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NHTSA Releases New Rollaway Stats

It’s been four years since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published an analysis of Non-Traffic Surveillance Data, which includes an estimate of the annual toll of rollaway injury and deaths. But the newest numbers are out, and despite some wonky data – blamed on the pandemic – rollaway is pretty much the same threat […]

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Congress Forces NHTSA to Address Keyless Safety Hazards. One Automaker’s Approach Shows Why Regulations Matter

It took an act of Congress, but within the next 18 months, NHTSA is supposed to promulgate a new law compelling manufacturers to implement an automatic engine idle shutdown for keyless ignition vehicles. In two months, NHTSA is supposed to submit a report on anti-rollaway technology to Congress. In the meantime, some manufacturers have already […]

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Technology Has Made Rollaways Easier; Technology Can Prevent Them

Neil Black, Tom Mueller On February 25, Ken Rothfield was backing down his driveway at about 7:30 a.m., and noticed that there was barely enough room to ease his vehicle between the brick wall jutting out to his left, and his wife’s Toyota on the right. He pulled a bit forward of the wall, with […]

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Grill Brush Ingestion Case Results in Jury Verdict — And Safer Practices by Restaurant Chain

Sharon Beaty’s lawsuit resulted in a jury verdict that not only awarded her damages, but caused one of the U.S.’s most well-known restaurant corporations to opt for safer cooking practices. On March 26, 2018, Sharon Beaty of Florence, South Carolina pulled the leftovers from her Outback Steakhouse dinner out of the fridge for lunch. She […]

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Amazon Delivery Drivers Sprint After Rolling Delivery Vans

Editor’s Note: This blog has been updated to reflect the software update recall initiated by Mercedes-Benz and posted by NHTSA on Jan. 10, 2022. In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a rollaway investigation into the Mercedes Sprinter vans with e-shifters that automatically move the transmission into Park when the driver leaves […]

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CPSC Rulemaking on Off-Road Vehicles Heats Up

Two and a half years ago, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff approached the triad of off-road vehicle trade groups – the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), the Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Association (ROHVA), and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) – with some data and an offer: Write a voluntary standard to address fire […]

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Hyundai-Kia’s Billion Dollar Engine Problem that Broke the NHTSA Civil Penalty Barrier

A federal judge in California has put one class-action lawsuit in peril and approved a settlement in another alleging defects in Hyundai and Kia engines. The Korean automaker’s billion-dollar-plus legal liability is on top of the largest civil penalty the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ever levied against an automaker. The language of the […]

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Congress Turns to the GAO, after NHTSA Blows Deadlines

Last Wednesday, a trio from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including its powerful chair Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to find out why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has dragged its feet in completing nearly 20 Congressionally mandated rulemakings and reports in the last seven years.  The 2012 […]

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vehicle fire

Everything Old is New Again: Polaris is Back to Issuing Fire Hazard Recalls

Three months after Consumer Federation of America and the Safety Record Blog called out Polaris for sidestepping the recall process and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for allowing the troubled manufacturer to do so, Polaris recalls have come back into fashion. In April, the Medina, Minnesota-based manufacturer and the CPSC jointly announced that 80,000 […]

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cobalt car crash

Cobalt Cover-Up

Brooke Melton died on her 29th birthday. It was the evening of March 10, 2010, and Melton, a pediatric nurse, had just finished work and was headed to meet up with her boyfriend for a celebration dinner, when the ignition module of her 2005 Cobalt slipped into the accessory position as she drove along Highway […]

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