Monday, March 28, 2016

GM recalls 3,200 2016 Chevrolet Malibus over side-impact air bag assembly.

USA Today (3/27, Gardner, 5.45M) reports General Motors is recalling approximately 3,200 2016 Chevrolet Malibus in the US and Canada to replace side-impact air bag assemblies which could fracture and separate when the air bag deploys. The defect was discovered during routing GM testing, and no injuries have been reported. The recall is unrelated to the Takata airbag recalls.

        The Detroit News (3/25, Laing, 528K) reports on the recall of “about 3,100 2016 Chevrolet Malibus for faulty side-impact air bags in the seats that can break apart.” NHTSA is saying that these Takata Corp.-made weld studs can fracture and “allow the side air bag to move out of position during deployment, increasing the risk of injury.” General Motors has been quick to point out that this recall is unrelated to other recalls of vehicles with Takata air bag parts. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NHTSA records reveal similar reports on sudden acceleration of 2013 Hyundai Elantra.

WPLG-TV Miami (3/15, Vazquez, 126K) writes that complaints filed with the NHTSA shows “a dozen reports” that revealed various 2013 Hyundai Elantras that accelerated suddenly after turning in or out of a parking spot. The article features snippets from each of the reports. The article goes on to write that the NHTSA gave the 2013 Hyundai Elantra an overall 5-star rating. A spokesperson for Hyundai said, “The Elantra is a very well designed and safe car. Virtually every government study, including several NHTSA studies, has concluded that these incidents are caused by driver error.” 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Nissan recalls 47,000 Leaf vehicles for brake problem.

The AP (3/13) reports on Nissan’s recall of over 47,000 Leaf electric vehicles in the US and Canada over “a possible brake malfunction...centered on a relay inside the cars’ electronic brake booster.” The Automotive Fleet (3/13, 62K) also reports. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

GM halts sales of 1,579 trucks, cars over possible airbag defect.

USA Today (3/9, Woodyard, 5.45M) reports that General Motors halted sales of 1,579 pickups and cars in the US “because the driver’s side air bag may not deploy correctly in a crash.” The article writes that GM said the defect is not related to the Takata recall. The article explains, for GM, “the fear is that the second stage of the airbag may not deploy properly under some conditions in high-speed crashes.”
        Reuters (3/9) reports that models include Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks and Chevrolet Malibu sedans. The article adds that the recall will also affect some models in Canada and Mexico

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Keyless ignitions pose carbon monoxide danger.

WNCN-TV Raleigh-Durham, NC (3/7, Hyland, 1K) reports on its website that care keyless ignition pose a danger, as people are getting carbon monoxide poisoning when they accidentally leave the vehicles running in garages. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “issued a proposed rule to require alarm systems, calling this issue a ‘clear safety problem.’” An agency spokeswoman said the agency “is considering the public comments … as it determines a path forward on issues associated with keyless ignition systems.” 

Monday, March 7, 2016

NHTSA investigates 420,000 Ford F-150s for possible brake failure.

The AP (3/5, Krisher) reports that NHTSA has opened an investigation into whether “the brakes can fail on Ford’s F-150 pickup truck, one of the most popular vehicles in the nation.” The current Federal probe applies to some 420,000 pickups that have “3.5-Liter, six-cylinder engines” and were built between “the 2013 and 2014 model years.” The story notes that this is not the first NHTSA investigation “into brake problems with Ford’s flagship F-150,” NHTSA having investigated “complaints that the power brake assist can fail on about 250,000 pickups from the 2011 and 2012 model years” last June.
        USA Today (3/4, 5.45M), the Detroit Bureau (3/5), the New York Times (3/4, Jensen, Subscription Publication, 12.03M), Automotive News (3/4, 188K), AutoWeek (3/5, 2.12M), and TIME (3/5, 18.01M) also report

Friday, March 4, 2016

Autonomous vehicles to soon become reality.
The AP (3/3, McHugh) reports vehicles are becoming gradually smarter and building toward autonomous cars in the future. Self-driving vehicles topped the agenda at the Geneva International Motor Show, despite not being showcased. The AP reports “Executives think that cars that drive themselves at least part of the time may be upon us by the end of this decade.” Google is already testing self-driving cars in Mountain View, California, Austin, Texas, and Kirkland, Washington. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said his company sees “two roads to full autonomy, one being the more evolutionary one where basically more and more assistance systems kind of automatically lead to a fully autonomous car.” He added, “The other one is more revolutionary ... where first in restricted areas you have fully autonomous cars and over time you expand the area where you can do that.” Zetsche continued, “And I would say in restricted areas you can see fully autonomous cars in the latter path around the turn of the decade.”
        Cars becoming more likely to be hacked. USA Today (3/3, Weise, 5.45M) reports while 42 percent of Americans back more interconnected cars, and some 60 percent of Millennials fall in that category according to a study by Kelley Blue Book, some 62 percent fear that cars will be easier to hack. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who hacked a Jeep Cherokee last year, said “security can’t be an afterthought.” Kelley Blue Book senior director Karl Brauer said older cars are less prone to being hacked. But KBB analyst Akshay Anand said once a new car is sold, “that car is going to be a connected car.” Brauer explained, “So if you’ve got GPS or Bluetooth access or a WiFi hotspot in your car — which is coming — there’s a wide range of hacks for getting in.” Those features are important to Americans, especially the youth. Venable senior legislative adviser Chan Lieu said, “Millennials don’t want to go anywhere without being connected, so auto manufacturers are appealing to that.”