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Motor Vehicles 264 articles

May marks Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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As temperatures rise, so too do the number of motorcycles on our nation’s roadways. Unfortunately, an increase in motorcycle traffic also means an increase in motorcycle accidents. In hopes of reducing the number of motorcyclists killed or injured, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. “To keep motorcyclists safe, we urge everyone to share the road and be alert, and we’re reminding motorcyclists to make themselves visible, to use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to always ride sober,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises. When following a motorcycle, drivers should allow at least four seconds between vehicles and be extra ... Read More

Audi, Porsche recalled for potential fuel leaks

VW consumer fraud

Two Volkswagen Group vehicle-manufacturing companies have issued recalls for potential fuel leaks. Volkswagen Group of America and Porsche Cars North America have identified a potentially faulty fuel filter flange as a potential fire risk, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Approximately 240,500 2013-2017 Audi Q5 and 2013-2017 Audi Q7 vehicles are affected, and an additional 51,500 Porsche 2015-2017 Macan S and Macan Turbo vehicles, and 2017 Macan, Macan Turbo with the Performance Package, and Macan GTS vehicles are affected by the faulty filter flange. Flanges are used to secure and/or strengthen pieces of the fuel pump among ... Read More

Fiat-Chrysler Recalling 1.25 Million Ram Pickups For Software Flaw

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Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles said Friday it will recall more than 1.25 million Ram pickup trucks to correct a software error that could cause the vehicle’s airbags and seatbelts to malfunction in a rollover crash. The software glitch could disable the side airbags and seatbelt tension devices that protect motorists in a rollover caused by a significant underbody impact, such as running over debris on the road or driving off-road. The company says the chances of such a malfunction occurring are small because a sequence of events was needed to cause such an accident, but the faulty code has been linked to ... Read More

All Top Three Automakers Now Under U.S. Regulatory Observation

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Volkswagen’s $4.3 billion settlement of criminal and civil penalties resulting from its emissions fraud subjects the German automaker to three years of probation and daily regulatory scrutiny. Now, with the VW deal, the world’s top three automakers are under close federal oversight to ensure their compliance with auto rules and regulations. On April 21, federal judge Sean Cox in Michigan approved a $4.3 billion criminal and civil settlement reached between the U.S. government and Volkswagen six weeks prior. Part of that deal puts the automaker under the watchful eye of an independent, court-approved monitor. Toyota, the world’s leading auto manufacturer, ... Read More

Volkswagen Whistleblower Named In New Book About Emissions Cheat

VW consumer fraud

The whistleblower who tipped off U.S. regulators to Volkswagen’s emissions cheat was a company chief in the U.S., a new book about the scandal claims. In the book Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal, author and New York Times reporter Jack Ewing names Stuart Johnson, head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in the company’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, plant, as the whistleblower who exposed the diesel emissions cheat to U.S. authorities. Automotive News, which obtained a copy of the book ahead of its May release, says Alberto Ayala, deputy executive director of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), is quoted ... Read More

Commercial trucking Group to U.S. Lawmakers: No To Heavier Weight Limits

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A commercial trucking association has sent a letter to U.S. legislators urging them to retain the current 80,000-pound weight limit for trucks and abandon any bills that would allow carriers to increase the national truck weight limit to 91,000 pounds. The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) says it is open to discussing ways to improve efficiency and productivity within the commercial trucking industry, but warns that a weight limit increase would put many smaller carriers out of business. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) introduced a bill in 2015 to raise the national weight limit by 11,000 pounds and a sixth axle to ... Read More

Texas Woman Sues Fiat Chrysler Over Jeep Rollaway Injuries

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A San Antonio, Texas, woman has filed a personal injury complaint against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over injuries she allegedly sustained when her 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled over her foot. Sonya Dawson, 49, filed her lawsuit in federal court in San Antonio. Like many similar suits filed against Fiat Chrysler, Ms. Dawson alleges the gear shifter the automaker installed in some of its vehicles is defectively designed and prone to cause rollaway accidents. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Dawson pulled into her driveway and put her Grand Cherokee diesel in park. She then got out of the vehicle with the ... Read More

Nissan Muranos under recall for possible power steering defect

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Model year 2013-2014 Nissan Muranos may contain a power steering defect, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Due to a manufacturing error, an incorrect clamp may allow the power steering hose to separate and increase steering difficulty or potentially cause a fire if steering fluid leaks onto a heat source. The NHTSA estimates the recall affects about 57,000 Muranos produced between July 18, 2013, and Aug. 28, 2014. Nissan first became aware of a potential defect after hearing of an overseas incident last year involving power steering hose separation. After identifying several additional incidents in overseas markets ... Read More

Trailer Manufacturer Wins Award for Rear Underride Safety Guards

tractor trailer underride - photo by Rick McClure, LAFD.org

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded Chicago-based trailer designer and manufacturer Great Dane with its Toughguard award, which recognizes rear underride guards that serve to prevent deadly underride crashes in which a car or other passenger vehicle rear-ends a trailer and runs under it, often shearing the roof off the vehicle and killing its occupants. The dangers of underride crashes became national news when actress Jayne Mansfield collided with the back of a tractor-trailer on a Slidell, Louisiana, highway in 1967. The horrific nature of the crash, which decapitated Ms. Mansfield, triggered the very first calls for ... Read More

Mazda, Mitsubishi Join Nissan In Seeking Compensation from Takata Over Airbag Recalls

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Mazda and Mitsubishi have asked a federal judge to order airbag maker Takata to reimburse them for costs they incur from lawsuits over the faulty Takata-made airbag inflators, which have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Miami. Pointing to indemnification clauses in their contracts with Takata, the Japanese automakers claim the auto supplier is required to reimburse them for any financial losses they will suffer as a result of the defective airbags. “As a direct consequence of Takata’s design, development, production and sale to Mitsubishi of the alleged defective inflators at issue in this action, [Mitsubishi] has already ... Read More