Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Recall of 7,700 Grand Cherokee, Durango vehicles initiated.

The Detroit News (6/29, Shepardson, 523K) reports that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV “is recalling 7,700 new SUVs because of potential braking and other problems — and warning 65 owners to stop driving immediately.” The vehicles involved are being recalled “because they may have been inadvertently equipped with improperly heat-treated suspension components. This condition, which was not apparent during the assembly process, could lead to component breakage, rear-end instability and/or reduced braking power,” the company said, adding that no crashes or injuries have yet been reported in relation to the defect. “Because the supplier’s production anomaly was detected quickly, the number of vehicles actually affected by the suspect components is estimated to be no more than 13 percent of the total,” Fiat Chrysler said. The company also announced it was recalling 164,000 new Jeep SUVs due to faulty power liftgates. “NHTSA last week announced it was opening two new investigations into Fiat Chrysler vehicles,” the article reports. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

GM Ignition Switch Defect Death Toll at 119

General Motors’ defective ignition switches are now linked to 119 deaths, two more than a week ago, the office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg said.
Feinberg was hired by GM last year to independently compensate the victims of crashes caused by the automaker’s faulty ignition switches, which prompted the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles in 2014.
The automaker originally said it only knew of 13 deaths linked to the switches, which can be jostled out of the “run” position by a knee or a heavy keychain, cutting power to the engine and power steering.
Subaru recalls 72,000 vehicles due to driver assist issue.

A handful of national media outlets reported Thursday Subaru’s recall of over 72,000 vehicles due to a problem with the latest version of the company’s Eyesight Driver Assist System. According to a report from USA Today (6/25, Smouse, 5.01M), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the automatic braking system installed on several 2015-2016 models could fail if one of the vehicle’s brake lights isn’t working. “The car won’t be able to detect a brake light failure, however the driver will see a warning indicator,” USA Today reported. “If the issue is not fixed, drivers will see an ‘Obstacle Detected’ warning upon approaching an obstacle in the road, but the car will be unable to automatically break in an attempt to avoid it.” Subaru spokesman Dominick Infante is quoted saying the problem can be fixed with a simple software update. “It’s really an easy fix for the customer,” he said. In an article carried by about 30 news sites, Reuters (6/25, Klayman) cites an unnamed Subaru spokesman as saying that the company is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue, noting that drivers are still able to manually apply the brakes even if the brake light switch has malfunctioned. The AP (6/25) also published a brief dispatch on the recall that was picked up by fewer than 10 outlets. 

Supreme Court rules same-sex couples have constitutional right to marry.

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution in a decision that was universally portrayed in media coverage as the culmination of a dramatic change in public opinion on the issue. President Obama hailed the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges as a victory for equality, while opponents of the decision expressed great disappointment, and in some cases a willingness to resist implementing the ruling. The major print dailies all ran multiple stories that delved into the ruling in great depth, and the three broadcast networks combined for 21 minutes of coverage.
        The Washington Post (6/27, Barnes, 5.03M) reports the Supreme Court on Friday “delivered a historic victory for gay rights” with a 5 to 4 ruling that “the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live.” According to the Post, the decision “marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence.” Roll Call (6/26, Ruger, 99K) noted the ruling says “same-sex couple have the fundamental right to marry,” and has the impact of “end[ing] the state-by-state patchwork of legality where it comes to same-sex weddings and which states recognize such unions.”
        In the court’s 28-page opinion, according to USA Today (6/27, Wolf, Heath, 5.01M), Justice Anthony Kennedy writes, “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” Kennedy added, “The past alone does not rule the present. The nature of injustice is that we do not always see it in our own time.” The Los Angeles Times (6/27, Savage, Phelps, 4.03M) reports the opinion states the “right to marry is a fundamental right inherent to the liberty of a person” and “under the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment, couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.”
        The AP (6/27) reports Obama on Friday said the decision “made our union a little more perfect” as he praised the Court for the ruling. While speaking in the Rose Garden, Obama said, “This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts.” ABC World News (6/26, story 2, 3:40, Muir, 5.84M) showed Obama saying, “When all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free.” Politico (6/26, Gerstein, 1.11M) reported that Obama had earlier tweeted, “Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins.”
        In a story that includes the words “Zeal of a convert” in its headline, the Washington Times (6/27, Boyer, 641K) reports on the evolution of the President’s position on gay marriage. The Times notes Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign that he did not support same-sex marriage, and “publicly opposed” it until 2012. In statements that the Wall Street Journal (6/27, Tau, Subscription Publication, 5.68M) connects to his previous opposition, Obama said during his post-ruling statement that the subject remains controversial. The President said, “Real change is possible. Shifts in hearts and minds is possible.”
        On NBC Nightly News (6/26, story 2, 3:10, Holt, 7.86M), Pete Williams reported on the ruling’s likely lasting impact when he said, “It could be undone, but only by a constitutional amendment or by a future Supreme Court that changes its mind and neither of those seems at all likely.”

        Bloomberg News (6/27, Stohr, 3.81M) notes the case “involved 31 people from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.” A Federal appeals court “ruled against gay weddings, saying changes to marriage laws should come through the political process,” rather than the judicial system. However, Kennedy “rejected that reasoning, saying the democratic process must give way to the Constitution.” Kennedy wrote that “individuals need not await legislation before asserting a fundamental right,” adding the court system is “open to injured individuals who came to them to vindicate their own direct, personal stake in our basic charter.” The Huffington Post (6/26, Liebelson, 194K) reported the “lead plaintiff” in the case is Ohio resident Jim Obergefell, “who wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on his husband’s death certificate.” 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NHTSA investigates Jeep Wrangler air bags.

The AP (6/23) reports that the NHTSA has received 221 complaints from Jeep Wrangler owners “that the air bag warning light is illuminating, indicating an electrical problem in the steering wheel” prompting an investigation into the matter as the faulty wiring “could stop the air bags from inflating in a crash.” About 630,000 Wranglers from the 2007 through 2012 model years are being investigated. Jeep maker Fiat Chrysler in 2011 “recalled some right-hand-drive Wranglers” for the same problem, the article reports, adding that “now the agency is looking at left-hand-drive vehicles.” No crashes or injuries have yet been reported in relation to the problem, but the investigation could prompt a recall.
        The Detroit News (6/23, Shepardson, 523K) reports that according to the NHTSA, the vehicles may have an electrical problem that have pushed some owners to replace their clockspring on multiple occasions. “This is the second new NHTSA investigation into Fiat Chrysler in two days,” the article reports, adding that the agency on Monday said it is investigating some “121,000 2013 Dodge Darts after the agency received 18 complaints that the brake pedal can suddenly become hard to depress and that braking distance unexpectedly increased on 2013 Darts.”

        Edmunds (6/24, 399K) reports that the NHTSA in its summary of the probe said, “The subject vehicles display an airbag warning light that may indicate a failure of the clockspring wiring in the driver-side airbag circuit.” Fiat-Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said, “We are cooperating with NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation,” adding, “Customers who observe a warning light, for any reason, should contact their dealers.” 

NHTSA, Takata face criticism during Senate committee hearing.

A Senate panel’s hearing Tuesday on the Takata airbag recall garnered widespread media coverage, with at least one network evening newscast reporting on the story. Much of the coverage has focused on the criticism faced by the NHTSA during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s hearing Tuesday. For instance, the AP (6/24, Gordon, Durbin) reports that the Senate panel formally met to “grill” Takata, but “much of the committee’s ire was directed” at NHTSA and its “numerous missteps in the Takata investigation as well as last year’s recall of General Motors Co. vehicles for defective ignition switches.” Further, the CBS Evening News (6/23, story 5, 2:45, Glor, 5.08M) reported that NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind testified at the hearing, noting that the agency was “hit with a scathing report Monday saying the agency routinely misses major safety problems in American cars.”
        In another article, the AP (6/24, Gordon, Krisher) reports that during the hearing, “senators expressed anger and exasperation” with both Takata and NHTSA. According to the article, the lawmakers criticized NHTSA for “failing to investigate early reports of exploding air bags.” The AP notes that the DOT Inspector General’s “critical” report of the agency highlighted several problems, “including lack of training, failure to follow through on consumer complaints and failure to hold automakers accountable.” On the front page of its “Business Day” section, the New York Times (6/24, B1, Vlasic, Subscription Publication, 12.24M) reports that Rosekind promised to “upgrade” NHTSA’s “personnel and procedures.” Rosekind is quoted as saying, “We will continue to look at every place possible to make changes.” The article notes that some of the senators acknowledged that NHTSA, “had at least, under Mr. Rosekind, begun to improve defect investigations.” Some of the lawmakers also “agreed” with Rosekind’s assertion that NHTSA needs more funding “to manage an ‘overwhelming’ flood of potential investigations and complaints,” according to the Washington Post (6/24, Harwell, 5.03M).
        However, Bloomberg News (6/23, Levin, 3.81M) reports DOT Inspector General Calvin Scovel warned the Senate panel that giving NHTSA more funding before the agency implements “broader improvements ‘does not seem like a good idea.’” Additionally, Reuters (6/24, Morgan, Klayman) quotes Sen. Claire McCaskill as saying during Tuesday’s hearing that she opposes giving more money to NHTSA until she sees “meaningful progress on reforming the internal processes within” the agency. Republican Chairman of the Senate commerce committee, John Thune, also remarked during the hearing that the agency is failing to follow “basic best practices and these are problems that can’t be solved by throwing additional resources at the problem.”
        Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press (6/24, Spangler, 957K) reports, Sen. Bill Nelson said he would “continue to fight for more funding” for NHTSA, but “added, ‘there also has to be accountability.’”

        A video of Tuesday’s hearing is posted on the C-SPAN (6/23, 52K) website. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Senate report says Takata knew of air bag problems as early as 2001.

Bloomberg News (6/22, Levin, 3.81M) reports that employees of Takata Corp. knew of “serious safety and quality control issues as early as 2001, years before flaws in its automobile air bags surfaced,” according to a report issued by Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Democrats on Monday. The firm “also halted global safety audits to save money,” the report said. The AP (6/23, Krisher) says the report also “accused the government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of failing to promptly investigate early reports of defective air bags.”
        The New York Times (6/23, Tabuchi, Ivory, Subscription Publication, 12.24M) says that the order to halt audits “was just one of many serious safety lapses” detailed in the report. Takata “quickly disputed the report’s findings as misleading” and argued that “it conducted regular reviews of product quality and safety.” The Times also says the report mentioned that “Takata and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed that the best course of action was to press on with the recalls,” due to concerns that gradual degradation of propellant in the airbags can increase the risk of rupture.
        The Wall Street Journal (6/23, Spector, Subscription Publication, 5.68M) says that the report was released a day before NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind and Takata North American VP Kevin Kennedy were set to testify before the full Senate Commerce Committee. The report also criticizes Federal regulators for failing to quickly investigate the issue once problems emerged, the Journal says, noting that the agency’s inspector general will also testify Tuesday. Reuters (6/22) reports in brief coverage that the hearing Tuesday will focus on NHTSA’s role in the recall probe as well as Takata’s efforts and those of other automakers to address defective air bags. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pontiac Vibe Takata Airbag Recalls

GM adds 243,000 cars to faulty air-bag recall. The AP (6/20) reports that General Motors has added at least 243,000 US and Canadian compact hatchbacks to its list of recalls for faulty Takata air bags. The new recalls involve passenger air bags on Pontiac Vibes made from 2003 to 2007. The cars were designed by Toyota and made at “a jointly owned factory in California.” The NHTSA has said “the numbers of all the recalled cars have been entered into its database.” 

Honda confirms eighth Takata air-bag-linked fatality.

The Los Angeles Times (6/20, Hirsch, 4.03M) reports that on Friday Honda confirmed the eighth death due to faulty Takata air bags. This one involved the rupture of an air bag inflator in the crash of a rented 2001 Honda Civic on Sept. 7, 2014. The family of victim Jewel Brangman, 26, filed suit earlier this year alleging “both Takata and Honda had known for years that there were problems with the air bag inflators and should have moved more quickly to fix the vehicles.” Brangman died after suffering “a laceration to the left side of her neck and a severe brain injury.” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind commented on this latest case. He said, “The fact that this was a rental vehicle that had not been remedied is more evidence for why we are seeking authority to prohibit sale or rental of any vehicle with an open safety recall.”
        Bloomberg News (6/19, 3.81M) notes that the NHTSA has been attempting “to speed the pace of repairs for a lingering defect that’s now estimated to affect about 34 million air-bag inflators.” In this latest case, the car “had been recalled multiple times,” first in 2009, then 2013, and twice in 2014. Honda said, “Four mailed notifications of the July 2009 recall were sent to registered owners of this vehicle starting in August 2009.” Word of the 2013 recall went to the car’s “current registered owner,” a rental company based in San Diego.

        The New York Times (6/20, Tabuchi, Subscription Publication, 12.24M) notes that “Honda has acknowledged that it was first alerted to the airbag defect in 2004, but started recalling a small number of cars only in 2008.” Currently, companies aren’t mandated “to repair used or rental cars that are under recall before they sell or rent them” or to disclose any vehicle recalls to customers. Legislation on the issue is opposed by many auto industry representatives. The Wall Street Journal (6/20, Armental, Subscription Publication, 5.68M) also covers the story. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Collision Avoidance Systems

Collision avoidance systems are relatively new automobile safety features. So how do they work. Here is an IIHS video explaining one of these features - adaptive cruise control.
Atlee Hall LLP - Safety Attorneys Helping Make Our Community Safer Located in Lancaster, PA - Contact us at 800-924-2309 or email at info@atleehall.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jeep Cherokee

NHTSA looks into complaints about faulty collision avoidance system.

The Wall Street Journal (6/16, Ramsey, Subscription Publication, 5.68M) reports that after a Honda recall targeting two Acura models last month, US safety investigators are turning their attention to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which some drivers have complained deploys the automatic brakes for no reason. The NHTSA also received complaints from Honda, Fiat Chrysler, and GM vehicles for the same reason. Infiniti, which had dealth with a similar problem, found it was tied to one New Jersey bridge specifically, while Volvo said it recorded fewer accidents in vehicles equipped with collision avoidance system. 

Toyota recalls close to 1.4 million additional vehicles over faulty air bag.

The AP (6/16) reports, “Toyota is adding nearly 1.4 million cars, trucks and SUVs to a growing recall for air bags that can explode with too much force.” Newly added vehicles include the “2003 to 2007 Corolla and Matrix, 2005 and 2006 Tundra pickup, 2005 to 2007 Sequoia SUV and the 2003 to 2007 Lexus SC430 convertible,” the AP reports. Takata last month gave in to pressure from the NHTSA “and declared many of its products defective, agreeing to double the number of air bag inflators being recalled,” according to AP, and making it “the largest auto recall in US history.” 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Honda expands recall over Takata airbags.

The AP (6/16, Krisher) reports that Honda said it is expanding its recall of Takata “passenger air bag inflators from high-humidity states to the entire nation,” a move that will “add just over a million 2001 to 2005 Civics and 2003 to 2007 Accords to the recall.” Honda took the step at the insistence of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says the AP.

        The Detroit News (6/15, Shepardson, 523K) reports that Honda’s announcement comes just days after it “confirmed a seventh death in one of its vehicles linked to air bags rupturing and sending deadly metal fragments flying.” In a statement commenting on the April 5 death of 22-year-old Kylan Langlinais, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said Friday that it was “‘likely’ because of a faulty Takata inflator.” The piece quotes him as saying, “This tragedy underscores the necessity of the actions NHTSA is taking to ensure that every vehicle on America’s roads has a safe air bag.” 

Monday, June 15, 2015

NHTSA: More than 40,000 Daimler AG vans to be recalled for faulty airbags.

Bloomberg News (6/14, Doom, 3.81M) reports, Daimler AG “made 40,061 vans from 2005 to 2008 with airbags that must be replaced,” the NHTSA said. The story says the recalled vehicles are the 2007-2008 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 and 3500 and the 2007-2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 and 3500, manufactured from July 1, 2005, to July 31, 2008. NHTSA said in a report posted on Saturday that the affected vehicles “are equipped with a passenger side frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion which, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture upon its deployment.” 

GM faces racketeering allegations in ignition switch lawsuits.

ConsumerAffairs (6/15, Hood, 138K) reports attorneys “representing consumers who are suing GM over faulty ignition switches have added racketeering allegations to their claims suit.” The lawyers claim the automaker “conspired to conceal the safety defect.” The article notes that the company paid a fine for not informing the NHTSA “to the defective switches quickly enough.” 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Federal prosecutors mull criminal fraud charges against GM over ignition switches.

The Wall Street Journal (6/10, Matthews, Spector, Subscription Publication, 5.68M) reports that the Justice Department is considering charging General Motors Co. with criminal wire fraud linked to the company’s failure to recall millions of vehicles with defective ignition switches. Citing unnamed sources, the Journal reports that Federal prosecutors in New York are leading the investigation after determining that GM probably made misleading statements and concealed information about the faulty switches, which have been linked to more than 100 deaths.
        The Detroit Free Press (6/9, Gardner, 957K) reports that GM CEO Mary Barra said that the company “is cooperating with a federal prosecutor looking at whether it committed wire fraud in its response to defective ignition switches now tied to 111 deaths. ‘We have cooperated fully. We continue to do so,’ Barra said. ‘It is their timeline. Anything else is pure speculation and does no one any good.’” The Free Press notes that Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara and the Justice Department “reached an agreement last year with Toyota under which the Japanese automaker agreed to pay $1.2 billion to resolve wire fraud charges in communicating what the government said was misleading information about the safety of millions of vehicles Toyota recalled in 2010.”

        The AP (6/10, Krisher) reports that Barra “confirmed Tuesday that she has been interviewed by the Justice Department in its criminal probe of how the company handled a deadly ignition switch problem in older small cars.” Barra told reporters “the interview happened last year but said she didn’t know when the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan would release the results of its probe.” 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) May Cause Life-Threatening Bleeds

          Approved by the FDA in 2011, Xarelto is one of the newest anticoagulants on the market. Xarelto is a prescription medication used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. It is also used to treat and prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, in particular in patients who have recently had knee or hip replacement surgery.
Xarelto, which is manufactured and marketed by Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is an alternative to Coumadin (warfarin). Unlike Coumadin, however, there is no approved antidote to quickly reverse the blood-thinning effects of Xarelto. For this reason, Xarelto may substantially increase the risk of severe and uncontrollable bleeds, which may result in serious injury and death.

Individuals who were prescribed Xarelto and suffered severe bleeding have filed lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturers. In January 2015, a mass tort program was created in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Over 250 lawsuits have been filed in Philadelphia, and over 400 lawsuits have been filed in the Xarelto MDL in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana.  

NTSB presses for collision avoidance systems in vehicles.

The AP (6/8, Lowy) reports that the National Transportation Safety Board said in a June 8 report that equipment that automatically brake or warn drivers to avoid rear-end collisions should come standard in all new cars and commercial trucks. More than 80 percent of collisions could be averted or alleviated if manufacturers adopt such equipment. Similar recommendations were made “a dozen times over the past 20 years,” according to the article, but progress in their adoption has been “very limited.” As a first step, the NTSB wants automakers to make “a warning system standard, and then add automatic emergency braking after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration completes standards for them,” the article reports. “You don’t pay extra for your seatbelt,” NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said in a statement. “And you shouldn’t have to pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision.” The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers however wants to keep the collision avoidance systems optional. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Takata Identifies at Least 400,000 Faulty Airbag Replacement Parts

Here is a link to a very scary and concerning article in Automotive News about Takata identifying at least 400,00 faulty airbag replacement parts that are replacing the recalled faulty parts:



Uncertainty Looms Large About Safety of Takata Airbag Replacements
In November of last year, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration called for recalls involving certain vehicles manufactured with Takata airbags. It was alleged that the airbags are unsafe because they explode with excessive force, causing hot metal shrapnel to fly within the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Two weeks ago, Takata expanded its recall to cover nearly 34 million vehicles, including those manufactured by BMW, Honda, Ford, Mitsubishi and Chrysler. It is not expected that the recall and replacement will be completed for several years, leaving owners of affected vehicles with the unenviable choice of driving a vehicle with a known safety defect or not driving the vehicle at all.
Now, many questions are being raised over the safety of the airbag replacements. Takata and industry professionals have both stated that the fix for the recalled airbags is to replace them with “replacement” airbags. Takata’s replacement airbags, as described to a panel of the House of Representatives yesterday, consists of a different design of the airbag (altering the shape of the propellant wafer), but does not involve replacing the composition of the propellant itself, ammonium nitrate. But, what assurances are there that Takata’s “fix” will be safe?
Reuters reports that industry officials involved in the recall have said that it could take months to determine why Takata’s airbag inflators explode too forcefully. Since some airbags have already been replaced, and many will be replaced in the interim, it stands to reason that there is no certainty that the replacement airbags will fix the safety problem. According to industry officials, the replacement airbag inflators may eventually need to be replaced if the root cause of the problem has not been addressed when the core problem has been discovered. In other words, if it is later determined that the defect is caused because of the use of ammonium nitrate, the replacements, too, will be defective and unsafe.
Even government officials playing a role in the safety recall do not espouse the belief that the replacement product will fix the problem, to any certainty. In fact, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is quoted as saying, “We have a lot of work to do, especially with regard to why this happened in the first place.” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind also remarked that while replacement airbag inflators “are safer. The concern is, are they safe over the long term? That has yet to be determined.”
Certainly not a ringing endorsement.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Takata Corp, NHTSA agree to recall 33.8 million airbags in largest recall in US history.

The AP (6/1, Gordon) reports Takata Corp. has declared 33.8 million air bags defective in an agreement with NHTSA regulators. It’s the biggest auto-safety recall in US history. The AP adds that a top Takata Corp executive says the company plans to “replace the chemical in its air bags that has been linked to a defect responsible for at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries.”
        Bloomberg News (6/1, Plungis, 3.81M) reports about 50% of the replacement air-bag kits that Takata Corp. sent to automakers in May “have inflators made by competitors, including some with a different chemical than the one linked to explosions that have killed six people.” BN adds that the portion is expected to reach 70% by the end of the 2015, according to a Monday statement by Takata.
        The AP (6/1) reports although the NHTSA and the auto industry are “still trying to determine exactly what is causing Takata’s inflators to explode,” the agency said last week it “decided the recall action needed to be taken immediately to protect the public.” The AP says Takata’s agreement with NHTSA adds over 18 million air bags to existing recalls. The story says NHTSA “sparred with Takata for the past year over the size of the recalls and the cause of the problem.”

        CBS News (6/1, 8.2M) reports although the NHTSA and the auto industry are still trying to determine exactly what is causing Takata’s inflators to explode and the agency said last week it “decided the recall action needed to be taken immediately to protect the public.” 

Monday, June 1, 2015

GM announces that 330,000 heavy-duty GM pickup trucks now part of air bag recall.

The Detroit Free Press (5/31, Gardner, 957K) reports General Motors said “330,000 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy duty pickup trucks are part of the largest ever recall of vehicles equipped with Takata air bags.” The affected trucks, according to information released on Friday by the NHTSA are from the 2007 and 2008 model years. The story says in addition, NHTSA said “Subaru will add about 60,000 vehicles to a previous recall along the Gulf Coast for passenger air bag inflators,” bringing the total number of Subarus recalled to around 81,000.