Motor Vehicles 294 articles

Ford Recalls 1.4 Million Cars For Potential Steering Wheel Detachment

Ford Motor Co. announced a major safety recall involving about 1.4 million cars in North America over concerns that the steering wheel could come off the steering column, causing drivers to lose control. The Ford recall affects certain model-year 2014 through 2018 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars. Most of the recalled cars – about 1.3 million – are in the U.S. Another 62,000 vehicles in Canada and 14,000 in Mexico are included in the recall. Ford announced the recall after company officials found that the cars have “potentially loose steering wheel bolts that could result in a steering wheel ... Read More

Hyundai Sonatas Recalled For Potential Airbag, Seatbelt Failure

Hyundai will recall about 155,000 midsize Sonata sedans in the U.S. over concerns that airbags in the vehicles may not deploy and seat belts may not function properly in a crash. The Hyundai recall covers 154,753 model-year Sonata cars manufactured between Dec. 11, 2009, and Sept. 29, 2010, at the South Korean automaker’s plant in Montgomery, Alabama. The airbag problem stems from a short circuit in the airbag control unit, an electronic component that assists with airbag deployment. A short circuit in the control unit could leave motorists without front and side airbag protection in a crash, the National Highway ... Read More

Self-Driving Truck Completes First Cross-Country Journey

A self-driving tractor-trailer equipped with technologies developed by Embark has completed a 2,400-mile test drive from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. Embark, a San Francisco start-up founded by 22-year-old robotics enthusiast Alex Rodrigues, did not manufacture the truck but developed a self-driving system that can be integrated into Peterbilt trucks and potentially other vehicles. Embark’s self-driving vehicle technology employs a range of sensors comprised of five cameras, three long-range radars, and two or more light detection and ranging sensors (lidars) that feed information to a dynamic CPU that controls the vehicle. Whereas other self-driving vehicle companies such as Alphabet’s Waymo ... Read More

Air Force Officer Injured by Takata Airbag Raises Recall Awareness

A U.S. Air Force officer who still suffers from severe facial injuries sustained when the Takata airbag inside her 2002 Honda Civic exploded in September 2013 urges Honda drivers to get the defective airbags replaced without delay. Stephanie Erdman, now 32, was driving her Honda Civic in Pensacola when another driver pulled out in front of her, triggering the airbags. While the passenger-side airbag deployed properly, the driver-side airbag in front of her exploded, blasting pieces of sharp metal into her face like a pipe bomb. “I feel like there needs to be a real sense of urgency on the ... Read More

Honda Confirms Takata Airbag Kills Sixth Person in Malaysia

A defective Takata airbag has been blamed for the death of another driver in Malaysia, Honda Malaysia said in a statement Jan. 30. The latest fatality brings the Takata airbag death toll in the Southeast Asian nation to six and the global toll to 22. Honda said the driver-side Takata airbag inflator ruptured inside a 2004 Honda City vehicle. The passenger-side airbag also deployed in the collision and functioned properly. The crash occurred on New Year’s Day in the central part of Sengalor state, the Japanese automaker said. All of the Takata deaths in Malaysia have occurred in 2003-2009 Honda ... Read More

Mazda Expands Takata Airbag Recall For B-Series Pickups

Mazda is re-recalling certain B-series pickup trucks to fix Takata airbags after identical Takata airbags in Ford Rangers killed two U.S. men in separate incidents. The Hiroshima-based Japanese automaker says the latest recall affects about 160 B-Series pickup trucks. All of the vehicles were previously recalled to repair the driver-side Takata airbags; now the company says it’s urgent to replace the passenger-side front airbags in certain vehicles as well. Takata airbag inflators are made with a highly volatile ammonium nitrate propellant that can cause the devices to deploy with deadly force in a collision. The airbag inflator is especially prone ... Read More

VW Tiguan Probed by Feds After Seat Belt Failures

Federal regulators opened an investigation into Volkswagen’s (VW) newest Tiguan sport utility vehicles after the front seatbelts failed twice in two front-impact tests conducted by government researchers. A memo posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website says the seat belt failures occurred in two tests of VW’s 2018 Tiguan models conducted in December. According to Bloomberg, the driver’s seat belt webbing “completely separated” where it loops through the tongue latch that clicks into the buckle. The seat belt assemblies broke in two separate frontal impact tests in which the Tiguan collided with a rigid barrier while traveling ... Read More

VW Emissions Settlements Don’t Affect County Claims, Plaintiffs Argue

Settlements resolving claims over Volkswagen’s (VW) emissions cheat and the federal Clean Air Act do not bar air pollution complaints lodged by Hillsborough County, Florida, and Salt Lake County, Utah, lawyers for the counties told a California federal court. Volkswagen is pressing the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to toss the counties’ claims that they are entitled to compensation for pollution caused by VW’s emissions cheat under state laws. Those complaints are currently included in multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in the California court. In 2014, West Virginia University researchers and other members of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) discovered ... Read More

Takata Airbag Recall Expanded By 3.3 Million U.S. Vehicles

Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata is adding 3.3 million airbag inflators to its already mammoth recall over concerns the devices are prone to explode and blast metal fragments at vehicle occupants. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not specify what vehicles are affected by the latest Takata airbag recall, owners can see if their vehicle is subject to the recall by entering the 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) into the NHTSA’s recall portal. According to Consumer Reports, this latest Takata airbag recall actually encompasses three separate recalls affecting vehicles made in a specific model year by particular automakers and ... Read More

Automatic Emergency Braking Becoming Standard In More Vehicles

Federal safety regulations do not require car manufacturers to install automatic emergency braking systems in their vehicles, but government officials say this form of crash-avoidance technology is becoming increasingly standard among some automakers. Four of the 20 automakers that have pledged to make automatic emergency braking standard in their vehicle by September 2022 say that the technology became standard already in more than half of their 2017 model-year vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The automakers that are producing the majority of their vehicles with automatic emergency braking standard are mostly luxury brands: Tesla (100 percent), ... Read More