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Found 83 results

  1. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 4, 2013 In a surprising form of defiance, Chrysler has said no the demand made by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Liberties due to fuel tanks that could catch on fire in a rear end accident. NHTSA has been investigating since 2010 and alleges that 1993 through 2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002 through 2007 Liberty are more prone to fuel leaks and fires. In its analysis, NHTSA found that 51 deaths involved Grand Cherokees and Liberties in rear-end accidents that caught on fire. NHTSA alleges the reasons for this are the tanks being made out of plastic and being placed behind the rear axle. In a statement released today, Chrysler says they do "not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective." Chrysler goes onto say their "vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity." Also, the company says in their tests the problem occurs less than once for every million years of vehicle operation and argues that NHTSA's analysis of the problem is not complete. So what happens next? Motoramic reports that NHTSA could hold a public hearing and declare the two vehicles defective. The agency could also take Chrysler to court to force the recall. It's a game of chicken and the question is, who blinks first? Source: Motoramic, Chrysler Chrysler's Press Release and White Paper is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Responds to NHTSA Recall Letter June 4, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has issued a recall request letter proposing that Chrysler Group recall the Jeep Grand Cherokee in model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty in model years 2002 to 2007 (a total of approximately 2.7 million vehicles). Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective. We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the Agency to resolve this disagreement. “The safety of drivers and passengers has long been the first priority for Chrysler brands and that commitment remains steadfast,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC. “The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles. All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles.” Chrysler Group’s position on this matter is clear. These vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity. Our analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation. This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question. Chrysler Group stands behind the quality and safety of its vehicles. It conducts voluntary recalls when they are warranted, and in most cases, before any notice or investigation request from NHTSA. Customers who have questions or concerns can call the Chrysler Group’s customer care line: 1-800-334-9200. View full article
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 4, 2013 In a surprising form of defiance, Chrysler has said no the demand made by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Liberties due to fuel tanks that could catch on fire in a rear end accident. NHTSA has been investigating since 2010 and alleges that 1993 through 2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002 through 2007 Liberty are more prone to fuel leaks and fires. In its analysis, NHTSA found that 51 deaths involved Grand Cherokees and Liberties in rear-end accidents that caught on fire. NHTSA alleges the reasons for this are the tanks being made out of plastic and being placed behind the rear axle. In a statement released today, Chrysler says they do "not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective." Chrysler goes onto say their "vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity." Also, the company says in their tests the problem occurs less than once for every million years of vehicle operation and argues that NHTSA's analysis of the problem is not complete. So what happens next? Motoramic reports that NHTSA could hold a public hearing and declare the two vehicles defective. The agency could also take Chrysler to court to force the recall. It's a game of chicken and the question is, who blinks first? Source: Motoramic, Chrysler Chrysler's Press Release and White Paper is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Responds to NHTSA Recall Letter June 4, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has issued a recall request letter proposing that Chrysler Group recall the Jeep Grand Cherokee in model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty in model years 2002 to 2007 (a total of approximately 2.7 million vehicles). Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective. We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the Agency to resolve this disagreement. “The safety of drivers and passengers has long been the first priority for Chrysler brands and that commitment remains steadfast,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC. “The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles. All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles.” Chrysler Group’s position on this matter is clear. These vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity. Our analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation. This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question. Chrysler Group stands behind the quality and safety of its vehicles. It conducts voluntary recalls when they are warranted, and in most cases, before any notice or investigation request from NHTSA. Customers who have questions or concerns can call the Chrysler Group’s customer care line: 1-800-334-9200.
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 31, 2013 With automakers and researchers testing autonomous cars more and more, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put its regulatory hat on and announced guidelines that outline the recommended rules for the vehicles and drivers. NHTSA in its guidelines says it recognizes five different levels of vehicle automation. Those five levels are, Level 0 - No Automation: Driver is in complete control of the vehicle Level 1- Function-specific Automation: Vehicle has some features that can temporally take control of the vehicle, such as electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes Level 2 - Combined Function Automation: Two Features work together to temporary relieve the driver of control. Example is adaptive cruise control with lane centering. Level 3 - Limited Self-Driving Automation: Vehicle can drive it self, but must give back control to the driver under certain conditions Level 4 - Full Self-Driving Automation: Vehicle performs all driving functions without any human interaction NHTSA also issued recommended guidelines for states that want to allow autonomous vehicles to test on public roads. Those guidelines include a special driver’s license endorsements for anyone operating an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles and limitations on where and in what types of conditions autonomous vehicles can operate. In addition to their guidelines, NHTSA announced a four-year initial research program that will look at how autonomous and partially autonomous technologies can have an impact on safety. "Whether we're talking about automated features in cars today or fully automated vehicles of the future, our top priority is to ensure these vehicles – and their occupants – are safe. Our research covers all levels of automation, including advances like automatic braking that may save lives in the near term, while the recommendations to states help them better oversee self-driving vehicle development, which holds promising long-term safety benefits," said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Source: NHTSA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Policy on Automated Vehicle Development NHTSA 14-13 Thursday, May 30, 2013 Provides guidance to states permitting testing of emerging vehicle technology WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced a new policy concerning vehicle automation, including its plans for research on related safety issues and recommendations for states related to the testing, licensing, and regulation of "autonomous" or "self-driving" vehicles. Self-driving vehicles are those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode. "Whether we're talking about automated features in cars today or fully automated vehicles of the future, our top priority is to ensure these vehicles – and their occupants – are safe," said Secretary Ray LaHood. "Our research covers all levels of automation, including advances like automatic braking that may save lives in the near term, while the recommendations to states help them better oversee self-driving vehicle development, which holds promising long-term safety benefits." NHTSA's policy addresses: An explanation of the many areas of vehicle innovation and types of automation that offer significant potential for enormous reductions in highway crashes and deaths; A summary of the research NHTSA has planned or has begun to help ensure that all safety issues related to vehicle automation are explored and addressed; and Recommendations to states that have authorized operation of self-driving vehicles, for test purposes, on how best to ensure safe operation as these new concepts are being tested on highways. Several states, including Nevada, California and Florida have enacted legislation that expressly permits operation of self-driving (sometimes called "autonomous") vehicles under certain conditions. These experimental vehicles are at the highest end of a wide range of automation that begins with some safety features already in vehicles, such as electronic stability control. Today's policy will provide states interested in passing similar laws with assistance to ensure that their legislation does not inadvertently impact current vehicle technology and that the testing of self-driving vehicles is conducted safely. "We're encouraged by the new automated vehicle technologies being developed and implemented today, but want to ensure that motor vehicle safety is considered in the development of these advances," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "As additional states consider similar legislation, our recommendations provide lawmakers with the tools they need to encourage the safe development and implementation of automated vehicle technology." The policy statement also describes NHTSA's research efforts related to autonomous vehicles. While the technology remains in early stages, NHTSA is conducting research on self-driving vehicles so that the agency has the tools to establish standards for these vehicles, should the vehicles become commercially available. The first phase of this research is expected to be completed within the next four years. NHTSA's many years of research on vehicle automation have already led to regulatory and other policy developments. The agency's work on electronic stability control (ESC), for example, led to a standard mandating that form of automated technology on all new light vehicles since MY 2011. More recently, NHTSA issued a proposal that would require ESC on new heavy vehicles. NHTSA defines vehicle automation as having five levels: No-Automation (Level 0): The driver is in complete and sole control of the primary vehicle controls – brake, steering, throttle, and motive power – at all times. Function-specific Automation (Level 1): Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions. Examples include electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes, where the vehicle automatically assists with braking to enable the driver to regain control of the vehicle or stop faster than possible by acting alone. Combined Function Automation (Level 2): This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to relieve the driver of control of those functions. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering. Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and in those conditions to rely heavily on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control, but with sufficiently comfortable transition time. The Google car is an example of limited self-driving automation. Full Self-Driving Automation (Level 4): The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles. View full article
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 31, 2013 With automakers and researchers testing autonomous cars more and more, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put its regulatory hat on and announced guidelines that outline the recommended rules for the vehicles and drivers. NHTSA in its guidelines says it recognizes five different levels of vehicle automation. Those five levels are, Level 0 - No Automation: Driver is in complete control of the vehicle Level 1- Function-specific Automation: Vehicle has some features that can temporally take control of the vehicle, such as electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes Level 2 - Combined Function Automation: Two Features work together to temporary relieve the driver of control. Example is adaptive cruise control with lane centering. Level 3 - Limited Self-Driving Automation: Vehicle can drive it self, but must give back control to the driver under certain conditions Level 4 - Full Self-Driving Automation: Vehicle performs all driving functions without any human interaction NHTSA also issued recommended guidelines for states that want to allow autonomous vehicles to test on public roads. Those guidelines include a special driver’s license endorsements for anyone operating an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles and limitations on where and in what types of conditions autonomous vehicles can operate. In addition to their guidelines, NHTSA announced a four-year initial research program that will look at how autonomous and partially autonomous technologies can have an impact on safety. "Whether we're talking about automated features in cars today or fully automated vehicles of the future, our top priority is to ensure these vehicles – and their occupants – are safe. Our research covers all levels of automation, including advances like automatic braking that may save lives in the near term, while the recommendations to states help them better oversee self-driving vehicle development, which holds promising long-term safety benefits," said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Source: NHTSA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Policy on Automated Vehicle Development NHTSA 14-13 Thursday, May 30, 2013 Provides guidance to states permitting testing of emerging vehicle technology WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced a new policy concerning vehicle automation, including its plans for research on related safety issues and recommendations for states related to the testing, licensing, and regulation of "autonomous" or "self-driving" vehicles. Self-driving vehicles are those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode. "Whether we're talking about automated features in cars today or fully automated vehicles of the future, our top priority is to ensure these vehicles – and their occupants – are safe," said Secretary Ray LaHood. "Our research covers all levels of automation, including advances like automatic braking that may save lives in the near term, while the recommendations to states help them better oversee self-driving vehicle development, which holds promising long-term safety benefits." NHTSA's policy addresses: An explanation of the many areas of vehicle innovation and types of automation that offer significant potential for enormous reductions in highway crashes and deaths; A summary of the research NHTSA has planned or has begun to help ensure that all safety issues related to vehicle automation are explored and addressed; and Recommendations to states that have authorized operation of self-driving vehicles, for test purposes, on how best to ensure safe operation as these new concepts are being tested on highways. Several states, including Nevada, California and Florida have enacted legislation that expressly permits operation of self-driving (sometimes called "autonomous") vehicles under certain conditions. These experimental vehicles are at the highest end of a wide range of automation that begins with some safety features already in vehicles, such as electronic stability control. Today's policy will provide states interested in passing similar laws with assistance to ensure that their legislation does not inadvertently impact current vehicle technology and that the testing of self-driving vehicles is conducted safely. "We're encouraged by the new automated vehicle technologies being developed and implemented today, but want to ensure that motor vehicle safety is considered in the development of these advances," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "As additional states consider similar legislation, our recommendations provide lawmakers with the tools they need to encourage the safe development and implementation of automated vehicle technology." The policy statement also describes NHTSA's research efforts related to autonomous vehicles. While the technology remains in early stages, NHTSA is conducting research on self-driving vehicles so that the agency has the tools to establish standards for these vehicles, should the vehicles become commercially available. The first phase of this research is expected to be completed within the next four years. NHTSA's many years of research on vehicle automation have already led to regulatory and other policy developments. The agency's work on electronic stability control (ESC), for example, led to a standard mandating that form of automated technology on all new light vehicles since MY 2011. More recently, NHTSA issued a proposal that would require ESC on new heavy vehicles. NHTSA defines vehicle automation as having five levels: No-Automation (Level 0): The driver is in complete and sole control of the primary vehicle controls – brake, steering, throttle, and motive power – at all times. Function-specific Automation (Level 1): Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions. Examples include electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes, where the vehicle automatically assists with braking to enable the driver to regain control of the vehicle or stop faster than possible by acting alone. Combined Function Automation (Level 2): This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to relieve the driver of control of those functions. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering. Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and in those conditions to rely heavily on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control, but with sufficiently comfortable transition time. The Google car is an example of limited self-driving automation. Full Self-Driving Automation (Level 4): The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles.
  5. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 16, 2013 During a congressional hearing on crash-prevention features yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Administration's administrator David Strickland told the hearing that NHTSA was considering a new mandate to require new vehicles to be equipped with an automatic braking system. Automatic braking systems uses either or both radar and cameras to monitor the road for vehicles and objects then apply the brakes if the system detects a possible accident and of the driver fails to hit the brakes. Automakers such as Volvo and Mercedes-Benz offer auto braking systems and have been praised both by NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Strickland told reporters after the hearing that a decision whether automatic braking systems will be made mandatory or if more research will need to take place sometime later this year. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  6. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 16, 2013 During a congressional hearing on crash-prevention features yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Administration's administrator David Strickland told the hearing that NHTSA was considering a new mandate to require new vehicles to be equipped with an automatic braking system. Automatic braking systems uses either or both radar and cameras to monitor the road for vehicles and objects then apply the brakes if the system detects a possible accident and of the driver fails to hit the brakes. Automakers such as Volvo and Mercedes-Benz offer auto braking systems and have been praised both by NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Strickland told reporters after the hearing that a decision whether automatic braking systems will be made mandatory or if more research will need to take place sometime later this year. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 10, 2012 NHTSA is expected to finalize a long-awaited proposal to make event data recorders, the 'black box' standard on all new vehicles. Last Thursday, the White House Office of Management Budget completed a review of the proposal which has cleared the way for NHTSA to finish up the final regulation. The proposed regulation would raise the percentage of vehicles required to have a black box from 91.6% today to 100%. The incremental cost is expected to be around $24.4 million if the sales of vehicles stand at 15.5 million per year. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers agrees with the proposed rule but says the Government needs to take into account privacy of driver. "Event data recorders help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world but looking forward, we need to make sure we preserve privacy. Automakers do not access EDR data without consumer permission, and any government requirements to install EDRs on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy," said spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist. Currently, if your vehicle has a EDR, its yours. If Law Enforcement wants a peek at it, they need to get a court order. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 10, 2012 NHTSA is expected to finalize a long-awaited proposal to make event data recorders, the 'black box' standard on all new vehicles. Last Thursday, the White House Office of Management Budget completed a review of the proposal which has cleared the way for NHTSA to finish up the final regulation. The proposed regulation would raise the percentage of vehicles required to have a black box from 91.6% today to 100%. The incremental cost is expected to be around $24.4 million if the sales of vehicles stand at 15.5 million per year. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers agrees with the proposed rule but says the Government needs to take into account privacy of driver. "Event data recorders help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world but looking forward, we need to make sure we preserve privacy. Automakers do not access EDR data without consumer permission, and any government requirements to install EDRs on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy," said spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist. Currently, if your vehicle has a EDR, its yours. If Law Enforcement wants a peek at it, they need to get a court order. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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