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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Safety

Auto Safety Legislation Fails, Congress Goes on Vacation

On: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 10:33AM | By: Chris Weiss


 Auto Safety Legislation Fails, Congress Goes on Vacation test 1-1

The auto safety legislation package created as a response to recent recall problems, specifically those by Toyota, failed to make it out of Congress before the holiday break. The legislation was the most comprehensive auto safety reform seen in years, but it sunk due to opposition.


Toyota Agrees to Pay $10 Million Settlement

On: Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Toyota Agrees to Pay $10 Million Settlement test 1-1

Toyota Motor Corporation settled another lawsuit last week. The Japanese automaker resolved a suit brought by a family of four who were involved in a fatal accident that preceded the largest recall in U.S. automotive history—Toyota's unintended acceleration recall.

The lawsuit was settled in September, but both parties had agreed that the amount of the settlement agreement would not be released to the public at the time. The plaintiffs and Toyota both agreed to keep the deal confidential.

An attorney for a defendant in the case recently disclosed details to the Los AngelesTimes.


Update: Ram Recall Now Includes 2010 And 2011 Models

On: Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 12:50PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Update: Ram Recall Now Includes 2010 And 2011 Models test 1-1

Chrysler Group has announced a recent recall of approximately 76,000 Dodge Ram pickup trucks, with diesel engines, for a glitch in the braking system that could cause braking problems resulting in a significant safety issue for drivers.

The Dodge Ram pickup models involved in the recall are model years 2010 and 2011. The trucks were built in Saltillo, Mexico, between March 2009 and October 2010, then shipped to the U.S.


Ram Trucks Suffer Recall Syndrome, Likelihood Of 'Crash' Questionable

On: Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 10:51AM | By: John Welch


2010 Ram PowerWagon test 2

This might sound like a bit of a stretch, but it is an official NHTSA recall none the less. Newly minted Ram Trucks, built between March 2009 and October 2010, that are equipped with a Cummins and the HydroBoost brake system, may show their brake lights too long, causing traffic accidents. Frustration maybe, but accidents? The HydroBoost system, effective at stopping two and a half tons of truck, has little to do with the issue. The real problem is with the power steering resevoir, or more specifically, the resevoir's cap. The cap could be rated for excessive vent pressures, which in turn slows the return motion of the brake pedal. According to the NHTSA, this will lead to lingering brake lights, the slow fading beams somehow causing crashes.

Ahem, sorry, "Increase the risk of crash" . . . Contact your local Dodge or Ram Trucks dealer if you think you may have a truck affected by the recall. Ram will also alert drivers by mail, making sure your truck is up to code one way or another. Full recall inside the post.


 

Safe Supercar: Lexus LFA To Sport Inflatable Seat Belts

On: Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 5:44PM | By: Chris Weiss


Safe Supercar: Lexus LFA To Sport Inflatable Seat Belts test 1-1

Usually we look to supercars for huge engines, unbelievable top speeds, and sheer, tire-scorching performance. Not safety innovations or interior options. But buyers of the $375,000 Lexus LFA will find those latter qualities with their purchase. The Japanese luxury arm of Toyota will offer inflatable seat belts in its supercar beginning with the 2012 model year.


NHTSA Proposes Mandatory Backup Cameras in New Cars

On: Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 3:42PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


NHTSA Proposes Mandatory Backup Cameras in New Cars test 1-1

According to a recent press release, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing a new regulation that would mandate automakers to install backup camera safety equipment in all passenger vehicles, including trucks, minivans, and buses weighing 10,000 lbs or less. The proposed law would force automakers to install backup cameras in 10% of their products by 2012, 40% by 2013, and all new vehicles built by 2014.


Judge Says Toyota Unintended Acceleration Cases Won't be Dropped

On: Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 10:16AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Judge Says Toyota Unintended Acceleration Cases Won't be Dropped test 1-1

According to a Santa Ana federal judge’s tentative ruling, the class action lawsuit pertaining to unintended acceleration cases against Toyota Motor Corporation will not be dropped, as requested by the Japanese Auto Company. Attorneys for Toyota presented a motion to dismiss the class action suit regarding Toyota owners’ claims of economic loss related to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

Judge James V. Slena, a U.S. district court judge, wrote in his 63-page ruling: “It is true that plaintiffs do not generally allege the precise dollar value of their losses, but that level of specificity is not required at this pleading stage,” Selna also commented; “It is enough that they allege a tangible loss that can be proved or disproved upon discovery.”  A final ruling is expected to be released by Selna by November 25th.


Toyota Is In The Spotlight Again, Fatal Camry Crash In Utah

On: Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 10:19AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Toyota Is In The Spotlight Again, Fatal Camry Crash In Utah test 1-1

In automotive news this week, a deadly crash occurred in Utah that is being blamed on unintended acceleration of a Toyota Camry; the same problem that precipitated one of the biggest recalls in U.S. history.

The 2008 Camry crashed into a rock wall in western Utah, near the Nevada border on November 5th, killing the driver and a passenger. The vehicle was the subject of three recalls, the most recent recall was related to unintended acceleration in many Toyota models, including the 2008 Camry.

The incident has raised many questions about Toyota's repair of millions of recalled vehicles. According to federal safety regulators, the government has received many complaints from Toyota owners regarding recalled vehicles that continue to have problems, even after repairs were complete.


More Recall Woes For Old GM: Lucerne And DTS Recalled For Power Steering Leak

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 12:45PM | By: John Welch


More Recall Woes For Old GM: Lucerne And DTS Recalled For Power Steering Leak test 1-1

Schleping through the NHTSA website this morning reveals two undeniable truths: Certain 2010 and 2011 Buick Lucerne and Cadiallc DTS models are being recalled, and so are an alarming number of recreational vehicles. Though the AutoShopper dables in the RV world, it isn't so much our bag here at the blog. Still, I can't help but notice 13 RV-related recalls since November 1st! Everything from poorly installed "trim" to leaky, explosive propane tanks. Geez, RV Industry, its like this every month! Get your act together! There is also a recall on sun roves (it couldn't be 'roofs' could it?) that seems to be bad for the Webasto Product Corporation, In case anyone cares .. .

The Cadillac DTS and Buick Lucerne front drive chassis are similar in many respects. Mostly, they are big, and they are old. Even old cars can't escape the recall bug, however, especially when they are being built brand new as we speak. Certain V8-equipped Lucernes and DTS suffer from cable over-lap. Yes, I just made that up. The battery and/or alternator cable interferes with the power steering return line, deep within the affected car's bloated bowels. The cable could wear through the line, causing fluid leaks. Besides loss of power steering, which is not a good thing given the age and physical strength of the average Buick Lucerne driver; the fluid may also leak onto hot engine parts. This leads to all sorts of unfortunate fires and insurance claims. GM doesn't want that, they want to help. Beginning November 19th, any affected car can be dropped off at its dealership of origin to have the cables rerouted free of charge. You can call Cadillac at 1-866-982-2339, or Buick at 1-866-608-8080 to find the nearest qualified dealer. Full recall notice inside the post . . .


Volkswagen Working on Ice/Fog-Free Windshield

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:49PM | By: Chris Weiss


Volkswagen Working on Ice/Fog-Free Windshield  test 1-1

The rate at which companies solve problems that don't really exist while leaving much more pressing problems untouched has always perplexed me. In vehicles, for instance, we have cushy options like heated seats, lumbar support, and cruise control, while more basic, important problems remain completely unaddressed.

Volkswagen is taking a slightly different approach, addressing an elemental vehicle problem. Its technology won't be nearly as cool or flashy as heated memory seats, but it could prove much more useful to actually driving. The automaker is working on an ice-free, fog-free windshield coating that could eliminate two of the most irritating visibility impediments on the modern automobile.


Hot, Hot, Hot! Ferrari 458 On Fire Again

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 3:53PM | By: Chris Weiss


Hot, Hot, Hot! Ferrari 458 On Fire Again test 1-1

After a two and a half month hiatus and an investigation leading to recall, the worldwide Ferrari 458 fire-fest is back on. A 458 recently caught fire in Sao Paulo, Brazil, casting some question on the efficacy of Ferrari's 458 recall.

In early September, Ferrari concluded an investigation into a rash of 458 fires that had plagued the new model since shortly after it became available. At that time, there were four highly publicized 458 fires in just a few short months, each occurring in a different country. The fires had occurred in Switzerland, California, Paris and China. Maranello concluded that the fires were a result of the adhesive used on the rear wheel arches. At extreme speeds and temperatures, the adhesive would heat up, melt and potentially catch fire.