The fifth-generation (1996-2005) Volkswagen Passat was always a bit of a problem child for the German automakers and its vehicle owners. While it was both handsome and a pleasure to drive, it was afflicted by numerous mechanical maladies, including engine sludge and an issue with a heat shield that could contact the exhaust system and potentially trigger a fire in the engine compartment. In 2007 and 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted several investigations into th
Earlier this week, we reported that the NHTSA was in the hot seat when it failed to report infant seat failures. Our post stemmed from a report in the Chicago Tribune following its investigation through thousands of buried National Highway Traffic Safety Administration test reports. The Tribune report raised more than a few eyebrows as it called into question current child seat safety standards, and accused the NHTSA of negligence in not reporting the poor results to the public.
The Chicago Tribune is shaking a rattle at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Its investigation has found 31 cases of infant seats exceeding injury limits or disconnecting from their bases during federal vehicle frontal impact crash tests. The NHTSA slams countless cars into barriers each year, like the 2008 Dodge Caravan in the gallery below. In addition to the sensor-laden crash dummies, some of the vehicles are also fitted with infant or child seats. According to the Tribune,
Bob Lutz's worst nightmare appears to be on the horizon. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters is expected to unveil proposed regulations for fuel economy today that go beyond what Congress mandated in last December's Energy Bill. NHTSA appears set to require cars to achieve a fleet average of 35.7mpg of 2015 while trucks will have to get to 26.7mpg. That amounts to an average annual increase of 4.6 percent which goes beyond the 4 percent bump required by congress. In order to meet these new requ