By on August 10, 2020

2014 Chrysler Town & Country

A defunct minivan is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after three owners reported fires breaking out in the interior of their vehicles.

The preliminary probe, opened August 6th, covers only the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country, the high-zoot sibling of the Dodge Grand Caravan. It seems the trouble lies with the vehicle’s charge hub, which sits between the second- and third-row seats. (Read More…)

By on July 7, 2020

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS in Wisconsin wrecking yard, RH rear view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Better clean up that spilled drink. It’s a safety hazard.

Yes, two low-end, Recession-era Chevrolets have been singled out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an investigation, this one pertaining not to faulty ignition switches (that’s all in the past), but the pooling of flammable liquid in areas where such things should not pool. (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2020

Cars crash all the time, but vehicles believed to be piloted by an advanced driver-assist system at the time of the collision earn themselves an investigation from a federal agency. Such is the case with the latest Tesla crash, with occurred in Indiana on December 29th.

The fatal collision between a Model 3 and a parked fire truck is the third such investigation opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a month. (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2020

UAW

UAW President Rory Gamble, who took the helm of a scandal-rocked union following the resignation of former prez Gary Jones late last year, is reportedly under federal investigation himself.

Gamble embarked on a wide-ranging clean-up operation soon after taking the job in the hopes of avoiding federal oversight, while at the same time charting a bribery- and corruption-free path forward for the union. The investigation’s scope is a broad one, peering beneath every stone, and Gamble claims this particular probe is par for the course. (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2020

Tesla Model S Grey - Image: Tesla

Barely two weeks after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last opened an investigation into a Tesla crash, the federal agency is once again probing a collision involving a Tesla vehicle — this one a fatal incident.

The agency announced this week that a December 29th crash in Gardena, California that killed two occupants of a 2006 Honda Civic will fall under its purview. (Read More…)

By on December 16, 2019

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it will investigate a 12th crash relating to Tesla Motors’ Autopilot system. The automaker has found itself under increased scrutiny as the public grows increasingly weary of technological gaps in today’s advanced driving aids. Truth be told, it’s probably shouldering more of the burden than it needs to. Whereas most driving aids manage to fly beneath the radar, Tesla’s marketing of Autopilot has always framed it as being on the cusp of true autonomy.

It’s always just one over-the-air-update away from genuine self-driving capabilities.

That’s why you don’t read reports about some poor dolt in a Toyota rear-ending someone and the government doing a deep dive on Safety Sense to figure out why. Nobody cares, and there aren’t countless examples of people taking their hands off the wheel of their Camry with confidence after being confused into thinking it could drive itself. But it happens in Tesla models with uncomfortable frequency, even among drivers who really should know better.  (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2019

The long-running federal probe into dirty dealings between domestic automakers and the United Auto Workers cranked up a few notches on Wednesday, with federal agents reportedly raiding the home of UAW President Gary Jones and ex-UAW boss Dennis Williams.

Sources told The Detroit News that raids were carried out in three states as investigators attempt to uncover just how high in the organization the corruption went. The move comes less than three weeks before UAW-Detroit Three contracts expire. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2019

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

A fatal March collision between a Tesla and a semi trailer that bore a strong resemblance to a crash in the same state three year earlier was more similar than initially thought.

Following the March 1st collision between a Tesla Model 3 and a semi on US 441 in Delray Beach, Florida, in which the car underrode a trailer crossing the divided roadway, the National Transportation Safety Board went to work. A preliminary report is now out, confirming suspicions that, like the 2016 crash, the car was under the guidance of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system at the time of the crash. (Read More…)

By on April 12, 2019

2017 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Palatial Ruby Front Quarter, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

Nissan added automatic emergency braking as standard equipment on eight popular models for the 2018 model year, looking to get a jump on the pact forged in 2016 that calls for mandatory AEB on all cars and light trucks by 2020.

That pact, covering 20 automakers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is already bearing fruit. Just last month, the NHTSA congratulated a slew of automakers, including Nissan, for including the safety feature on the majority of their vehicles.

One month later, and the NHTSA finds itself investigating Nissan for a potential fault with its AEB system. (Read More…)

By on April 1, 2019

2011 Hyundai Sonata

This isn’t an April Fools joke, sadly, for Hyundai and Kia Motors. After years of investigations and the recall of over 2.3 million models, Hyundai’s engine controversy has sparked a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Agency probe into nearly 3 million vehicles.

Immediately preceding the weekend, Hyundai recalled 16,487 Velosters to mend a software glitch that could lead to stalling and fires. The automaker just can’t seem to turn down the heat on a quality issue that simmered for years before boiling over. (Read More…)

By on November 21, 2018

Prosecutors may be looking into a vehicle recall affecting certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with the company’s turbocharged 2.0-liter and naturally-aspirated 2.4 liter engines. It’s not an investigation to determine if a recall is needed; rather, it’s a look-see to find out if existing recalls were conducted correctly.

It remains to be seen in these early stages if any charges will be filed. If action is taken, however, the fines levied would likely cut deeply into the company’s balance sheet.

(Read More…)

By on October 27, 2018

Given that Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account now has third-party oversight, it’s unlikely we’ll see angry missives about the Fun-Busting Interrogators this weekend. However, that won’t stop the FBI from probing Musk’s past production promises for the Model 3 sedan.

As part of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation that kicked off after Musk’s fateful August 7th “funding secured” tweet, the FBI wants to know if the automaker misled investors via production promises that didn’t pan out. (Read More…)

By on October 18, 2018

Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy/TTAC

In early August, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 1.1 million Ram pickups after owners reported losing their loads, the fault of a tailgate that wouldn’t stay latched. Ford now seems to have a similar problem, only in this instance the tailgates carefully lower themselves under electric power.

A ghost in the machine? More like an electrical issue that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to get to the bottom of. This week, the safety agency announced the launch of an investigation into consumer complaints related to the wonky gates, possibly heralding a recall of 2017 F-Series trucks. (Read More…)

By on September 18, 2018

Elon Musk

What a week it’s shaping up to be for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Interestingly, if this latest report proves true, we can pin the blame for all of Musk’s misfortune over the past 24 hours on the presence of social media, and his tendency to overuse it.

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Justice Department has opened a fraud investigation into Musk’s infamous “funding secured” tweet — the online message that kicked off a strange journey that ultimately went nowhere. (Read More…)

By on June 7, 2018

screencap tesla model x crash

The March 23rd death of a Tesla Model X driver in Mountain View, California prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to probe why the vehicle, driving in Autopilot mode, left its lane and collided with a concrete lane barrier on a clear day. The impact killed 38-year-old Walter Huang, an Apple engineer.

In the wake of the crash, the safety agency booted Tesla from the investigation after the automaker released details relating to the vehicle’s (and victim’s) actions in the moments leading to the crash. We now have the NTSB’s preliminary report on what happened before, during, and after the collision. (Read More…)

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