Whoa, slow down a minute. That’s the message from three Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is reviewing fuel economy targets set out for automakers.
Traffic deaths skyrocketed last year by the largest amount since 1966, erasing safety gains made in recent years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released raw 2015 data yesterday, revealing that 35,092 people died on U.S. roads — a 7.2 percent spike in fatalities compared to the previous year. The data shows the deaths weren’t confined to any particular demographic. (Read More…)
The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to mandate speed-limiting devices on all tractor-trailers and buses in the country in a bid to save lives and fuel.
Announced yesterday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the proposal would limit vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more to 60, 65, or 68 miles per hour. Other speed limits could be considered, but that’s up to the public to debate. (Read More…)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expanded its investigation into airbags manufactured by ARC Automotive following the July 8 death of a Hyundai driver in Canada.
According to Reuters, an airbag inflator in the vehicle ruptured, fatally injuring the driver. The death is similar to those caused by faulty Takata airbags, and the investigation could add millions of vehicles to an already massive airbag recall list. (Read More…)
The dialogue from Tesla wasn’t all rainbows and puppies this week.
In oddly coordinated diatribes, CEO Elon Musk and his vice-president of business development took off the soft driving gloves and laid into their competition and the country’s regulators. The message? Put up, pay up, or shut up. (Read More…)
A headlamp supplier wants U.S. regulators to approve its new design, which eliminates the need for drivers to switch their high beams on or off.
Varroc Lighting Systems, Inc., the U.S. division of the India-based company, developed a headlamp that automatically dims by shutting off individual LEDs, according to Crain’s Detroit Business (via Automotive News). (Read More…)
A glitzy Mercedes-Benz commercial that touts the 2017 E-Class as a vehicle that “can drive itself” has consumer and safety advocates fighting mad.
A number of groups are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to take action against the automaker, saying Mercedes mislead the public. In a letter to FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the groups claim the E-Class doesn’t come close to being a self-driving vehicle, and fine print doesn’t cut it. (Read More…)
Drivers saw a tsunami of vehicle recalls in recent years, and many are choosing not to bother getting the fix.
J.D. Power and Associates tapped its SafetyIQ platform to analyze National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2013 to 2015, and found more than 45 million drivers who didn’t get their recalled vehicles in for repair. The NHTSA can kiss its 100-percent recall completion goal goodbye. (Read More…)
The National Transportation Safety Board didn’t assign any blame in its initial report into the fatal May 7 crash of a Tesla Model S, but did confirm new details.
The agency claims Joshua Brown’s vehicle was in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash, and was travelling above the 65 mile per hour speed limit before colliding with a tractor-trailer, according to Reuters. (Read More…)
His company’s product is under investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk likes the favorable press the NHTSA gave to its Autopilot system.
Musk tweeted a link to a Wall Street Journal report that quotes NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind praising the semi-autonomous driving system at a Detroit conference last week. The NHTSA is investigating what role Autopilot played in a fatal Florida crash on May 7. (Read More…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)