Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fiat Chrysler recalls nearly 500,000 trucks over defective water pump.

The Wall Street Journal (9/19, Dawson, Subscription Publication, 6.45M) reports Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced a recall of 494,417 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks as well as chassis cabs for the 3500, 4500, and 5500 models because of defective water pumps which may “overheat and potentially cause an engine fire” according to the announcement. No accidents or injuries have been reported.
        WWJ-TV Detroit (9/19, 34K) reports the trucks have 6.7-liter engines. The recall includes units with model years between 2013 to 2017. Reuters (9/19, Shepardson) reports FCA said “a small number of fire-related incidents” have been reported.

        The recall was also reported by CNN Money (9/19, Wiener-Bronner, 3.59M) and the AP (9/19). 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Volkswagen to recall more than 280,000 vehicles over engine stalling risk.

MLive (MI) (8/29, Raven, 947K) reports that Volkswagen is planning to recall more than 280,000 vehicles in the US “due to a potential issue with the fuel pumps failing, which would eventually cause the cars to stall.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents indicate the recall affects some four-cylinder 2009-2016 Volkswagen CC, 2006-2010 Volkswagen Passat and Passat Wagon models.

        According to the documents, the automaker says the possible loss of electrical power to the fuel pump control computer can stop the flow of gas, which will cause the engine to stop running, the AP (8/29). Owners will be notified in October. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mazda to recall nearly 80,000 older cars, SUVs to replace Takata airbag inflators.


MLive (MI) (8/15, 882K) reports Mazda will issue a recall of more than 79,000 older car and SUV models, including “certain 2007 through 2009, and 2012, Mazda CX-7, CX-9 and Mazda 6 vehicles,” to replace their Takata airbag inflators. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall documents, “The PSPI-6 air bag inflator, equipped in these subject Mazda vehicles, may potentially rupture during passenger side air bag deployment due to propellant degradation occurring after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling.” 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mazda updates recall of more than 205,000 vehicles over Takata airbags.


The Car Connection (7/26, Read, 176K) continues coverage of Mazda’s updated recall of more than 205,000 model years 2007 and 2011 Mazda6, CX-7, and CX-9 vehicles. Mazda issued a recall of the vehicles in 2016 “to replace Takata’s fatally flawed airbag inflators, which use ammonium nitrate to deploy airbags during collisions.” However, that recall did not offer a permanent fix, which the updated recall seeks to rectify. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fiat Chrysler recalls 805,000 cars due to defects, NHTSA filings show.


Car and Driver (7/17, Atiyeh, 5.75M) reports that filings by Fiat Chrysler with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate “Fiat Chrysler is recalling 805,694 cars in the U.S. for cars that can stall, set off airbags without warning, and catch on fire.” The models affected by the recall include “certain 2011–2014 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, Challenger, and Durango models, plus the 2012–2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee,” which will need to have their alternators replaced due to “faulty diodes.” 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fiat Chrysler recalls more than one million vehicles.


ABC World News Tonight (7/14, story 13, 0:25, Muir, 14.63M) broadcast that Fiat Chrysler is “recalling more than 1.3 million vehicles” for reasons involving either “the alternator, which could catch fire in several models of the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee,” or due to “a wiring problem that could cause the driver’s side air bag to mistakenly deploy in Dodge Journeys from 2011 to 2015.” 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Honda recalls more than 1 million Accords.


The AP (7/13) reports on the recall of 1.2 million Accord vehicles in the US by Honda due to battery issues where “the sensors on the negative terminal of the battery aren’t properly sealed from moisture,” posing a fire risk. The recall affects vehicles from the 2013-2016 model years. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Takata recalls additional 2.7 million vehicles over faulty airbag inflators.

ABC World News Tonight (7/11, story 9, 0:20, Muir, 14.63M) reported that Takata is issuing a recall of “an additional 2.7 million vehicles because of a safety risk involving an air bag inflater.” The new recall includes “some Ford, Nissan and Mazda vehicles.”
        The company flagged these cars because they use calcium sulfate as a drying agent, which poses an explosion risk, the Wall Street Journal (7/11, Spector, Subscription Publication, 6.37M) reports, citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents made public in Tuesday. The recall was made “out of an abundance of caution” and not from any actual ruptures that might have occurred. However, the NHTSA indicated the recall was prompted by new testing of the air bag inflators, which have already lead to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide, Reuters (7/11, Shepardson) reports. Nissan has said it will “recall 627,000 Versa cars from 2007-2012 model years, including 515,000 in the United States,” while “Ford spokesman John Cangany said the issue covers about 2.2 million Ford vehicles.”
        The New York Times (7/11, Maidenberg, Subscription Publication, 13.9M) says that “exposure to moisture and temperature fluctuations can degrade the propellant, which contains ammonium nitrate, a volatile compound Takata’s inflaters use to deploy airbags.” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said, “This recall now raises serious questions about the threat posed by all of Takata’s ammonium-nitrate-based airbags.” He also urged regulators to quickly figure out “whether all remaining Takata airbag inflaters are safe.”
        With this newest recall, Bloomberg News (7/11, Beene, Ma, 2.41M) says that a worst case scenario is that “abnormal rupture of inflators that have a desiccant might spur a recall of 130 million air bags worldwide,” which is up from the 68 million already set to be recalled through 2019. The piece says Takata is possibly looking at $13 billion in recall costs, according to analyst Takaki Nakanishi of Jefferies Group LLC.

        Additional coverage includes the AP (7/11, Krisher), The Hill (7/11, Zanona, 1.25M), the AP (7/11), the Automotive Fleet (7/11, 62K), AutoBeat Daily (7/11, Subscription Publication), Autoblog (7/11, 459K), and ConsumerAffairs (7/11, Hood, 154K). 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Uber drivers often work “dangerously” long shifts.


USA Today (7/10, Kruzman, 5.28M) reports on Uber drivers who drive continuously for extended periods of time. The Uber app does not have a limit for the number of hours that a driver can work consecutively. Because Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors instead of employees, the drivers are not bound by federal labor laws governing work hours. USA Today reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “estimates that 100,000 car accidents reported to the police each year directly result from driver fatigue, though no concrete data exists on how many of those involved Uber or other ride-hailing service drivers.” 

Monday, July 10, 2017

NHTSA investigating faulty Continental parts “that may cause auto gas leaks.”

Crain’s Detroit Business (7/8, 75K) reports that US safety regulators and automakers “are trying to track down gas tank flanges that can crack and cause fuel leaks on what could be millions of cars and trucks.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “began investigating the parts made by German supplier Continental Automotive GmbH, whose U.S. operations are based in Auburn Hills, after the company filed recall documents this week saying the parts could be defective.” The documents, posted Friday by the agency, “say Continental sold the potentially faulty flanges to 11 automakers and five other parts supply companies.”
        Continental warns Porsche, Audi SUV recall may impact 13 other automakers. Bloomberg News (7/7, Beene, 2.41M) reported Continental AG warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a filing released on Friday that its “faulty fuel pump parts that have spurred U.S. recalls of more than 450,000 SUVs by Volkswagen AG and its Porsche and Audi brands” had also been sold to an additional 13 automakers and auto parts suppliers, “including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover.” As such, the NHTSA is “probing whether vehicles and parts sold by those other companies also contain defective fuel pump flanges from Continental, which can crack and cause a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire, according to a document” on the agency’s website.

        The AP (7/7, Krisher) reported the flanges “can crack and cause fuel leaks on what could be millions of cars and trucks.” The AP added a spokeswoman for Continental “conceded the number could run into the millions, but said it will be difficult to determine how many were sold because part numbers are not the same. The company has no reports of fires caused by the problem, she said.” 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Volkswagen recalls 766,000 vehicles worldwide over brake system.


Reuters (7/6) reports Volkwagen has issued a global recall of 766,000 vehicles under the VW brand due to a defect in the braking system that requires a software update. The recall includes 288,000 VW cars in Germany, in addition to about 100,000 Audi and Skoda vehicles there. 

Injured drivers get official role in Takata bankruptcy.


Reuters (7/6, Hals) reports from Wilmington, DE that “people injured by Takata Corp’s defective air bags were given an official role in the bankruptcy of its U.S. unit on Thursday, allowing them to challenge restructuring plans that plaintiffs’ lawyers have criticized as protective of automakers.” According to Reuters, “a seven-member official committee will represent economic loss and personal injury or tort claimants, David Buchbinder, a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice’s bankruptcy watchdog, told a meeting of creditors of Takata’s U.S. business.” Reuters notes that “official committees receive funds from a debtor to hire professionals who can carry out investigations and test financial assumptions.” 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mazda recalls 227,000 cars due to parking brake issue.

MLive (MI) (7/3, Raven, 878K) reports Mazda has issued a recall for 227,814 of its “2014 and 2015 Mazda 6, and 2014 and 2016 Mazda 3 models due to a possible issue with the parking brake.” According to the article, “the issue is due to the parking brake not fully releasing or holding the four-door cars in place,” and “the key safety risk is that the cars may unexpectedly move if parked on a slope.” 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Auto industry pushing for federal oversight on self-driving cars.

The Detroit Free Press (6/27, Snavely, 1.01M) reports that representatives from the auto industry are pushing Washington lawmakers for “greater federal oversight and authority to regulate self-driving cars while consumer safety watchdogs warned Congress about the dangers of proposed federal legislation that they say goes too far.” The industry is seeking the ability to “test and deploy much larger fleets of driverless cars and make it clear that federal regulations takes precedence over state laws.” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) has argued for the need for smart federal regulation so that US automakers are able to stay ahead of industry innovation globally. She said she is talking with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about draft bills on the matter.
        Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday “sparred” over such regulations, as well as “a proposal to allow automakers and technology companies to bypass existing regulations in introducing autonomous cars,” Reuters (6/27, Shepardson) reports. US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Democrats say the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should be aggressive in mandating self-driving car safety. The piece says that Republicans have introduced a package of 14 bills, which would “allow NHTSA to exempt up to 100,000 vehicles per year from federal motor vehicle safety rules.” The NHTSA had established voluntary guidelines for self-driving cars under the Obama Administration, which Chao “vowed to quickly update.”
        Additional coverage includes the Detroit News (6/27, Laing, 473K).

        Advocates urge Congress for more safety regulations on driverless cars. Bloomberg News (6/27, Beene, 2.41M) reports that safety and consumer advocates on Tuesday told Congress that before companies, such as Apple and Ford, are allowed to “expand testing of self-driving cars,” there need to be “basic rules of the road.” Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety argue that the safety of driverless cars need to be certified before testing and that Congress should allow fewer such cars to be tested on roads. Bloomberg says that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “currently allow automakers to field vehicles that don’t comply with the letter of federal auto-safety standards under certain limited circumstances.” 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Takata files for bankruptcy in air-bag recall scandal.

USA Today (6/25, Jones, Bomey, 5.28M) reports Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday, as it faces “massive costs associated with defective air bags.” The piece provides a timeline of the company’s problems, beginning in the 1990s with the production of “air-bag inflators with ammonium nitrate propellant,” that by 2000 they knew were not properly functioning. In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into a recall issued by Honda over defective airbags. By 2012, US regulators found that “Takata ‘failed to clarify inaccurate information’ on the air bags.”
        In its own more recent timeline of Takata’s air-bag trouble, Bloomberg News (6/25, 2.41M) reports that in 2014, the NHTSA added an additional 3 million cars to recalls already initiated by Honda, Toyota and Nissan. In 2016, the NHTSA “order[ed] Takata to replace as many as 40 million additional air bags,” not long after which the company agreed “to plead guilty and pay $1 billion in the U.S. to settle an investigation.”
        Takata’s bankruptcy trouble “isn’t just a crisis for its employees and suppliers,” but “also throws a wild card into one of the biggest and most complicated recalls in automotive history,” Bloomberg News (6/25, Buckland, Horie, Beene, 2.41M) says. The piece indicates the company’s “filing to restructure, which listed more than $10 billion in liabilities, doesn’t relieve a manufacturer of recall responsibilities,” but that carmakers may be left footing the cost if its financial assets are exhausted “before all the work is done.” According to the NHTSA, “only 38 percent of the 43 million air bag inflators under recall in the U.S. had been repaired as of May 26.”
        The company has said that it intends to “sell key assets to U.S. supplier Key Safety Systems,” Automotive News (6/25, Walsh, 188K) reports. Separately, Key Safety said that “it would buy ‘substantially all’ of Takata’s global assets and operations for $1.59 billion.” However, this would “not include some operations related to Takata’s business in the ammonium nitrate airbag inflators” that have been the subject of the global recall. According to Key Safety, Takata will reorganize its ammonium nitrate airbag inflator operations, which will eventually be wound down.

        Similarly, USA Today (6/25, Krisher, 5.28M) reports that “some remnants of Takata will be folded into an entity with a different name to keep manufacturing inflators used as replacement parts in recalls,” according to those briefed on the matter who did not want to be identified. The piece says that $1 billion from the sale “will be used to satisfy Takata’s settlement of criminal charges in the U.S.” What the rest of the money will be used for is still unclear. 

Farmers awarded $218M in Syngenta lawsuit.

The AP (6/23, Suhr) reported a Kansas federal jury on Friday awarded nearly $218 million to farmers in a lawsuit against Syngenta for introducing a GM corn variety to China before it had been approved. Syngenta has vowed to appeal the verdict, stating that “it will only serve to deny American farmers access to future technologies even when they are fully approved in the US” and alleging that the Viptera corn is “in full compliance with US regulatory and legal requirements.”

        Reuters (6/23, Raymond) reported the farmers argued that after China had rejected the Viptera corn shipments, the loss of the Chinese market led to over $5 billion in losses for corn producers. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New study identifies seven deadliest car models.


CBS News (6/6, Edgerton, 4.4M) reports a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study identifies the car models that have “the highest rate of driver fatalities.” The seven worst of these are “minicars or small cars,” including “the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Toyota Scion,” each with over “100 driver fatalities per million registered vehicle years.” Additionally, “Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta sedan and the Kia Soul” have “fatality rates over 80.” The study draws on fatality rate data from the years 2012 to 2015 and compares the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s fatality figures with IHS Automotive registration data. 

NHTSA investigating Jeep Liberty over faulty airbag system.

Leftlane News (6/6, King, 9K) continues coverage of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s investigation into complaints received regarding some model-year 2012 Jeep Liberty vehicles. At least 44 complaints have been received regarding “occupant restraint controller (ORC) failures.” The NHTSA said, “a failed ORC may prevent the air bag system from operating properly in a crash.” Additionally, it said, “a Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequence of the alleged defect.” 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Graco recalls 25,000 car seats over flaw in harness webbing.

AP (5/24) reports Graco Children’s Products has issued a recall for “more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained.” According to the AP, “the recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats” made on July 22, 2014, “with model numbers 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334.”
        CNN (5/24, Jimison, 29.79M) reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the issue on Wednesday, saying the webbing in the My Ride 65 car seats failed to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards during NHTSA tests.

        Also reporting are Cars (5/24, Masterson, 716K), the Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution (5/24, Pirani, 1.41M), NJ News (5/24, Goldman, 952K), Consumerist (5/24, Kieler, 56K), TODAY (5/24, Holohan, 1.85M), the Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette (5/24, Faust, 493K), and Fortune (5/24, 7.12M). 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017



As we end May-the Bicycle Safety Month- and enter the Memorial Day Weekend and the “unofficial” start of Summer please remember bicycle safety, for tips on prepping your bike for summer, correctly fitting a helmet, and rules of the road, please visit:   http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycle

Americans are increasingly bicycling to commute, for exercise, or just for fun. By law, bicycles on the roadway are vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Whether riding our bikes or driving in our cars, we must all share the road, and keep in mind the Pennsylvania Bicycle Safety Act, some key points are:


• Bicycles must be operated in the right hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway.

• This does not apply to a bicycle using any portion of the road due to unsafe surface conditions.

• Motorists must overtake a bicycle with no less than four feet between the vehicle and the bicycle and must do so at a prudent speed.

• No turn by a motorist may interfere with a bicycle proceeding straight.

• Bicycles must be operated at a safe and reasonable speed.

Pennsylvania drivers and bicyclists should be aware of and adhere to these safety rules in order to safely share the roads. They are designed to make bicycle travel safer and reduce the risk of traffic collisions.

Riding a bicycle is more than a fun and healthy family activity. Besides being a great way to exercise many people also use bicycles to commute to work, go to the grocery store, or to visit friends.  Drivers, please always remember, that bicyclist you are sharing the road with, or sometimes cut off, or cut it too close, is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.
 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.25 million dodge Ram pickups over software glitch.


NBC News (5/15, 2.67M) reports in continuing coverage that Fiat Chrysler is recalling over 1.25 million Ram pickup trucks “due to a software glitch that can cause some of the vehicles’ airbags and seatbelts to fail during rollover crashes.” According to the company, the issue has been linked to at least one death and two injuries. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.25 million Ram pickup trucks.

ABC World News Tonight (5/12, story 13, 0:20, Muir, 14.63M) broadcast on “a massive auto recall” by Fiat Chrysler involving “more than a million Ram pickup trucks to fix faulty software that could disable airbags and seat belt tension devices.” So far, one death has been reported in relation to the defect, which affects “Ram models from 2013 to 2016.”

        The AP (5/12) reports the “software glitch” can “prevent side air bags and seatbelts from deploying during a rollover.” According to the story, when the Ram pickups “experience significant underbody impact, a computer module may incorrectly determine that one of its sensors has failed, temporarily disabling the side air bag and seat belt pretensioner.” In addition to the one death reported, FCA believes there have been two injuries in connection to the defect, as well as two accidents. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hyundai, Kia recall 1.4 million vehicles over manufacturing errors in engine.


The AP (4/7, Krisher) reports Hyundai and Kia announced the recall of “1.4 million cars and SUVs in the U.S., Canada and South Korea because the engines can fail and stall, increasing the risk of a crash.” Documents posted by NHTSA Friday describe debris left over from manufacturing obstructing the flow of oil into the rod bearings, raising the local temperature to the point where the bearings start to break down, causing engine knocking that gets worse as speed increases. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tesla crash raises questions about legal liability.


USA Today (4/3, Cassidy, 5.28M) reports that a collision last week involving a Tesla Model X in Autopilot mode “opens the door to questions in the emerging and still-murky legal realm of automated and driver-assisted vehicles.” The article notes that according to the NHTSA and Society of Automotive Engineers, there are six levels of driving automation. According to University of South Carolina Law Professor Bryant Walker Smith, “Anything that’s below level three, it’s clearly a human that’s supposed to be doing part of the driving.” Arizona DOT Director for Policy Kevin Biesty “said more of the driving regulations ... could shift from driver to car, and therefore from state to federal government.” 

Monday, April 3, 2017

One-quarter of vehicles have been recalled but not fixed.


The Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette (4/3, Sabatini, 493K) reports Carfax said the number of cars that have been recalled but remain unfixed increased 34 percent in the last year to 63 million. The Post-Gazette reports the figure accounts for one in every four vehicles, an increase of the “typical average” of one out of every five recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, “Automakers are finding and sending us recalls at a rate we haven’t seen before,” and the agency “sympathizes with frustrated owners” who are sometimes not able to bring a car in for repairs due to a parts shortage. 

Ford recalls 53,000 trucks over roll-away risk.

The AP (4/1) reports on Ford’s recall of 53,000 F-250 trucks from the 2017 model year “because they can roll away even when they are parked due to a manufacturing error.” Reuters (4/1) also reports.
        USA Today (4/2, 5.28M) reports in continuing coverage that Ford is recalling “52,000 F-250 trucks over concerns the vehicles could move while in park” due to “a damaged park rod actuating plate.”
        ABC World News Tonight (4/2, story 13, 0:20, Llamas, 14.63M) briefly mentioned the recall during its nightly broadcast, warning owners to “use the break at all times when shifting into park.”

        Money (4/2, 3.92M) also provides coverage. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Uber suspends autonomous vehicle tests after test vehicle involved in Arizona crash.

Uber announced Saturday it is suspending its autonomous vehicle testing in Arizona after one of its Volvo XC90s in self-driving mode was involved in an accident in Tempe on Friday. The announcement received wide national attention, with two network broadcasts, several print dailies, wires, and local outlets providing coverage. Although no one was seriously injured and there were no customers in the Volvo, the incident raises bigger questions about the integration of autonomous vehicles on public roads.
        ABC World News Tonight (3/25, story 12, 0:20, Llamas, 14.63M) broadcast “the test SUV” ended up “on its side” after another “car hit it after failing to yield to the vehicle.” The CBS Weekend News (3/25, story 7, 0:15, Ninan) broadcast the car being operated by a human “sideswiped the automated car after an illegal left turn.” Reuters (3/25, Cherelus) reports there were two vehicle “safety” drivers in the front seats of the Volvo, the Uber “standard requirement” in all its autonomous vehicle tests.
        The New York Times (3/25, Isaac, Subscription Publication, 13.9M) reports Uber spokesperson Chelsea Kohler said “We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no back-seat passengers in the vehicle.” In the meantime, “she said Uber had also suspended testing in Pittsburgh and San Francisco for the day” on Saturday, “and possibly longer.” The Times points out that Friday’s incident “comes at a difficult time for Uber,” which has jumped from regulatory show-downs to crisis management over the past few months – its dispute with state regulators over California testing, the Waymo lawsuit, Uber’s Greyball program, the video of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with a driver, and sexual harassment allegations from former employees.
        The Washington Post (3/25, Overly, 11.43M) reports “the accident once again raises questions about the safety of autonomous driving technology and how it will interact with other drivers on the road.” In spite of the fact that “automobile and technology companies alike are dumping billions of dollars into the technology with the idea that one day our cars will no longer need human pilots,” Friday’s accident shows “that future is still far off.” The regulatory environment is also unstable, but from NHTSA to Congress to state legislatures around the country the “push and pull between freewheeling innovation and regulatory oversight that many new technologies endure” is unfolding. Part of that discussion involves the “debate about public tolerance for injuries and deaths as a result of self-driving cars.”

        The Wall Street Journal (3/25, Bensinger, Subscription Publication, 6.37M) puts the accident in context of Uber’s wider strategy, the race against companies like Waymo, which has logged more test hours on its self-driving cars than any other company, to develop reliably autonomous vehicles. Uber depends on the development of autonomous vehicles to reduce labor costs from its drivers. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Automakers recalled 53.2 million vehicles in 2016, NHTSA says.


Auto Rental News (3/22) reports automakers recalled 53.2 million vehicles in the US during 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With a total of 927 recalls last year, there was “an average of 2.5 recalls per day and 145,753 vehicles affected daily.” 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Nissan recalls more than 54,000 cars because airbags can deploy when door slams.


The AP (3/11) reports on a recall of “more than 54,000 cars” by Nissan in North America “because of curtain and seat-mounted air bags that may unexpected deploy when the door is slammed.” The company says the defect affects Versas from 2012 and “may be caused by the degradation of the side impact sensor connector pins.” 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mercedes-Benz recalls 1 million vehicles for fire risk.


Motor Trend (3/6, 2.62M) reports Mercedes-Benz is recalling “roughly 1 million vehicles worldwide due to a fire risk involving a starter part.” According to the company, “the fires stem from a flawed current limiter or fuse that can overheat and melt other parts after repeated attempts to start.” WBNS-TV Columbus, OH (3/6, 184K) reports online that 308,000 of the vehicles are located in the US. Mercedes-Benz is “currently unaware of any injuries or deaths resulting from the issue.” 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mercedes recalls more than 350,000 cars for fire risk.

Consumerist (3/3, Kieler, 56K) reports on “the recall of 354,434 model year 2015 to 2017 C-Class, E-Class, and CLA cars and GLA and GLC SUVs” by Mercedes-Benz over fire risks due to defective starters “that can overheat.”

        The Car Connection (3/3, Read, 86K), Cars (3/3, Masterson, 716K), Law360 (3/3, Kass, 23K), and the Automotive Fleet (3/3, 62K) also report. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Atlee Hall Attorney Jaime Jackson Speaks to National Audience on the Sorin Stockert 3T Heater Cooler Device and Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Chimaera Infections

Atlee Hall Attorney Jaime Jackson recently updated a group of attorneys gathered in Miami, Florida on the status of litigation involving the Sorin 3T heater-cooler devices.  Atlee Hall has been at the forefront of this litigation involving the Sorin 3T and the Nontuberculous Mycobacteria chimaera (NTM) bacteria infection, since 2014
It had been alleged that the Sorin 3T heater-cooler devices manufactured by Sorin Group Deutschland and distributed by Sorin Group USA in Arvada, Colorado, contained Nontuberculous Mycobacteria chimaera, which contaminated patients at local hospitals during open heart surgical procedures.  The CDC referred to a recent study published in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report which confirmed that genome sequencing from patients with confirmed bacterial infections matched bacteria samples taken from contaminated machines.   The study identifies contamination of the devices at the company’s manufacturing plant in Munchen, Germany.

While many hospitals have not yet disclosed patient infections to date, Pennsylvania hospitals in Philadelphia, York, and Dauphin counties have revealed the presence of infections.  Most recently, Penn Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia has confirmed that several of its patients have been diagnosed with the infection.  It is expected that the number of confirmed cases will continue to grow after the publication of this study since the Sorin devices comprise approximately 60% of the market for these devices.  Atlee Hall, LLP currently represents several patients who have contracted the NTM infection from the Sorin Stockert 3T Heater-Cooler Devices 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

        Attorneys mobilize for legal challenges to Trump policies. The New York Times (1/30, Savage, Subscription Publication, 13.9M) reports that “the calls and emails went out a little past 10 p.m. Friday, rippling through an informal network of current and former Yale Law School students who had worked at the school’s immigrant rights advocacy clinic.” The news “told of an Iraqi man being detained at Kennedy International Airport because of President Trump’s travel ban, putting him at imminent risk of deportation.” According to the Times, “around three dozen lawyers and law students across the country” worked through the night and “slammed together a legal complaint asking a federal judge to free the man” and “to certify their lawsuit as a class action on behalf of others in a similar situation.” They filed their lawsuit around 5:30 am “on the electronic docket system for the Eastern District of New York,” and thus “began the opening salvos of the legal pushback to Mr. Trump’s executive order banning entry to refugees and others from seven predominantly Muslim countries.” 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Honda airbag recall expanded.

The CBS Evening News (1/11, story 9, 0:30, Pelley, 11.17M) reported Honda is recalling an additional 772,000 vehicles due to defective Takata air bags, bringing the recall to “as many as 69 million air bags in American cars and trucks.”

        Car and Driver (1/11, Atiyeh, 5.64M) reports that Honda’s addition of “772,000 more cars” to the airbag recalls comes “as the troubled Japanese supplier announced new repair schedules for several million inflators currently under recall.” The article notes that “Honda has the most US vehicles of any automaker affected by the Takata recalls,” with the total “now standing at 11.4 million cars and motorcycles.” 

Monday, January 9, 2017

FCA recalls 100,000 vehicles worldwide to fix Takata airbags.

The AP (1/6) reports Fiat Chrysler issued a recall notice for “more than 100,000 older trucks and SUVs worldwide to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators,” which have been at the heart of the largest auto recall in world history.
        USA Today (1/6, 5.28M) reports online that the recall mostly affects “passenger but some driver air bags in certain 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs, some 2010 Ram 3500 chassis cabs, and certain 2005-2009 Ram 2500 pickups.”
        Reuters (1/6) also reports.

        Takata says 1.3 million more faulty airbag inflators in US vehicles. AutoBeat Daily (1/6, Subscription Publication) reports Takata announced “another 1.3 million of its front airbag inflators in the U.S. could explode,” but the company informed NHTSA “that the new batch of devices can do the same after only moderate heat and humidity cycles.” The vehicles are mostly from the 2009 model year, with “20 states and the District of Columbia” falling under the recall. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

NHTSA’s proposed safety regulations will impact autonomous vehicle market.


Forbes (1/4, Banker, 15.17M) reports that NHTSA’s proposed safety regulations, which would use vehicle-to-vehicle radio communications to “automatically send vehicle sensor data...to other vehicles to alert drivers to potential crash situations,” could hasten the rate at which autonomous vehicles “become viable...because the chief impediment to the viability of autonomous vehicles are fears that they are not safe enough.” However, the “proposed rule makings” of federal agencies “progress incrementally,” so the “full benefits” of V2V technology “won’t be present until all vehicles are subject to the same regulations.” 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Safety regulators investigate seat belt failure in Hyundai vehicles.

The Detroit News (1/3, 473K) reports that “US safety regulators” are investigating complaints that “the front passenger seat belts can fail in about 313,000 Hyundai midsize cars” from the 2013 model year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received “two complaints that the seat belts detached,” and “one injury was reported due to the problem.”

        Forbes (1/3, 15.17M) reports that federal regulators are “investigating whether to recall about 313,000 2013 Hyundai Sonatas” based on “complaints by two owners.” Forbes specifies that the investigation is a “preliminary evaluation,” which will be “upgraded to an engineering analysis” only if investigators find “additional reason for concern.”