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…)
The company behind one of the largest safety recalls in automotive history might have a lifeline thrown its way.
Takata, the manufacturer at the heart of the exploding airbag scandal, is being courted by private equity firms, Bloomberg reports, with at least one high-profile company already in close talks. (Read More…)
Confirming rumbling from earlier today, the U.S. Department of Transportation is calling for the recall of 35 to 40 million Takata airbag inflators that pose a potentially deadly risk to motorists.
All of the company’s ammonium nitrate-based frontal airbag inflators that were shipped to automakers without a chemical drying agent are included in the recall. (Read More…)
Ford Motor Company issued three recall notices today, but top billing goes to a sensor problem linked to the sudden downshifting (to first gear!) of certain vehicles.
That safety recall involves 202,000 2011-2012 Ford F-150, 2012 Expedition, Ford Mustang and Lincoln Navigator vehicles. (Read More…)
Like an unoccupied Dodge Charger stuck in “Drive,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ gear selector controversy was rapidly building momentum before yesterday’s announcement.
Responding to numerous instances of runaway vehicles and an expanding National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, FCA voluntarily recalled 811,586 vehicles in the U.S. and 52,144 in Canada, and a further 265,473 in Mexico and overseas. (Read More…)
Like an actor who just can’t cut it, the third-row seats in Tesla’s Model X could fold under pressure, meaning the automaker now has to recall all of the SUVs it has delivered to date.
About 2,700 Model X vehicles sold in the U.S. will be heading back to Tesla for a fix after internal strength tests revealed that a rear seatback could slip. As a result, the company is cautioning owners not to seat anyone in the third row until repairs have been made.
The tests were being conducted prior to the model going on sale in Europe.
The cost of a comprehensive recall of all Takata Corporation airbag inflators could sink the company.
A source at airbag manufacturer Takata told Bloomberg that a worst-case scenario — a recall of 287.5 million airbag inflators — would cost the company $24 billion dollars, far more than analysts previously estimated.
The cost would be the equivalent of four times the projected revenue Takata expects for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, or six times the total value of the company’s assets.