The safety crisis surrounding Takata's exploding airbags continues to expand. In the latest revelation, Honda confirms another death linked to the faulty parts, and the company is expanding its recall of the components. However, none of the newly added vehicles are in the United States.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't had much to celebrate this year. The botched handling of major recall campaigns from General Motors and for faulty Takata airbag inflators haven't put the agency in the best light. Also, its new VIN lookup for safety campaigns, which should have been a major step forward, crashed the first time it was really needed. Clearly, something must be done, and it appears that the government's solution might be an overhaul of the bureau, starting
With the Takata airbag debacle still yet to be resolved, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found itself in hot water again. Parties both from within and from without the agency's ranks are asking hard questions about NHTSA's handling of the widespread recall, and now the agency's leadership will have to answer some of those hard questions.
Hyundai may be based in South Korea, but the automaker is touting hydrogen fuel-cell technology as an all-American benefit and is getting some help from the US government to do so. The company said this week that it's collaborating with the US Department of Energy and the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus at promoting fuel-cell technology. The timing is good because Hyundai just started selling the first mass-produced fuel-cell vehicle sold/leased in the US (unless you count the Honda FCX Clar
Transportation was on President Obama's mind as he toured the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA Tuesday. In a brief, 14-minute speech, the president touched on both car-to-car communications and safety technology, as well as the need to maintain funding for the rapidly depleting Highway Trust Fund. Aside from his speech, the president also sampled one of HRC's driving simulators (shown above), which he likened to "something like Knight Rider."
Using America's interstate system could get more expensive in some places in the near future. Provisions in the White House-endorsed, $302 billion transportation bill would allow states to get permission from the federal government to impose tolls on them to raise money for infrastructure upkeep. Of course, some states already charge to drive on the interstates – the New Jersey turnpike, for example – but for the most part charges are rare on the federally funded roads.
Prepare for a big political debate about the nation's infrastructure in the coming weeks. The Obama administration has sent a bill covering interstate repair funding for the next four years to Congress. While that might seem somewhat benign, the proposal is likely to prove contentious because it would be partially financed by ending some tax breaks to businesses. This likely won't go over well in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Toyota brought its new i-Road, a three-wheeled, all-electric low-speed vehicle that debuted in 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show, to the Capitol for some of our elected officials to test out. As easy as it is to forget that politicians are people, too, it was refreshing to see a human side to many of them as they zipped about one of the Capitol's many meeting rooms.
The recall of small cars is now up to 2.6 million vehicles
The families of those who died in General Motors cars with defective ignition switches want prosecutors to go after GM insiders responsible for letting the problems fester for more than a decade - and perhaps for covering them up.
U.S. House of Representatives intends to hold hearings on delayed recall
The Department of Justice will investigate General Motors to see whether it failed to recall more than 1.37 million defective cars in timely fashion, according to a report published by Reuters on Tuesday afternoon.
Amid the dust, euphoria and apocalyptic overtones of last year's King of the Hammers race, there was a fight going on to save the Johnson OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) area for public use. Part of the area's 188,000 acres borders the 29 Palms Marine Base, and the Marines wanted to claim 160,000 of them for military use. If that happened, it would have robbed the public of almost all of the Johnson OHV area and, in claiming the Hammers collection of rock formations, shut down the race.
The cost of a gallon of fuel may go up if a Democratic representative from Oregon gets his way. Earl Blumenauer has reportedly proposed a bill in the House of Representatives to raise the federal gas tax 15 cents per gallon in a bid to cover a shortfall in transportation funding (we told you so?). The current federal tax is 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and 42.8 cents per gallon of diesel.
Seeing representatives (and often top executives) from the Big Three automakers lobbying in Washington on behalf of the industry is nothing new. But General Motors, Ford and Chrysler aren't the only companies manufacturing automobiles in the United States these days. So too are a growing number of foreign automakers, chief among them Japanese companies, which are now eager to exercise their own lobbying influence on Capitol Hill.
With the second day of the US federal government shutdown now behind us, we're getting a lot of information on how the closure is affecting people across the country. For the green car world, the biggest impact we know of right now is that the US Environmental Protection Agency is operating with a skeleton staff. According to Reuters, the EPA "will take one of the biggest hits of any federal agency" and only has seven percent of its work force at the office today.
Congress is considering a revised version of the Open Fuel Standard Act, an Act that was originally introduced two years ago but failed to pass. Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced a bipartisan bill that would require more and more new vehicles to be able to run on at least some non-petroleum fuels. The requirements would be for 30 percent of new vehicles to be alt-fuel ready in 2016, 50 percent in 2017 and 50 percent in each subsequent year.