Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘auto safety news’

Key Safety Systems Agrees to $1.6B Purchase of Takata

Deal expected to be completed next year.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Key Safety Systems agreed to a $1.6 billion acquisition of Takata, except its airbag replacement business.

The final chapter for Takata is being written as Key Safety Systems will purchase most of the assets of the Japanese suppliers for $1.6 billion.

The Detroit-area supplier gets everything, including the company’s 45,000 employees, but not the operations producing replacement airbag kits for Takata’s faulty airbag recall. Takata will run that until the operations are complete.

Safety News!

Most of the proceeds will go to pay the $1 billion penalty levied against Takata from a U.S. criminal fraud judgement.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Urging Owners to “Check To Protect” Vehicle Recalls

Maker partners with National Safety Council on new website.

by on Jun.28, 2017

Fiat Chrysler is partnering with the National Safety Council to raise awareness of unrepaired recalls through the Check To Protect website.

The National Safety Council and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have collaborated on a new website that allows consumers to check if their vehicle has an open recall, such as those involving airbags made by now-bankrupt Takata Corp.

It’s estimated that just 35% of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags have been repairs, but the consequences can be catastrophic for not getting the vehicle fixed. The defective inflators have been traced to 16 deaths and 180 injuries.

Safety News!

The “Check To Protect” campaign allows users to enter their vehicle’s 17-digit vehicle identification number – found in the lower left corner of the car windshield or on the inside of the driver side door – at to obtain a full recall status report on any open recalls for that specific vehicle. (more…)

Toyota Recalling Another 3M Vehicles for Faulty Takata Airbags

Airbag defect the root of the largest safety scandal in automotive history.

by on Mar.30, 2017

The Toyota RAV4 gets hit with a big recall due to faulty Takata airbags.

Toyota says it is recalling about 3 million more vehicles to replace faulty airbags provided by scandal-plagued Japanese supplier Takata.

It is the latest in what is expected to be a continuing series of recalls related to airbag inflators that can, under some circumstances, over-inflate, sending shrapnel into a vehicle’s passenger compartment following a crash. At least 16 deaths have been associated with the Takata debacle, most of those in the United States.

Recall News!

All told, about 100 million of the airbags are being targeted for recall, though some vehicles use multiple Takata devices. In the U.S. alone, the recall as so far impacted about 40 million vehicles, but millions more are expected to be added to the list over the next several years. (more…)

Auto Safety Advocate Clarence Ditlow Dies

"A full-time citizen for motorists."

by on Nov.11, 2016

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, was a leading advocate for automotive safety issues.

Clarence Ditlow, one America’s leading auto safety advocates, died after a prolonged battle with colon cancer. He was 72.

Along with the better-known safety advocate Ralph Nader, perhaps no one did more to shift the automotive industry’s mindset which, for many decades argued that “safety doesn’t sell.” Today, automakers routinely promote their latest safety technologies and Ditlow, to some, could claim credit for savings thousands of American lives over the years.

The Last Word!

“Spanning four decades, his work forced the auto industry to make vast improvements in the safety, reliability and fuel efficiency of the vehicles on which Americans depend daily,” the Center for Auto Safety said in a statement.


Feds Urge Honda Owners to Park Some Models

NHTSA, automaker telling some owners to drive straight to dealers.

by on Jul.01, 2016

NHTSA and Honda are telling owner of several Honda-produced vehicles, including the 2001-2003 Civic, to drive straight to dealers to repair faulty airbags.

Federal safety officials and Honda executives are imploring owners of several older Hondas to park their vehicles until they can get into a dealership to replace potentially deadly airbag inflators in the vehicles. The units are part of the larger Takata airbag recall, but due to their age and location they are considered more dangerous than other faulty airbags.

“We want to get them off the road,” said Honda spokesman Marcos Frommer.”We want them to drive them right to the dealer and get them repaired,”

The Last Word!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the warning covering about 313,000 vehicles from model years 2001 to 2003 that have airbag inflators made by Takata, which is subject of the largest recall in history. (more…)

Takata Selling Off Auto Shares to Pay for Possible Compensation

Supplier sells off most of stake in Honda; other makers next.

by on Jun.14, 2016

Takata is selling of its stock holdings in automakers to bolster its financial resources.

Takata Corp. is girding for the worst by selling its shares in various automakers to raise funds for the compensation claims it expects to face for its defective airbags that have caused the recall of more than 24 million vehicles worldwide.

The supplier is selling the stakes with the carmakers’ approval, said Akiko Watanabe, a spokeswoman for the supplier, declining to give more details to Bloomberg News.

News Now!

The airbags have been tied to 13 deaths, including 10 in the U.S. The units have faulty inflators that can deploy with too much force and the resulting explosion hurls plastic and metal pieces into the vehicle’s passenger cabin. (more…)

Takata Declares Another 14 Million Airbags “Defective”

Acting “out of an abundance of caution.”

by on May.17, 2016

Takata expanded its recall of defective airbags by another 14 million vehicles.

What is already the largest safety recall in automotive history continues to get bigger, Takata announcing it will recall another 14 million airbags that could be prone to inflate improperly in a crash, a potentially life-threatening problem.

The move is actually the first in what will likely be a series of new recalls by the embattled Japanese supplier, Takata previously indicating it will ultimately add as many as 40 million inflators to the list. Prior to a May 4 agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28.5 million airbag inflators had already been targeted.

Safety News!

The precise number of vehicles that will be impacted by the new series of recalls has yet to be determined, as some models use several of the defective airbag systems. But earlier recalls had targeted about 24 million cars, trucks and crossovers sold in the U.S. (more…)

Takata May Recall Another 35 Million Airbags

Japanese supplier facing growing pressure to replace most or all of its airbag inflators.

by on May.04, 2016

A new report suggests that Takata may be forced to recall millions more airbags. The company's already recalled 24 million units.

The embattled Japanese supplier Takata may soon order the recall of tens of millions more vehicles due to potentially defective airbag inflators, according to a new report.

The move comes as pressure mounts on Takata to recall all of its airbag systems using ammonium nitrate inflators. A recent study warned that the explosive chemical may grow unstable over time, one of the apparent reasons why hundreds of Takata airbags have misfired, a problem now linked to at least 11 deaths.

Safety News!

But whether such a move by Takata would satisfy the company’s critics is unclear. Some have called on the supplier to recall nearly 80 million airbag systems. Takata has already recalled more than 24 million cars, making it the largest safety-related recall in automotive history. (more…)

GM Makes a Deal on Third Ignition Switch Bellwether Case

Settlement viewed as setback for other cases.

by on Apr.08, 2016

GM settled the third in a series of six bellwether cases designed to provide settlement guidance for dozens of others against the maker.

General Motors reached a settlement in the third of a series of critical trials over an ignition-switch defect that could make cars stall and lose power while driving.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but overall GM has spent more than $2 billion to pay government imposed fines, legal fees and individual settlements since the scandal broke into public view more than two years ago.

News Now!

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, GM’s lawyers, Richard Godfrey and Andrew Bloomer of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, said Thursday that plaintiff Nadia Yingling entered into a confidential term sheet and a final settlement is expected to follow soon. (more…)

Feds Expecting Pushback on New Autonomous Vehicle Rules

Despite advocates’ claims, some question safety of self-driving vehicles.

by on Apr.07, 2016

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosakind is an advocate for autonomous vehicles, believing they can improve safety on U.S roadways.

With the first semi-autonomous vehicles already on the road, industry watchers suggest fully self-driving vehicles could start rolling into showrooms by 2020, perhaps even sooner. But there are some key obstacles in the way, and not all of them are technological.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to address one of the most significant roadblocks by introducing new federal guidelines overseeing development of automated vehicles, and it will hold a first public hearing on Friday.

Auto Safety News!

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind has suggested that the use of autonomous vehicles could eventually eliminate highway deaths in the U.S., and wants the agency to help promote development of the technology. But there are plenty of skeptics who plan to attend this week’s meeting, including some safety experts who want to slow the process down. (more…)