- Car Design Flaws
- Highway Safety
- Safety for Hybrid Cars
- -How to Stop a Runaway Car (ABC News)
Shows how hard it may be to stop a car that accelerates on its own. Pumping the brakes can cause the brakes to go out quickly. Turning the engine off will get rid of power assist, making steering very hard; the driver may also accidentally lock the steering in the process of turning the engine off.
The correct thing to do is to put the transmission in neutral and press on the brakes; once stopped, turn off the engine. 02-10
- Surprising Danger of Some "New" Tires (ABC news)
Covers the danger that comes from tires that are over 6 years old. Tires can sit on a dealer's shelf for years and age, even though they have never been used. The story states that in Europe it is known that tires over six years older than the manufacture date are dangerous because of internal drying and possible separation of the tread from the rest of the tire. An investigation by ABC news showed that major chain stores are selling tires more than 6 years old as new tires. The date is given in code on the side of the tire. The date is the last one or two digits on the code: one-digit endings represent years in the 1990's and two digit endings represent years after 1999. 01-10
- The Threat of Unsafe Tires (ABC News)
Provides an expose on old tires sold as new by major stores. The reporter states that in Europe tires more than six years old cannot be sold as new. In the U.S., the age of tires sold as new is not regulated. 02-10
- -02-08-10 Hondas and Toyotas Recalled (USA Today)
"Honda said propellant might degrade in older air bags, supplied by Takata, blowing the bag open too forcefully and sending metal pieces tearing through the bag fabric. That has killed one driver and injured 11, Honda said, but none since a previous recall expansion."
"The Prius recall includes 133,000 2010 Priuses in the U.S. and 14,500 Lexus HS 250h hybrids, which use the same braking system. It follows a recall of 2.3 million U.S. vehicles last month because gas pedals might stick open. That's atop a recall of 5.3 million vehicles because floor mats might jam pedals." 02-10
- -Behind the Troubles at Toyota (Time.com)
"What makes the recall since November of nearly 9 million Toyotas that are susceptible to uncontrolled acceleration and balky brakes such a shocking story is not so much the company's manufacture of some shoddy cars or even its dreadful crisis management — though those are errors that will cost it more than $2 billion in repairs and lost sales this year. It's something more pernicious: the vapor lock that seems to have seized Toyota's mythologized corporate culture and turned one of the most admired companies in the world into a bunch of flailing gearheads. Not only is Toyota producing more flawed cars than in the past, but an organization known for its unrivaled ability to suss out problems, fix them and turn them into advantages is looking clueless on all counts." 02-10
- -07-03-07 Most Head Restraints in Larger Vehicles "Poor" or "Marginal" (CBS News)
"The head restraints in 54 larger vehicles — out of 87 tested — provided only 'poor' or 'marginal' protection from neck injuries in simulated rear-impact crashes conducted by the insurance industry. Just 12 were rated acceptable or 'good.' " 12-05
- -11-20-06 No U.S. Cars Among Most Safe (MSNBC News)
"Imported models took all 13 spots on the U.S. insurance industry’s list of safest vehicles this year, due mainly to a new requirement that all cars and sport utilities on the list have systems to keep them stable in an emergency." 11-06
- -12-04-05 Ten Cars Given Gold Safety Rating (MSNBC News)
"Ten 2006 passenger cars won praise from the insurance industry Sunday for offering top-of-the-line protection to passengers in front, side and rear crashes."
"Winners of the institute’s gold award included the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego with optional side air bags; the Saab 9-3; the Subaru Legacy; and the Honda Civic four-door. The Five Hundred and Montego are corporate twins and were considered by the institute to be the same car, for award purposes." 12-05
- -Cars with Highest and Lowest Death Rates (CBS News)
" 'The dominant factor among the vehicles with the worst or highest death rates is that they tend to be the smallest vehicles on the road,' said Lund." 01-15
- -Out-of-Control Prius Stopped by Police Car (CBS News)
"Toyota issued a recall for its Prius hybrid - the same model involved in Monday's dramatic sudden acceleration incident in California - in November but has yet to send official notices to all vehicle owners."
"Toyota released a statement Tuesday clarifying that it was not issuing a new recall of Prius vehicles."
"Meanwhile, federal officials are sending two investigators to California to determine what caused a Prius to race out of control on a San Diego-area freeway." 03-10
- -Search Recalls by Vehicle VIN Number (VINRCL.saftercar.gov)
Provides auto recall information.
- -Ten Owners Say Toyota Gas Pedal Fix Isn't Working (USA Today)
"Ten Toyota owners have told federal safety officials that the recall repairs didn't work and that their cars still accelerate when they're not supposed to.” 03-10
- -Toyota Had Evidence of Electronic Cause of Surges in 2002 (CNN News)
"Auto manufacturer Toyota warned dealerships in 2002 that Camry owners were complaining about throttles surging and recommended adjustments in an electronic control unit to fix the problem, according to a document obtained by CNN." 03-10
- -Toyota Stops Sales of 8 Models in Recall (USA Today)
"In an unprecedented auto-industry move — but echoing the massive Tylenol drug recall of 1982 — Toyota told its U.S. dealers Tuesday to immediately quit selling the new and used cars and trucks that it recalled on Jan. 21 because their throttles could stick open." 01-10
- -Toyota U.S.A. President: Recall May Not Fully Solve Problem (New York Times)
"A Toyota executive told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday that the company’s huge recall might 'not totally' solve the problem of unintended sudden acceleration in its vehicles."
"Asked why Toyota had moved away from a business model that prized quality and openness, Mr. Lentz offered a simple explanation: 'We lost sight of our customers.' "
" 'We outgrew our engineering resource,' he said. 'We’re suffering from that today.' ” 02-10
- Best Safety Option for a Car - Electronic Stability Control (CNNMoney)
"Now two studies from Europe and Japan -- where consumers have more widely embraced the systems -- confirm what I've long believed: that stability control may be second only to seat belts in safeguarding drivers and passengers."
"Toyota found that electronic stability control reduced single-vehicle crashes in Japan by a remarkable 35 percent and head-on crashes by 30 percent." 10-03
- Car Theft - Most Popular Models (CrimeDoctor.com)
List the top 25 most stolen vehicles for three years. Four-fifths of the most stolen cars are either Honda Accords or Toyota Camrys. 01-05
- Car Theft - Preventing (Edmunds.com)
"We're going to give you the unique opportunity to look inside the mind of the car thief and learn how he steals cars. With the help of police auto theft experts and auto theft professionals, we've compiled this list of some of the ways thieves steal cars followed by suggestions of how to stop them from doing it to you." 7-05
- Car-Truck Collisions Safety (USA Today)
"Major automakers have decided to stop joint efforts aimed at reducing risks when cars and trucks collide and have dropped plans to help draft a federal rule, as requested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration." 07-08
- Classic Car Safety Requirements (USA Today)
"Federal law holds cars only to the standards that were in effect at the time of the vehicle's manufacture. But many states have come up with their own regulations for classic cars, and often prohibit their use for routine transportation." 8-05
- Determining the Age of Your Tires (TireRack.com)
"The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that Tire Identification Numbers be a combination of the letters DOT, followed by ten, eleven or twelve letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size and manufacturer's code, along with the week and year the tire was manufactured." 02-10
- Ford Puts Air Bags in Seat Belts (CBS News)
"Ford Motor Co. plans to introduce seat belt-mounted air bags in the back seat of the 2011 Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, which will hit the market next fall. Ford says it's the first automaker to mass produce the technology." 11-09
- Insurance Institute: Least Safe Cars of 2009 (USA Today)
"While everyone was taking note of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's list of the safest cars yesterday, we became curious about the bottom of the list. Sure, it's one thing to make the list of recommendations, but quite another to advise what models to avoid." 11-09
- New Safety Equipment for Cars Help Reduce Accidents (ABC News)
"Forward collision avoidance systems, particularly those that brake autonomously, along with headlights which shift direction as the driver steers, show the biggest crash reductions, the IIHS [Insurance Institute for Highway Safety] said." 11-12
- Safe Cars - Rollover and Crash Tests (NHTSA.dot.gov)
Provides results of tests. 02-10
- Safest Cars (ABC News)
"Drawing from research conducted by Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as well as from interviews with auto safety experts such as Kelley Blue Book's executive editorial director Jack Nerad, ABCNews.com has compiled its own roundup of the safest car choices for drivers of all stripes." 02-10
- Safest Cars for 2010 (IIHS.org)
"To determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash — the Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. To earn TOP SAFETY PICK for 2010 a vehicle must have good ratings in all four Institute tests. In addition, the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control." 02-10
- Tire Safety and Aging (SaferCar.gov)
"While tire life will ultimately depend on the tires’ service conditions and the environment in which they operate, there are some general guidelines. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use. In addition, a number of tire manufacturers cite 10 years as the maximum service life for tires. Check the owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle. Remember, it is always wise to err on the side of caution if you suspect your vehicle has tires that are over six years of age." 02-10
- Toyota Surges Are Related to Electronics (CNN News)
"Congress already has thousands of pages of Toyota documents to sift through, but CBS News obtained one internal document that could be devastating to Toyota's claims that electronics aren't at issue."
"CBS News has learned that as early as 2005 Toyota engineers were redesigning software in response to complaints of cars surging unexpectedly, reports CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson."
"That could be crucial because publicly Toyota has insisted for six years - through eight federal investigations - that electronics are not to blame when its cars surge, sometimes out of control."
"Instead, Toyota faults drivers, floor mats and - more recently - sticky gas pedals." 02-10
- Toyota Wins a Round Against Whistleblower (ABC News)
"An arbitrator has ruled that Dimitrios Biller, a former top in-house lawyer for Toyota, cannot make public thousands of confidential documents that he says prove the automaker regularly hid evidence of safety defects from consumers in hundreds of court cases."
"Biller says he has four boxes worth of documents that he claims were deliberately withheld from plaintiffs' lawyers suing Toyota in product liability lawsuits, despite court orders requiring that the automaker disclose the information." 02-10
- U.S. Seeks Fine Against Toyota (New York Times)
"The Transportation Department said Monday it would seek a $16.4 million fine against Toyota, the largest allowed, because the company had failed to promptly notify the government about potential problems with accelerator pedals." 04-10