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Motor Vehicles 255 articles

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

Nissan Seeks Repayment for Defective Airbag Costs from Takata

Nissan pathfinder - Nissan North America image

Nissan Motor Co. wants Takata Corporation to cover the amount the car manufacturer is ordered to pay in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) over the auto supplier’s defective airbags, which can explode with lethal force. The Japanese automaker asked a Southern District of Florida federal judge to order the troubled airbag manufacturer to reimburse it for any damages stemming from the airbag crisis that it is ordered to pay. “The cross-claim says that Nissan bought Takata’s air bag inflators under a contract that requires Takata to indemnify Nissan from any liability and expenses incurred due to product defects and that Nissan wouldn’t ... Read More

Record 53.2 Million Auto Safety Recalls in U.S. Last Year

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Automakers recalled a record 53.2 million vehicles in the U.S. last year after Takata Corporation expanded its recalls of airbags at risk of exploding with deadly force. The Japanese auto supplier’s massive airbag recall has affected just about every automaker producing vehicles for the U.S. market and millions of consumers. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), aggressive enforcement under the Obama Administration prompted automakers to issue a record 927 safety recall campaigns – a 7-percent rise over 2015, which was also a record-setting recall year with 51.1 million vehicles recalled.. In fact, 2016 was the third year in ... Read More

2016 marks deadliest year of car crashes in almost a decade

seat belt crash site

The nightly news, a radio update or a social media post is as far as one needs to go to find car crash reports, and if it seems like more and more of those are deadly, they are. Preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates as many as 40,000 people died in car crashes last year, a six-percent increase over 2015 and a 14 percent increase over 2014, according to EHS Today. The news source reports the 2014 through 2016 stats are the most dramatic increase in 53 years, and 2016 was the deadliest year on the nation’s ... Read More

Takata To Pay $1 Billion in Fines, Restitution For Airbag Scandal

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Japanese auto supplier Takata will plead guilty to one criminal charge in Detroit Monday and pay a $1 billion in penalties and restitution to resolve allegations that it covered up a deadly airbag defect. The settlement requires that Takata allocate $125 million to a victims’ compensation fund, $850 million to automakers whose vehicles have been affected by the airbag defect, and a $25 million criminal fine. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted three Takata executives for their roles in the alleged cover-up. Federal prosecutors claim that the executives falsified test reports to conceal a flaw that can cause the ... Read More

Volkswagen’s $1.22 Billion Repair and Buyback Plan Gets Preliminary Approval

VW consumer fraud

A federal judge granted preliminary approval Feb. 14 to a $1.22 billion plan for German automaker Volkswagen to repair or buy back about 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the U.S. that are equipped with an emissions cheat that allows them to spew illegal levels of pollution. The deal follows an earlier agreement requiring Volkswagen to spend as much as $10.3 billion to fix or buy back nearly half a million 2.0-liter diesel vehicles equipped with the same emissions-cheating software that allows them to emit as much as 40 times the allowable limits of toxic air pollutants. U.S. Judge Charles Breyer ... Read More

Off-road vehicle accident involving Britney Spears’ niece highlights ATV safety concerns

ATV in action, Polaris - Wikimedia Commons

An off-road vehicle accident involving Britney Spears’ niece, Maddie Aldridge, 8, on Feb. 5 has heightened safety concerns over the age children can safely operate the vehicles, which are often used recreationally. Maddie was riding in a Polaris off-road vehicle at her home in Kentwood, Louisiana, when the vehicle flipped into a pond. Initial reports say Jamie Lynn Spears, stepfather Jamie Watson and other family couldn’t free her from the seat-belt and safety netting, leaving her submerged for several minutes. Emergency services eventually were able to free her and pull her out, according to USA Today. “Within seconds the child’s ... Read More

Rule Setting National Commercial Driver Training Requirements Escapes Trump’s Regulatory Axe

truck driver - Wikipedia

A recently published transportation regulation setting federal training requirements for entry-level truck drivers went into effect Feb. 7 after initially being delayed to satisfy an anti-regulation order issued by President Donald Trump. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the new rule, named Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Vehicle Operators, in December as a measure to improve road and highway safety and ultimately save lives. Under the rule, individuals seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) would be required to demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and real-life, behind-the-wheel training on a driving range and on a public road, with ... Read More

Testing on Autonomous Self-Driving Semi-Trucks Begins In Texas

truck

Testing of autonomous self-driving semi-trucks is underway in San Antonio, Texas, where researchers from Texas A&M Transportation Institute, The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Transportation Research, and 32 municipal and regional partners are developing technologies that will help reduce human error on U.S. roads and highways and improve safety for all motorists. The Texas Automated Vehicle Proving Ground Partnership, the working name under which the various research organizations are gathered, is one of 10 groups selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop standards that will guide the development of automated truck technologies. “I think 90 ... Read More

Plaintiffs Lawyers Argue Against Legal Immunity For Self-Driving Car Makers

self driving car, Google - Wikimedia Commons

Plaintiffs lawyers are pushing back against a number of regulatory proposals governing liability issues for autonomous self-driving cars and their manufacturers as these “robot cars” inch closer to becoming a reality on U.S. roads. One main point of contention is a proposal to grant automobile manufacturers blanket legal immunity in cases where their autonomous vehicles crash and cause personal injury. The proposal comes as industry groups, legislators, lawyers, and others hash out the legal and regulatory framework for self-driving cars, which is proving to be as complex as the technology behind the cars itself. “Alternative immunity schemes” being considered include ... Read More