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.

Software Promises and Perils

In May, Honda recalled some 2014-2015 Acura MDX 2WD and AWD, RLX and 2014 Acura RLX Hybrid vehicles, because its Collision Mitigation Braking System could incorrectly interpret certain roadside objects such as metal fences or metal guardrails as obstacles and unexpectedly apply the brakes. In October, Google and Volvo were demonstrating their driverless cars for journalists on two continents – the U.S.

Decoding NTSB’s Tire Safety Report

Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board issued findings and recommendations following a 10-month long investigation into tire safety. The effort was launched after two February 2014 two deadly tire-related crashes in Louisiana and Florida.

NTSB to Release Long-Awaited Tire Safety Recommendations

In February 2014, there were two tragic, fatal, and high-profile tire crashes on U.S. highways that might very well constitute a tipping point for tire safety.

One involved an 11-year-old Michelin Cross Terrain tread separation on a 2004 Kia Sorrento that led to a crash into a school bus carrying 34 members of a Louisiana high school baseball team in Centerville, La. Four of the Kia occupants died, and the fifth was severely injured. Thirty of the bus passengers suffered injuries.

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