Auto executives from nearly every major U.S. automaker met in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to discuss safety, recalls and technology with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Automotive News reported.
Senior executives from 15 automakers, including General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn and Nissan North America boss Jose Munoz, met to address Foxx’s concerns that “the public has lost faith in the auto industry’s commitment to safety,” according to a letter obtained by Automotive News.
The recent snowballing recall crises at GM, FCA and other automakers concerning Takata’s airbag inflators prompted the meeting, according to reports. A spokesman for the Transportation Department said the meeting was “very productive.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles admitted Tuesday it hasn’t accurately reported required early warning report data to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The safety administration said that warning data includes “significant under-reported notices and claims of death, injuries and other information.”
According to the automaker, FCA self-reported its violations to NHTSA as part of its increased scrutiny after a record $105 million fine and consent order that FCA agreed to in July. Under the order, FCA agreed to have an independent monitor review its recalls for at least two years. (Read More…)
This has not been a banner summer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In the past 90 days, FCA has recalled nearly 4 million cars and trucks for various issues including hackable cars, volatile fuel tanks, faulty airbags and now, in some of its Ram trucks, airbags with minds of their own.
In a statement Thursday, FCA said it was recalling more than 1 million pickups for a faulty steering wheel wiring harness that could rub against a spring and deploy the driver’s side airbag. The company said it was aware of two injuries related to the airbag deployment. Ram trucks — all models — made between 2012-2014 are affected by the recall. More than 235,000 trucks in Canada will be recalled as well.
In addition, FCA is recalling roughly 350,000 trucks for faulty welds and non-compliant side-curtain airbags.
A U.S. Senate committee has shot down a number of auto safety measures including one that would hold executives criminally accountable for not disclosing known automotive defects, reports the New York Times.
“Hiding these deadly defects with near impunity is what the industry has succeeded in doing,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., according to the story. He introduced many of the failed provisions.
Another proposal that would have made it illegal for used-car dealers to sell vehicles with outstanding recalls was rejected by the committee.
U.S. rental cars will need to comply with open recalls before being driven off the lots, a U.S. Senate panel decided Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.
The measure was an about-face from an earlier proposal backed by automakers, consumer groups and some rental car companies, which would have allowed rental cars with known defects to continue to be driven, as long as those defects were disclosed to consumers. NHTSA asked lawmakers to consider the proposal on pulling defective cars off the road in February.
The bill’s opponents said the revised amendment could harm consumers by filling dealerships with rental cars waiting to be repaired.
Another day, another recall. Or, at least, this seems to be the growing trend lately in the automotive industry.
Years ago, I remember recalls being a rarity. My mom owns a Ford Escape that she bought new in 2003, and I distinctly remember her thinking about getting something else because she was worried about all the recalls. It had, at the most, three. This is what used to pass for a high-recall vehicle.
Though FCA insists its compliance with the NHTSA over its recalls no longer merits a hearing, the agency will press forward with its order.
Hans Greimel of the Automotive News is reporting that Takanobu Ito will be replaced in June by Takahiro Hachigo as president and CEO of Honda Motor Company. Ito’s replacement comes after a spate of recalls in its home market of Japan led to a delay in a number of new product launches, followed by the even more image corroding recall of millions of cars worldwide due to Takata supplied airbags that can detonate which have been linked to six deaths.
Should the day come when Takata asks for financial assistance to remain afloat after its troubles have passed, Honda may not be there to lead the rescue.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Tuesday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration needs more staffing to keep pace with recalls.