Tag: Safety

By on November 25, 2015


Federal regulators have postponed rules to require hybrid and EV carmakers to add audible warnings to their cars to alert nearby pedestrians, bicyclists and visually impaired people, Reuters reported.

The audible warnings would be installed on cars made by Ford, Honda and Toyota and be activated when those cars are traveling slower than 18 mph. According to the report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says hybrid and EV cars are 19-percent more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash when compared to gasoline cars. The rule could prevent 2,800 crashes with pedestrians. (Read More…)

By on November 25, 2015


Good news! That “mysterious device” that extends the reach of keyless entry systems so meth heads — um — ICP fans — er — idiots can rummage through your car and borrow your wallet, purse or golf clubs without bringing them back is now on sale!

For 15-percent off for the holiday weekend only, you can have your own Chinese-made codes that totally won’t be used for going through your neighbor’s Prius and stealing his iPod.

The code scanner uses “brute force” or “nerd magic” to pick up key codes and open car doors. The device sells for around $100 on many easily found sites, but for savvy shoppers looking to spend their saved dough on cheap cough syrup, it’s 15-percent off for you!

(Read More…)

By on November 23, 2015


Ford announced Monday that it would no longer use airbag inflators made by beleaguered supplier Takata. It’s the latest automaker to join a growing list of companies abandoning the controversial parts maker, Automotive News reported.

Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Toyota all announced they wouldn’t be using the airbag inflators, which could explode and spray metal shards into drivers and passengers, after the company’s record recall and fine by the Department of Transportation. Roughly 1.5 million Fords have been recalled as part of the airbag recall that has affected 19 million cars by 12 different automakers.

So far, eight deaths and nearly 100 injuries have been blamed on the faulty airbags.  (Read More…)

By on November 23, 2015

Tesla Model S Center Stage

On Friday, Tesla announced a voluntary recall of every single damn Model S on the planet to check the front seatbelt installed on those cars. According to the automaker, one belt in a car that was sold in Europe wasn’t connected to an outboard lap pretensioner. The car was not involved in a crash, nor was anyone injured because of the defect.

According to Tesla, the automaker has inspected more than 3,000 Model S cars for similar faults and found none.

Regardless, the automaker said it would ask owners to bring in 90,000 Model S cars — literally, all of them — for inspection because having a seatbelt that doesn’t work is probably bad.

(Read More…)

By on November 12, 2015


Babies are tough. Bosses can be tougher. But the indisputable boot camp of bare knuckled stress inducers has to be a young dog that hasn’t been given the care, love, and discipline it needs and deserves.

Not even the Volkswagen Passat W8 I bought last year can compare to the ball busting doled out by an 8-month-old female boxer named Luna, a hyper-cute animal that ruthlessly channeled all of my inner Cesar Millan this past weekend, and defecated it right on the carpet.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2015

Takata Driver Airbag

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Tuesday it would fine auto supplier Takata $70 million for its defective airbags that have caused seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries.

Regulators announced that an additional $130 million fine could be levied on the supplier if they do not comply with additional safety standards or if more defects are found.

“For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history. Today’s actions represent aggressive use of NHTSA’s authority to clean up these problems and protect public safety.”

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2015

Yesterday, TTAC’s daily news editor Aaron Cole wrote an editorial calling for a new Ralph Nader to arise and save us from our own refusal to make appropriate safety-related automotive choices. I found the article fascinating, not least because one of my first editorials for TTAC was a skeptical look at the benefits of so-called “advanced driver training”. In that editorial, I argued that the decision to purchase a safe car was far more critical to crash survivability than any amount of special training would be. I then proceeded to prove my own point by selling my Phaetons, buying a Lincoln Town Car, and experiencing an incident (direct, high-speed perpendicular impact to my passenger door) that would have been trivial in said Phaetons but which was crippling in the aforementioned Town Car.

Since then, my thoughts on road safety have primarily centered around the idea of risk reduction. I believe that if you cancel or modify your riskiest trips, you’ll see tangible benefits from doing so. I don’t put my son in the car with me unless I have a specific agenda in mind to minimize risk from that trip. My goal is to reduce his exposure, which means no unnecessary trips, no bad-weather trips, and no trips without a plan.

On the other hand, this past year I put about half of my commuting mileage on motorcycles. That tilts my overall risk profile pretty far away from “safe”. It has, however, allowed me a front-row seat for all sorts of traffic incidents and accidents, playing out in full widescreen all around me.

For those reasons, I’m inclined to disagree with Aaron a little bit when it comes to the role of the government and/or quasi-governmental activists to improve vehicle safety. I’ll explain.

(Read More…)

By on November 2, 2015


In 1966, nascent federal automotive safety regulators recalled 982,823 vehicles. For the week of Oct. 25-31, automakers announced recalls of 2,727,205 vehicles. In 2014, the so-called “year of the recall,” more than 72 million cars were recalled by automakers in 902 separate recalls. On average, there are 2.5 times more cars on the road today than there were in 1966.

By most measurable statistics, vehicle recalls are more frequent and more costly to automakers and, according to safety data from NHTSA, fatal crashes happen proportionately less since their peak in 1972 — in short, recall repairs work and serve a purpose. Ralph Nader’s 1965 book, “Unsafe At Any Speed,” which accused automakers of intentionally delaying now-standard safety equipment, such as airbags, seatbelts and passive safety features, was met with fierce criticism from automakers. By 1972, several of Nader’s key points, including the federal oversight committee that would become NHTSA, had become commonplace. Automotive safety was already moving in the right direction, but Nader punched the throttle. 

Like Nader’s call for mandatory safety equipment and tests in the ’60s and ’70s revolutionized automaking, a new call to revolutionize and modernize is needed. However, instead of focusing on defective and unsafe cars, there needs to be new focus for this future safety revolution: defective and unsafe drivers.

(Read More…)

By on October 30, 2015

2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Friday that it would recall nearly 900,000 cars worldwide — including more than 550,000 cars in the U.S. — for defective airbag and brake systems.

The company said some 2003 Jeep Liberty and 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee models were fitted with faulty airbags that could deploy. The automaker acknowledged that seven injuries had been caused by the airbags, which were not made by Takata. In all, 284,089 cars are affected by that recall.

Additionally, the company said more than 275,000 Dodge Journey models from 2012-2015 may have defective anti-lock brake systems that could fail due to excess moisture.

(Read More…)

By on October 26, 2015

Rodney SlaterThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration selected former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater as an independent monitor over Fiat Chrysler Automobiles safety compliance, the automaker announced Friday.

Slater was transportation secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. After his federal post, Slater has held a slew of automobile safety-related posts including his recent appointment as special counsel to Takata.

Slater was the first black director for the Federal Highway Administration and the second black transportation secretary.

(Read More…)

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