The May 7 death of a Tesla driver whose vehicle collided with a tractor trailer while in “Autopilot” mode sparked renewed calls for proper vetting of advanced technology in production vehicles — especially if the technology allows the vehicle to drive itself. (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2016

tesla-model-s-

A recent fatal crash of a 2015 Tesla Model S operating in “Autopilot” mode prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a preliminary investigation into the model, Reuters is reporting.

Because the crash occurred when the vehicle was under the control of an autonomous driving system, the NHTSA said it is planning “an examination of the design and performance of any driving aids in use at the time of the crash.” (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2016

May 2016 average fuel economy

A group of automakers wants Big MPG to know they’re out of touch when it comes to fuel efficiency targets, and would really like it if they stopped paying so much attention to California.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a Washington lobbying group made up of General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Volkswagen and Toyota — wants to impact the midterm review of 2025 fuel economy targets set in 2011, Bloomberg reports. (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…)

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