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Posts Tagged ‘takata airbag’

Autonomous Cars, Battery Vehicles and Record Sales: a Look at 2016’s Top Auto Stories

Industry at “an inflection point.”

by on Dec.29, 2016

Ford's next-generation autonomous Fusion prototype. Self-driving cars were a hot story in 2016.

Barring an unexpected, December surprise, 2016 will go out like a lion for the U.S. auto industry, automakers collectively racking up their third consecutive year of record sales. That’s an all the more massive achievement considering the decade began with the worst downturn the U.S. car market had suffered since the Great Depression.

What’s ahead for the industry is far from certain, demand showing signs of losing momentum in recent months. But what’s clear is that 2016 will not only go down in the record book from a sales perspective but that the year could be seen as marking a series of major transitions – “an inflection point,” in the words of John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, Google’s recently renamed autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

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What was once the stuff of science fiction began shifting into everyday reality this past year, with hundreds of self-driving vehicle prototypes taking to public roads across the country – some even being used as part of ride-sharing pilot programs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

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Toyota Recalling 5.8 Mil Vehicles After Latest Takata Airbag Death

Some Toyota vehicles being recalled for second time.

by on Oct.26, 2016

Among the many Toyota models affected by the latest recall, the Corolla is its best-seller.

The already record recall of faulty Takata airbags has grown even larger, Toyota Motor Corp. announcing today it will target nearly 6 million more of the devices, including some used in an earlier recall.

The announcement comes just days after it was revealed that an 11th American was killed in a crash due to faulty Takata airbag inflators that can rupture and spew shrapnel into the passenger compartment following a crash. At least four more people are known to have been killed in similar crashes overseas.

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U.S. safety regulators have so far ordered recalls covering an estimated 60 million or more vehicles using Takata airbags. The figure has now grown to about 100 million worldwide, according to transportation authorities.

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Second Airbag Supplier Faces Upgraded Probe Over Fatality

ARC Automotive inflator linked to fatality in Canadian crash.

by on Aug.05, 2016

The fatal Canadian crash involved a 2009 Hyundai Elantra like this one.

Federal safety regulators have stepped up probe following the death of a Canadian motorist killed when the airbag in his Hyundai Elantra misfired during a crash in Canada last month.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already recalled tens of millions of vehicles using airbag inflators produced by troubled Japanese supplier Takata Corp., but this probe focuses on a different airbag manufacturer, ARC Automotive Inc.

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The move steps up a preliminary investigation targeting the Tennessee-based ARC following several earlier incidents. NHTSA has been taking a closer look at airbags, in general, due to a series of problems that have led to numerous injuries and fatalities.

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Toyota Recalling 3.4 Mil Prius Hybrids, Other Models

Worldwide effort targets airbags, faulty emissions systems.

by on Jun.29, 2016

A 2012 Toyota Prius. Some versions of the popular hybrid suffer from both of the defects.

Toyota Motor Co. will recall 3.37 million vehicles due to a series of safety and emissions problems, the world’s largest automaker announced on Wednesday.

The global service action includes 2.87 million vehicles with faulty emissions control units. A faulty airbag inflator was installed in 1.43 million cars. Some of the popular Toyota Prius hybrids suffer from both problems which is why the actual total number of vehicles affected by the recall comes in at 3.37 million.

Safety News!

The airbag problem involves a faulty system that may partially inflate without a crash, creating the risk of injury. Toyota noted that the defective system was provided Autoliv, and not by Takata Corp., the Japanese airbag supplier now responsible for the largest recall in automotive history.

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Eight Automakers to Recall 12 Mil Vehicles for Takata Airbags

Largest recall in history continues to grow.

by on May.27, 2016

The latest recall takes in millions of Honda vehicles, including this 2010 Civic.

The biggest safety recall in U.S. automotive history is about to get even bigger, eight automakers revealing they will recall 12 million vehicles to replace faulty Takata airbag inflators.

The move follows last month’s announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it wanted as many as 40 million inflators replaced because they could malfunction during crashes. The exact number of vehicles that would cover wasn’t clear because some vehicles use more than one of the suspect devices.

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The list of manufacturers covered by the latest recall includes Toyota – which announced some other airbag service actions earlier this week – Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Ferrari and Mitsubishi. And Honda will not only recall 2.2 million more automobiles but 2,700 of its Gold Wing motorcycles equipped with optional front airbags.

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Safety, Not Profits, Come First, says DoT Sec. Foxx

Airbag recall will proceed, even if it puts Takata out of business.

by on May.11, 2016

"We've got to keep our finger on it," said Sec. Foxx.

Safety is the top priority, said Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and the expanding recall of potentially defective Takata airbags will proceed, even if that means putting the Japanese supplier out of business.

Takata produced the airbag inflators involved in the recall of about 24 million vehicles in the U.S. alone, devices so far linked to 13 fatalities worldwide. NHTSA last week announced it would add another 35 million to 40 million more Takata airbags on the recall list.

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There have been growing concerns that the expanded recall could put Takata out of business, but Foxx said that “can’t be the top concern we face,” during a Wednesday roundtable with reporters. “The airbags need to be recalled, and we have a responsibility to recall them.”

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Honda May Recall 20 Million More Airbags; Supplier Takata Plunges into the Red

Size of airbag recall could more than double.

by on May.09, 2016

A Takata airbag after a vehicle crash.

Honda is reportedly getting ready to announce the recall of as many as 20 million more airbags due to the risk they could malfunction and injure, possibly kill occupants by sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment.

The report, published by Japanese newspaper Nikkei, comes less than a week after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the recall of 35 million to 40 million more airbags using inflators provided by Japanese auto supplier Takata. The defect has so far been linked to hundreds of injuries while the death count last week rose to 13 worldwide.

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Hammered by the recall, hit with hefty fines and facing numerous lawsuits, Takata said today that it is expecting to report a loss of about $120 million when it reports earnings on Wednesday. It originally had expected to show a modest profit.

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Takata Ordered to Recall Up to 40 Mil More Airbags

Largest safety recall in history already impacting 24 mil vehicles.

by on May.04, 2016

High school senior Huma Hanif was the 11th person killed as a result of the Takata defect.

The largest safety recall in automotive history is about to get even bigger, federal regulators ordering embattled Japanese supplier Takata to recall as many as 40 million additional airbags linked to a defect already blamed for at least 11 deaths.

The previous recall involved about 24 million vehicles sold in the U.S. over roughly the last decade, with 14 manufacturers impacted. Virtually every other major carmaker will now be pulled into the latest recall.

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“This is the largest recall in American history, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Mark Rosekind told reporters on Wednesday.

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Bending the Truth? Automakers Under Fire

Ethical lapses trigger a costly backlash.

by on May.02, 2016

Daimler is already facing two diesel lawsuits.

German automaker Daimler AG is hiring an outside auditor to make sure it hasn’t cheated on emissions tests. Mitsubishi has set up an independent panel to see just how broadly it rigged its fuel economy numbers. Volkswagen has yet to release an internal report exploring the breadth of its own diesel scam.

In recent years, a veritable Who’s Who of automakers has been caught up in one scandal or another. They’ve been caught inflating mileage figures, deflating emissions numbers and, in a number of cases, covering up serious, often fatal safety problems. That includes General Motors which took a decade to order a recall for defective ignition switches now linked to at least 120 deaths.

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In some cases, manufacturers have simply missed problems or failed to recognize their significance. In other instances, they have been willing to outright lie, said veteran auto analyst Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting, considering such moves as “just the cost of doing business.”

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Takata Lied to Conceal Airbag Problems, Senate Panel Finds

“Unsupportable” claims; “misrepresentation” of facts.

by on Feb.24, 2016

A new Senate committee report claims Takata has known about the problems with its airbags and falsified record to hide the problem from investigators.

Even as researchers finally zeroed in on the cause of deadly Takata airbag failures, a Senate committee laid out some explosive charges against the Japanese auto supplier.

Citing internal documents, the report published by the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation shows Takata engaged in a pattern of falsifying test data and incorrectly reporting on the scope of the airbag defect, something that likely reduced the number of vehicles targeted for recall.

Safety News!

The results of the year-long research study and other evidence provided to the Senate and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could lead to yet another ramp-up of that recall effort. As many as 50 million more vehicles could be targeted. To date, about 25 million have been recalled, making this the largest service action in U.S. automotive history. (more…)