What Do the Takata Recalls Really Mean?

Today, the Department of Transportation announced that it will organize the multi-manufacturer recall of 34 million airbag inflators announced by supplier Takata earlier this week. Just three days earlier, the agency took a victory lap, after finally forcing Takata to launch national – not regional – recalls and to work more closely – under the terms of a consent order and the threat of civil fines – with NHTSA to ferret out the root causes.

NHTSA Denies Toyota Unintended Acceleration Defect Petition

Eight months after a Bristol, RI Toyota Corolla owner petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate low-speed surges into Toyota Corollas, the agency has denied the petition, concluding:

NHTSA to Tire Consumers: Google It

On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration amended the Tire Identification Number, the alpha-numeric code used to identify specific tires in a recall. This time, the agency expanded the first portion of the TIN, known as the manufacturer identifier, from two symbols to three for manufacturers of new tires, because the agency is quickly running out of unique two-digit combinations.

NHTSA Opens EQ Investigation into Hercules Tire Recall at Lawyer’s Request

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an Equipment Query investigation into a defective Chinese tire sold in the U.S. under different brand names that was recalled by one importer, but not another – even though they share the same distributor.

In March, the agency sent an information request to Hercules Tire and Rubber Company, a subsidiary of American Tire Distributors Inc., to determine if it should have recalled its Hercules Radial A/T in eight different sizes manufactured by the Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Co., Ltd.

The Wrong Fix for the Broken Recall System

Last month, Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal proposed new legislation that would link car registrations to completing recall repairs. The Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives (RECALL) Act threatens state DMVs with the loss of five percent of its federal highway funds if they don’t add to their duties checking open recalls for every new and renewed auto registration, and adds to the responsibilities of consumers getting recall repairs done to be properly registered.

Honda May Set the Record for the Longest Running Rolling Recall

Seven years after Honda issued the first Takata airbag recall, it continues to add more vehicles to the tally. Its never-ending rolling recall – a scheme automakers use to quietly keep adding more makes and models as deaths and injuries keep occurring – has gone from 3,940 model year 2001 Accords and Civics to up to at least 8 million vehicles, spanning a giant chunk of its fleet. And that number is soft because it is impossible to break down Honda’s web of overlapping recalls, varying explanations, and numerous recall extensions to determine an actual number.

FHWA Grades Guardrail on a Curve

Last Friday the 13th was a very unlucky day for taxpayers – that was the day the Federal Highway Administration announced that we, the people, would continue to reimburse states that choose to install an energy-absorbing guardrail end terminal that has been maiming and killing us. That announcement was bundled in a package of technical papers designed to explain away the last of eight tests on the safety of the ET-Plus energy-absorbing guardrail.

Seat Heater Safety Takes a Back Seat

Four years ago, Safety Research & Strategies, along with nationally recognized burn care specialists, raised an issue long neglected by automakers and the regulators: seat heater safety. This comfort feature -- often designed to reach maximum temperatures that range far above human tolerances – can and does pose dangers to occupants, but it is rarely investigated or recalled.

Taking on Takata

Lately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has come in like a wrecking ball, knocking aside manufacturers’ excuses for delaying recalls and other sundry sins with multi-million dollar fines – and now aggressive legal action.

Hackers: Coming to a Vehicle Near You

This week, Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) again took on auto manufacturers, pointing to the privacy and security issues associated with the sophisticated electronic systems that proliferate in today’s vehicles. The senators announced at a hearing on “The Connected World: Examining the Internet of Things,” that they plan to introduce a bill that will require the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create  federal standards to ensure that automakers protect security and privacy.  Sen.



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