In an interview with Automotive News (registration required), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration director David Strickland said that if automakers want to keep their cars and trucks from getting recalled, those cars must not just meet standards in effect at the time vehicles are produced, but that the car companies must also make sure they stay as safe, statistically, as competitors’ products that use different designs.
As we reported yesterday, Chrysler will be recalling the
2.7 million 1.56 million Jeeps being targeted by NHTSA over rear-end crashes that can lead to a fiery death. The solution; a trailer hitch out of the Mopar catalog.
Facing a looming deadline to comply with a NHTSA request to recall 2.7 million 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs – some of which are close to 20 years old at this point – Chrysler had decided to comply with NHTSA’s request.
Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne jumped, so to speak, into the flames erupting around the rebuffed Jeep recall. Says Reuters:
“Marchionne Friday reiterated Chrysler’s resistance to a recall of 2.7 million older-model Jeep vehicles, adding that the automaker is preparing to supply the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with information it had requested.”
In a letter sent (“VIA FEDERAL EXPRESS AND ELECTRONIC MAIL”) to Chrysler on Monday, the NHTSA requests that “Chrysler initiate a safety recall on MY 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and MY 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty vehicles and implement a remedy action that improves their performance in rear-impacts and crashes.” The NHTSA illustrated its request with pictures of burned-out Jeeps, some of which are in this article.
Yesterday, Chrysler sent out a press release, stating that it “does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation.” It is very rare that an automaker flat out denies such a request, especially one that documents scores of deaths. This is not an article about whether Chrysler is right or wrong. This is a story about curious double standards at the NHTSA.
In a rare display of defiance, Chrysler is refusing to comply with NHTSA’s request to recall 2.7 million SUVs, and is publicly challenging NHTSA on the validity of the recall.
Everybody seems to be on the bandwagon for self-driving cars, everybody except the NHTSA. In new guidelines, the NHTSA urges states to allow use of self-driving cars “only for testing and requiring safeguards to ensure they can be taken over by a driver in the case of malfunction,” the Detroit News writes. (Read More…)
As part of their campaign against “distracted driving”, NHTSA has released new voluntary guidelines governing the use of in-car infotainment systems.
Toyota has agreed to make a payment of $17.35 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is “to settle claims related to the timeliness of its June 2012 recall to address the potential for accelerator pedal entrapment caused by unsecured or incompatible driver’s side floor mat in the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h, without admitting to any violation of its obligations under the U.S. Safety Act.,” as a Toyota statement says. (Read More…)