Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Ford Recalls 550K Fusions, Escapes for Rollaway Problem

Company fixing problem, recommends using parking brake.

by on Jul.18, 2018

Ford recalled selected 2013 Ford Fusions to correct a problem that could allow the sedan to roll away.

Ford Motor Co.’s problems with rollaways continues as the automaker is recalling about 550,000 cars and SUVs in North America to resolve the issue. The automaker previously had a problem its full-size pickups rolling away.

In this case, some 2013–16 Ford Fusions and 2013–14 Ford Escapes have a gearshift problem that could cause the vehicles to roll away unexpectedly.

Safety News!

Ford says a bushing that attaches the shifter cable to the transmission can fall off. The condition could allow the driver to move the shift lever to “Park” and remove the ignition key, while the transmission may not be in “Park,” with no warning message or audible chime.  (more…)

Ford, Takata Reach $299M Airbag Settlement

Deal helps vehicle owners recoup costs.

by on Jul.17, 2018

Ford and Takata reached a $299.1 million settlement to help offset the costs of owners with faulty airbag inflators in their cars.

Ford Motor Co. and Takata agreed to a $299.1 million settlement to allow the automaker to cover economic damages tied to the supplier’s faulty inflators. The deal covers about 6 million Ford vehicles with the inflators.

Takata produced airbag inflators that became unstable over time, inflating with too much force, spewing metal and plastic into the vehicle cabin. To date, 23 deaths and nearly 300 injuries have occurred as a result of the inflators.

News You Can Trust!

The terms of the deal, which is described as an economic loss settlement, were revealed in court documents filed in a federal court in Miami, according to Reuters. (more…)

Tata Motors “Cheapest Car” is No More: Nano is a No-No

Series of fires, poor marketing doom entry-level sedan.

by on Jul.13, 2018

After several fires, demand for the Tata Nano plunged to just 500 units in 2011.

The car that was once considered the second coming of the Model T is now at the end of its run: Tata Motors killed the Nano.

The small four-door car that was developed because Tata’s Motors Chairman Rajan Tata saw a family of four trying to navigate a street on a motorbike in a rain storm hit the end of its nine-year production run yesterday.

Subscribe Now!

That was in 2003 and it took Tata about six years to get the first of the small cars to production, including having to shift the plant from one region in India to another after protests by farmers in the area. (more…)

Mercedes, Bosch Team to Launch Self-Driving Car Service

Set to debut in late 2019 in Silicon Valley.

by on Jul.11, 2018

Initially, Daimler will use the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan for the pilot ride-sharing project.

Mercedes-Benz is teaming up with German mega-supplier Bosch to launch a new ride-sharing service in Silicon Valley next year that will rely on self-driving vehicles.

The project marks the latest entry into the fast-expanding field that, by some estimates, could eventually account for as much as a quarter or more of the miles Americans travel by automobile. Other planning to launch ride-sharing services using self-driving vehicles include General Motors, Google spin-off Waymo and Uber, the country’s largest ride-sharing service.

Making Sense of the Brave New World!

While Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG is referring to the vehicles it will use as “automated shuttle(s),” customers will be able to ride in style. When the project initially gets underway during the second half of 2019, it will rely on modified versions of the luxurious S-Class Sedan. Eventually, the goal is to switch to a production version of the edgy Mercedes concept vehicle, the F 015.

(more…)

Bill Allowing National Testing for Autonomous Vehicle Testing Remains Stalled

Foreign competitors are gaining on U.S. in the arena.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Nissan is conducting on-road autonomous vehicle testing in Europe, including London, shown here.

As automakers scramble to find what U.S. states are best for testing autonomous vehicles, Congressional efforts to communize rules for all 50 states, once on the fast track, appears to have stalled and there is no timetable for a restart.

In today’s political climate, it would be easy to assume that partisanship is the reason the efforts have ground to a halt in the U.S. Senate, but the bill had strong bipartisan support coming out of committee.

News Now!

However, the Senate is tied up with other responsibilities, such as the looming Supreme Court justice approval process and other legislative agenda items, according to the Automotive News. (more…)

Lexus Order Fire-Related Recall as Feds Probe Hyundai, Kia, Tesla Fire Concerns

Nearly 2 million vehicles involved in recalls, probes.

by on Jun.27, 2018

The Lexus recall covers a number of models, including the 2010 IS350C convertible.

Toyota’s high-linen Lexus brand today said it will recall 121,000 vehicles because fuel leaks in the engine compartment could lead to a fire.

The announcement came about the same time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advised a senior member of Congress that it is expanding a probe of engine problems with Hyundai and Kia vehicles that may also result in fires. And, as TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier Wednesday, NHTSA is exploring reports that battery packs that have caught fire in Tesla vehicles have proved more difficult than expected to put out.

Breaking News!

The recall involving Lexus products covers four different products, 2006 through 2013 IS350 sedans, as well as the 2010 through 2014 IS350C, and the 2007 through 2011 GS350 and GS450h. All shared the same 3.5-liter gasoline powertrain.

(more…)

Tesla Batteries Reigniting After Being Put Out by Fire Departments

NTSB reports find lithium-ion power packs catching on fire again.

by on Jun.27, 2018

The National Transportation Safety Board launched a second investigation into a Tesla crash. This time a Model S burst into flames after spinning into a wall.

Tesla’s lithium ion batteries have reignited on two separate occasions after the initial fires were extinguished, according to NTSB reports.

The National Traffic Safety Board sent teams to investigate Tesla crashes in Florida and California and in both cases found that after the fire departments put out battery fires, the powerplants each reignited and had to be extinguished again.

Subscribe Now!

In May, a Tesla Model S that crashed into a wall at high speed in Fort Lauderdale burst into flames, killing two teens and injuring a third.The Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue Department found the Tesla “fully engulfed in flames” at the crash scene and extinguished it with 200 to 300 gallons of water and foam, the report stated. (more…)

Tesla Semi Truck Could Go Full Mad Max on Other Drivers

Musk also reveals details on new pickup truck.

by on Jun.26, 2018

Are the engineers at Tesla looking for a post-apocalyptic setting for the company's new semi truck. Looking? Nope. They've got it.

If Tesla’s cars have a Ludicrous mode, then it would only make sense that the new semi-truck would have something equally ostentatious … like Mad Max mode.

While Ludicrous mode amps up the speed of the car, unfortunately Mad Max doesn’t give you any of the road-clearing gadgets enjoyed in the Mad Max movie. Instead, it appears to be a version of blind spot detection used in conjunction with Autopilot.

Subscribe for Free!

Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed the option, which is still in test mode, during a series of tweets yesterday, and carried over to today when he started asking the Twitterverse what they’d like to see in a Tesla pickup — and what he plans to put in it. (more…)

Uber Fatality Now Deemed “Entirely Avoidable”

Safety driver was watching television right before crash.

by on Jun.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

After initially faulting the pedestrian killed in a crash with an autonomous Uber car in March, the Tempe (Arizona) Police Department is calling the collision “entirely avoidable” after determining the safety driver was streaming Hulu on her phone while behind the wheel.

According to the department’s 318-page report, the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, was watching a television show on her phone for 5.3 seconds prior to looking up and seeing 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg crossing the road in front of her.

The Last Word!

Vasquez applied the brakes just 0.5 seconds before the collision. The report says that Vasquez could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. She was watching the television show “The Voice” for 42 minutes with it ending at 9:59 p.m., which is about the time that Herzberg was struck. (more…)

NTSB Investigating Latest Tesla Fire

Blaze started "out of the blue."

by on Jun.18, 2018

This Tesla Model S caught on fire "out of the blue." The NTSB is investigating.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a Tesla Model S fire that occurred in West Hollywood, California, last week.

While Tesla vehicles have been in the news lately for a series of fires for the Model S and Model X vehicles, this time the fire was a bit unusual: it was spontaneous. Previous vehicles caught on fire after being involved in an accident.

We Keep You In the Know!

The Model S is owned by film director Michael Morris and his wife, actress Mary McCormack, managed to film the vehicle going up in flames, and tweeted it to Tesla. (more…)