Motor Vehicles 310 articles

Tesla Settles Class Action Over ‘Dangerous’ Autopilot System

Owners of Tesla Model S and Model X cars who alleged the Autopilot system in their vehicles was “essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous” have settled a class-action lawsuit with the California automaker. According to Reuters, Tesla agreed to allocate $5 million to a settlement fund that will partially compensate Model S and Model X owners who file a claim for the allegedly worthless feature. Owners of the vehicles claimed they spent an extra $5,000 to have their vehicles equipped with Tesla’s Autopilot system, which the company claimed on its website would make driving safer with capabilities such as automated emergency ... Read More

Takata Airbags Claim Another Life In Malaysia, Honda Confirms

Honda confirmed on Friday, June 1, that a faulty Takata airbag killed another person in Malaysia last week, bringing the number of Malaysians killed by exploding Takata airbags to seven and the global toll to at least 23. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker said the latest death occurred in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, May 27, when a Takata airbag exploded inside a 2004 Honda City vehicle. Few more details were given about the case, which comes exactly five months since the last Takata airbag-related death was confirmed in Malaysia Jan. 1. All of the remaining ... Read More

NTSB Crash Report: Uber Disengaged Self-Driving Car’s Emergency Braking

Uber’s self-driving car that ran over and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, in March could have avoided the deadly collision or at least mitigated it had Uber not disengaged the vehicle’s emergency braking system, a preliminary report indicates. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in its preliminary report of the deadly collision that Uber’s modified 2017 Volvo XC90’s radar systems observed the pedestrian six seconds before impact but “the self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path.” The self-driving Uber determined ... Read More

Fiat-Chrysler Recalls Nearly 5 Million Vehicles For Cruise-Control Glitch

Fiat-Chrysler is recalling nearly 5 million U.S. vehicles to repair a software glitch that could prevent drivers from canceling the cruise control. The problem affects about 4.8 million Fiat-Chrysler cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickup trucks from model-year 2014 to 2018. According to the automaker, “a driver could be unable to cancel cruise-control” if the cruise control system accelerates at the same time a “short-circuit in a specific electrical network” occurs. Normally drivers disengage cruise control by tapping the brake or hitting the cruise-control on-off switch, but both methods can stop working if the glitch occurs. The National Highway Traffic Safety ... Read More

Double-Leg Amputation Victim Blames Mercedes Malfunction

A California man who underwent a double leg amputation after being struck by a Los Angeles city truck in 2017 is seeking damages for his debilitating injuries from multiple parties. Plaintiffs Gabriel Abikzer and his wife filed the personal injury lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court May 18, seeking unspecified damages for negligence, strict product liability, and loss of consortium, reports. Mr. Abikzer alleges he was driving his son to school in his 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550, which is equipped with ECO Start/Stop technology that automatically shuts off the engine instead of idling, such as waiting at a red light. ... Read More

Automakers Miss Takata Airbag Repair Deadline

The deadline for automakers to replace recalled Takata airbags has long passed, yet millions of cars with the potentially deadly devices remain on the road. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) set a target date for recalled Takata airbags to be replaced by the end of 2017, yet 42 percent of the recalled repairs haven’t been made. The missed deadline prompted NHTSA acting director Heidi King to send a letter to all automakers affected by the recall. “I am deeply concerned that, despite this progress, millions more vehicles with defective Takata airbag inflators remain on the roads,” ... Read More

Tesla on Autopilot Slams into Tractor-Trailer in Utah

The driver of a Tesla Model S that slammed into the back of a firetruck in South Jordan, Utah, while traveling at 60 mph said the vehicle was operating in autopilot mode. The 28-year-old driver, a woman from Lehi, Utah, told crash investigators that the Tesla Model S was operating in autopilot – a semi-autonomous mode with crash-avoidance technology – when it collided with the firetruck. Eyewitnesses said the car never slowed down or swerved before impact. Incredibly, the woman escaped the high-speed crash with only a broken ankle, USA Today reports. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose company faces growing ... Read More

Waymo Autonomous Vehicle Crashes In Arizona

Autonomous vehicle manufacturer Waymo and Chandler, Arizona authorities are investigating a crash between a self-driving minivan and a Honda sedan Friday, April 4. The Chandler Police Department said that an autonomous Chrysler Pacifica belonging to Google’s self-driving car unit Waymo was hit by the Honda. According to auto blog Jalopnik, the Honda swerved to avoid striking a third vehicle but the evasive maneuver put it in the path of the Waymo van, which was driving at a low rate of speed. The two vehicles collided, injuring the driver of the autonomous van. According to the Chandler Police Department’s crash report, ... Read More

Is Autonomous Vehicle Bill In Jeopardy After Self-Driving Crashes?

For the manufacturers of autonomous vehicles, the recent Uber and Tesla crashes probably couldn’t have come at a worse time. Driven by ambitious financial goals, autonomous vehicle manufacturers are engaged in a race to get their self-driving vehicles on the road. Generally, the automakers have enjoyed healthy support among U.S. and state politicians and a new regulatory and legal framework to accommodate self-driving cars was making swift progress. But on March 18, an autonomous Uber SUV struck and killed Elaine Herzberg, 49, as she was walking her bike across the street in Tempe, Arizona. Although the car had a human ... Read More

NTSB Boots Tesla From Model X Crash Investigation

Federal investigators have taken the rare action of removing Tesla as a party to an ongoing investigation of the fatal March 23 crash of a Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that Tesla Inc. violated investigative protocol by releasing information pertaining to the crash probe before it was vetted and approved by the NTSB officials. “Such releases of incomplete information often lead to speculation and incorrect assumptions about the probable cause of a crash, which does a disservice to the investigative process and the traveling public,” the NTSB said in a statement. ... Read More