UPDATE: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday ordered Japanese parts maker Takata to pay $70 million – and an additional $130 million if it fails to abide by the agreement – marking the agency’s largest civil penalty in history. The regulator also announced it would use its authority to accelerate recall repairs to millions of vehicles equipped with shrapnel-shooting airbags for the first time. [More]
Takata Must Pay $70M Fine For Failing To Report Deadly Exploding Airbag Defect, Repairs To Be Made By 2019
A week after it was reported that Toyota planned to buy 13 million airbag inflators from a rival of Takata in an attempt to reduce the risk associated with millions of recalled safety devices from the Japanese auto parts maker, the car manufacturer announced it will indeed be testing alternative replacement components. [More]
Automakers have struggled in recent months to get their hands on enough new parts to replace millions of defective Takata airbags. To make matters worse, the Japanese auto parts maker at the center of the massive safety issue has re-recalled hundreds of thousands of replacement parts in recent months because the devices could still harm drivers and their passengers upon deployment. To reduce these risks, Toyota is reportedly looking to purchase millions of new airbag inflators from a rival of Takata. [More]
Just as federal regulators caution that it could take years before the nearly 34 million recalled vehicles equipped with Takata airbags that can spew shrapnel upon deployment are replaced, the Japanese auto parts maker says it expects to speed up its output of replacement parts by year’s end. [More]
NHTSA Urges Owners Of Vehicles With Defective Airbags To Get Them Fixed, Even Though No Parts Are Available
Federal safety regulators are asking millions of vehicle owners to immediately fix their defective airbags, but it may do little to actually remedy the problem. With more than 14 million cars equipped with faulty Takata airbags, car manufacturers say they don’t have enough replacement parts on hand, meaning consumers consumers will have to wait and decide for themselves whether they want to keep driving affected vehicles. [More]
Here’s the problem with gadgets made of tiny pieces of plastic: tiny pieces of plastic break. They fall off and disappear. Their absence means that those gadgets no longer work Nikeros owns the Logitech G-27 racing wheel, a cool-looking gaming accessory that
currently retails for more than $200. A small part of the wheel broke, rendering the whole thing unusable. Figuring that the part would be easily replaced, he checked with Logitech for a parts list. There are no extra parts for sale to consumers: it’s buy a new wheel, or nothing.
The Providence Journal of Rhode Island filmed a service director at a Toyota dealership fixing an accelerator pedal. If you own one of the recalled models, Consumer Reports’ Cars blog recommends that you learn the warning signs of pedal trouble and get to a dealership as soon as possible if you notice any of them.
The new CircuitCity.com is already disappointing customers, this time by shipping a half-complete TV mount that looks like it was wrapped by an over-caffeinated octopus. Unsurprisingly, our anonymous tipster had to slog his way through two customer service departments before extracting a promise to ship out the missing parts. Why can’t CircuitCity.com just ship him a new mount? Apparently, they have to first botch the parts shipment. Our tipster decided this wasn’t worth his time, and instead ordered a second mount. Circuit City promises to refund his money once they receive back the defective mount…
Gateway claims that the Patriot Act is holding up delivery of the part needed to fix Redwoodflyer’s laptop, which has been broken since October. Seems believable to us!
Reader James forwarded us a sad email he got from Saturn, in which they admit that GM is probably going to give them the ax. In it, they emphasize that their warranties feature the “industry’s best overall coverage” and that no matter what “GM will support the continued availability of Saturn parts and service as needed.”
Jim needed to replace the gold-tone filter on his $70 Hamilton Beach coffee maker, but the filter recommended by Hamilton Beach’s website clearly didn’t fit. When Jim called to complain, a customer service representative insisted that Jim’s coffee maker didn’t come with a gold-tone filter, and that if Jim thought otherwise, he was entirely out of luck and would need to buy a new machine.
Terrible news for anyone afraid of flying: the FAA is reporting that the newest passenger planes are held together with “substandard” parts. The oversight at several supplier factories was so shoddy that workers were caught using rulers made of scotch-tape and paper.
It’s been awhile since we had a good Sears warranty repair horror story, so without further ado: Over a week ago, before Thanksgiving, our new Kenmore High Efficiency (read: expensive) clothes washer broke.
This story is precisely why we’ve decided to avoid buying furniture from any store that doesn’t specialize in furniture. Christian and his wife bought a couch from Target and had it shipped to the house for $100. It turns out that “Target Ground” was really just UPS, and the 6 foot couch took no less than 3 boxes and 2 drop-offs for UPS to deliver in its entirety. Oh wait. They didn’t deliver it in its entirety because they forgot the screws and legs needed to put the couch together.
Hilary G. writes:
My friends & I really like the Sony Fontopia headphones. The earbuds are soft & comfortable, and block outside noise well enough that you may listen at a civilized, Pete Townshend-sanctioned volume. They come with 4 removable earbuds, a pair each of small & medium. However, no matter how hard I try to be careful, eventually my headphones will wind up at the bottom of my bag with heavy junk thrown on top of them, or they’ll get caught on my coat collar, or a dog will chew on them, and with these headphones that means the earbud will get pulled off. And once they’re off, man those little suckers are hard to find.