Friday, April 29, 2016

Ford issues five separate recalls.

In continuing coverage, Inquisitr (4/28, Galbreath, 207K) reports that Ford announced on Wednesday that it is issuing five separate recalls that will affect 285,000 vehicles. Ford said on its website that it will reimburse dealers to inspect the recalled videos and make any necessary changes. The article highlights that the largest recall covers mainly Ford’s puck up trucks “due to an issue with the output speed sensor in the transmission’s lead frame that can cause a sudden downshift to first gear, resulting in a drop in speed at the wrong time.” According to Ford, four accidents and one injury are related to the recalls.

        Auto World News (4/28, Doctor, 1K) explains that the transmission problem is due to “a software problem in a speed sensor can trigger the vehicles to suddenly downshift to first gear.” 

Volkswagen to buy back or fix diesel cars affected by emissions scandal.

ABC World News Tonight (4/28, story 10, 0:15, Muir, 14.63M) reported that Volkswagen has set aside $9 billion to “buy back or fix diesel-powered cars equipped with software to cheat admissions tests.”

        The AP (4/28, Mchugh) reports Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller “says he apologized in person to US President Barack Obama for the carmaker’s emissions scandal, in which it rigged its cars to cheat on diesel engine pollution tests.” While speaking at Volkswagen’s annual news conference on Thursday, Mueller indicated he had a “two-minute” conversation with Obama in Hannover, Germany this week. Mueller said, “I took the opportunity to apologize to him personally for this matter.” Mueller added, according to the New York Times (4/28, Ewing, Subscription Publication, 14.18M), “I thanked him for the constructive cooperation with his officials. Of course I also expressed the hope that I will be able to continue to fulfill my responsibility to 600,000 employees and their families as well as suppliers and dealers.” 

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. To date, over 700 lawsuits have been filed in Philadelphia, and approximately 5,000 Xarelto lawsuits have been filed in MDL 2592 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016


A number of lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceuticals, nationwide and in Pennsylvania involving allegations the Diabetes drug Invokana causes kidney failure and a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.  The suits claim the diabetes drug Invokana causes kidney failure and a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which is caused by a buildup of acids in the blood. 
Along with alleging that Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceuticals failed to warn and improperly marketed the drug, plaintiffs are also alleging Invokana was defectively designed because it prevents the body from metabolizing excess glucose by directing it to be excreted through the kidneys.
In December the Food and Drug Administration announced it added safety warnings on labels about the risks of urinary tract infections and too much acid in the blood. According to the FDA’s website, the warnings updated the prescribing and monitoring information and included a requirement for a post-marketing study.

Since the spring of 2013 the drug has produced more than 1 Billion in sales.  There are also claims that Invokana has been linked to urinary tract infections, and cardiovascular problems, like heart attack and stroke. 

FCA recalls vehicles due to NHTSA investigation of monostable gear shifter.

AutoWeek (4/27, Ramey, 2.12M) reports that the NHTSA’s investigation of the Monostable gear shifter has led Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to issue 1.1 million vehicles recall “to modify the operation of the shifter that has now caused 121 accidents and 41 injuries.” The article wrote that the NHTSA said earlier this year that “the Monostable shifter is not intuitive and provides poor tactile and visual feedback to the driver, increasing the potential for unintended gear selection.” 

Ford recalls vehicles due to transmission issues.

ABC World News Tonight (4/27, story 10, 0:20, Muir, 14.63M) reported that Ford is recalled 200,000 vehicles due to a problem with the automatic transmission, which may suddenly change to first gear.
        International Business Times (4/27, Young, 670K) adds that Ford explained in a statement, “Under certain conditions, the transmission controls could force a temporary downshift into first gear.” Ford added, “Depending on the speed of the vehicle at the time of the downshift, the driver could experience an abrupt speed reduction that could cause the rear tires to slide or lock up.”
        The AP (4/27) adds that recall includes “the 2011 and 2012 F-150 and the 2012 Expedition, Mustang and Lincoln Navigator.” Ford says the automatic transition issue is due to a software problem in a speed sensor. According to Ford, the problem has caused no injuries but three crashes. The article adds that Ford is also recalling 81,000 Explorer SUVs for a rear suspension problem.
        Cars (4/27, Torbjornsen, 876K) explains that for the transmission recall, “Dealers will inspect the powertrain control module for diagnostic trouble codes tied to the issue. If no related diagnostic trouble codes are present, dealers will update the powertrain control module software, which will eliminate the condition ... If related diagnostic trouble codes are present, dealers will update the powertrain control module software and replace the lead frame for free.” The article adds that Ford will also offer a “one-time replacement of the lead frame at no charge within 10 years or 150,000 miles from the warranty start date.”
        Detroit Bureau (4/27, Strong) adds that Ford also issued a safety recall for approximately 2,600 2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty vehicles with possible tire problems. The article writes that dealers will inspect tired and replace them if necessary.
        Fortune (4/27, Chew, 4.08M) highlights that in 2015, “a record 51.26 million vehicles were recalled in the U.S. over defects, after promises by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to improve its recall system.”

        USA Today (4/27, Bomey, 6.31M), Car and Driver (4/27, Atiyeh, 10.32M), WBSM-AM Fairhaven, MA (4/28, Paleologos, 2K), and the WWTV-TV Cadillac (MI) Cadillac, MI (4/28, Munguia, 46K) website also report on the story. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

GAO: NHTSA must prepare for vehicle cyberattacks.

The Washington Times (4/26, Blake, 269K) analyzes a 61-page report from the GAO that urges the Transportation Department to boost “its cybersecurity efforts as the automobile industry continues to roll out computer-assisted cars that pose the possibility of being hacked.” According to the report, while NHTSA “has taken steps towards addressing cybersecurity issues raised by modern automobiles, the agency has stalled with respect to ensuring the nation is able to reel back from a hypothetical hack attack.”

        The Hill (4/26, Zanona, 884K) and Federal Computer Week (4/26, Spinosa, 263K) also report on the story. 
Mitsubishi Motors says it has lied about fuel economy data since 1991. The AP (4/27, Kageyama) reports Mitsubishi Motors acknowledged that it has falsified fuel economy data since 1991. President Tetsuro Aikawa said the company was still probing the matter, “We don’t know the whole picture and we are in the process of trying to determine that.” The AP pushed Mitsubishi to do more tests on the vehicles it sells in the US, but the EPA did not say whether it believes the automaker lied about its data in the US.
        Bloomberg News (4/26, Horie, 2.07M) reports that “for the second time in about a decade, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. faces a scandal that poses an existential threat.” The Japanese automaker “has improperly tested the fuel economy of its cars for the past quarter century, widening the scope of misconduct that executives initially said dated back to 2002.” Bloomberg adds that “the Mitsubishi Motors board formed a panel of three ex-prosecutors to investigate for about three months,” and “until then, customers, investors and minicar partner Nissan Motor Co. may be left waiting for information about the number of affected models and details of compensation.” Bloomberg notes that “wrongdoing by the Japanese automaker and Volkswagen AG has prompted a reckoning of the ways carmakers test for and label the fuel economy and exhaust emissions of their vehicles.”

        The Wall Street Journal (4/26, Kubota, Subscription Publication, 6.27M) reports that Mitsubishi had also based fuel-economy data on desktop calculations for some domestic minicars, instead of vehicle-based tests as Japanese law requires. The Journal notes that this new revelation shows that Japanese regulators relied on voluntary reporting for fuel-economy data, and are now considering toughening regulations. 

VW presentation described how to cheat emissions tests in 2006.

The New York Times (4/26, Ewing, Subscription Publication, 14.18M) reports a top Volkswagen technology executive issued a PowerPoint presentation in 2006 describing how the company could cheat on emissions tests in the US, according to two people who have seen the document, which was discovered as part of an ongoing probe into the automaker. The presentation “underscored” that VW officials understood that its diesel engines “were polluting significantly more than allowed,” but technicians at the time “thought the chances of being caught cheating were slim,” and company executives “repeatedly rejected proposals to improve the emissions equipment, according to two Volkswagen employees present at meetings where the proposals were discussed.” 

Monday, April 25, 2016

FCA recalls more than a million vehicles over confusing gear shifts.

On Friday, Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of over one million vehicles due to an issue with gear shifters where drivers, apparently, may mistake the vehicles for being in park, when really they can roll away. The recall affects Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles from the 2012-2014 model years, as well as Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs from the 2014-2015 model years. The story has the nation’s attention, with two networks and several national outlets and wires reporting on the defects and the NHTSA investigation into the gear shifters, which was initiated in February 2016 after several reports of FCA vehicles rolling away after supposedly being left in park.
        ABC World News Tonight (4/22, story 13, 0:20, Llamas, 14.63M) broadcast that there have been “more than 40 injuries potentially tied to this problem so far.” The CBS Evening News (4/22, story 6, 0:30, Pelley, 11.17M) broadcast also noted the number of injuries connected with the issue.
        The AP (4/23, Durbin) reports that NHTSA documents posted online say the shift lever in affected vehicles “is not intuitive and provides poor tactile feedback to the driver,” adding that NHTSA has received over 120 crash reports connected with the issue.
        The New York Times (4/22, Vlasic, Subscription Publication, 12.03M) reports that US auto recalls “have continued to mount this year as automakers react to tougher enforcement efforts by regulators.” NHTSA and FCA found that drivers were mistaken about the nature of electronically controlled gear shift levers, turning their cars off without putting the transmission fully in park or not checking the indicator lights on the dashboard to make sure the vehicles are secured in place.
        USA Today (4/22, Woodyard, 5.45M) reports online that the recall affects “1.1 million vehicles worldwide, including 811,586 midsize SUVs and full-size cars in the U.S.” Reuters (4/22, Shepardson) reports with similar coverage, adding a statement from NHTSA spokesperson Bryan Thomas, who said that the agency will monitor the recall as it develops.

        Among the outlets reporting with similar coverage are the Detroit Free Press (4/22, Snavely, 989K), CNBC (4/22, 2.3M), Automotive News (4/22, Vellequette, 188K), the Automotive Fleet (4/23, 62K), the Road and Track (4/23, 3.57M), Jalopnik (4/23, Tracy, 546K), and Leftlane News (4/23, King, 4K). 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Volkswagen reaches settlement with US over emissions cheating.

The CBS Evening News (4/21, story 7, 0:20, Pelley, 11.17M) reported that Volkswagen on Thursday “agreed to buy back or fix nearly half a million diesel vehicles that were fraudulently rigged to pass emissions tests that they should have failed.”
        NBC Nightly News (4/21, story 6, 1:50, Holt, 16.61M) reported that Volkswagen “reached a broad settlement to compensate owners of diesel cars that came rigged with technology to cheat emissions test.” NBC (Costello) added that “a company that built its reputation on reliability is now paying the price for fraud,” as the automaker “admits tricking the emissions test, while polluting at 40 times the illegal limit.” A federal judge “approved the broad outlines of VW’s plan to compensate the half million customers in America who bought the effected models including certain 2.0 liter Jettas, Beetles, Passats, Golfs, and Audis A-3s.”
        The New York Times (4/21, Ewing, Subscription Publication, 12.03M) reports the settlement, announced in federal court in San Francisco, “left open numerous legal and financial issues stemming from the carmaker’s admission that it rigged diesel vehicles to cheat on pollution tests.” Attorneys “are still negotiating the fines that Volkswagen must pay, as well as the compensation that owners will receive.” US District Judge Charles R. Breyer set a June 21 deadline for Volkswagen “to settle those questions with the federal government as well as lawyers for vehicle owners.” The Wall Street Journal (4/21, B1, Randazzo, Subscription Publication, 6.74M) reports that Judge Breyer said the automaker plans to offer consumers the option of having their vehicles either bought back by Volkswagen or modified to meet emissions standards.
        USA Today (4/21, Bomey, 5.45M) reports that the settlement is between Volkswagen and the Environmental Protection Agency, California regulators, including the California attorney general’s office, “and consumers over a plan to fix or buy back nearly half a million vehicles that violated emissions standards” The deal “includes ‘substantial compensation’ for owners of 2-liter diesel cars that were fitted with software to cheat emissions regulations,” Judge Breyer said. The “accord could finally bring about a solution to a crisis that has bedeviled Volkswagen engineers, who have been unable to deliver a fix that was acceptable to the EPA.”
        The Los Angeles Times (4/21, Peltz, 4.1M) reports that “the plan’s specifics are still being ironed out,” and “the proposal applies only to the 2.0-liter diesel vehicles involved in the case – including certain Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Passat models – which make up the bulk of the rigged cars. ‘It is a fairly sketchy framework at this point,’ senior analyst Michelle Krebs said,” adding that “the cars’ owners ‘will have to carefully weigh all of their options, which include having Volkswagen buy back their cars, have them repaired if that is possible or return their lease cars.’”
        The AP (4/21) reports that the deal “will include a fund for corrective efforts over the excess pollution, and Volkswagen will be required to commit other money to promote green automotive technology, said Breyer, who has not formally signed off on the deal yet.” Volkswagen “would spend just over $1 billion to compensate owners but did not detail a vehicle fix in the agreement,” according to an unnamed source.

        Politico (4/21, Powers, 1.07M) reports that “the emissions cheating scandal, which came to light seven months ago, has had a devastating impact on Volkswagen’s international reputation, with U.S. regulators, environmental advocacy groups, and consumers calling for blood as the company tried to nail down a compensation and penalties package.” Volkswagen “struck an agreement with European nations months ago to fix its vehicles there, but the company has found it much more challenging to meet the exacting requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency – an agency that, in its own right, has faced significant criticism for failing to catch Volkswagen’s cheating during the U.S. emissions testing process.” Reuters (4/21, Sage, Shepardson) also reports. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Volkswagen offered Thursday to fix or buy back 2-liter vehicles equipped with the infamous defeat device software meant to fool emissions tests as part of a settlement to resolve the Department Of Justice's claims that the German automaker had installed such software in more than half a million diesel engine vehicles.

Woman reports 2013 Hyundai Elantra accelerated on its own, crashed.

WKMG-TV Orlando, FL (4/21, 62K) reports that a women recently said her 2013 Hyundai Elantra suddenly accelerated on its own and crashed into a tree. News 6 looked to see if the NHTSA had received similar complaints and “found more than a dozen reports mirroring” the same experience. The article mentions that according, Hyundai’s 2013 model has the most overall complaints. The article writes that despite this there are no relevant recalls.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

American Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys

Jaime Jackson is now a member of the American Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA). An organization of attorneys dedicated to Trucking and Highway safety. ATAA is not against the trucking industry at all.  Good truckers and safety conscious trucking companies should and do appreciate our mission.  We are against dangerous practices that needlessly endanger people on the highways.  In the end, ATAA seeks to make a difference in highway safety by fighting unsafe practices that lead to truck crashes.   

Car owners look for ways to deal with replacement delays for Takata airbags.

The Los Angeles Times (4/19, White, 4.1M) reports that as the growing scale of the Takata recall has meant some car owners will have to wait months for a replacement. The Times writes that some dealerships are offering rentals, while “some need to be pushed into offering them, customers complain.” The Times also mentions that “drivers under age 25 or with weak insurance coverage or credit say they are encountering snags when they get to the rental counter.” The Times notes that the NHTSA said last week that the recall may be expanded if Takata cannot prove the safety of airbags in cars currently considered safe. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

GM recalls one million pickup trucks worldwide over seat belts.

ABC World News Tonight (4/15, story 8, 0:20, Muir, 14.63M) was alone among the networks in broadcasting a story on “the safety recall involving two popular pickup trucks” by General Motors. GM is recalling “more than a million” Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra model pickups because of “a concern over faulty seat belts.”
        The AP (4/16) reports that the global recall affects 2014 and 2015 model year cars with seat belts that “may not hold the driver in a crash.” Specifically, GM determined through its warranty data that there is “a steel cable that connects the belts to the trucks” that “over time” can “come loose” due to repetitive wear from the driver sitting in the vehicle. Thus far, GM has not received any reports of any crashes or injuries involving the defect, which occurs “rarely and mainly with trucks used by businesses in which drivers frequently enter and exit.”
        The Hill (4/15, Zanona, 862K) reports, “The total number of trucks being recalled globally is over 1 million, with 895,232 in the United States.” Reuters (4/15, Shepardson) puts the total number of vehicles affected by this recall at close to 1.04 million worldwide.

        Among the numerous other outlets reporting on the recall, mostly on local TV affiliates, there is similar coverage in USA Today (4/15, Bomey, 5.45M), CNBC (4/15, 2.3M), Fox Business (4/15, 220K), the Automotive Fleet (4/16, 62K), the Consumerist (4/15, 66K), SlashGear (4/16, 39K), Motor Trend (4/16, 7.13M), the Dallas Morning News (4/15, 1.24M), and WRC-TV Washington (4/16, 352K). 

Friday, April 15, 2016

BMW recalls 2016 7-series cars due to airbag problems.

Reuters (4/14, Woodall, Taylor) reports that BMW recalled the 2016 model of its 7-series luxury cars due to possible air bag deployment problems. BMW spokesperson said, “It is purely a precautionary measure.” In a filing on the NTSB website, BMW estimated that the recall would impact 6,110 vehicles in the US. Reuters adds that customers will be informed of the recall in May and repairs will take around four hours at the dealership.

        Edmunds (4/14, Lienert, 310K) adds that the NHTSA wrote in the recall summary, “The affected vehicles have an airbag control module that may randomly reset due to an electrical short circuit as a result of residual metallic particles from the manufacturing process.” The summary added, “In the event of a crash while the airbag module is resetting, the airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of occupant injury.” 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Toyota recalls Avalons, Camrys due to airbag defect.

The AP (4/13) reports that Toyota is recalling 60,000 Avalon and Camry 2016 models in North America due to an air bag defect. The AP adds Toyota “says the cars have a system that activates or deactivates the front passenger air bags depending on the weight of the passenger. In some of the affected vehicles the system was improperly calibrated, so the front passenger air bags and knee air bags may not deploy.” Toyota said it is unclear whether the defect has attributed to any injuries. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Boston Scientific recalling all models of its Fetch 2 aspiration catheter.

Cardiovascular Business (4/11, Casey) reported that “Boston Scientific voluntarily recalled all models of its Fetch 2 aspiration catheter after receiving complaints of shaft breakage during procedures to remove small blood clots from the coronary arteries.” (4/12, 8K) reports, “The thrombectomy catheter...was manufactured between June 11, 2014 and Feb. 19, 2016.”

        Fierce Medical Devices (4/11, Lawrence, 144) reported that “the recall...has been classified as Class I by the FDA.”