VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

auto product liability Archives

Sophisticated auto technology linked to surge in recalls

Florida residents may be surprised to learn that some of the vehicles currently offered for sale in American showrooms contain far more computer code than the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. While sophisticated collision prevention systems and autonomous vehicle technology have been hailed by companies like Google and Tesla as the way forward towards an accident free self-driving future, research conducted by the financial services and advisory firm Stout Risius Ross has found that such systems are also largely responsible for a recent surge in vehicle recalls.

Some auto manufacturers are still using recalled airbags

Florida motor vehicle owners may have heard about the reports of defects in airbags manufactured by Takata. Despite being linked to multiple injuries and deaths, these airbags reportedly are still being installed in new vehicles. All automobiles containing this brand of airbag must be recalled by 2018.

Takata air bag inflator recall may widen

On April 13, the U.S. government announced that if Takata cannot prove that the 85 million air bag inflators it manufactured that remain in vehicles are safe, they will all need to be recalled. More than 28 million have already been recalled. Some areas, including Florida, are targeted in particular for recall because high humidity is one of the causes of the deterioration of the ammonium nitrate used in the air bags.

Takata may have manipulated data

An investigation shows that the Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata may have manipulated data to hide flaws in its products. Airbag ruptures in cars outfitted with these products have been linked to 10 deaths and over 100 injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had previously recalled approximately 29 million airbag inflators, many of which were in vehicles driven by Florida residents.

Is the auto recall system in the U.S. in need of an overhaul?

Thanks to the hectic pace of everyday life -- work, school, errands, etc. -- the last thing most people want to do is sort through a stack of mail that likely contains all sorts of unwelcome correspondence from bills to advertisements.

Auto safety key focus of recently passed federal transportation bill

Given the altogether divisive climate on Capitol Hill, it's almost of unheard of for lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to reach an agreement on anything, let alone a billion dollar, multi-year infrastructure bill. Yet this is precisely what happened earlier this month, when the House of Representatives voted 359 to 65 and the Senate voted 83 to 16 to pass a 5-year, $305 billion transportation bill.

A closer look at the NHTSA's recall process - II

In recognition of the fact that many people are lacking an understanding of where the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration derives its power to identify auto defects and institute recalls, our blog recently began providing some background information on the agency's regulatory authority in this important area.

A closer look at the NHTSA's recall process

While most people understand that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plays a role in identifying auto defects and instituting recalls to help ensure these auto defects are adequately addressed, they may not have a real understanding of where the agency's recall power is derived from or even how the recall process actually works.    

NHTSA's continues to 'get-tough' on auto defects

In the aftermath of a scathing report by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation condemning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for systemic failures relating to auto defect investigations, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx vowed that things would be different going forward.

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