If you don’t remember to get your recalled vehicle fixed, what if some kindly bureaucrats came to the lot where you’re parked to remind you? That’s what employees of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and some auto manufacturers are doing this week. They’re on a tour that’s like a political campaign, but not asking people to vote: they’re asking motorists to repair their vehicles and install their child safety seats correctly. [More]
The motor vehicle death rate in the U.S. has dropped 31% since 2000, which may sound impressive until you see that these deaths dropped by an average of 56% in 19 other comparable countries during the same period of time, leaving America as the country with the highest vehicle crash death rate among these high-income nations. [More]
Tesla is known for their cutting-edge 21st-centry all-electric cars, but today the company is recalling all 90,000 of them over an issue with a much older tech: the seat belts.
Earlier this year, legislators introduced a bill that would require consumers to fix any outstanding safety recall on their vehicle before a registration renewal would be granted. While that measure has gone nowhere since March, a newly introduced highway reauthorization bill includes a provision that would create a pilot program for a similar plan. [More]
Since automakers began recalling vehicles in force last year – punctuated by the millions of models covered by General Motors’ massive ignition switch defect and Takata’s explosive airbags – lawmakers have been trying to push through reforms that would make it more difficult to keep potentially deadly automobiles on the roadways. But proposed laws such as those that would impose fines on owners of vehicles who don’t follow-through with recall repairs or barring used car dealers from selling vehicles with unrepaired recalls likely won’t see the light of day after being voted down by a Senate committee last week. [More]
Sometimes products are unsafe. From bacteria-filled food to shrapnel-shooting airbags, on occasion even the most conscientious company will find itself needing to recall a product if it turns out to be harmful to consumers. But recalls are a big pain in the butt all around. One of the biggest issues? Actually letting consumers know that the stuff in their hands or on their shelves has, in fact, actually been recalled.
It’s the track on infinite repeat this year, it seems: General Motors has issued a recall of 524,000 vehicles for safety reasons. The two separate recall actions have nothing to do with ignition switches, at least, but both — on Cadillac and Saab SUVs and Chevy Spark cars — are hazards that increase the risk of a dangerous crash.
GM has spent the year in trouble: their massive recall has come with a slew of investigations, fines, congressional hearings, and lawsuits. But the company has been able to claim incompetence and avoid other potential penalties. Now, two U.S. senators are introducing a bill that will make it much more difficult for the top brass at companies that don’t report lethal errors to plead stupid in the future.
The thirteen-year-long mess of the GM ignition switch recall was, in part, a failure to see and identify patterns in the data. Over the course of a decade, individual consumers lodged complaints that, put together, could have revealed the whole problem sooner. But nobody got to look at the whole, because all of the service bulletins that carmakers like GM send to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration go into its database… and never come back out. Too bad so sad, says NHTSA, but lawmakers and auto-safety advocates are hoping to change that.
There you are, rolling along in your nice luxury car with custom leather interior, awesome speakers and one of those voice-activated virtual assistants offering to find you a late-night taco joint and all is well with the world. Unless maybe, you get in an accident and discover that just because your car is fancy, it might not hold up so well in a crash. A new test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has resulted in some failing grades for luxury and near-luxury automakers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) celebrated its 50th anniversary the same way we all celebrate our major milestones: by smashing up a classic car and putting footage of it on the Internet.