Automakers are busy recalling tens of millions of vehicles to fix potentially deadly Takata airbags, but the fix won’t solve the problem, a former Takata employee says.
The scandal-plagued airbag manufacturer is using the same ammonium nitrate propellant in its replacement inflators, said Mark Ellie, Takata’s former engineering manager, in a report by WGME. Because of this, he claims the danger isn’t gone — it’s just delayed. (Read More…)
After agreeing to fork over up to $14.7 billion to U.S. owners (and the environment) in its U.S. diesel emissions scandal settlement, Volkswagen is saying Nein! to a similar buyback in Europe, because that kind of payout would just be insane.
According to Left Lane News, the embattled automaker isn’t planning any compensation to its clients on the Continent, meaning its 2.0-liter TDI models will go on well into the future, albeit in a slightly detuned form. (Read More…)
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration broke from its orderly recall of potentially dangerous Takata airbags today to warn drivers of certain 2001–2003 Honda and Acura models.
New tests show a certain subset of the faulty airbags, linked to 14 deaths worldwide, have a much higher risk of exploding in the event of an accident — a likelihood of up to 50 percent. The NHTSA is urging owners of these vehicles to avoid driving them.
Because of the age of the models, the agency issued an appeal to the public to help track down unrepaired vehicles. (Read More…)
Toyota will recall a total of 3.37 million vehicles to resolve two safety-related issues, one of which involves an environmental control that can quickly become very bad for the environment.
The largest of the two recalls concerns faulty side curtain airbags that could partially inflate without warning, according to the Associated Press. The issue isn’t related to the Takata airbag recall — rather, the problem stems from small cracks in some driver and passenger side airbag inflators, which can widen over time and lead to the partial inflation of the side curtain. (Read More…)
A software fix issued to Jeep dealers sheds light on how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to stop the accidental rollaways plaguing many of its vehicles.
The dealer service document, issued for recalled 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees with the confusing Monostable shift lever, was obtained and published by Jalopnik.
FCA voluntarily recalled 1.1 million vehicles in April after the shifter, which sometimes stays in gear after drivers think they’ve shifted into “park,” was linked to hundreds of rollaways and 41 injuries. That was before the shifter became the focus in the recent death of actor Anton Yelchin. (Read More…)
Less than two days after Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died in a bizarre vehicle crash in his Los Angeles driveway, the maker of his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee says it will investigate the incident.
Yelchin, 27, was found crushed between his SUV and a brick gatepost two nights ago. The vehicle, which was found in neutral with the engine still running, apparently rolled backwards down the steep driveway and hit him.
Police reports identified his Grand Cherokee as one of the models recalled due to its confusing Monostable shift lever, with Reuters now reporting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles promises to conduct a “thorough investigation.” (Read More…)
According to multiple news reports, promising young actor Anton Yelchin, known for his portrayal of Chekhov in the reborn Star Trek movie series, was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against his mailbox at his driveway security gate.
The Jeep was parked on a steep hill but found in neutral gear when he was discovered dead.
Considering recent recalls with Fiat Chrysler Automobile shifters, could a badly designed shifter have killed the 27 year old? And could this be the first death attributable to the design flaw?
As a six-and-a-half-foot tall red-blooded male who’s driven in demolition derbies and owns John Deere machinery, I naturally gravitated to a big, rear-wheel drive, future Junkyard Find sedan when it came time to replace our family car four years ago. Settling on a Pentastar-powered 2012 Dodge Charger, one non-negotiable item was FCA’s 8.4-inch uConnect screen. The other was ZF’s eight-speed automatic.
As we know, hapless drivers have failed to put their ZF-equipped cars in Park, confused by the spring-loaded shifter’s design, which always returns it to a central position no matter what gear those drivers select. The NHTSA started an investigation and FCA voluntarily recalled over a million 2014-2015 Grand Cherokees and 2012-2014 Chargers/300s.
I got my recall notice in the mail yesterday, which provided me with two things: a “Visor Tips Card” and a good belly laugh.
Volkswagen can start hauling the first of 800,000 Passat, CC and Eos models off of European streets after a German regulator granted approval to the automaker’s diesel emissions fix.
The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) says there’s nothing wrong with the plan to bring 2.0-liter diesel versions of those models into compliance with pollution laws. No doubt Volkswagen execs are happy to cross off another thing off their “to do” list. (Read More…)
Defective airbags linked to at least 10 U.S. deaths are still rolling off dealer lots, despite a massive safety recall.
Four automakers admit to selling new vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags, but it’s all legal as long as those cars are fixed within two years. The companies were revealed in a report tabled today by U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Democrats. (Read More…)