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Posts Tagged ‘auto safety’

Fiat Chrysler Recalling 1.33m Vehicles for Fire, Airbag Risks

Two separate problems announced Friday.

by on Jul.14, 2017

A 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of the models recalled for a fire risk.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced two separate recalls on Friday that will cover 1.33 million vehicles worldwide.

The two issues involve potential fire risks in a variety of Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep models, as well as faulty airbags that have been fitted into Dodge and Fiat models. Most of the recalls involve vehicles sold in the U.S. market.

Beyond the Headlines!

The announcement by FCA comes at a time when the auto industry has been running record numbers of recalls, including one earlier in the week involving 2.7 million defective Takata airbags. The FCA airbag issue does not involve Takata devices, however.

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Three Large Sedans Earn Top Crash Ratings – But Tesla Model S Falls Short

Small overlap test still a challenge for some manufacturers.

by on Jul.06, 2017

Tesla aces most tests but fell short in the small overlap crash - and the Model S had "poor" headlights.

The Tesla Model S was one of three large sedans to fall short in the latest round of crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The trade group also reports that three other large models fared extremely well during a series of tests for crash worthiness, earning the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings.

Safety News!

The poor performance by the Tesla Model S came amidst a series of problems for the electric vehicle maker, and at a time when CEO Elon Musk had hoped to focus on the upcoming launch of the maker’s first mainstream model, the Model 3. Production and sales are set to begin on Friday.

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Most SUV Headlights Fall Short

Only 2 of 37 rated “good” by IIHS.

by on Jun.13, 2017

Even some high-tech "curving" headlamps performed poorly in the new IIHS lighting tests.

The vast majority of midsize SUVs offer headlights that fail to light up the road effectively, according to a newly released study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that found just two vehicles earned a “good” rating and 11 of 37 models tested fell into the “poor category.”

The list of poor performer includes some of the biggest sellers in the segment, such as the Jeep Wrangler, as well as Ford’s Edge and Explorer models. According to the industry trade group, many SUVs do a poor job of lighting the road while others create significant glare for oncoming traffic.

Your Guiding Light!

“We continue to see headlights that compromise safety because they only provide a short view down the road at night,” said Matt Brumbelow, a senior research engineer at IIHS.

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Nissan Doubling Number of Vehicles With Standard Automatic Emergency Braking

Over 1 million to come standard in U.S. with safety system for 2018.

by on Jun.08, 2017

Automatic Emergency Braking, or AEB, is designed to step in when a driver misses a potential collision.

Nissan plans to more than double the number of vehicles it will sell in the U.S. for the 2018 model-year equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking, or AEB, a technology industry, insurance and federal regulators believe will significantly reduce the number of crashes on U.S. roadways.

In all, AEB will come standard on “more than 1 million vehicles” in the coming year, up from 450,000 in 2017, the automaker announced this morning. The industry, in general, is rapidly expanding the use of the technology which is designed to slow, or even bring a vehicle to a stop, in the event of a potential crash a driver might not respond to rapidly enough.

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“The big news here is that we’re making AEB standard across all grades of our best-selling models,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “This increased AEB availability is part of our ongoing commitment to help reduce fatalities while realizing our comprehensive vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.”

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Takata Airbag Recall Effort Sputtering

Less than 35 percent of airbags replaced, politician says.

by on Jun.02, 2017

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) is prodding automakers to accelerate the pace of Takata airbag repairs.

Despite concerted efforts to double and production of replacements, less than 35% of vehicle owners with Takata’s potentially explosive airbag inflators have managed to completed the needed repairs on their vehicles.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said just 15.8 million inflators of 46.2 million recalled inflators were repaired through mid-May. Nelson said his figures came from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration independent monitor.

The Last Word!

The recall began in 2015 after it was determined that the ignition materials may degrade over time and in certain instances explode, sending pieces of plastic and metal debris into the vehicle cabin. More than 15 deaths and 150 injuries worldwide have been tied to the inflators. (more…)

Small Car Driver Risks on the Rise, Study Shows

Drivers of compacts more likely to die than larger vehicles.

by on May.26, 2017

The Hyundai Accent is one of the more dangerous cars on the road today, if involved in a collision, a new study shows.

Drivers of small cars have long known that they are at greater risk when involved in collisions with larger vehicles. However, the risk is increasing, according to a new study.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report suggests that traffic fatality rates are on the rise overall, but noted that of the top 10 vehicles involved in fatal crashes, five are minicars and three are small cars. The vehicle at the top of the list if the Hyundai Accent.

Safety News!

Despite the increase in the overall rate, the worst vehicles actually saw some improvement. The 2014 Hyundai Accent’s death rate of 104 compares with 120 for the 2011 Accent. The worst vehicle among the 2011 models was the Kia Rio with a rate of 149. The 2014 Rio’s death rate is 102. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Recalling Over 1.25 Mil Ram Pickups

Software glitch could cause airbag, seatbelt failure in rollovers.

by on May.12, 2017

The Ram 1500 is one of three versions of the full-size truck covered by the recall.

More than 1.25 million Ram pickup trucks are being recalled worldwide due to a software glitch that can cause some of the vehicles’ airbags and seatbelts to fail during rollover crashes.

The problem has been linked to at least one death and two injuries, according to a statement by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The automaker also advised owners to watch for a warning light on the instrument panel for a possible failure.

Safety First!

The recall covers three different light and medium-duty versions of the full-size Ram pickup sold in North America, as well as other parts of the world between the 2013 through 2016 model-years, FCA said.

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Death Toll Rises as U.S. Drivers Keep Engaging in Distracted Driving

Drivers repeating the same mistakes, unrelenting in attitude about behaviors.

by on Apr.04, 2017

U.S. motorists are still exhibiting the same distracted driving behaviors they've been warned about for years.

Highway fatalities had been dropping for more than a decade until two years, when that trend began to reverse direction. A look by a safety organization revealed the behaviors drivers are engaging in behind the wheel ratcheting that number up.

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council identified some of the top driver behaviors and beliefs that put all roadway users at risk and increase the likelihood of being involved in a crash.

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Yes. Most of them involve some already identified behaviors drivers know they shouldn’t do, but clearly do anyway. Compiled through NSC surveys conducted over the last 12 months, these habits and opinions could help partially explain why deaths are on the rise.  (more…)

Will the Tesla Model 3 Be the Safest Car Ever?

New battery-sedan could prevent 90% of accidents, says analyst.

by on Mar.24, 2017

Tesla promises to launch Model 3 production in July, with retail sales following later in 2017,

Tesla has promised that its upcoming Model 3 will be loaded with a variety of high-tech features, including the latest version of the maker’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system. And now, automotive analysts from Morgan Stanley are predicting the sedan will be the safest car ever made.

With “a supercomputer in every car,” they estimate in a new report that the new Model 3 will be 10 times safer than existing vehicles – or 90% less likely to be the cause of either vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-pedestrian fatal crashes. But that actually could disrupt both the conventional new and used car markets, Morgan Stanley is forecasting.

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“Look for an acceleration of the market’s awareness of the obsolescence of used cars and an acceleration of insurance company awareness to reprice premiums,” the report suggests.

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Seat Latches Prone to Fail, Honda Recalling Nearly 650,000 Minivans

New Honda Ridgeline pickup also targeted for wire harness problem.

by on Dec.29, 2016

The 2016 Honda Odyssey.

Honda seems well positioned to end the year, yet again, as the leader in the U.S. minivan market – even as it gets ready to reveal an all-new version of the popular Odyssey people-mover at next month’s North American International Auto Show.

But the Japanese maker is facing a big recall of the outgoing Odyssey. Make that recalls, plural. All told, nearly 650,000 of the vehicles are being targeted for safety-related problems. Meanwhile, Honda also says it will recall nearly 10,000 of its new 2017 Ridgeline pickup to repair another defect.

Safety News!

The biggest problem involves Honda Odyssey minivans sold during the 2011 to 2016 model years because the outboard seat latches can fail. That could lead to serious injuries if the seats fail to lock in place during a crash.

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