Auto safety discrepancies: Kudos to Hyundai’s campaign

NOTE: The following article was published in Auto Monitor, an automotive trade journal that covers India's rapidly growing automotive industry. The article was written in response to controversy that arose when Hyundai advertised that it's Indian market vehicles contained the same safety features as its U.S. models, while competitors models did not. The U.S. market has experienced similar safety discrepancies which are discussed in the article

Hyundai's recent media campaign highlighting the different safety specifications its competitors offer for the Indian market compared to international versions brings to the surface a well-known issue to those who monitor vehicle safety and its regulation in the US.

NHTSA Roof Crush Study: Greater Intrusion = Greater Injury

The recently released NHTSA study, "Roof Crush Analysis Using 1997-2001 NASS Case Review," which has been in the works for nearly four years, reviewed NASS rollover crashes in an effort to determine whether roof deformation patterns identified in an earlier agency study were still valid for current vehicle designs (see "Upgraded Rollover Roof Crush Protection: Rollover Test and NASS Case Analysis" NHTSA, June 1992). The new study, which examined 273 rollovers from 1997-2000 NASS, also examined the frequency of roof deformation patterns to determine if differences existed among various vehicle classes. Patterns were compared to results of 216 tests, tests with extended crush limits, SAE J996 drop tests, and the extent that windshields provided roof support.

What's Behind the Firestone Steeltex Recall on Ford Excursions?

In February 2004 Firestone found itself in the headlines again when it agreed to recall 497,000 Steeltex tires that were predominantly installed as original equipment on 2000 through early model 2003 Ford Excursions (04T-003). While no specific defect pattern was noted, the tires experienced sidewall failures, tread separations, blowouts and unexplained loss of pressure and caused at least six crashes involving five deaths. The Steeltex line covers a number of different tire types and sizes, those subject to the recall include only the Radial AT size LT265/75R16, Load Range D manufactured in the Joliette, Quebec plant during March 1999 through December 2002 and installed on Ford Excursions.

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