January 17, 2013 |
Automakers issued 586 safety recalls for more than 16.2 million vehicles last year, slightly higher than the previous year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday. Most recalls start with consumer complaints, the NHTSA said in a release. Last year, the agency received 41,912 complaints concerning potential safety defects, compared with 49,417 in 2011 and 65,765 in 2010. "The role of the consumer in influencing auto recalls cannot be underestimated," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in the release.
December 18, 2012 |
Having already paid record fines for not promptly recalling cars, Toyota Motor Corp. will pay the government another $17.35 million to federal safety regulators. The latest fine, announced Tuesday, is for not promptly recalling Lexus RX 350s and RX 450h sport-utility vehicles because a floor mat on the driver's side could jam the gas pedal, causing the car to accelerate when the driver didn't intend to. “It's critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers report safety defects in a timely manner,” said David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
December 15, 2012 |
The nation's top auto safety regulator has escalated and expanded an investigation into complaints of floor mats trapping accelerators in Ford Motor Co. vehicles. The probe has not led to any recalls, but it appears to echo recent investigations into unintended acceleration in Toyota cars, which ultimately led to massive global recalls after drivers complained of cars speeding out of control, causing injuries and deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week upgraded the Ford defect investigation, originally launched in May 2010, to an engineering analysis, its most serious level of inquiry.
January 18, 2012 |
The nation's top auto safety regulator is ill-equipped to detect problems with high-tech electronics that are increasingly commonplace in today's cars, a new government study has concluded. Calling such shortcomings "troubling," the report called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to review its technical capabilities and appoint an advisory panel to help it evaluate potentially serious risks associated with systems such as adaptive cruise control. Despite those findings, the National Research Council found in a 162-page report that NHTSA's decision to close its investigation of sudden acceleration in Toyota Motor Corp.
May 24, 2011 |
Toyota Motor Corp. responded slowly and ineffectually to a growing sudden-acceleration crisis because it was hampered by a top-down management style that gave short shrift to customer complaints, a special panel has concluded. In a 60-page report, Toyota's seven-member North American Quality Advisory Panel said the company had come to regard federal safety regulators as adversaries, an attitude that may have exacerbated its response to complaints of sudden acceleration and ultimately led to recalls of more than 10 million vehicles worldwide, as well as nearly $50 million in fines against the automaker.
April 2, 2011 |
The number of traffic fatalities fell for the fifth year in a row in 2010, dropping 3% to its lowest level since 1949, according to estimates released by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Fatalities fell from 33,808 in 2009 to 32,788 last year, despite the fact that Americans drove nearly 21 billion miles more in 2010 than in the year before. That works out to about 1.09 deaths for every 100 million miles traveled, a major drop from 1972, when traffic deaths peaked at 54,589 and there were 4.33 deaths for the same number of miles traveled.