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Posts Tagged ‘safety news’

Hybrids, EVs Earn Strong IIHS Safety Marks

Safety group gives top ratings to Volt, Prius Prime.

by on Feb.01, 2017

The 2017 Chevy Volt earned the IIHS's Top Safety Pick Plus award along with the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

It appears that great gas mileage – or no gas mileage at all – and safety can go hand-in-hand, according to the latest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing results.

The group recently gave the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Prime its top scores, Top Safety Pick Plus, to the two plug in hybrids. It also took the time to rate the Tesla Model S and BMW i3 all-electric vehicles and noted that those fell just short of earning that “Plus” distinction.

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“There’s no reason the most efficient vehicles can’t also be among the safest,” says David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer. The Prius Prime is the more miserly of the two getting 54 mpg while the Volt came in at 42 mpg. (more…)

Small SUVs Leaving Drivers in The Dark

IIHS tests reveal poor performance by most utes.

by on Jul.13, 2016

The 2016 Honda HR-V is selling well, but performs poorly in new headlight testing from IIHS.

The next safety frontier has been breached: headlights. If you drive a small sport-utility vehicle, odds are yours aren’t good enough based on recent testing by one of the nation’s leading automotive safety organizations.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that an overwhelming number of small SUVs have inadequate headlights. The organization said that just four of the 21 vehicles tested achieved a rating of “acceptable.” None of the SUVs received a rating of “good.”

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While the government has a minimum standard for headlights – and all of the entrants meet the government mandate – IIHS claims the testing methodology employed by the government doesn’t provide accurate results. (more…)

Independence Day Weekend Expected to Set New Fatality Record

NHTSA looking a ways to cut trend of rising traffic deaths.

by on Jul.05, 2016

After years of declines, highway fatalities were up 7.7% 2015 – the second year in a row for an increase – leaving officials to figure how to solve the problem.

While final figures have yet to be tallied, safety experts were forecasting the July 4 weekend would see an increase over last year’s fatality and injury totals.

In fact, the National Safety Council predicted as many as 409 Americans would be killed on this country’s roadways during the long weekend, and another 49,500 injured. If proven to be true, they’ll be the highest numbers since 2008.

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On average, there are 37% more highway fatalities on July 4 than the average July day, according to a study of federal accident data. And when traffic increases, so does the death toll, according to the NSC. (more…)

Senators Pressuring Automakers to Improve Seat Safety

Market, Blumenthal send letter to 17 makers asking for information about seats.

by on May.27, 2016

Sen. Richard Bluenthal (D-Conn.) is teaming with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to pressure automakers to improve front seat back safety standards.

The crashworthiness of today’s vehicles are at levels not seen before, automakers claim, using a variety of test results to support the assertion. Those claims are most likely true, except for one, little-thought about part of the car: the seat back.

Two of the biggest critics of automakers, Sens Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), are pushing the companies to address a new concern: the weakness of seat backs.

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The two senators have asked 17 automakers to provide a spate of documents about their vehicles and specifically, the seat backs. (more…)

Toyota, FCA Recall About 2 Mil Vehicles for Faulty Airbags

Takata defect not the only problem.

by on May.24, 2016

The 2010 Lexus GX is part of the most recent airbag-related recall for Toyota.

Nearly 2 million more vehicles are being recalled by Toyota and Fiat Chrysler due to a series of airbag problems, the vast majority of them involving defective Takata airbag inflators.

Designed to enhance crash safety, airbags have become a major headache for automakers around the world due to design and manufacturing issues. The Takata problem alone has already become the largest recall in U.S. automotive history, impacting as many as 20 different automakers.

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The largest of the two new recalls involves 1.6 million Toyota vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. The service action affects both the driver and passenger front airbags on vehicles as much as a decade old and sold through the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. (more…)

Ford Recalling 285,000 Vehicles

Automaker issues action for transmission, suspension and airbag problems.

by on Apr.27, 2016

Ford's Police Interceptor Utility is part of a recall of SUVs due to suspension issues.

Ford is recalling more than 280,000 sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks due to suspension and transmission issues.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will recall 201,900 pickups due to a flaw in the transmission. A faulty speed sensor can cause it to downshift into first gear at the wrong time, potentially causing the driver to lose control or affect the vehicles around it.

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Thus far, the automaker is aware of three accidents that have occurred due to the sensor on transmission model6R80. It is found on 2011-12 Ford F-150, 2012 Expedition and Mustangs built in Michigan from Aug. 19, 2011 through Feb. 12, 2012. (more…)

Magna Turns to Public for Safety Ideas

Essay contest designed to stimulate new technologies.

by on Apr.01, 2016

Magna is looking for new automotive safety ideas from the public through its Magna Challenge.

Much of the talk about autonomous vehicles has centered on improved safety for motorists, in fact, some federal officials believe the technology could reduce highway fatalities to nearly zero in the years ahead.

Even without including the potential of self-driving cars, today’s vehicles are laden with technology that make them safer than ever. However, despite that deaths on America’s roadways are on the rise for the first time in more than a decade.

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Automakers and suppliers continue to look for ways to make cars safer and one supplier is trying an outside-the-box effort to find the latest good idea for automotive safety. (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…)

Toyota, Lexus to Add Auto-Braking to Almost All Models by 2017

Move to come five years ahead of industry-wide plan.

by on Mar.22, 2016

Toyota's auto-brake system relies on the pairing of laser and artificial vision sensors.

Toyota and its luxury brand, Lexus, plan to make automatic emergency braking, or AEB, standard equipment on virtually all models and trim levels by the end 2017. That move would come five years ahead of the industry-wide rollout agreed to by a consortium of automakers earlier this month.

The technology is designed to recognize potential collisions and sound a warning to alert the driver. If there’s no immediate response, the system will apply the brakes automatically to avoid the crash or, at the least, reduce its severity. A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, found AEV can prevent up to 40% of police-reported rear-end collisions.

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“High-level driver assist technologies can do more than help protect people in the event of a crash; they can help prevent some crashes from ever happening in the first place,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “We are proud to help lead this industry in standardizing these systems and bring automated braking to our customers sooner rather than later.” (more…)

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.”