Chrysler’s Shifty Shifter and the Wacky World of Defects

Without even waiting for Fiat Chrysler to reply to its Information Request, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has bumped a Preliminary Evaluation into the electronic shifters in 856,284 late model Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles up to an Engineering Analysis investigation.

Preventable Ford Airbag Death Touches off Latest Recalls

Another day, another episode of the long-running soap opera, All My Airbags. Last week, on the heels of the tenth death and the eve of an historic blizzard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that another five million vehicles with defective Takata airbag inflators will be recalled. This recall will include driver’s side SDI-type airbag inflators in Ford vehicles.

NHTSA Proposes to Affirm Canadian Underride Standard

Q: When’s the best time to pass a rule? A: When nearly everyone already complies! While it puts you at the trailing edge of safety, it diminishes the intensity of the opposition – so it’s all good. Such is the state of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposal to upgrade the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 223 and 224, for rear impact guard and rear impact protection, respectively.

Not Very FAST Act Tackles Recall, Tire Issues, Closes Rental Loophole

After years of short-term fixes as durable as a pothole cold patch, Congress has cobbled together a $300 billion, five-year comprehensive transportation bill, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

(We know that Congress loves it some acronyms. But, it’s been a decade since House and Senate passed the last long-term transportation bill, the mouthful known as the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act --a Legacy for Users [SAFETEA-LU] so perhaps they deserve some points for brevity. And irony. Or chutzpah.)

No Love for LATCH

Another reason to ditch LATCH? A study recently published in Traffic Injury Prevention concluded that the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) “does not offer equal protection to lap/shoulder belts from head injuries in rear impacts” when used with rear-facing infant safety seats.

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