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Posts Tagged ‘Truck Safety’

Feds Mandate Electronic Stability Control for Heavy Trucks

New safety regulation takes effect in 2017.

by on Jun.04, 2015

Heavy trucks and buses will be required to have ESC starting in 2017. Manufacturers and suppliers are producing collision mitigation systems already.

The nation’s highways and byways are about to get safer as federal regulators finalized the rules mandating heavy trucks and large buses have electronic stability control systems. The requirement takes effect beginning in 2017.

The systems, known as ESC, have been in use in light vehicles for decades – although not mandated until 2012 – and helps drivers maintain control of the vehicle in situations where spinouts and rollovers are imminent. The effort to get the technology into large trucks began in 2011.

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“ESC is a remarkable safety success story, a technology innovation that is already saving lives in passenger cars and light trucks,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said. “Requiring ESC on heavy trucks and large buses will bring that safety innovation to the largest vehicles on our highways, increasing safety for drivers and passengers of these vehicles and for all road users.” (more…)

Battle to Make Tractor-Trailers Safer: Speed v Tires

Tires rated only to 75 mph, but trucks often exceed that speed.

by on Mar.31, 2015

The tires used by tractor-trailers are only rated for 75 mph. If driven faster than that, they can rupture.

The nation’s big rigs are often exceeding the 75 mph speeds that their tires are designed to handle, often with disastrous results. The problems may expand as many states consider raising speed limits beyond 70 mph.

According to the Associated Press, 14 states, most of them west of the Mississippi River, now have speed limits of 75, 80, even 85 mph in part of Texas. While car tires are rated to handle speeds up 112 mph, truck tires haven’t been raised to the same performance level.

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In large measure, most trucks are limited to 65 or 70 mph by governors put in place by fleet owners. However, the many of the state transportation agencies approved the new highway speeds without consulting the tire makers or industry advocacy groups. (more…)

New GM Pickups Hit by Recall

Faulty seats could fail in crash.

by on Oct.10, 2013

GM's new 2014 full-size pickups face their second recall due to a potentially faulty seat.

They’ve barely reached dealer showrooms in any significant numbers but General Motors’ new full-size pickups have been hammered by a recall.

According to GM, the seats in the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 models could fail if the trucks are hit from behind. The models affected by the service action are equipped with manual seat controls that may not properly lock into position when reclined.

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A total of 21,721 of the full-size trucks are covered by the recall, nearly 19,000 shipped to dealers in the U.S., though another 2,572 went to Canada, with the rest sold in Mexico or listed as “exports.”


Ford Adds Another 1.2 mil Trucks to F-Series Recall

Feds also expanding probe into possible “rollaway” Fords.

by on Apr.14, 2011

Ford now has expanded the F-Series recall to include more than 1.3 million trucks.

Under pressure from federal regulators who had expanded an investigation into a reported airbag problem, Ford Motor Co. now says it will recall another 1.2 million F-Series pickups, increasing more than tenfold a recall first announced in February.

The maker initially planned to recall just 144,000 F-Series trucks produced at its plant in Norfolk.  An apparent assembly line problem was blamed for occasional wiring damage that could cause the vehicle’s airbags to fire inadvertently.  But government regulators argued that the recall should cover a far broader range of the full-size trucks.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meanwhile, has expanded a probe of 1.5 million Ford sport-utility vehicles linked to a defect that could cause them to roll away even though the driver believed the vehicle had been shifted into Park.

“We’re recalling the complete population of (F-Series) trucks built between 2003 – which marked the start of production of the all-new 2004 truck – and 2006, 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S.” explained Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood, following the makers decision to expand the original safety action.


Ford Recalling 360,000 F-150s

Defective door handles could pop open in crash.

by on Feb.03, 2011

More than 360,000 F-150s are impacted by the recall in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

A defective door handle on late model Ford F-150 pickups could fail and pop open in the event of a crash, leading the Detroit maker to recall more than 360,000 of the trucks, it has announced.

The recall is the latest in a series of problems to strike Ford, a maker that has been gaining significant ground, in recent years, by emphasizing high quality and a focus on safety.

The latest action involves Ford F-Series pickups built between January 18, 2008 and November 30, 2009 at the maker’s truck plants in Kansas City and Dearborn, Michigan.  A total of 280,946 trucks from the 2009 and 2010 model-years with chrome interior door handles are covered in the U.S.  Another 68,000 models were sold in Canada, and 14,000 in Mexico.

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During regular usage, the springs inside the door handles may fail or weaken, and the handles may not return to the fully-closed position.  In the event of a collision, the maker said, that may cause a door to pop open – however Ford claims it has not been notified of any accidents or injuries related to the problem.

That underscores the tightening scrutiny potential safety problems are now receiving in the wake of last year’s numerous recalls at Toyota.  The maker was sharply criticized – and ultimately paid out nearly $50 million in fines – for failing to respond quickly enough to potential safety problems.


Former Truck Lobbyist to Regulate Truck Safety?

Ferro confirmed as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator just as Court orders a review of increased driver hours.

by on Nov.09, 2009

Fox guarding the chicken coop approach to regulation from the Democrats?

Fox guarding the chicken coop approach to regulation from the Democrats?

It seemed like a victory for safety advocates when the Obama Administration agreed to review the rule that increased the hours truck drivers could be on the road while reducing their rest time.

Critics have contended since 2003 that this Bush Administration regulation increasing driver hours was bad policy that would lead to more accidents and fatalities.

However, when the Senate unanimously confirmed Anne S. Ferro as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator last week, the Administration put a former trucking association executive and lobbyist as the head of truck safety at the Department of Transportation.

It appears that Ferro’s selection goes against President Obama’s decision to limit the ability of lobbyists to enter government as high officials and influence policy from within.

Ferro was president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association during the six years before her appointment. Moreover, the association supported the increase in driver hours.

During Ferro’s Senate confirmation hearing, which featured the usual tough posturing but ultimately agreed to her appointment, she said she would be a “fair and balanced regulator” and use a “data-driven, sound scientific research” to decrease truck and bus crashes.

Ferro now leads FMCSA just as a court order requires it to review its rulemaking on truck driver hours of service – the most controversial issue facing the agency since it pits the profits of big trucking firms against your well-being on the nation’s roads.

There are more than 5,000 fatal truck accidents every year or about 15 people die each day, every day.