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.