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Posts Tagged ‘nhtsa news’

NHTSA Extends FCA Probation

Extended term not punishment, but aimed to continue better communications.

by on Aug.01, 2016

NHTSA extended FCA's "probationary" period for another year to continue the improved communication between the parties.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration extended the “probationary” period it applied to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for another year for past failures to identify and address safety-related problems with its vehicles.

FCA U.S. LLC acknowledged that NHTSA is exercising its option to renew the monthly submissions and monthly meetings outlined in a consent order, which FCA signed one year ago, for an additional year of government oversight.

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As stated in NHTSA’s letter to Fiat Chrysler, “NHTSA’s exercise of its option to renew these requirements is not based on a concern about FCA’s performance to date, but rather to facilitate continued communication between FCA and NHTSA on potential defect issues.” (more…)

GM’s Tab for Takata May be $870 Million

Company doesn't believe it will have to make Takata-related repairs.

by on Jul.22, 2016

General Motors faces an $870 million liability related to Takata airbags in 6.8 million vehicles.

General Motors Co. faces potential liabilities of $870 million if it has to replace 6.8 million Takata airbags in cars, full-size trucks and sport-utility vehicles, according to documents filed by the company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company doesn’t believe there is a safety defect at this time in any of its vehicles related to the airbags it has filed reports with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covering 2.5 million full-size pick-up trucks and sport utility vehicles.

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“As a result of discussions with NHTSA and as described in the Preliminary DIR, GM will have an opportunity to prove to NHTSA that the inflators in these vehicles do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety,” the company noted in the filing. (more…)

Consumer Reports Calls for Tesla to Disable Autopilot Program

Other media suggest Tesla should be left alone.

by on Jul.14, 2016

Consumer Reports called for Tesla to disable Autopilot, which is the target of a NHTSA investigation after a recent fatality.

Federal regulators are asking for Tesla to provide data and documents related to its Autopilot program as a prominent magazine with a mixed history with the automaker issues a call for the company to disable Autopilot on all models until further notice.

The moves come on the heels of Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of EV maker, announcing the company does not plan to shut down the Autopilot feature on other vehicles after the death of an Ohio man using the feature.

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Consumer Reports, which at one point gave the Model S its highest rating ever, essentially demanded California-based Tesla disable the Autopilot feature on its cars until it can reprogram it to require that drivers keep one hand on the wheel every five minutes. The publication also criticized Tesla for naming the system Autopilot, saying the name is misleading. (more…)

Foes and Friends Offer Opinions at Autonomous Car Hearing

Google exec pushes for federal rules as watchdog tells him to take the wheel.

by on Apr.28, 2016

Consumer Watchdog wants federal rules mandating steering wheels as well as brake and gas pedals for autonomous vehicles.

Friend and foe alike finally got to put in their two cents worth about the future of autonomous driving and the vehicles that will be careening down U.S. roadways at a forum in California today.

Federal officials are holding several of these events as they seek opinions from the public about self-driving vehicles. The event came just a day after Google, Uber and Lyft have joined forces with Volvo and Ford in establishing “The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets,” which has recruited David Strickland, long-time safety watchdog and former head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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“Self-driving vehicle technology will make America’s roadways safer and less congested,” Strickland said in a statement. “The best path for this innovation is to have one clear set of federal standards, and the Coalition will work with policymakers to find the right solutions that will facilitate the deployment of self-driving vehicles.” (more…)

Carmakers, Tech Companies Form Self-Driving Auto Alliance

Group pushing for uniform testing regulations – quickly.

by on Apr.27, 2016

NHTSA has already declared Google's autonomous tech is the equivalent of a human driver.

Companies from Silicon Valley and the auto industry are teaming up to create a coalition to influence lawmakers and regulators, who are destined to play a huge role in shaping the deployment of autonomous vehicles.

Google, Uber and Lyft have joined forces with Volvo and Ford in establishing “The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets,” which has recruited David Strickland, long-time safety watchdog and former head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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In 2014, the most recent available numbers from the NHTSA, there were 6.1 million reported crashes on U.S. roads, resulting in 2.3 million injuries and 32,675 fatalities. Advocates of self-driving cars suggest an influx of these accident-averse vehicles on to America’s roadways would greatly virtually eliminate fatal accidents. (more…)

Automakers Turn to Airline Industry for Safety Help

NHTSA pushes for meeting of the minds. 

by on Apr.19, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra will attend the conference in Washington D.C. this week with aviation and auto industry leaders.

At a time when recalls are running at near-record levels, and with highway deaths on the rise again after a decade of decline, the auto industry is turning to an unusual ally for help in improving vehicle safety.

A conference scheduled to take place this Friday will bring together members of both the airline and auto industries, as well as regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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The move is far from a surprise. NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind previously served as head of the well-respected Transportation Safety Board and cited the major improvements made by the aviation industry. Until the crash by a Korean jet in San Francisco two years ago, there hadn’t been a fatal airline incident in the U.S. in almost a decade. (more…)

The Recalls Are A-Comin’—Whether You Like It Or Not

NHTSA’s pledge to 100% completion sets unrealistic goal.

by on Mar.28, 2016

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind pledged the agency would achieve a 100% completion rate for recalls in the U.S.

The fairly new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Dr. Mark Rosekind, a veteran of the highly regarded National Transportation Safety Board, announced that NHTSA will seek 100% completion of safety recalls in the U.S.

This comes in the wake of a record 51 million vehicles recalled for safety fixes in 2015 (40% of them related to Takata air bags) and an increase in highway fatalities last year after several progressive years of declining crash deaths, both statistics generating headlines in the media.

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Of course, Congress, and NHTSA are feeling the heat in Washington from media and professional safety critics. And NHTSA – the only agency ordained to do something about it – is wringing its hands. (more…)

NHTSA Slams BMW with $40 Million Fine

Maker failed to report side-impact crash defect.

by on Dec.22, 2015

The 2014 and 2015 Mini Cooper two-door hardtop failed U.S.-mandated side-impact crash tests. BMW failed to fix the problem and failed to inform owners.

Federal safety regulators continue to crack down on automakers that fail to report problems quickly as BMW agreed to a possible $40 million fine for issues related to its Mini brand.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration levied the punishment after the automaker failed tell owners about a recall of the Mini Cooper that failed a side-impact airbag crash test.

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The company agreed to a $10 million penalty and to spend $10 million correcting the problem. BMW could be assessed an additional $20 million if it doesn’t meet certain criteria for fixing the problems long-term, according to NHTSA. (more…)

NHTSA Ready to Slap FCA with $70 Mil Fine

The penalty is the second for FCA in the last six months.

by on Dec.10, 2015

NHTSA is expected to fine Fiat Chrysler $70 million for the maker's failure to report safety-related information.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to announce, as early as today, that Fiat Chrysler has agreed to a $70 million fine related to its failure to disclose vehicle crash death and injury reports.

The fine is the second large payout the automaker has agreed to in the last six months related to lax safety reporting and enforcement procedures. In July, FCA agreed to a $105 million settlement related to charges about it handled about two dozen recalls that impacted 11 million vehicles.

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The latest fine, according to a Reuters report, is because FCA failed to disclose an unspecified number of reports that are required to be submitted to regulators under a 2000 law. Automakers are required to submit a variety of data involving vehicle crashes, deaths, warranty claims, lawsuits, among other information. FCA failed to meet the threshold for the rules. In September, NHTSA described the automaker’s omissions a “significant failure.” (more…)

Watchdog Fights Accelerating Autonomous Vehicle Testing Pace

Google pushing for ability to accelerate development.

by on Nov.24, 2015

A Mountain View, CA police officer gives a warning to a Google Car for driving too slow. Photo courtesy Google autonomous vehicle blog.

The idea of being able to turn over all of the driving responsibilities to an autonomous fleet of vehicles gets major endorsements from federal safety officials, at least half of drivers, automakers and last, but certainly not least, Google.

In fact, recently Google officials complained they felt like they were being held back in the development of their vehicle. Despite a dozen accidents – none of which were deemed Google’s fault – and most recently, a situation where a policeman pulled over the autonomous vehicle for driving too … wait for it … slowly, the tech giant wants to speed up development.

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Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is a staunch ally in the move toward autonomous vehicles, believing they could virtually eliminate traffic accidents and, by extension, the thousands of fatalities that occur on U.S. highways and byways annually. (more…)