The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a new public awareness campaign this week called “Safe Cars Save Lives”. The program is focusing on ways to encourage drivers to regularly check for open recalls and to get them fixed as soon as possible. According to NHTSA statistics, last year there were close to 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationwide, with an average 25 percent of recalls left unrepaired. Continue reading

With the beginning of 2016, California enacted new laws affecting the day-to-day operations of California residents. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are reminding everyone that several of these laws will directly affect transportation. SB 491 (Earbuds & Headsets) is one notable law that makes it illegal to wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle. (This law does not apply to persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment while wearing a headset or safety earplugs.) Continue reading

California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulators have rejected Volkswagen’s recall proposal for repairs to its emissions cheating diesel vehicles saying it lacks sufficient detail and does not adequately address the overall impacts on vehicle performance, emissions and safety. According to CARB, the recall plan

  • needs to identify which vehicles are affected.
  • must include a sufficient method of obtaining the car owners’ names and address.
  • does not include adequate information on how the fix would affect future emissions results.

The rejection concerns VW’s 2.0L diesel engines with a proposal for the 3.0L engines due in February. In a statement, VW said it will continue to work with both state and federal regulators and the rejection of its recall plan does not mean a recall will not be issued.

With a record number of recalls released last year, people visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website to check the VIN number of their vehicle to see if it has been recalled, may experience problems accessing the information they are looking for. The service has been slow after automakers released another round of recalls for defective Takata airbags. About 33.8 million vehicles, manufactured by 11 different automakers, have already been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side and/or passenger’s side, because they could deploy with too much force, injuring and in some instances killing occupants. Six fatalities and over 100 injuries have already been linked to the problem. Continue reading

Months after receiving recall notices, millions of vehicle owners are still waiting to hear how long it will take to get recalls repaired. Delays in the recall system have resulted in unsafe conditions as owners continue to drive with defects. Sometimes the companies or dealers offer free loaner cars, but most of the time they don’t. This leaves car owners with a difficult decision of whether they should continue driving and hope the problem doesn’t affect them, or rent a car. In some circumstances it may take months or even years before parts become available.

The Law Offices of Delsack & Associates, P.C. were contacted by a California resident looking for advice about his defective 2011 Volvo S40. He told us he was experiencing electrical problems that resulted in a “no start” condition and a driver’s seat that would not operate properly. He had given his Volvo dealership twelve (12) opportunities to repair the defects, but the problems remained. Continue reading

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are demanding that airbag manufacturer, Takata Industries along with automobile manufacturer’s BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota, expand their airbag recall to include vehicles beyond the initial geographical areas. This decision comes after a recent driver’s side air bag failure in a vehicle outside the current regional recall area, previous fatalities, and many injuries that have been linked to the problem. Continue reading

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Toyota have come to a $1.2 billion settlement agreement that will end a four year investigation into the inadvertent acceleration of certain Toyota vehicles. During a new conference on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the automobile manufacturer for misleading consumers through statements regarding the two issues that caused sudden acceleration in certain models. Continue reading