Tag: Defect

By on December 30, 2017

smart fire

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. (Read More…)

By on December 15, 2015

QOTD-RalphNader

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.” (Read More…)

By on April 22, 2010

You might think that, when confronted with its first major quality crisis, Toyota would have responded by upping its spending on DC lobbying. After all, when Washington has painted a target on your back, it’s usually a good time to hire a few well-connected friends. But then, a good deal of the congressional scrutiny aimed at Toyota has focused on the company’s lobbying efforts in the first place, especially after the House Oversight Committee leaked Toyota briefing documents that showed the company had successfully negotiated away penalties for defects. Perhaps then, Toyota’s decision to reduce lobbying spending in the first quarter of this year was a reaction to accusations that the automaker manipulated the NHTSA. Or maybe the Japanese firm simply decided that its huge lobbying budget simply wasn’t winning it any friends. In any case, Automotive News [sub] reports that Toyota spent a mere $880k on lobbyists last quarter, down nearly a third from its $1.3m Q1 spend in 2009. And, according to the Toyota report cited by AN [sub], defect recalls don’t even enter into the equation, as Toyota merely

lobbied the House and Senate on such issues as making it easier for workers to unionize, patents, financial regulation and energy matters

Meanwhile, as the image above proves, Toyota wasn’t going to be able to match the lobbying power of a GM anyway.

Recent Comments

  • SC5door: Fiat build quality for $30K? Pass.
  • SC5door: Only way to get 201 HP is to require premium fuel for the 1.6T. Some Kona owner ran theirs only on premium...
  • Carlson Fan: This is good news. Hopefully it will help flood the market in a few years with used lease return...
  • Tele Vision: Gasoline and its fractions will be around for many years. Diesel makes nearly everything that cars drive...
  • NormSV650: Probably the most miles it will see for the rest of the decade….

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States