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Posts Tagged ‘faulty airbags’

New Law Bans Recalled Vehicles from Rental Fleets

Safe Rental Car Act more than a decade in the making.

by on Jun.01, 2016

The Houck sisters were killed when their rental vehicle spun out of control and hit a truck head-on.

Years in the making and once the point of contentious debate and delay, the Safe Rental Car Act took effect today. The new law, passed late last year, bans rental companies with fleets exceeding 35 vehicles from using vehicles that are subject to recall until they’re fixed.

The ban is now in effect since has Congress has codified the prohibition in federal law.

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“When a family picks up a rental car on vacation, they should be able to expect it is free of any known safety defect,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “I thank Congress and the safety advocates who helped turn this common-sense idea into law.” (more…)

Hidden Killers? What Happens When Airbags Age?

Federal regulators worried that safety systems could fail -- or worse -- on older vehicles.

by on Jul.21, 2015

A Takata airbag after a crash. The supplier hasn't been able to pinpoint the problem causing the airbags to explode.

© 2015 TheDetroitBureau.com

They’ve been called one of the most important safety technologies ever developed, but there’s growing concern that as airbags age they could become a major threat to the safety of millions of American motorists.

Nearly a dozen different automakers have so far recalled more than 40 million vehicles around the world due to faulty airbags produced by Japan’s Takata Corp. that have been blamed for at least eight deaths and 100s of injuries. But as NHTSA launches an investigation into the supplemental restraint system provided by a second supplier, the nation’s top automotive safety regulator told TheDetroitBureau.com that he’s worried the problem could be far more widespread.

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“Cars are lasting on the road a lot longer than ever before,” said Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during a visit to Detroit. “Is aging now an issue? That’s part of the investigation going on.”

And it’s taking on increased urgency as automotive regulators, safety advocates and industry officials begin to question whether a technology designed to save lives can, over time, become a threat to life and limb.

(more…)

Takata Officials Expected to be Grilled at Congressional Hearing

Lawmakers likely to demand answers to tough questions.

by on May.27, 2015

Takata's Hiroshi Shimizu is likely to face some hostile questions if he's called to testify before lawmakers next week in Washington D.C.

Takata’s recent acquiescence to federal regulators pushing the supplier to declare 33.8 million airbags defective likely won’t be enough to save the company’s executives from another appearance before U.S. lawmakers.

The hearing aims to provide officials with an update on how the problem with the airbags, which have caused largest single recall in U.S. history, is going to be resolved and when. It’s expected that officials from Takata, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other Transportation officials will make appearances.

Safety First!

While who specifically will be called to testify before the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, which is part of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, isn’t yet known, when the hearing convenes in Washington D.C. on Tuesday it’s a safe bet, Takata officials will face some harsh questioning. (more…)

Feds Will Force Takata, Makers to Expand Airbag Recall

NHTSA preparing court case if companies decline request.

by on Dec.16, 2014

Takata's Hiroshi Shimizu said the company does not feel it's appropriate to expand the recall of its airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to try to reassert itself as the nation’s safety watchdog by announcing its working on building a case it can use in court against Takata Corp. and three automaker to compel them to expand the existing regional airbag recall to a national action.

David Freidman, NHTSA’s deputy administrator, said today the agency is pressuring the Japanese supplier as well as Ford, Chrysler and BMW to enlarge the recall, which would add another 5 million vehicles to action. Currently, there are just under 8 million.

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Regulators will take the companies to court, if necessary, to compel them to take those steps, Friedman told reporters, adding the agency is reviewing tens of thousands of pages to develop “an airtight case” to present in federal court if the makers don’t comply voluntarily. (more…)

Feds Demand Takata Push Airbag Recall Nationwide

NHTSA claims recent death outside recall area mandates enlarging action.

by on Nov.19, 2014

NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said the regional recall of vehicles with faulty Takata airbags is no longer enough.

Federal safety regulators called on Takata Corp. and the 10 automakers using the supplier’s faulty airbags, which have been attributed to four deaths in the U.S., to voluntarily expand the scope of the recall of the affected vehicles from a regional recall to a nationwide action … or else.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the data shows that simply limiting the recall to just certain areas of the country is no longer a reasonable course of action.

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“We now know that millions of vehicles must be recalled to address defective Takata air bags and our aggressive investigation is far from over,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman. “We’re pushing Takata and all affected manufacturers to issue the recall and to ensure the recalls capture the full scope of the problems.” (more…)

Takata Uncertain When It Will Have Enough Parts for Recall

Partsmaker facing serious financial impact due to action.

by on Nov.03, 2014

Takata isn't sure how long it will take to manufacture enough replacements for its defective airbags.

Despite pressure from automakers and automotive regulators, embattled Japanese safety systems supplier Takata says it has no idea how soon it will be able to provide the parts needed to complete last month’s recall of 7.8 million vehicles due to potentially deadly airbags.

The company acknowledges it is facing what could become the second class-action lawsuit related to a recall that has so far been linked to four deaths and a number of injuries. And a Takata official says the supplier is discussing with its customers how it might have to help them cover the massive costs associated with the airbag recall.

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“But right now, that is not a top priority,” spokesman Alby Berman says. “For now, the top priority is getting replacements parts out.” (more…)

Takata Slapped with Second Class Action Suit

Latest filing in California also names Honda as defendant.

by on Oct.31, 2014

Takata's been hit with a second class action lawsuit and a fourth overall. The latest suit was filed in California.

Even before the dust has settled on the first class action suit against airbag maker Takata, the Japanese supplier has been slapped with a second class action suit. The suit was filed in California.

Hagens Berman, a national class-action law firm, filed suit against Takata as well as Honda Motor Co. alleging the two companies were more interested in their bottom lines than the safety of consumers.

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The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims that Takata may have cut corners to build cheaper airbags, and that Honda may have bought its airbags from Takata to reduce manufacturing costs. The result, according to the complaint, is that instead of saving lives, defective Takata airbags in Honda automobiles are killing and maiming drivers and passengers involved in otherwise minor and survivable accidents. (more…)

Federal Regulators Turning up Heat on Takata

NHTSA pushes supplier to speed up replacement part production.

by on Oct.30, 2014

NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman is pushing Takata to speed up production of replacement airbag components.

Takata is feeling the heat from federal safety regulators who are pushing the Japanese supplier to speed up the production of components necessary to repair the 7.8 million vehicles recalled due to their faulty airbags.

David Friedman, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sent a letter to the supplier telling it to expedite the production of replacement inflators as well as informing Takata that it is insisting automakers that used the airbags make every effort to get the repairs done as quickly as possible, including extending service hours at its dealerships.

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Letters were sent to Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, BMW and Chrysler Group. Additionally, the agency wants to meet weekly with Takata executives weekly, according to a separate letter, Bloomberg reported. (more…)

Takata Hit With Major Lawsuit – Even as Airbag Recall Could Triple in Size

Potential class action suit alleges supplier covered up deadly airbag problems.

by on Oct.28, 2014

Takata's troubles are getting worse as Honda's global auto chief Tetsuo Iwamura said today it was rethinking its relationship with the supplier.

Takata’s problems with defective airbags – so far linked to at least four deaths – continue to worsen as a pair of New York law firms yesterday filed what they hope will be approved as a class action lawsuit against the troubled Japanese supplier.

Complicating matters, new reports suggest Takata first learned about potential airbag problems as early as 2001 and failed to take action, a breach that could create further legal issues – even as critics demand the current U.S. recall covering 7.8 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbags be greatly expanded.

Global Safety News!

The new lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Florida, is the first attempt to gain class-action status. It also named Toyota, Honda, BMW and Ford as defendants. (more…)