Monday, January 8, 2018

Takata, others place profits above safety.

The Detroit Free Press (1/4, Witsil, 1.15M) reports, “Takata’s cover-up that as many as 70 million of its airbags were potentially lethal was among the worst cases of corporate misconduct in last year, according to the American Association for Justice.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, new testing has led Takata to issue recalls on another 2.7 million air bag inflators. The AAJ also reported other companies that exhibited egregious conduct such as United Airlines, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, Fox News, Equifax, McKesson, Wall Street banks, and Johnson & Johnson

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Ram issues recall on 1.5 million trucks over shifter issues.

The New York Daily News (1/3, Tavares, 3.34M) reports, “Ram issued a recall of almost 1.5 million trucks in the U.S. due to a faulty interlock in the transmission.” The issue can cause the vehicle to shift from park without using the key, or applying the brake. Owners can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more information on the recall. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Audi issues recalls over fuel-line leaks.

The AP (12/19) reports, “Audi is recalling more than 52,000 luxury cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix fuel lines that can leak and increase the risk of a fire.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted documents on Tuesday that said the affect vehicles were built from January 25, 2011 to Sept. 13, 2013. The recall includes the A6 and A7 with model year 2012, 2013, and 2014. The company did not report any fires or injuries related to the recall.
        MLive (MI) (12/19, 912K) reports that NHTSA documents stated, “The fuel line was designed with a compression point to assist in installation. Due to manufacturing tolerance issues, this part of the fuel line may weaken and leak over time.” Audi said it will start notifying owners on February 5, 2018. MLive states, “Affected owners are advised to look out for a fuel odor when the fuel line’s compression point begins to weaken.” The NHTSA said the issue first started being discussed in June of 2014.

        The Automotive Fleet (12/19, 62K) reports that “to address the problem, Audi dealers will replace the fuel line at no charge to the customer.” 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pennsylvania jury orders Bayer, J&J to pay $27.8 million in damages for Xarelto.

Reuters (12/5, Lin) reports a Pennsylvania jury in Philadelphia ordered Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.8 million in compensatory damages and $26 million in punitive damages for Xarelto to Lynn Hartman and her husband. Hartman claims that she was hospitalized with severe gastrointestinal bleeding in June 2014, because she had taken Xarelto for about a year.

        Bloomberg News (12/5, Feeley, Fisk, 3.74M) reports that the two companies have previously won three federal lawsuits concerning Xarelto, but they “still face more than 21,000” lawsuits over the drug, “which has been linked to at least 370 deaths.” 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ford to repair Explorers over carbon monoxide issue.

The CBS Evening News (11/15, Story 9, 2:10, Mason, 11.17M) broadcast a video featuring CBS transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave and an interview with Steve Simmons, who was diagnosed with carbon dioxide poisoning after driving his Ford Explorer for sixteen days. Van Cleave said that Simmons “is one of nearly 1,300 people who have now filed complaints with the National Highway Traffic Administration about exhaust.” Van Cleave said Ford “has known about the problem since at least 2012 and recorded more than 2,000 additional complaints as of last August.” Van Cleave further states that “NHTSA has been investigating for over a year but says it’s found no evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

        CBS News (11/15, 4.42M) reports that Ford is offering to make repairs on the Explorer “models from 2011 to 2017,” as “1.3 million owners of the popular SUV will begin receiving notices today.” CBS News states that “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating at least 1.3 million 2011-2017 Explorers based on reports of exhaust, which contains carbon monoxide, seeping into the passenger cabin.” NHTSA said that Ford’s actions do “not bring closure to the issue.” 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Carmakers struggle with hacking fears for self-driving cars.

The Detroit (MI) News (11/15, Laing, 725K) reports on the efforts of carmakers to mitigate concerns about hacking as they develop self-driving cars. The News reports that cars without self-driving features have been proven to be vulnerable to hacks, and researchers at the University of Michigan, University of Washington, Stony Brook University, and University of California, Berkeley have demonstrated that it is possible to trick the lidar sensors of self-driving cars. The piece points out that automakers created the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center “that allows car manufacturers to confidentially share information about potential cyberattacks.” 

Monday, November 6, 2017

BMW to recall more than one million vehicles due to fire risk.

The AP (11/3) reported that “BMW is recalling more than 1 million cars and SUVs in two U.S. recalls due to the risk of fires under the hood, and it’s recommending that they be parked outdoors until repairs are made.” According to the AP, documents posted Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal “that a heater for the positive crankcase ventilation valve can overheat and cause the valve to melt, increasing the risk of a fire even when the vehicle is not in use,” although there have been no injuries reported so far. The New York Times (11/4, Caron, Subscription Publication, 13.56M) reported a BMW spokesman insisted the risk of fire is “extremely rare.”