NHTSA Consent Orders and Civil Justice

NHTSA started the week with a bang – wresting from a formerly defiant Fiat Chrysler its signature on a detailed Consent Order, admitting that it violated the Safety Act in myriad ways, agreeing to pay a $105 million fine, buy back some unremedied recalled vehicles and allow a Special Monitor to look over its shoulder.    

The Safety World Loses Two Respected Advocates

This month has been a sad one for safety advocates with the passing of two well-respected and pioneering engineers, who also happened to be friends and colleagues: Donald L. Friedman and Steven M. Forrest. Both were born in the Northeast, but made their homes in the Santa Barbara area; both were affiliated with General Motors.

Friedman died peacefully on July 16 just after his 88th birthday. Forrest, 59, died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash on July 19. Their deaths cap long and distinguished careers in advancing the causes of crashworthiness and occupant safety.

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Goodyear Sanctions

The Safety Record Blog has been most pleased to inform our readership, from time to time, of the skullduggery emanating from the corporate offices of the Goodyear Rubber Company. Goodyear has made quite name for itself as champion discovery hardball player – years-long production delays, withholding relevant documents, offering less-than-truthful testimony from corporate reps and lying repeatedly right to the judge’s face about the evidence in its possession.

Le Divorce?

For decades, the tire makers and the tire sellers have been a couple with an uneasy relationship – mainly because more than the Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents the former,  loves the people who buy and sell their products, it hates change. And the RMA has ably defended its member companies against all kinds of proposals making it easier for consumers to read the Tire Identification Number for recalls or to automate the process of identifying tires as they move through the distribution chain, all in the name of never altering one thing about the way they do business.

Former NHTSA Administrator Strickland Gets Part 9 Spanking

When David Strickland went directly from representing industry’s interests as the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to representing industry’s interests as a member of the Washington D.C. lobbying firm Venable, LLC, he was part of a proud agency tradition of lending the dignity of their public offices to private commercial interests.

NHTSA Fines Bus Maker Forest River

Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration levied the maximum penalty against Indiana-based heavy vehicle manufacturer Forest River – $35 million for failing to launch timely recalls and for failing to fulfill a host of reporting obligations to NHTSA.  (Spartan Motors, another manufacturer of heavy vehicles, also got dinged for $9 million yesterday for failing to file Technical Service Bulletins with the agency, and in six cases, failed to launch recalls on safety defects ranging from Tag Axle Wheel Bearing failures to engine cooling fans to sway bar end links.)

Dawn of a New NHTSA Era?

Flexing its new tough-on-automakers muscle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held a rare public hearing last week to highlight Fiat Chrysler’s dismal recall record. The hearing was short, statements were read into the record, and that a large fine will be levied against Fiat Chrysler (FCA) seems a foregone conclusion. It’s another signal that NHTSA wants to prove it’s going to ramp up enforcement activities after years of neglect and ongoing recall crises that have left the agency’s credibility in tatters.


Archive Dates

Follow us on Twitter


Archive Dates

Follow us on Twitter