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Posts Tagged ‘nhtsa news’

Apple Asks Agency About Autonomous Autos

Tech giant has questions for NHTSA about self-driving cars.

by on Dec.05, 2016

Apple revealed a little more about its automotive interests in a recent letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Unlike Google with its little marshmallow cars scooting around its California campus and the city of Mountain View, Apple has been much more secretive about its automotive ambitions — until now.

The tech giant’s kept “Project Titan” under wraps until a recent letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking a few questions about autonomous vehicle technology.

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The company believes the technology has the potential to “greatly enhance the human experience,” according to the letter filed with the agency on Nov. 22. In the five-page letter, the company had questions about the Obama administration’s proposed self-driving guidelines. (more…)

NHTSA Mandates Makers Engineer the Sounds of Silence

Battery-electric quiet cars must produce "audible" noise at low speeds.

by on Nov.14, 2016

Pedestrians will now hear that Tesla, Leaf or Bolt coming when it travels at low speeds with the new NHTSA mandate.

A few years down the road, if you cross the street and suddenly wonder what that “strange” noise is, you may have the U.S. government to thank for potentially saving your life.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized rules mandating electric vehicles, hybrids and other “quiet” cars emit “alert sounds” when traveling at speeds of 18.6 miles or slower.

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At higher speeds, the sound alert is not required because other factors, such as tire and wind noise, provide adequate audible warning to pedestrians. (more…)

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…)