Issues

Vehicle Safety

Privacy and Consumer Advocacy Groups Urge Oversight of Dedicated Short Range Communications Systems

In 2015, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a series of initiatives to speed the development of advanced technologies that could enhance highway safety. Among those initiatives was an effort to prepare to test the safety impact of wireless devices designed to share the section of the radio spectrum reserved for vehicle safety applications such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications (the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC, 5850–5925 MHz)) spectrum band.

DSRC is a two-way short- to- medium-range wireless communications capability that permits very high data transmission critical in communications-based active safety applications. In Report and Order FCC-03-324, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for use by Intelligent Transportations Systems (ITS) vehicle safety and mobility applications.

As DSRC systems become more prevalent in today’s vehicles, privacy and consumer groups have raised concerns about potential vulnerabilities, arguing that these communications may allow access to private information or increase the likelihood of cyber attacks. These groups are also concerned about the automakers’ intent to use the DSRC for commercial applications. On August 24, 2016, 18 consumer groups submitted a letter to the FCC  urging the commission to prevent the auto industry from using spectrum set aside for vehicle-to-vehicle communications for commercial applications. See the full text of the letter here.

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Registration Now Open for Third Annual Automotive Safety Inspection Forum

On October 19, 2016, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), and ASA-Texas will host the third annual safety inspection forum in Houston, Texas area.

A lack of regular maintenance poses a risk to the safety of the vehicle owner, his or her passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and property. In addition, it hurts the long-term value of the vehicle. Safety inspections have been proven to reduce the number accidents caused by vehicle defects, preserve the quality safety-related vehicle components, and diminish the amount of fatal accidents.

Join us this fall for a half-day forum in Texas to determine how best to promote the importance of preventative maintenance programs. Register is free and open to the public. Sign up here.

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U.S. Senators Call on Honda to Immediately Issue “Do Not Drive” Order for Certain Takata Air Bags

After new data revealed that Takata air bags in certain Honda and Acura vehicles have a 50 percent chance of rupture in a crash, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) are calling on Honda to immediately issue a “do not drive” order to owners vehicles with these dangerous air bags. In a letter to Honda, the Senators urged Honda to take the strongest possible action to ensure that vehicles with such air bags are immediately removed from the road before more people are killed. They also called on the company to take additional measures to make it as easy as possible for owners of these vehicles to have this dangerous defect repaired, without having to drive the vehicle to a dealership. To see the full text of the letter, click here.

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NHTSA Data Shows Traffic Deaths up 7.7 Percent in 2015

WASHINGTON – Preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 7.7 percent increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in 2015, up from the 32,675 reported fatalities in 2014.

“Every American should be able to drive, ride or walk to their destination safely, every time,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are analyzing the data to determine what factors contributed to the increase in fatalities and at the same time, we are aggressively testing new safety technologies, new ways to improve driver behavior, and new ways to analyze the data we have, as we work with the entire road safety community to take this challenge head-on.” Read more here.

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NHTSA: New Test Data on Subset of Takata Air Bag Inflators Shows Substantially Higher Risk

WASHINGTON – New test data on a particular subset of defective Takata air bag inflators in certain model-year 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles show a far higher risk of ruptures during air bag deployment, prompting an urgent call from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that unrepaired vehicles in this population are found and fixed before they cause further injuries or fatalities.

“With as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge.”

See the full release here.

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Florida Repairers Call for Automotive Safety Inspections

Currently in Florida, law enforcement is permitted to stop and cite drivers for bald tires, worn brakes or similar equipment issues. But there’s no formal way to get these vehicles off the road and get them fixed up because Florida doesn’t have annual vehicle inspections. Read more here.

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NHTSA Expands and Accelerates Takata Air Bag Inflator Recall

WASHINGTON – The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding and accelerating the recall of Takata air bag inflators. The decision follows the agency’s confirmation of the root cause behind the inflators’ propensity to rupture. Ruptures of the Takata inflators have been tied to ten deaths and more than 100 injuries in the United States.

Under the Amended Consent Order issued to Takata this week, the company is required to make a series of safety defect decisions that will support vehicle manufacturer recall campaigns of an additional estimated 35-40 million inflators, adding to the already 28.8 million inflators previously recalled. These expansions are planned to take place in phases between May 2016 and December 2019. The expansions mean that all Takata ammonium nitrate-based propellant driver and passenger frontal air bag inflators without a chemical drying agent, also known as a desiccant, will be recalled.

“Today’s action is a significant step in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s aggressive oversight of Takata on behalf of drivers and passengers across America,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The acceleration of this recall is based on scientific evidence and will protect all Americans from air bag inflators that may become unsafe.”

For more information, please click here.

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NHTSA Announces Automakers’ Commitment to Standardize Automatic Emergency Braking

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept 1, 2022. For more information, click here.

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Registration Live for ASA’s Second Annual Safety Inspection Forum in St. Louis, Missouri

In 2014, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) held the first annual safety inspection forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This year, ASA, in conjunction with ASA-Midwest and the Missouri Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP-MO), will host the second Vehicle Safety Inspection and Maintenance Forum in St. Louis, Missouri. The half-day program will take place on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015, and will serve as the next phase of ASA’s mission of raising awareness of the importance of periodic motor vehicle inspection programs and developing strategies to protect these programs. ASA encourages anyone involved in the automotive industry to attend this most important automotive safety program. Registration is free and attendees can sign up here.

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ASA’s Bob Redding Joins Carm Capriotto to Talk PMVI on Remarkable Results Podcast

On October 29, ASA’s legislative representative, Bob Redding, spoke on the popular aftermarket podcast, Remarkable Results. During the program, Bob outlined the details of ASA’s upcoming safety inspection forum on December 2nd, including the high caliber presenters and importance of remaining engaged in the effort to protect safety inspections.

Listen to the full podcast here.

For more information about attending the safety inspection forum, click here.

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