Evenflo Discovery Recalled One Year After Consumers Union Urges Its Removal from Marketplace

VANDALIA, OHIO - One year after Consumer's Union called for its removal in a controversial article and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defended its safety, the Discovery Infant Car Seat has been voluntarily recalled in advance of a possible defect investigation.

Evenflo announced in early February that it was recalling models 390, 391, 534, 552 - a total of 1 million car seats - based on "recent laboratory tests conducted by Evenflo and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which show that this car seat could potentially become separated from its base in high impact side collisions similar to those in the tests."

NHTSA Proposes Upgrades to School Bus Regulations; Big Yellow Buses Get another Pass on Three-Point Belts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five years after it issued a comprehensive report on its school bus safety research, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined to propose a requirement that three-point seatbelts be installed in full-size school buses - which agency research has shown to provide better occupant protection than lap belts or compartmentalization alone - because its is too expensive to implement, it said.

Instead, the agency is proposing to require shoulder/lap belts on small buses, to improve compartmentalization on large school buses and to establish lap/shoulder belt requirements for districts that wish to install them voluntarily.

New Drowsy Driving Report Raises Profile of Emerging Issue

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Sleep Foundation has released a report showing that states have made some progress during the last decade in identifying drowsy driving as a hazard to the motoring public, through police training, driving education and legislation. But states still have a long way to go in developing a coherent strategy to reduce drowsy driving and the resulting deaths and injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving results in 100,000 police-reported crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 deaths each year. But these estimates are thought to be conservative for a variety of reasons: there is no test for drowsy driving, states have inconsistent reporting practices, few police departments are trained to identify drowsy drivers, and self-reporting is unreliable. Data from other nations, such as Australia and England, show that drowsy driving is a factor in 10 to 30 percent of all crashes. According to the NSF, 60 percent of drivers have driven while drowsy in the past year, and 20 percent, or about 32 million people, admit to having actually fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving is often compared to drunk driving because drivers operating while fatigued have slower reaction times, reduced vigilance and deficits in information processing, similar to alcohol impairment.

Tire Recalls and Tire Safety: The RFID Solution

The current tire recall system designed to alert and capture defective models is ineffective and outmoded. Despite many technological advances, consumers trying to identify a defective tire still rely on a 38-year-old recall system that rarely averages more than a 20 percent return rate, leaving millions of potentially deadly tires on consumers' vehicles.

Other important tire safety issues ranging from aging to counterfeiting can benefit from an improved identification system. Radio Frequency Identification tags offers a solution.

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Sebring Seat Back Case Reveals Defect that Mitsubishi Tried to Conceal; Attorney Vows to Pursue Fraud

MOBILE, ALABAMA - After settling a seat-track and airbag defects case against DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi, attorney Patrick M. Ardis says he will pursue a fraud investigation against the Japanese automaker.

Ardis, of Wolff Ardis, P.C. of Memphis, Tennessee, alleges that Mitsubishi deliberately concealed that it had changed the design of the seat tracks in 1995-2000 Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger coupes, the 1995-1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse, and the 1995-1998 Eagle Talon vehicles to fix a flaw that prevented the front passenger seat from locking into place. Ardis and his co-counsel Richard Taylor discovered the alleged fraud on the eve of trial, when one of their expert witnesses, Don Phillips, stumbled onto evidence that the seat tracks in the 1998 and 1999 model years lacked the seat adjuster part, known as the trigger, that was part of the 1996 track assembly.

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