Friday, October 31, 2014

Are you SAFE? Disabling AIR BAGS? You're kidding, right?

Betsy Benjaminson, the Whistle Blower that TOYOTA is bullying, wrote a great piece about this issue:

Senator Blumenthal: Secret settlements play important role in allowing lethal defects to "fester"

TOYOTA settled cases of SUDDEN UNINTENDED ACCELERATION with CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS to silence parties and patted itself on the back for avoiding the cost of RECALLS,  ignoring those who were killed or injured, families that were destroyed.

The fix for exploding airbags may be more deadly than the problem

October 31, 2014

airbag dummy


This is one fix for recalled vehicles that might be more deadly than the problem.

Eight million vehicles made by 10 different automakers have been recalled due to flawed airbags that can explode and hit passengers with shrapnel. The problem: The airbag manufacturer Takata doesn't have enough replacement airbags to fix all the recalled cars.

Not all the manufacturers involved have said how they'll handle the expected shortage. But Toyota has said that it plans to disable defective airbags once it runs out of replacements as it repairs the 800,000 cars it has recalled.
"It's something we're prepared to do, an indication of how seriously we take the problem," said Toyota (TM) spokeswoman Cindy Knight.

Related: Airbag recall could expand

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea, since only a small percentage of the defective airbags are likely to explode in a crash. More people could be killed due to disabled airbags than by the defective airbags, said the Center for Auto Safety's executive director Clarence Ditlow.

"You save more lives by leaving the airbags in place than you would lose lives by the airbag exploding," Ditlow said. Even if a driver is wearing a seatbelt, he said, airbags can provide life-saving protection in a crash.

Related: Honda, Takata sued over exploding airbags

Toyota (TM) says the recalled airbags are only on the passenger side of it's cars. If it disables an airbag, it will put a sticker on the dashboard advising people not to ride in the front passenger seat until its replaced. And it stressed that disabling the airbags is just a temporary solution until a replacement can be installed.

Toyota has gotten permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to disable the airbags, which otherwise would be illegal. Both Toyota and NHTSA are pushing to get owners to bring their cars in to be serviced, whether or not Toyota runs out of replacement airbags.

Bringing a recalled car in for service is always voluntary for owners. About a third of recalled cars are never repaired, according to industry estimates. But if Toyota goes ahead with its plans, drivers who bring their cars in will be told that disabling the airbags is the best solution for their problem.

Other automakers affected by the recall may also run into a shortage of replacements.

Related: Honda CEO takes pay cut over recalls

Five million vehicles made by Honda Motor (HMC) have been hit by the recall, but the automaker has declined to say whether it will disable the flawed airbags if or when it runs out of replacements.

The company is working to get enough of the replacement airbags, according to Honda spokesman Chris Martin, and that it has not yet asked NHTSA for permission to disable any air bags.

General Motors has recalled 80,000 autos for this airbag problem and the company says it won't disable them if it runs out of replacements.


Exploding airbags spark fears

"We're in pretty good shape on replacement parts at the moment," said GM spokesman Alan Adler. "But if and when we run out of parts, our plan is to give owners loaner vehicles. We would not disable the airbag."

There have been four deaths and dozens of serious injuries tied to the exploding airbags, according to the Center for Auto Safety, all in Honda and Accura cars built by Honda Motor (HMC).

NHTSA is pushing Takata to step up efforts to produce replacement bags. But Takata did not return repeated requests for comment as to when it will be able to supply enough replacement airbags to repair all 8 million cars.

Related: 566,000 Dodges and Jeeps recalled


You are receiving this message because you have requested to be notified if there is a safety recall regarding Vehicles from NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation.
Please click on the following NHTSA Campaign ID links to view the recall information.
NHTSA Campaign ID Number : 14V576
Manufacturer : Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing
Make / Model Years : LEXUS / 2015
TOYOTA / 2014
Subject : Fuel may Leak from Fuel Delivery Pipe

Thank you,

Recalls Subscription Team
Office of Defects Investigation (ODI)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

To file a vehicle safety-related complaint, please go online to our File a Complaint web page, or call us toll-free at 1-888-327-4236.

To find out more about NHTSA, please go to the website or call our Vehicle Safety Hotline toll-free at 1-888-327-4236.

RECALL Subject : Fuel may Leak from Fuel Delivery Pipe

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


A Whistle Blower stepped forward.....

...exposing this phony for what he is.....


Of all of the TOYOTA information, this is the MOST CHILLING!
TOYOTA NEVER intended to recall, repair or correct DEFECTIVE VEHICLES!

Behind the scenes, Toyota played hardball with critics. A public relations manager named Masami Doi had spelled out the approach in a December email. "There are at most around 10 people who are the sources of negative tone communications. If they can be suppressed, I think we will be able to manage it somehow. Like you said, let's go with an intention of destroying each individual person's ability to oppose us, one by one…."
– David Hechler,
Is Toyota Telling The Truth About Sudden Acceleration (emphasis supplied)


This from Betsy Benjaminson:

National Law Journal: Translator Refutes Toyota Contempt Motion...


Weak Oversight, Deadly Cars

Weak Oversight, Deadly Cars

Katherine Streeter

WHEN regulators sleep and auto companies place profits over safety, safety defects pile up. A record number of vehicles — more than 50 million — have been recalled this year, a result of congressional hearings and Justice Department prosecutions, which exposed a mass of deadly defects that the auto industry had concealed.

From the Ford Explorer rollovers in the 1990s and Toyotas’ issue with unintended acceleration in the 2000s to the recent fatal consequences of defective General Motors ignition switches and Takata airbags, the auto companies hid defects to avoid recalls and save money. These and other major defects were first exposed by safety advocates who petitioned the government and by reporters in the tradition of Bob Irvin of The Detroit News, who wrote over 35 articles on Chevrolet engine mounts until General Motors agreed to recall 6.7 million vehicles in 1971.

These campaigners did the job the regulator should have done. Congress gave the Department of Transportation authority to regulate the auto industry through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — including subpoena authority to find defects. But it used this authority so infrequently after the ’70s that its acting administrator, David J. Friedman, told Congress this year that he didn’t even know it had the power. The N.H.T.S.A. also failed to require companies to disclose death-claim records in civil lawsuits over the Toyota accelerations, G.M. ignition switches and Takata airbags.

In order to prevent the risk of death or serious injury, Congress empowered the agency to oblige auto companies to use alternate suppliers and independent repair shops to manufacture parts and make repairs to expedite a recall fix. Yet the N.H.T.S.A. has never used this authority — even though it took General Motors from February to October to get enough parts to dealers to repair all the recalled ignition switches.

Only after a lengthy delay was the agency prodded, in 2009, into opening an investigation into whether the first two Honda recalls of Takata airbags were adequate. Although the agency asked tough questions, it quickly closed the investigation after Takata hired a former senior N.H.T.S.A. official to represent the company. The agency’s attitude, in short, was: Don’t bother us with the facts.
More facts did come out when BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota recalled millions of Takata airbags from 2010 to 2013. Still, the N.H.T.S.A. opened no investigations and ordered no recalls on the airbags. Honda also failed to disclose death and injury claims on Takata airbags, as required by law.

Even now — after reports of a third death in the United States associated with the airbags — the N.H.T.S.A. refuses to order a national recall, as Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts have urged.

What explains this neglect? Over time, the N.H.T.S.A. has been captured by the industry it regulates.

Through the ’70s, it aggressively litigated cases to force recalls, and it caught most defects early in the life of a vehicle. Beginning in the ’80s, however, numerous officials — including Diane K. Steed, Jerry Ralph Curry, Sue Bailey and David L. Strickland, who all served as head of the agency, and Erika Z. Jones, Jacqueline S. Glassman and Paul Jackson Rice, who all served as chief counsel to the agency — have gone on to become consultants, lawyers or expert witnesses for auto companies.

What’s more, the agency is heavily populated by former industry employees. Ms. Glassman, for example, had been a lawyer for Chrysler before working at the agency (and is now at a law firm that represents auto companies). The agency’s last non-acting administrator, Mr. Strickland, went to work in January of 2014 for a firm representing Chrysler — the same month the agency approved an inadequate recall of Chrysler Jeeps with fuel tanks liable to explode as a result of rear impacts.

Although Congress has given the N.H.T.S.A. regulatory tools that the agency failed to use, Congress has not given it the two things it needs most: sufficient funding, and the power to bring criminal penalties against auto companies. The agency’s annual vehicle safety budget is a puny $134 million.

Unlike other federal regulators, the N.H.T.S.A. does not have its own research and test facility.

Since the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was enacted in 1966, the industry has blocked any meaningful provision for criminal penalties that would make company executives who concealed defects or decided not to recall dangerous vehicles subject to prison sentences. No single reform would change corporate behavior as much as this.

Only a complete overhaul of the agency’s culture will prevent future recalls, since automakers will always place sales and profits over safety and innovation. This should start with closing the revolving door, adopting criminal penalties and increasing funding. All auto companies should have an independent, government-certified safety ombudsman to investigate complaints from whistle-blowers and to report defects directly to the chief executive and the agency.

Above all, the agency’s leaders must have proven transportation safety expertise. They must demonstrate that they see auto companies as an industry to be regulated, rather than partners whose profits and sales must be protected at the public’s expense.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Independent Monitor

On October 17, 2014, the letter below was sent to David Kelley, an attorney who has been appointed the Independent Monitor of TOYOTA as part of the $1.2 BILLION settlement with the Department of Justice, TOYOTA'S GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD!
[The letter below was sent without the images or highlighting.]

David N. Kelley, Esq.

Independent Monitor

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

80 Pine Street

New York, NY 10005-1702


Dear Mr. Kelley:

April 23, 2012, I purchased a NEW 2012 Prius C from Route 44 Toyota located in Raynham, MA, at the time incorrectly believing TOYOTA would be responsive to problems with their vehicles.

I am simply a CONSUMER!

My 2012 TOYOTA Prius C had 600 miles on the odometer as I drove out of a parking garage.

The vehicle experienced such a significant jolt [NO NOISE] I initially believed my TOYOTA had been struck in the rear and subsequently realized the jolt was caused by the vehicle itself transitioning from the battery to its gas engine.

When TOYOTA called that evening and I shared my experience, I was instructed to call the dealership to have the vehicle checked.

Initially, the dealership refused to make an appointment, assuring me this was NORMAL OPERATION even though it was not previously experienced. Major jolt from transitioning?

A short time later, while approaching a STOP SIGN at a Public School Crossing, I applied the BRAKES, and as the pedal traveled to the floor, a dash light flashed on while the TOYOTA continued to travel through the STOP SIGN.

I subsequently drove SLOWLY to my home and had the vehicle towed to the dealership.

I was assured there were "NO COMPUTER ERROR MESSAGES."

I was informed a TOYOTA SERVICE PERSON would examine and test drive my 2012 Prius C but was prevented from being present.

When I subsequently attempted to retrieve my vehicle, the brake pedal again traveled to the floor which I have come to understand is NOT acceptable behavior.

I left my TOYOTA at the dealership to have it examined again and was informed this is how electronic brakes operate and I just needed to get 'used to it.'

It is now my understanding once the ignition has been shut off and turned on or the battery disconnected, all computer error messages are erased.

I refused to drive a TOYOTA that experienced unpredictable behavior in less than a month of operation and less than 1,000 miles on the odometer. I left the vehicle on the dealer's property and filed a complaint. How can any driver operate a 2012 TOYOTA Prius C with unpredictable behavior?

When I cleaned the vehicle out and retrieved its license plates in August 2012, I reported to my attorney at that time the ODOMETER read ~ 600 miles.

I knew at that time my vehicle had been tampered with while in the custody of the dealership.

I did NOT turn on the ignition, but merely turned the key to the accessory position.

I subsequently became aware of NHTSA's process to Petition for Defect Investigation which I filed because I firmly believe there are 2 separate issues:

1. my refusal to drive a TOYOTA vehicle in which I would jeopardize the safety of others

2. the safety of other TOYOTA owners if there is a safety/software defect


When NHTSA arrived at the dealership to examine and test drive the vehicle, it had been sitting for almost a year, its battery was dead and required replacement.

That would delete any error messages.

You will note NHTSA has documented subsequent TAMPERING with the ODOMETER, posted in the Federal Register in JULY 2014.

Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP13-002, 44487-44491 [2014-17983]


National Highway Traffic Safety


Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition,


If there was nothing found wrong with my TOYOTA, why was its odometer TAMPERED with?

You will note the inclusion of information about a 'HILL HOLD FEATURE,' yet when the BRAKE FAILURE was experienced, I was operating on a FLAT SURFACE, there were never any bells or whistles noted.

This matter goes far beyond the egregious conduct by NHTSA and TOYOTA.

Subsequent to filing a lawsuit, I discovered the dealership, Route 44 Toyota had violated the FCRA [Fair Debt Collections Practices Act] and illegally requested a credit report on the day I presented payment in full for the vehicle. 

In addition, Route 44 Toyota requested my credit report on the day [October 2012] they discovered my vehicle on their property with no license plates on it.

Route 44 Toyota also illegally requested a credit report of a disinterested 3rd party on that date.

We did NOT travel to the dealership, request credit or undertake any action enumerated under FCRA.

When I filed a complaint with TOYOTA, it was ignored.

When I posted my experience on 'dealerrater', a web site which provides the dealership with a two week time frame to remedy a consumer problem prior to making it publicly available, I was threatened with a SLAPP suit by the dealership's attorney, Daniel Viera.

In my complaint, I sought to have the purchase price of my 2012 TOYOTA Prius C refunded along with other associated costs.

Instead, I have been stalked, spied upon, my medical records shared [for which 2 agencies are currently investigating HIPAA violations] and more.

It is now more than two years since the complaint was filed and TOYOTA's attacks continue, while the deposition process remains incomplete.

Attorney Keith Rose has traveled to and from Albany, NY, requiring 4 hours to Plymouth, MA, 4 hours back to Albany for nonsensical reasons.

During the first year, Attorney Rose had profuse 'scheduling conflicts' which reflects TOYOTA's DILLY, DALLY, DELAY, STALL & BILL 'EM tactics. 

Each time, Attorney Rose stands before the court, he presents bizarre and fictional versions of this matter.

I am a simple consumer who mistakenly purchased a new 2012 TOYOTA Prius C.

Instead of making the vehicle function properly, I have been attacked, discredited, stalked,.....

 my medical records shared...., sobriety and drug use challenged, illegally obtained credit reports abused, my privacy invaded and more.

As a consumer, I have been strong-armed, stalked and attacked for protesting a DEFECTIVE TOYOTA vehicle.

Since the Federal Register Denial was posted in July 2014 [while strangely the Public Comment period ended in April 2014] this matter does seem to fall within your jurisdiction.

Other TOYOTA owners are stuck with these malfunctioning vehicles because they have no recourse and it's time to make things right for consumers.



Friday, October 24, 2014

NHTSA Apologizes for Troubled Website, Bulletin on Airbag Defects

NHTSA Apologizes for Troubled Website, Bulletin on Airbag Defects

By Jeff Plungis | October 23, 2014

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration botched its effort to inform the public about a potentially lethal air-bag defect, directing 8 million consumers to an inoperable website and leaving millions of others unsure as to whether their cars were even at risk.
More than 48 hours after telling motorists of the urgent need to check the government-run for information, the search function on the website remained down. The effects of the outage were compounded when NHTSA had to correct a consumer advisory to show some vehicles originally listed weren’t at risk, while about 3 million cars not mentioned were.
For Joan Claybrook, a former administrator of the agency who now advocates for consumer safety, it was a “total meltdown.” The inability of NHTSA to manage such a public campaign shows congressional criticism earlier this year over how it handled the General Motors Co. ignition-switch recall hasn’t gotten the agency in good working order.
“It’s a royal embarrassment,” Claybrook said. “It totally undermines trust in the agency.”
The website troubles aren’t attributable to increased traffic or hacking, the agency said in a statement last night. The vehicle recall lookup tool remains “temporarily unavailable,” the agency said, although a workaround involving links to automaker websites has been setup at
Inaccurate Information
“We greatly regret that the information provided in our initial safety advisory was inaccurate and that we have experienced significant problems with our website,” NHTSA’s deputy administrator, David Friedman, said in the statement.
The vehicle-lookup system had been operating properly under high-traffic situations, according to the agency’s statement. Preliminary indications point to a recent software change that affects how the system interacts with the Internet. The agency said it’s working with vendors to diagnose and solve the problem.
NHTSA’s statement left unanswered questions about why its initial advisory was wrong and when all of the website’s functions will be restored. Brian Farber, the U.S. Transportation Department’s chief spokesman, didn’t have an explanation, either.
The agency’s missteps came as the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the agency for a briefing about the air bag recalls, which involve components supplied by Takata Corp. and have been linked to four deaths.
Excessive Force
Safety regulators are investigating reports that the air bags can inflate with excessive force, propelling metal fragments toward vehicle occupants. Honda Motor Co. alone has recalled 6 million vehicles globally since 2008 because of the flaw.
Will Lawrence, a San Carlos, California, owner of a 2005 Honda Pilot, said he became concerned after hearing about the possibility of death by shrapnel. He was locked out of the website on Oct. 20. He tried different computers and got the same message that NHTSA’s vehicle-number lookup tool couldn’t be opened. He tried to send the agency a note, but the site wouldn’t accept his submission.
“It is simply inconceivable that NHTSA would direct people to its website to check on their vehicles and not be prepared for the resulting traffic,” Lawrence said in an e-mail. “NHTSA could at least give people an explanation of the problems and tell them when to expect them to be resolved.”
Defect Notification
About 7.8 million people in the U.S. are being notified about the defect, as GM joined Toyota Motor Corp. in warning people not to sit in front passenger seats until repairs can be made. The recalls affect at least 10 carmakers in the the U.S.
The first list issued by NHTSA on Oct. 20 said only 4.74 million cars in the U.S. were affected from six automakers: GM, Toyota, Honda, Nissan Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG.
Owners of cars made by Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Subaru could rest easy, it seemed. By the next day, those three automakers, comprising 17 different models, were on the recall list. So were two models made by Mitsubishi.
The search function on began experiencing “intermittent network issues” shortly after the first advisory went out. As of of 5:44 p.m. in Washington yesterday, it was still down and the agency replaced its search function with links directing consumers to websites of individual automakers, whose vehicle lookup functions were working.
Functions for searching other vehicle recalls and consumer complaints on any potential safety issue still weren’t working.
The agency’s troubles also were compounded by telling some people their cars were at risk, even though they weren’t.
NHTSA initially warned 133,221 GM consumers that they should check their vehicles for the potentially deadly air-bag defect. That warning covered 14 models, including the popular Chevrolet Trailblazer sport-utility vehicle and Impala sedan.
The advisory Oct. 21 dropped all 14 models. Instead, two new models were listed: the Pontiac Vibe and the Saab 9-2X. The agency said it no longer knew how many GM vehicles were covered.
–With assistance from Jeff Green in Southfield, Michigan.
Related Articles:

Exploding Air Bags, Geographical Recalls & Takata's Failures


Defective air bags raise questions about automakers’ ability to handle gigantic recall

A photo from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows a crash test of a 2002 Honda CR-V, one of the models subject to a recall of air bags that can blast out deadly shrapnel in a crash. (Uncredited/AP)

 October 23

More than 30 million cars and trucks nationwide are equipped with dangerously defective air bags, congressional officials say, a number that raises questions about whether the U.S. auto industry can handle what could become the largest recall in history.

Federal safety authorities have recalled only 7.8 million vehicles over the defect in a few states, a limited action that lawmakers said Thursday was vastly insufficient to address what they deemed “a public safety threat.”

Two senators demanded a much broader recall that would cover every affected vehicle nationwide. But a recall of that magnitude — including best-selling models from Honda, Toyota, GM, Chrysler and six other companies spanning 2002 to 2007 — could prove far greater than the industry has ever managed.

Manufacturing that many replacement parts could take years and present a variety of logistical nightmares. Dealerships could quickly become overwhelmed by the demand, auto safety experts said. This year, GM recalled a total of 30 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches and other problems, and months later it is struggling to make the repairs.
The defective air bags, made by Japanese manufacturer Takata, can rupture and blast out metal shards, particularly in humid conditions, government officials have said. While the rate of reported incidents is low, linked to four deaths and more than 100 injuries so far, their grisly severity has spurred an urgent debate about the matter in Washington.
Driving her Honda Accord on Christmas Eve in 2009, Gurjit Rathore, a 33-year-old Virginia mother, was struck in the neck by pieces of an exploding air bag and bled to death in front of her three children, according to a lawsuit filed by her family.
Takata controls more than 30 percent of the world’s air-bag market, triggering worries that the recall could grow in the United States and elsewhere. Meanwhile, automakers say new air bags are already in short supply.
Honda said it does not have enough parts to immediately fix the more than 5 million Accords, Civics and other vehicles with defective air bags. For a temporary fix, Toyota is instructing its dealerships to disable air bags and attach notes on vehicles’ glove boxes warning against riding in the passenger seat.
“It would take potentially years for this to be addressed. That is what is scary about this,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “You could have tens of millions of dangerous vehicles on the road.”
In a letter Thursday to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said they were “increasingly troubled and alarmed” by regulators’ public guidance. Markey’s office put the number of affected vehicles at 30 million by examining auto registration and other federal transportation data.
“The information available to us indicates no factual basis for distinguishing between states or regions of the country regarding the potential severe danger of this defect,” they wrote. “Replacement parts are ‘essential to personal safety’ for all drivers whether they live in New England or Florida.”
Regulators pushed back, saying a nationwide recall would divert a limited supply of replacement air bags “from those at demonstrated risk” in areas with long-term humidity and heat. They added that they were urging Takata and other suppliers to boost production.
“We have taken an aggressive and relatively unprecedented step by forcing a regional recall on limited information,” Transportation Department spokesman Brian Farber said in a statement, “and we will not rest until we know the full geographic scope of the problem.”

To help car owners check whether their vehicles are the subjects of an active recall, the government set up the Web site But over the past few days, the recall search function has been down.
Takata spokesman Alby Berman did not return messages seeking comment Thursday. Honda said it “has nearly completed the mailing of notifications regarding the special campaign,” and Toyota, the largest carmaker in the world, said it has intensified efforts to reach customers “in certain geographic areas that appear to warrant immediate action.”
But in a letter to regulators last week, Markey and Blumenthal criticized the “arbitrary geographic boundaries” of automakers’ “puzzling and inconsistent” recall. While Subaru and BMW have announced nationwide recalls for Takata air bags, Honda, with millions more affected vehicles, limited its messaging to a group of U.S. islands and Southern states.
“Manufacturers are all over the lot” in deciding which areas were affected, said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. “How is it that one manufacturer has a bigger danger area than another?”
The limited regional recall means owners of defective cars in non-recall states will neither be notified of the danger nor qualify for free repairs. At least two of the fatal accidents linked to the defect occurred in areas not included in the recall, including in Virginia and Oklahoma.
Because the cars are tracked only when they’re registered or initially sold, a move or sale to someone in a more humid area would mean the defect could go ignored for years. More than 3 million recalled cars and trucks were listed for sale last year, according to Carfax.
“You can live in upper Wisconsin and register your car there but drive to Florida and spend a heck of a lot of time there. You wouldn’t be traced by the manufacturer or NHTSA,” said Ellen Bloom, senior director of federal policy for Consumers Union, an advocacy group. “To assume that people are registering their cars and limiting their driving to where they registered is pretty shortsighted.”
More than 50 million cars and trucks have already been recalled in what has become the worst year for recalls in U.S. history, with 1 in 5 vehicles on the road at risk of critical defects.
In the case of the Takata air bags, the full range of affected vehicles remains unclear. The most recently updated NHTSA warning Thursday said an “undetermined number” of General Motors vehicles were equipped with defective air bags. The list of affected vehicles has grown by millions of cars since Monday, with many vehicles incorrectly added or excluded from the recall on lists made public by regulators.
Geographic recalls have been criticized as a way for automakers to restrict their repair spending while leaving a subset of drivers at risk. In 2004, the Center for Auto Safety unsuccessfully sued NHTSA, claiming geographic recalls violated the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which requires that automakers notify all owners of defective vehicles and provide a free remedy.
“It’s totally arbitrary, and they use it to save money and have as narrow a recall as possible,” said Joan Claybrook, a former NHTSA head and longtime traffic safety advocate. “There’s no rationale for it other than to save money.”

Members of Congress have requested briefings with NHTSA officials. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has investigated the General Motors and Toyota recalls, said in a statement Wednesday that “we also need to take a close look at . . . the timeline and scope of the recalls,” adding, “When it comes to vehicle safety, there can be no margin for error.”

Drew Harwell is a national business reporter at The Washington Post.
Michael A. Fletcher is a national economics correspondent, writing about unemployment, state and municipal debt, the evolving job market and the auto industry.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Exploding "Roadside Bomb" Airbags. Safety feature?!?

OMG! Your TOYOTA SUDDENLY ACCELERATES, you can't stop it, now you have to worry about AIR BAG SHRAPNEL?

Exploding "Roadside Bomb" Airbags. Safety feature?!?

Author Says Toyota Stole His B.B. King Story

TOYOTA has gaggles of attorneys.....fighting victims of TOYOTA's failures.... there any reason they can't abide by the law?



ByJeff GlorCBS NewsOctober 22, 2014, 7:33 PM

More scrutiny for Japanese maker of defective air bags

Today the government urged still more owners of vehicles with potentially deadly airbags to bring them in immediately for repair. 3 million more vehicles were added to the list, bringing the total to 7.8 million.

Also today, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Japanese maker of the defective airbags, Takata, is being targeted by federal prosecutors.

It seemed to be a minor accident in Florida involving a 2006 Dodge Charger. But when the airbag went off, it exploded, sending shrapnel into the driver's leg.
Airbags made by the Takata company are being blamed for several deaths and dozens of injuries.
CBS News

This car had a Takata airbag, but the vehicle is not on a recall list.

"The only difference between this piece of shrapnel shooting him in the leg and in the heart were inches. It was just a small difference, and luck," said Jason Turchin, who represented the victim.

Flying metal from Takata airbags has been linked to at least four deaths and 30 injuries.

The airbags contain a canister filled with a chemical propellant. In an accident, the propellant explodes with excessive force, rupturing the metal canister, sending shrapnel out.

So far, the recalls have mostly been in southern states -- because Takata believes humidity increases the force of the propellant.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was first alerted to this problem in 2008.

Now a growing chorus of legislators is asking why more isn't being done.

"I have no patience for federal regulators not being entirely up front forward leaning and aggressive to stop these defective products," said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.

Chrysler settled that case in Florida and told us tonight they're investigating the performance of certain airbag inflators. Takata told us previously "one accident is one too many," but no new statement from Takata tonight.

The NHTSA released an updated advisory Tuesday night with a new list of the vehicles being recalled:

BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2000 - 2005 3 Series Sedan2000 - 2006 3 Series Coupe2000 - 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon2000 - 2006 3 Series Convertible2001 - 2006 M3 Coupe2001 - 2006 M3 Convertible
Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2003 - 2008 Dodge Ram 15002005 - 2008 Dodge Ram 25002006 - 2008 Dodge Ram 35002006 - 2008 Dodge Ram 45002008 - Dodge Ram 55002005 - 2008 Dodge Durango2005 - 2008 Dodge Dakota2005 - 2008 Chrysler 3002007 - 2008 Chrysler Aspen
Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2004 - Ranger2005 - 2006 GT2005 - 2007 Mustang
General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 - 2005 Pontiac Vibe2005 - Saab 9-2X
Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2001 - 2007 Honda Accord2001 - 2005 Honda Civic2002 - 2006 Honda CR-V2003 - 2011 Honda Element2002 - 2004 Honda Odyssey2003 - 2007 Honda Pilot2006 - Honda Ridgeline2003 - 2006 Acura MDX2002 - 2003 Acura TL/CL2005 - Acura RL
Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2003 - 2007 Mazda62006 - 2007 MazdaSpeed62004 - 2008 Mazda RX-82004 - 2005 MPV2004 - B-Series Truck
Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2004 - 2005 Lancer2006 - 2007 Raider
Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2001 - 2003 Nissan Maxima2001 - 2004 Nissan Pathfinder2002 - 2004 Nissan Sentra2001 - 2004 Infiniti I30/I352002 - 2003 Infiniti QX42003 - 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45
Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2003 - 2005 Baja2003 - 2005 Legacy2003 - 2005 Outback2003 - 2005 Baja2004 - 2005 Impreza
Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles:
2002 - 2005 Lexus SC2002 - 2005 Toyota Corolla2003 - 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix2002 - 2005 Toyota Sequoia2003 - 2005 Toyota Tundra