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Posts Tagged ‘auto safety’

GM Phasing Out Vehicles Without Airbags

All models worldwide will offer airbags, other safety features by 2019.

by on Apr.15, 2016

The Chinese-made export version of the Chevrolet Sail got zero stars in Latin American crash test.

After flunking a widely reported crash test in Latin America, General Motors will reverse course and add not only airbags but a variety of other safety features in all vehicles it sells worldwide.

The move could prompt other mainstream manufacturers to follow suit, despite the added cost, as government regulators and safety advocates around the world press to lower a global highway death total estimated at 1.25 million last year.

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GM says it now plans to spend about $5 billion to bring its worldwide fleet up to higher safety standards, a move that will target emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and smaller Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. Chinese regulators have already been ramping up safety requirements in recent years.

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Automakers Seek Insurance Industry Help Boosting Recall Repair Rate

47 million vehicles have unrepaired safety problems.

by on Apr.15, 2016

Recalled vehicles can turn deadly when defects - like this Takata airbag - aren't repaired.

With millions of American motorists routinely ignoring recall notices despite the potentially deadly risks, automakers are looking for ways to increase repair rates, and turning to an unexpected ally.

An auto industry trade group is asking the insurance industry to remind motorists to check to see if their cars are subject to recalls whenever it’s time to renew their policies. Under pressure from regulators and safety advocates, automakers have also been trying other strategies that have, in some instances, included offering owners gift cards if they respond to outstanding recalls.

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The problem is considered serious and only growing worse – highlighted by the March 31st death of a Texas high school senior whose 2002 Honda was fitted with a defective Takata airbag. She was killed by flying shrapnel in what authorities said was an otherwise modest collision. The vehicle had not been repaired despite Honda’s claim that it had previously sent out six recall notices.

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Tesla Issues First Recall for New Model X

Problem comes as battery-carmaker struggles to ramp up production.

by on Apr.12, 2016

The Tesla Model X displaying its falcon doors.

Already struggling to overcome a series of production start-up problems, Tesla is recalling virtually all of its new Model X battery SUVs, the maker confirmed.

The recall is the result of a faulty latch in the third row that could cause the seats to come loose and fall forward in a crash. The news follows Tesla’s acknowledgement that it has run into a series of problems ramping up production of the Model X which was launched last September, about two years later than originally planned.

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The various problems with the Tesla Model X have raised concerns about the Silicon Valley automaker’s even more ambitious plans for its next offering, the Model 3, which is expected to reach production in late 2017. More than 300,000 potential customers have placed initial, $1,000 deposits for the planned battery sedan since its unveiling on March 31.

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20 Automakers Commit to Standard Auto Braking by 2022

Industry-government consortium will now focus on additional safety breakthroughs.

by on Mar.17, 2016

A schematic showing how an AEB system advises a motorist approaching the vehicle ahead too quickly.

Calling it “a win” for consumers,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx confirmed that virtual all new cars, trucks and crossovers sold in the U.S. will be equipped with automatic emergency braking by September 2022.

A total of 20 major automakers, representing about 99% of the vehicles sold in the U.S., participated in a first-of-its-kind industry-government consortium aimed at bringing the technology to market faster than would be possible going through the normal regulatory process. A recent study suggests auto braking can reduce the number of reported collisions it’s designed to prevent by as much as 40%.

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“By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives,” said Transportation Secretary Foxx during a Washington, D.C. news conference Thursday. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

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Automakers to Make Auto Braking Standard by 2022

Technology shown to reduce crashes by up to 40%.

by on Mar.17, 2016

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind has promoted a more aggressive use of safety technology.

Automatic Emergency Braking will become standard on virtually all cars sold in the United States by 2022, a group of leading automakers, safety advocates and regulators will announce today, according to several sources.

The development is the result of an unusual consortium formed last autumn that is expected to serve as precedent for other efforts to get advanced safety technology into new vehicles faster than would be possible through the traditional legislative process.

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Emergency Auto Braking, also known as Automatic Emergency Braking, can detect when a vehicle is at risk of getting into a front-end collision and slow it or even bring it to a full stop. A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, found that it can reduce such collisions by as much as 40%.

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Cause Found for Exploding Takata Airbags

Researchers blame combination of three factors for deadly defect.

by on Feb.23, 2016

So far, about 24 million vehicles using Takata airbags have been recalled in the U.S.

They’re meant to be triggered by a crash, but in an unsettling number of situations, airbag inflators provided by Japanese supplier Takata have gone off far more aggressively than intended, a situation so far linked to at least 10 deaths.

Researchers working for a consortium of 10 automakers believe they finally have figured out why Takata airbags are prone to rupturing. They blame three factors, including manufacturing problems, exposure to high humidity, and the basic chemical used to inflate Takata airbags in the event of a crash,

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The findings are the result of a year-long effort to explain the problem which has so far led to the recall of nearly 25 million vehicles in the U.S. – and which could lead to the recall of another 50 million vehicles using Takata inflators.

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Now it’s Seatbelts…as Toyota Recalls Nearly 3 Mil SUVs Worldwide

Belts in RAV4 SUV could fail during a crash.

by on Feb.18, 2016

About 1.1 million Toyota RAV4 SUVs sold in the U.S. are covered by the new recall.

Toyota is recalling nearly 3 million vehicles – including more than 1 million sold in the U.S. – because their safety belts might fail in a crash.

The move comes as another setback in an industry that has suffered from a record number of recalls two years in a row – many of those service actions involving devices meant to protect passengers in a crash. Toyota has been one of 14 manufacturers who have so far had to recall about 24 million vehicles sold in the U.S. because of defective Takata-made airbags linked to at least 10 deaths.

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This recall involves second-row seatbelts that may inadvertently come in contact with a metal seatbelt frame. In turn, that could cause the belts to become frayed and unable to restrain an occupant in the event of a frontal crash.

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Airbag Control Module Defect Forcing Seven Makers to Recall 5 Mil Vehicles

Problem could prevent airbag deployment in crash – or trigger inflation accidentally.

by on Feb.04, 2016

The 2008 Honda Accord is one of the vehicles affected by a recall due to faulty airbag controllers.

A total of 5 million vehicles will be recalled due to a defective airbag control module that could accidentally trigger one of the devices – or prevent an airbag from deploying in the event of a crash.

The announcement by German supplier Continental comes less than a day after one of its customers, Honda Motor Co., issued a recall covering 341,000 Accord sedans. Separately, the Japanese maker also announced it was recalling 2.23 million Honda and Acura vehicles due to faulty Takata airbags.

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Widely hailed as one of the most significant safety devices since the introduction of the seatbelt, airbags have become the source of some of the biggest recalls in recent years. The Takata problem alone is now affecting more than 20 million vehicles in the U.S.

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New, Active Safety Tech Reducing Rear-End Crashes by As Much as 40%

New study finds “significant” benefits from auto-braking and collision warning technology.

by on Jan.28, 2016

An illustration by Mercedes shows how radar-based Emergency Auto Braking works.

New active safety systems, such as forward collision warning and emergency auto-braking, are having a major impact on the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities, according to police reports from the U.S.

According to a deep dive conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, automatic braking systems yield a 40% reduction in rear-end crashes, while collision warning systems alone have cut the collision rate by 23%. The IIHS study estimates that if all vehicles on the road were equipped with these technologies, that would have prevented about 700,000 police-reported rear-end crashes in 2013.

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“The success of front crash prevention represents a big step toward safer roads,” says David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. “As this technology becomes more widespread, we can expect to see noticeably fewer rear-end crashes. The same goes for the whiplash injuries that often result from these crashes and can cause a lot of pain and lost productivity.”

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Automotive Recalls Hit New Record in 2015

Surge reflects large-scale issues like Takata airbag problem, crackdown by feds.

by on Jan.22, 2016

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind wants more "vigilance in looking for defects."

Automotive recalls hit an all-time high of 51.2 million in 2015, the second record year in a row that has happened, driven in part by the massive problems with faulty Takata airbags.

The announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at this week’s Washington Auto Show comes at a time when automakers and automotive suppliers are being driven to be more proactive in addressing problems, federal regulators showing far less tolerance and levying far larger fines than ever before for safety lapses.

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“Part of what has happened is a vigilance in looking for defects,” said Mark Rosekind, the NHTSA Administrator behind the crackdown, adding that, “getting them addressed, has been effective.”

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