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Depending on the results of a government probe, General Motors might find an old recall campaign expanding exponentially.
If you’ve had your air bags replaced within the last three years by a repair shop other than a new car dealership, you may want to take heed of a warning that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is releasing.
Driving is getting safer than ever with new safety features cropping up in cars like weeds on an abandoned Detroit lawn, but the same isn’t true for first responders prying people from the post-crash wreckage.
Being obese might make car crashes more dangers according to a new study that suggests seriously overweight drivers sustain worse injuries and are more likely to be involved in collisions.
GM didn’t give any specific details about the car, but promised that more would be revealed in the coming weeks. For now, we get a dark rendering of the front cabin where the most obvious feature is an updated infotainment system. The release also said the new Enclave will feature industry-exclusive safety features.
Toyota is recalling 427 2011 RAV4 models because the side-curtain airbags that might not deploy.
According to the notice, a propellant with incorrect specifications was used in the airbag inflator. In certain instances that can cause one or both of the devices to fail.
The vehicles included in the recall were made between November 24 and December 11 of last year. As recalls go, this is a pretty small one but interestingly enough, Honda issued an almost-identical recall for the same issue in their Accords and Crosstours today.
It seems the same supplier, Autoliv Americas, does business with both Honda and Toyota. Owners can expect to be contacted by mail if their vehicle is among the affected group.
The notice comes after General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that airbags in 1,798 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans manufactured between June 2, 2011 and October 17, 2011 have faulty airbag systems that fail in their second stage during a severe frontal crash.
This isn’t the first time this year that GM issued recalls related to their airbag systems. Earlier this month we reported on an airbag recall for the Pontiac G8 after it came to light that many of the vehicles had issues with late deployment.
Owners can expect a call later this month when the recall begins if they own a qualifying vehicle.
Would you trust new technology with your life? One Chevy Volt owner did, and walked away from a rather serious smash-up mostly unharmed.
A forum user on GM-Volt.com posted pictures recently of his totaled Volt on the New Jersey Turnpike. The car (number 187) became a martyr after a nasty highway collision.
“Except for some back and neck pain for my wife and I, it was a miracle that there wasn’t any more injuries. The car is rock solid, that’s for sure. I’m going to miss that car,” the owner said on the thread.
According to the driver, a Ford Taurus veered into their lane and caused them to hit an oncoming school bus. Contents from the trunk flew into the back seat where the driver’s three-year-old and 15-month-old children were sitting.
This might be the first reported write-off of the new Volt, which garnered the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top safety pick and a five-star rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Safety features on the car include front, side, knee and ceiling mounted airbags as well as electronic stability control. Volt owners also get a 3-year subscription to OnStar’s Directions and Connections Plan including Automatic Crash Response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation.
GALLERY: Chevy Volt Wreck
Turns out, being rich and looking good ain’t enough to get you by in this business. The Pagani Huayra has to step in line with the proletariat: just because it’s a six-figure, low-volume supercar, doesn’t grant it an exemption from America’s airbag regulations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stopped giving waivers to their airbag safety regulation which is now 11 years old. As such, Pagani will need to invest over 4 million Euros in bringing its airbags up to spec, which include adjusting deployment speed based on weight sensors in the seats.
Currently, the only companies with waivers are Tesla, for its Roadster (which expires this year with its end of production) and Lamborghini (whose waiver expired in February). Pagani planned to only sell 5 cars in America next year, but they’ll have to still play ball like everyone else. As such, they assert that without a waiver, they won’t be able to sell cars in America until 2015. “Although Pagani has realized profits in recent years, the company asserted that immediate compliance with the advanced air-bag requirements will cause substantial economic hardship,” said a notice issued by NHTSA. Pagani estimates that lost sales during that period will total $4.5 million.
Given the likelihood of exotic cars and the lack of talent among their owners, however, Pagani may need to swallow this bitter medicine in the end. It’s for your own good, remember?
GALLERY: Pagani Huayra
The Chevrolet Volt is the first electric vehicle to receive a five-star overall vehicle score under the new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program. In addition, the Volt is also a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“Safety is a key consideration for all buyers no matter how a car is powered – gas, or in the case of the Volt, electricity,” said Doug Parks, Volt global vehicle line executive.
The stricter assessment includes a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or three at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the drivers side.
Safety features on the Chevy Volt include an electronic stability control system as well as front, side and knee airbags coupled with roof-mounted, head-curtain airbags protecting occupants in case of a rollover.
The Volt is capable of driving the first 35 miles tailpipe emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the battery runs low, the gas engine/generator effortlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank, totaling 379 miles for total driving range.
Hyundai has recalled over 190,000 Elantra models over concerns that the passenger side airbags might not work properly.
The Elantras were from the last generation, built from July 2006 to November 2008, and cover model years 2007 to 2009.
The recall deals with a defect in the airbag seat sensor that detects a person’s weight and deploys the airbag accordingly, not deploying the airbag if the passenger is a child, for example. The sensor is located in the center console, and could break easily—if liquid is spilled into the console, for example. Then, the side airbag could fire regardless of the passenger’s size and weight, injuring a child.
Over 96,000 additional Elantras from 2007 and 2008 are also being examined for a driver’s side airbag that could deploy incorrectly if the seat is set in a certain position.
It seems just like yesterday when we heard about the first airbag being installed in an automobile. Can you believe that the airbag is celebrating its 30th anniversary? Time really flies when you’re being safe.
Did you know that the first series-production car equipped with an airbag was a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloon? The company says that even before they installed the first airbag, they put a total of 13 years of research and development into the project before it ever hit the street. And Mercedes-Benz can boast that since October 1992, a driver airbag has been standard equipment in all passenger cars they make.
Reports from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that airbags have helped to save around 28,000 lives in the United States since they were first introduced. The NHTSA also say that in a typical accident, a driver wearing his or her seatbelt in a vehicle with an airbag is 61 percent less likely to be injured than those who skip the belt in vehicles with no airbag.
But all the safety experts agree that the airbag can never be a substitute for seat belts. This safety device should be used in conjunction with a seat belt. Only then does it become an optimally coordinated system that makes a big difference to the prevention of severe or fatal injuries to the occupants during serious accidents.
Official release after the jump: