Tag: Safety

By on July 1, 2016

2013-Tesla-Model-S-Rear

Details emerging from the May 7 crash involving a Tesla Model S driving in Autopilot mode paint a confusing picture.

Yesterday, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration opened a preliminary investigation into the crash and the vehicle’s technology, prompting Tesla to defend itself and admit that the vehicle’s autonomous driving system didn’t recognize a tractor trailer crossing the lanes in front of the Model S.

The victim, identified as ex-Navy SEAL Joshua Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio, died after his 2015 Model S collided with the truck at an intersection in Williston, Florida. The Tesla’s Autopilot failed to slow the vehicle, causing the car to ride under the truck’s trailer at highway speed, shearing the roof off.  (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2016

Honda-Accord-USA-2001

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…)

By on June 29, 2016

2012 Prius Plug In Hybrid, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

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…)

By on June 28, 2016

IMG_0678

Jimmy writes:

Sajeev,

For years I traded in my Hondas and Toyotas within 18 months of purchase. However, I did not care for the newest Highlander, Pilot, and Camry, so I kept the old ones hoping the next versions would be more acceptable. While I have not had a single problem with these vehicles, with the exceptions of a few light bulbs, I’ve noticed Michelin Green X and the Continental ContiProContact have small cracks in the tread grooves. The tires have 40,000 and 55,000 miles on them with lots of tread left. I have asked tire stores and some say don’t worry while others say they are dangerous.

What is the rule for tire replacements when it comes to cracks in the tread grooves?

(Read More…)

By on June 27, 2016

tesla autopilot

There’s no shortage of safety-minded autonomous technology on Tesla vehicles, but a video suggests some features could say “forget it” when asked to work.

YouTube user Kman recently posted a video showing real-world testing of the collision avoidance abilities of the Autopilot feature in a Tesla Model S 90D — tests that nearly got his friend splattered across the pavement. (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2016

GC Shifter

My most devoted readers (Hi, Mom!) know that I’ve used the (Web) pages of Road&Track a few times in the past couple of years to argue for standardizing automotive control location and operation. The general response to my clarion call for action has been a rousing middle finger from the reader, accompanied by an unambiguous suggestion that I use a standardized automatic-transmission shift lever to go fuck myself sideways. What can I say? They were even meaner to John the Baptist, you know.

Last week, some fellow from Hollywood (might have) managed to let his own Grand Cherokee crush him to death. And now, to quote Heath Ledger, everybody loses their minds. There’s a class action lawsuit. The Monostable shifter is being maligned from all quarters, often by the same people who said that the Chrysler rotary PRNDL control was also a problem.

In my previous articles, I predicted that the government, or the courts, would set the automakers’ houses in order if they couldn’t do it themselves. Perhaps that will happen now. I hope not. In the meantime, however, let’s take a brief look at the arguments from control standardization, and the arguments for deviating from those standards sensibly.

(Read More…)

By on June 24, 2016

Volvo Autonomous Drive, Image: Volvo Cars

We’re told the future will bring us a blissful, autonomous driving experience that allows us to enjoy the scenery as we read our tablets and enjoy a Venti Macchiato, free of the burden of driving decisions and liability.

Now, for the less happy stuff: who should your safety-minded car kill if it’s forced to make an autonomous Sophie’s Choice-style decision — an occupant or a pedestrian?

A study published in the journal Science tackled that question, with researchers posing various scenarios to 1,900 participants via an online survey. The results show our sense of moral duty is matched by our sense of self-preservation. (Read More…)

By on June 24, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-004

It didn’t take long for perennial automotive litigant Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro to assemble a class action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the wake of actor Anton Yelchin’s death.

The Seattle-based law firm filed suit against FCA yesterday, alleging the recalled Monostable gear shift levers in certain models pose a risk to drivers, and could have contributed to Yelchin’s death. The firm, acting on behalf of three clients in California, Florida and Ohio, called the shifters “dangerously defective” and demanded a jury trial. (Read More…)

By on June 23, 2016

2015 F-150 Crash Test

After reports surfaced last year of automakers only adding driver’s side small-overlap crash protection to their vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put the claims to the test.

A study of seven compact crossovers showed vast differences in safety between the driver and passenger side of the vehicle during small-overlap crashes, Automotive News reports, prompting the IIHS to consider adding another category to its testing criteria. (Read More…)

By on June 22, 2016

traffic

Statistics show that, as a whole, teen drivers are unsafe, and could easily saddle you with a huge repair bill.

So, what’s the best state to live in if you’re planning to hand your keys to someone aged 15 to 24? A new study by WalletHub maps it out, ranking each state based on three categories — safety conditions, driving laws and economic environment.
(Read More…)

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