Archive for the ‘NHTSA Investigations’ Category

Goodyear Tire Defect Linked to as Many as 95 Motorhome Deaths and Injuries

NHTSA launches probe after judge releases sealed documents.

by on Apr.06, 2018

A motorhome crash that may have been linked to the Goodyear G159 tires.

Defective Goodyear motorhome tires may have led to as many as 95 deaths and injuries, according to a new probe launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The potential problem, which played out over the past two decades, came to light after a Phoenix judge unsealed previously closed settlement agreements. The tires, which were sold between 1996 and 2003, were initially designed for use on delivery trucks, not for vehicles operating at freeway speeds, according to the data.

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“That information — primarily concerning the tire’s design, its testing, the decision to market it for use on motor homes, and the adjustment data generated by consumer experience with it — should be made public because it relates to and reveals a substantial potential risk to public health or safety,” Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah ruled in releasing the information that had been sealed as part of settlements between Goodyear and victims.

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Governor Suspends Uber Autonomous Testing in Arizona

Move follows fatal crash and questions about service’s self-driving technology.

by on Mar.27, 2018

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered the suspension of Uber's autonomous testing program.

In the wake of a fatal crash earlier this month, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has suspended the permit allowing ride-sharing service Uber to test self-driving vehicles on the state’s public roads.

The move comes as state and public regulators try to find out why a Volvo SUV modified by Uber to drive with only a backup “operator” slammed into a 49-year-old pedestrian crossing a four-lane road on the evening of March 18 without even slowing or trying to swerve out of the way. The incident has raised broader concerns about autonomous technology – but also questions Arizona’s relatively laissez faire approach to testing such vehicles on public roads.

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“In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roadways,” Ducey announced. (more…)

Uber Fatality Investigation Produces More Questions Than Answers

NTSB, NHTSA assisting in accident query.

by on Mar.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

The video chronicling the fatal accident between an Uber vehicle in autonomous test mode and a woman crossing a street with her bike has opened up a Pandora’s Box of questions for the ride-sharing giant and other companies looking to develop self-driving vehicles.

The first is, of course, how did the system not recognize her and take action to avoid the problem? The vehicle’s system had plenty of time to take action, but did nothing, eventually running over Elaine Herzberg, as she walked her bike across four lanes of traffic at night in Tempe, Arizona.

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“The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones,” Uber said in a statement. “Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can.” (more…)

NHTSA Opens Probe into Hyundai, Kia Airbag Issue

Airbag problem could extend beyond named makers.

by on Mar.19, 2018

The Kia Forte's airbag is subject to an investigation by NHTSA for the 2012–13 model years.

Less than a month after Hyundai declared there is a problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating airbag problems affecting 425,000 Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

The agency is also looking to see if the problem – airbags not inflating during a collision – is affecting other automakers.

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Over the weekend, NHTSA said it was opening a query into 2011 Hyundai Sonata and 2012–13 Kia Forte vehicles. The move comes after the agency said it received reports that because of the problem in sixn instances, there have been four deaths and six injuries. (more…)

2 Fed Safety Teams Head to California Tesla Crash Probe

Was drive using Autopilot when Model S crashed into fire truck?

by on Jan.25, 2018

An LA TV station caught the aftermath of a crash involving a Tesla Model S and a firetruck.

Two separate teams of federal safety investigators have been dispatched to California to examine what happened when a Tesla Model S crashed into a firetruck on a suburban Los Angeles freeway on Monday, the agencies aiming to find out if the incident happened while the battery sedan was operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

This marks the second time both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have examined a Tesla crash to see if the maker’s self-driving technology may have malfunctioned.

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In the first case, 40-year-old Joshua Brown was killed in a Florida crash in May 2009 when his Model S failed to stop when a semi-truck turned in front of it. The former Navy SEAL was ruled at least partially at fault for failing to take evasive action, but the NTSB also determined that flaws in the design of the Tesla Autopilot system contributed to the crash.

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NHTSA Calls Up Next Round Vehicles with Takata Airbags

New set includes 3.3 million airbags.

by on Jan.18, 2018

Now 21 people are known to have died due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.

The next round of vehicles needing to have faulty Takata airbags repaired have been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is now overseeing the repair process.

The current set includes models from 14 different automakers that are being recalled. The automakers in this round include: Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Daimler Vans, Toyota, Tesla, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Subaru, Jaguar-Land Rover, McLaren and Volkswagen.

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Toyota, Ford and Honda released some of their models last week. (more…)

Ford, Mazda Recall 380K Trucks for Takata Airbag Problem

Fix is actually part two of a two-stage repair.

by on Dec.21, 2017

The 2004-06 Ford Ranger is being recalled for a second time to repair faulty Takata airbags.

In wake of the news of a 20th fatality attributed to Takata’s faulty airbags, Ford and Mazda announced they are recalling more than 380,000 older small pickup trucks for a second time to replace Takata airbag inflators.

The recalls cover driver- and passenger-side inflators in certain 2004 to 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks made by Ford. The vehicles were recalled in 2015 and 2016 to replace the inflators with newer versions, but the fix was only temporary.

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Now the new inflators no longer use ammonium nitrate, which becomes unstable over time under certain conditions, and are replacing the temporary models which still used the compound. (more…)

Faulty Takata Airbag Claims 20th Victim

Louisiana death highlights new problem: salvaged airbags.

by on Dec.21, 2017

Now 20 people are known to have died due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.

The number of deaths worldwide associated with Takata’s faulty airbags has risen to 20 after a fatality was reported in an accident in Louisiana in July.

Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed that a Takata airbag inflator explosion was to blame for a fatality in a July 10 crash in Baton Rouge, the company said. Additionally, the incident has brought to light a new problem: salvaged airbags.

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Unsurprisingly, the 2004 Honda Civic never received the required recall repair, but the ruptured Takata inflator discovered by investigators wasn’t the original inflator in the bag: it was one from different vehicle. (more…)