Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘auto safety news’

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…)

Airbag Recalls Could Cost Takata $24 Bil

Report sends Japanese supplier’s shares crashing.

by on Mar.31, 2016

A new report suggests that it could cost Takata as much as $24 billion to resolve its airbag recall.

With safety regulators considering whether to order the recall of all Takata airbags using ammonium nitrate, a new report suggests the Japanese supplier could be on the hook for as much as $24 billion in repair costs.

That astronomical bill has investors running for the exits and, some observers warn, could finally break Takata financially.

Stay in the Loop!

More than 50 million Takata airbags have already been recalled, the majority of them in the United States, due to a defect that can cause them to explode with too much force when triggered by a crash. At least 10 deaths have so far been linked to the problem. But the number could grow to more than 287 million airbags, according to the Bloomberg news service. (more…)

Google Wants to Know More About New Auto Industry Safety Consortium

Autonomous vehicle chief Krafcik upbeat about Obama Admin’s new proposals.

by on Jan.14, 2016

This time the government is moving fast, said John Krafcik (l), head of Google's autonomous vehicle program, in Detroit.

The head of Google’s autonomous vehicle program said he wants to learn more about a precedent-setting auto industry consortium that will be announced in Detroit on Friday.

Organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the group will be aimed at bringing new safety technology to market faster than would be possible through the traditional regulatory process while also pushing those breakthroughs on to as broad a consumer market as possible.

Safety News!

“I’d guess I’d want to see more and understand more,” John Krafcik, the CEO of Google’s self-driving car program said in response to a question from He was at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to attend another announcement by NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation. (more…)

NHTSA Planning to Make Three “History-Making” Announcements

Agency believes nation could be heading towards era of zero highway fatalities

by on Jan.12, 2016

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind is pushing for stronger policies to make U.S. roads safer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce plan to make a series of “potentially history-making” announcements this week and then later in January, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind announced during a visit to Detroit.

One of the three developments in the works would bring together all too frequently confrontational regulators and industry leaders as part of a new safety consortium. The goal, according to several of those set to join the group, would be to bring new safety technology and processes to market faster, often years sooner than would be possible through the normal regulatory process.

Safety News!

“These actions going forward (will) change the nature of the auto industry,” said Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (more…)

FCA Safety Chief Takes New Job; Maker Gets Federal Monitor

Kunselman named COO of Oakland University.

by on Oct.28, 2015

Scott Kunselman was FCA's top safety executive, but he's resigned to take a job outside of the auto industry.

Fiat Chrysler’s efforts to improve its safety record seem to take a step back for each step forward the automaker takes. Just as it came to an agreement with federal regulators on the choice for an independent monitor to oversee its moves, the company’s top safety offer resigns to take a job outside of the industry.

FCA US LLC agreed to let former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater to serve as an independent monitor of its handling of recalls and other safety-related matters as part of the Consent Order the company agreed to with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Your Source for Auto Safety News!

Slater’s appointment comes as Fiat Chrysler’s top safety officer, Scott Kunselman, senior vice president of safety and regulation, announced he will retire effective Nov. 30, to become chief operating officer at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. (more…)