National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Toyota recently announced a recall that affects more than 261,000 vehicles sold in North America and abroad to address a brake problem that could result in increased risk of accidents for the affected vehicles. The recall involves 261,114 Lexus RX crossover vehicles, Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks and RAV4 sport utility vehicles. Toyota reports that the brake problems are caused by an electrical component within the brake actuator that adjusts the fluid pressure for each of the brakes on the affected vehicles. Toyota says that in some cases, improper fluid pressure causes increased resistance to the brake pedal.
Chrysler recently announced a massive recall involving 469,000 Jeep vehicles worldwide for transmission problems. The recall affects around 295,000 Jeeps sold in the U.S. for problems involving transmissions that can shift from park into neutral. The recall was announced on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website, which reported that Chrysler is moving swiftly on fixing the issue. The recall affects Jeep Commanders for the 2006 to 2010 model years and Grand Cherokees from the 2005 to 2010 model years.
Chrysler has announced the recall of nearly 87,000 Jeep Wranglers throughout North America and some other parts of the world due to a design defect that may result in fire. The recall only affects 2010 Wranglers equipped with automatic transmissions that were manufactured before July 14, 2010. According to Chrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a design flaw can allow debris to collect between the protective plate covering the transmission and the catalytic converter. If enough debris collects between the plate and converter, the heat emanating from the converter can cause a fire.
Even though Americans are driving more than ever, recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates indicate that fewer people died in auto accidents in 2010 than any year since 1949. A total of 32,788 people died in car crashes last year. This number is down three percent from 2009, and it’s the lowest number in decades. Barbara Harsha, Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, cited several contributing factors that led to the near-record low. She said advances in vehicle design, safety and passenger restraint and air bags as well as other factors such as rumble strips on highways and better pavement marking all combined to make driving safer.
Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham is following developments in a bill that would cause our state’s youngest and least experienced drivers to wait until they turn 17 to receive a driver’s license. State Representative Irving Slosbert of Boca Raton (D) is sponsoring a bill currently working through committees that would raise the legal driving age to 17 in the hope that another year of experience and maturity will make Florida streets and highways safer. However, at least one Florida driving instructor is skeptical of the proposed law. Tony DiStefano has 15 years of experience teaching young drivers at Safer Dixie Driving School in Largo. He says that education, not age, should be the focus to make streets and highways safer.
The futuristic cars in movies that are able to drive themselves, detect other vehicles around them, maintain regular intervals for safety and prevent crashes got closer to reality recently. Ford Motor Company announced that it has developed a fleet of prototype cars with technology that allows vehicles to “talk” to each other. Mike Shulman, one of Ford’s lead designers on the project, briefly explained how the system works by saying, “Basically your car would send out, ten times a second, a little wireless message that says here’s my position, here’s my speed, here’s my brake status…”
Toyota Recall Accident Lawyer News: Toyota President Blames Communication, Not Defective Vehicles, for Crisis
In a surprise statement to market analysts April 7, the chairperson of the Toyota Company, Mr. Akio Toyoda, indicated he feels “communications,” not defective vehicles, were to blame for the current situation in which Toyota finds itself. Toyota is experiencing a recall of over 8 million vehicles, many reports of sudden or unintended acceleration by Toyota drivers and intense scrutiny from government officials including congressional panels and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
How about a black box for your car?
U.S. government officials are now looking at proposing mandatory electronic monitoring systems for cars that are similar to the “black box” tools used in aircraft in order to know more about what happens in a car accident. The devices would record information like braking and other events from 5 to 30 seconds before a crash.
By now, almost everyone has heard about the huge Toyota recall involving more than six million vehicles that centers on the safety issue of sudden or unintended acceleration, but not everyone knows the entire story. A recent New York Times report shows that acceleration problems are more widespread and more common in the industry than some auto experts make them out to be.
Many Toyota owners are already concerned about what is behind the huge recall of several million Toyota vehicles this year, and new reports just add fuel to the fire. A recent Washington Post article points out what is becoming increasingly clear about the relationship between companies like Toyota and government offices tasked with handling automotive safety issues.