Canada Slow to Realize Something Might Be Wrong With 2008 Smart Cars

Maybe it’s the Hoth-like climate and the urge to do anything in one’s power to warm it up, but Canada has so far taken a laid-back approach to the fires plaguing older Smart Fortwo models. A big part of the problem is that no one’s telling the country’s transportation regulator about them.

The models bursting into flames in the Great White North are of the same vintage as those which sparked an investigation by the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, Transport Canada has yet to open a defect investigation of its own.

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Automaker Whistleblower Protection Act Rewards Do-gooders, But There's A Catch

Buried deep within the recently passed highway transportation funding act is a provision to incentivize whistleblowers to speak out against automakers who design serious safety flaws in the cars that they make.

The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, passed in Congress earlier this year and signed into law by President Barack Obama this month as part of a larger highway transportation funding bill, is the first federal attempt at preventing catastrophic defects such as the ignition switch installed into General Motors cars that killed 124 people. This year, General Motors settled with victims and families for more than $600 million and paid federal regulators more than $900 million in fines.

The bill’s language specifically targets defects such as GM’s ignition switches, but could leave helpless whistleblowers in cases like Volkswagen’s or examples such as Ralph Nader’s outcry as part of his groundbreaking book “Unsafe At Any Speed.”

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Toyota Lobbying Spend Drops During Recall Crisis
  • Bullnuke There was an interesting comment from the chief of a fire department made today concerning EV fires. "They're like trick birthday candles. They look like they're out and then they're on fire again.". I haven't noted a special subsidy or funding for the nation's fire departments regarding fire suppression training or equipment to combat "trick birthday candles".
  • ToolGuy Name two innovations spearheaded by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
  • FreedMike …but did they ever partner with Stutz?
  • FreedMike Translated: if the manufacturers want the credit, they have to put some money into American workers’ hands. I give that two thumbs, way up. And for the record, this requirement is a walk back from the “union jobs only” restriction from the original BBB, and I give that two thumbs, way up, as well.Sounds like the manufacturers in question should stop whining and start figuring out how to increase their local sourcing.
  • Bobbysirhan After massive bus fire, CT pulls electric fleet from service (middletownpress.com)At least they're following the science.