In recall news, a faulty airbag inflator switch from Japanese supplier Takata Corporation was discovered. Officials have linked 9 deaths to the defective Takata airbags. US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx released a
[00:00:30] statement accusing Takata of providing investigators with "incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading information." Foxx also announced a $70 million fine, while NHTSA jumped in to exercise its authority and issued a mandate for Takata to speed its repairs. Citing 2019 as the deadline to fix recalled vehicles.
General Motors' faulty ignition switches were linked to 124 deaths. GM paid out over $500 million in compensation to victims
[00:01:00] and families affected by their faulty vehicles.
The Feds continued to crack down on the industry, as Fiat Chrysler was hit with a $105 million fine. The automaker was slapped with this record fine because of failures in the reporting of its safety data to federal regulators.
VW continues to make headlines for its diesel emissions scandal. Defeat devices allowed the German automaker to manipulate emissions data surrounding it's so called clean diesel engines.
[00:01:30] There were public apologies, and even a leadership shakeup as a result of the scandal. Longtime chief executive, Martin Winterkorn resigned and Matthias Muller was tapped from Porsche to become the CEO. He's charged with regaining consumer trust. In 2016 we'll follow as the automaker works to fix the issue and comply with federal mandates.
Carjacking went wireless in 2015. A disturbing video on Wired.com showed that cars with wireless connections are susceptible to remote hacking.
[00:02:00] The segment showed two researchers remotely controlling a Jeep Cherokee. Some of the things they were able to do included, running vehicle's the wipers, turning up the music and ultimately shutting down the Jeep while it was being driven on the highway. Government officials took note right away. A press release issued from the desks of senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal introduced legislation protecting drivers from auto security privacy risks. Fiat Chrysler meanwhile issued a fix to its susceptible Uconnect system.
[00:02:30] Drivers could download the fix from home, or bring their cars into a dealership.
Let's switch gears to some of the hot metal of the year, and there was plenty of it in 2015. There was the return of a supercar as Acura revealed the NSX. Autoblog's Editor-in-Chief Michael Austin test drove the all-wheel drive hybrid, he said: "The NSX is fast, comfortable, and obeys your every command. And one thing is certain here: Acura didn't copy anyone. The NSX a unique supercar,
[00:03:00] from the way it approaches performance to how it goes down the road. And in that sense, it's a true successor to the original."
Mazda introduced the fourth generation Miata. I drove the 2016 MX5 and the latest rendition of the rear wheel drive roadster didn't disappoint. Now it's lighter it has new styling and it's perfect for a sunny day, or really, any day.
There was also plenty of Detroit muscle flexed in 2015. We had the arrival of the new Camaro, and the Mustang GT350.
[00:03:30] In Green car news Toyota introduced the new Prius, and Chevy brought out the second generation Volt. Meanwhile, Tesla motors made early deliveries of its third all-electric vehicle, that's the Model X crossover.
Looking forward we think that the trend in 2016 will definitely be autonomous driving. We've had glimpses of what's to come. 2015 saw the launch of the M City project. That's 32 acres of autonomous testing circuit outside of Detroit. Google continues to make strides as well
[00:04:00] as it tests its vehicles on the roadways. And Toyota presented compelling footage of its TMT driving system.
And those are the highlights from the year that was. Let us be among the first to wish you a happy New Year. After a short break we'll be back in 2016 to continue to bring you the most comprehensive automotive news you can find anywhere. For Autoblog, I'm Greg Migliore.
Autoblog Minute is a short-form video news series reporting on all things automotive. Each segment offers a quick and clear picture of what's happening in the automotive industry from the perspective of Autoblog's expert editorial staff, auto executives, and industry professionals.