February 15, 2013 |
What if the black box in your new car becomes a tool to invade your privacy? What if, on the other hand, it winds up saving your life after an accident? Those are some of the questions being raised this week over black box data event recorders in cars. Privacy advocates worried on Thursday that the data could be misused. Safety advocates argued on Friday that a watered-down version of the recorders would slow safety innovations. In the former camp is the Electronic Frontier Foundation and this scenario: The friend you loaned your BMW to decides to create his own ultimate driving experience, and your insurance rises because of his 120 mph freeway jaunt.
November 9, 2012 |
Chrysler Group is recalling about 750,000 Jeep sport utility vehicles in the U.S. because the air bags can inflate without warning. The recall includes model year 2002 and 2003 Jeep Liberty vehicles and 2002 through 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees. The recall includes an additional 170,000 of the vehicles globally. Chrysler said a component in the air bag control module can fail and cause the front air bags, side curtain air bags and seatbelt pretensioners to deploy while the vehicle is being operated.
October 10, 2012 |
Federal safety regulators are warning that counterfeit air bags are being installed by auto repair shops that might not deploy in an accident or alternately, could explode, sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle's passenger cabin. “We want consumers to be immediately aware of this problem and to review our safety information to see if their vehicle could be in need of inspection,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The fake air bags look nearly identical to certified, original-equipment parts, right down to bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
August 28, 2012 |
Coda Automotive Inc. started selling its $37,250 electric car in March, but it has been silent about its sales. The Los Angeles start-up appears to have delivered 78 vehicles at most, according to a recall notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Coda must fix side curtain air bags that were not installed properly and might not deploy in an accident. Electric car sales overall are far from brisk, but other companies seem to be doing better. Tesla Motors Inc., a start-up in Palo Alto, has delivered about the same number of its $100,000 electric Model S luxury cars in a shorter period of time.
HOME & GARDEN
May 12, 2012 |
"The Avengers," as you may have heard, is the biggest thing to happen to America since World War II but, you know, louder and more troubling. At the end of the matinee I witnessed, audience members actually cheered, believing what they'd just seen was some sort of documentary. Manhattan had been saved, which is almost always a cause for celebration, though I met this one New Yorker the other day at the rent-a-car place: swaggery young Italian guy, you know the type. The New Yorker said he didn't like L.A. because "ders nuttin' to do hair," which translates roughly into "there is nothing to do here.
April 1, 2012 |
The gig: Rosemary Shahan is the founder and president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS). The Sacramento organization has been the driver of some of the most important advances in auto-related safety and financial protection regulation on the books today. Shahan, 62, championed the nation's first lemon law in California, which has since been copied in every state. She was a major force behind the federal air bag mandate and laws protecting military service members from abusive car loans.