Auto Industry

Federal Regulators Weigh in On Truck Safety, Outdated Insurance Regulations

Brian Nettles, Esq. nettleslawfirm.com The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) is considering raising the federal minimum insurance requirements for trucks and buses. Nationally, truck and bus safety is a big deal for our roads. In a sense, they carry the country: food and other goods, and people–the most precious cargo of all. With this benefit comes serious risk–risk that is too often exacerbated by the motive to make profit. Driving is a dangerous activity made even more treacherous by drowsy driving. Too many companies encourage their drivers to push themselves to make deliveries, and then turn a blind eye …

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Honda Admits to Under-Reporting Accidents for the Last Decade

Chris Welsh, Esq. welsh-law.com Last week, Honda Motor Co. admitted that it failed to notify U.S. safety regulators of 1,729 injuries and deaths related to its vehicles since 2003. The automaker admitted its shortcomings in response toa second order from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) seeking an explanation for why Honda failed to fulfill its legal obligation to report incidents. Honda admitted its count under-reported claims came from a third party audit and cited “various errors related to data entry” on its own part. Most significantly, the automaker admitted that it employed an “overly narrow interpretation of its …

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Tech Companies Developing Driver Fatigue Monitors

Chris Welsh, Esq. welsh-law.com A silverlining may be appearing for the epidemic of distracted driving. A movement to monitor drivers’ fatigue on the roadways has begun. Specifically, the “Safety Trax|DDM” by Safety Vision, LLC. is a “driver distraction and fatigue monitoring system” for vehicles. Based on mobile and fleet automation systems, the infrared illuminated camera can be placed on the dashboard to film day or night with “intelligent video algorithms.” It works by tracking the driver’s eye lids and pupil dilation, and even warns the driver in with real-time sound alerts when symptoms of fatigue or distraction occur. It can even …

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South Carolina: Takata airbag settlements keep details from other victims

Some disturbing news on the Takata airbag news: Confidential settlements over defective Takata Corp. air bags are sealing off relevant information that other victims could use to pursue injury claims. While the accords make financial sense for the settling parties, defendants — which include Takata,Honda Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV — also gain an advantage by keeping damaging information out the hands of outsiders interested in bringing lawsuits. The quick, secret deals, a cornerstone of product liability litigation across industries, help explain why years after the first recalls so much remains unknown about defects linked to four U.S. deaths. The few …

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Hitachi pleads guilty to price fixing in Ohio

Hitachi Metals Ltd., a car parts manufacturer based in Tokyo, Japan, and successor in interest to Hitachi Cable Ltd. agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $1.25 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for automotive brake hose installed in cars sold in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today. According to the  felony charge filed  in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Toledo) Hitachi conspired to fix the prices of automotive brake hose sold to Toyota Motor Corporation and  subsidiaries, affiliates and …

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