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Motor Vehicles 286 articles

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

Cheap Auto Repairs Forced By Insurers Endanger Motorists

Auto insurance companies often direct body shops to repair damaged vehicles with cheap fixes instead of following the auto manufacturer’s repair guidelines – a practice that puts unsuspecting motorists at risk of injury and death. A recent case that went to trial in Texas demonstrates how dealerships and auto insurance companies could be left on the hook for millions of dollars in damages for cutting corners and repairing vehicles with cheap, unsafe fixes. According to Automotive News, a Texas dealership and State Farm found themselves faced with paying the bulk of $42 million in damages – the price a Dallas ... Read More

Honda Confirms 20th Takata Airbag Death

Honda has confirmed that a Takata airbag in a 2004 Honda Civic exploded and killed a person in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, making it the 20th death worldwide linked to defective Takata airbag inflators. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials examined the Honda Civic on Tuesday, Dec. 19 and confirmed that the drivers-side Takata airbag blew apart and caused the person’s death. Neither Honda nor NHTSA released much specific information about the latest deadly Takata airbag explosion. The details they did provide are that the crash occurred on July 10, 2017 and that the airbag at fault had been salvaged ... Read More

Rear Underride Crash Kills Virginia Man

A 30-year-old Virginia man was killed in a rear underride crash with a tractor-trailer while on his way home to join his family for Thanksgiving. Now his family is calling on lawmakers for action to toughen the standards for rear underride guards that are supposed to mitigate these horrific crashes. Virginia State Troopers told Elba Padilla that her son Christopher Padilla probably fell asleep at the wheel when his Honda Civic plowed into the back of a tractor-trailer on 1-495 in Fairfax County, just minutes from home. Mr. Padilla was returning home from a holiday get-together with friends when the ... Read More

Soy-based Wiring Turns Subarus Into Rodent Attraction, Lawsuit Contends

A Maui woman is suing the Hawaii distributor for Subaru vehicles claiming that the car manufacturer’s use of soy-based wiring attracts mice, rats and other rodents, leaving owners with damaged, unsafe vehicles and costly repairs. The lawsuit, filed by Joy Diane Shuey in Hawaii’s Second Circuit Court in Maui, seeks class-action status to cover other owners of Subaru vehicles sold or distributed by Servco Subaru Hawaii between Nov. 22, 2013, and the present. Ms. Shuey alleges that Subaru uses wiring coated with a soy-based insulation not just because it is biodegradable and better for the environment, but because it is ... Read More

Vehicles With Soy-Based Wiring May Attract Hungry Rodents

As the weather turns cooler, some car owners are finding that their Honda and Toyota vehicles have become a bed and breakfast for mice and other rodents, thanks to the use of soy-based wiring. Rodent damage in the electrical systems of Honda and Toyota vehicles containing soy-based wiring – wires with an environmentally friendly soy-based outer coating, that is – is not a new problem, but it is a persistent one. Some owners of vehicles with the specially coated wiring say it attracts rodents to nest in their vehicles and feed on the soy wiring. Lisa Barrett told Raleigh-Durham’s WRAL ... Read More

Self-driving Shuttle Grazed by Tractor-Trailer in Las Vegas

A self-driving shuttle was involved in a minor traffic collision with a tractor-trailer less than an hour after its launch on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. None of the passengers aboard the 12-seater driverless Navya Arma shuttle were injured in the incident, which was caused by a tractor-trailer that backed into and lightly grazed the shuttle. Note: Fox News and others incorrectly report the shuttle manufacturer as Navaya. Critics of self-driving cars noted that the self-driving shuttle failed to avoid the collision, citing one passenger who told KSNV News3LV Las Vegas that the shuttle “just stayed there” as the tractor-trailer ... Read More

Takata Airbag Class Settlements Get Final Approval

A $741-million settlement resolving consumer class actions against BMW, Mazda, Subaru, and Toyota for dangerously defective Takata airbag the automakers used in their vehicles has been granted final approval. U.S. District Court Judge Federico A. Moreno in Florida approved the settlements on Nov. 1. The four automakers are the first to exit sweeping multidistrict litigation (MDL) over consumer economic-loss claims stemming from Takata airbags, which prompted the largest auto safety recall in U.S. history. The settlements were initially announced in May, with Toyota agreeing to pay $278.5 million. BMW of North America agreed to pay $131 million to resolve the ... Read More

Officials investigate loose steering wheels on Ford Fusions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation after receiving reports that Ford Fusion steering wheels have come loose or fallen off the midsized sedan. In one case, a Georgia resident said that the steering wheel of their 2015 Fusion fell into their lap in September while turning into a gas station. (Individuals who file complaints with the NHTSA’s public database are not identified.) NHTSA opened the probe after receiving three complaints about the steering wheels on Ford Fusion vehicles. Two other people said that the bolt attaching the wheel to the steering column came loose while ... Read More