IIHS Resource on Buying Safer Vehicles – And White Cars Are Safer


IIHS Resource on Buying Safer Vehicles – And White Cars Are Safer

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Good resource from IIHS is now at  http://ht.ly/RPIyY

For information on insurance losses by make and model see http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/insurance-loss-information

And Car Color Safety Tip

One tip for vehicle purchasers that can improve their safety by about 10% free is by wisely choosing a white vehicle.  See report attached. 

Car color is especially timely as we approach the end of daylight savings time.  See my previous article on car color and safety at https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-daylaightsavings.php

Be Safe,

Lou

 

Safety, Health, and Happiness – VW Cheats to Pollute More


Safety, Health, and Happiness – VW Cheats to Pollute More

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Another example of why jail time is needed to protect Americans from injuries to our safety, health and happiness is highlighted in an excellent editorial in USA Today.  See

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/09/21/volkswagen-clean-diesel-epa-emissions-editorials-debates/72594004/

 

Voices for Crash Victims Will Be Heard Today on DemocracyNow on GM Settlement


Voices for Crash Victims Will Be Heard Today on DemocracyNow on GM Settlement

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Laura Gipe Christian, Ralph Nader and Rena Steinzor are scheduled today,Sept. 18, 2015 at 89:00am EST, to discuss the travesty of the GM Settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.

Laura Gipe Christian is the mother of a daughter killed in a GM ignition switch crash and founder of Facebook site GM Recall Survivors athttps://www.facebook.com/gmrecall.survivors

Lou

 

Crash Victims Organize For A Safer America


Crash Victims Organize For A Safer America

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Out of a tragic crash comes hope for a safer America.

Citizens have organized a project for the world to contribute to research on improving safety.  Seehttp://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Underride-Guard-Research-Brochure.pdf

The first focus of the Karth family is on Truck Underride Guards a subject I had a short involvement with in the late 1970s at NHTSA under Administrator Joan Claybrook.  I, and others, tried to get a strong underride guard rule promulgated.  See http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=214652

It was a short lived effort because in 1980 Ronald Reagan became President.  He replaced Administrator Joan Claybrook with a coal industry lobbyist Raymond A. Peck, Jr. with devastating consequences for the safety of Americans that still continue.

The Republican Reagan Administration quickly ripped up the airbag rules, reduced the NHTSA work force from 900 people to 600 people (a level that persists to this date), and stopped efforts for a strong underride guard.  Corporate interests continue to subvert safety policies to this day – including truck safety.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-predictable.php 

People can contribute to this new citizen safety effort athttps://www.fortrucksafety.com/
Lou

 

Victims of GM Ignition Switch Crash Create A Vehicle Safety Watch List


Victims of GM Ignition Switch Crash Create A Vehicle Safety Watch List

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

An important announcement by The Safety Institute:“Today, The Safety Institute (TSI) announces that the Melton family will sponsor the Vehicle Safety Watch List in memory of their daughter Brooke, who died in a 2010 crash caused by a well-known ignition switch defect in her 2005 Chevy Cobalt.

“Brooke would still be alive if GM had acknowledged the ignition defect and fixed it. Brooke would be alive if the regulators had followed up on their own investigations which revealed the problem,” Ken Melton said.

“It’s clear to us that the accountability systems we have in place don’t work as well as they should. The Watch List provides another tool, another way to look at defect trends. So, we are investing in a process that can help uncover emerging problems before they take more lives and turn into a full-blown crisis and cover-up.”

Brooke Melton, 29, died when she skidded into another vehicle after the ignition module of her 2005 Cobalt slipped into the accessory position. Evidence produced in the Melton case showed that GM knew about that the ignition switch problem as early as 2001.

Brooke Melton’s 2010 death was initially deemed the result of a loss-of-control crash on a rainy night. But the Meltons’ persistence revealed GM’s longstanding knowledge that its defective ignition module that could shift out of the run position while a vehicle is underway, turning off the airbags at the same time it is cutting off the engine power, anti-lock brakes and power steering. In February 2014, after GM reported the defect and launched a limited recall, the Meltons asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open an investigation into GM’s actions.

That investigation eventually led to $35 million in civil fines levied against GM, and nearly 15 million vehicles recalled. Congress held hearings on GM’s deception and NHTSA’s failures to probe the defect when it first learned about airbag deployment failures in 2007. The ignition switch defect is also at the center of a multi-district litigation (MDL).

In light of the more detailed picture that emerged, Ken and Beth Melton returned their original settlement and pursued GM for fraud to hold the automaker accountable and improve safety for all consumers. This case was settled in April.”  See

http://www.thesafetyinstitute.org/parents-of-gm-ignition-switch-crash-victim-sponsor-quarterly-vehicle-safety-watch-list/

and watch http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/parents-gm-crash-victim-fund-vehicle-safety-watchlist-n421826

On January 26, 2014, an LA Times article addressed corporate and governmental failures to protect Americans and asked “what’s the ordinary person to do?”

“Only oversight by a Congress and president truly devoted to the public interest, not commercial interests, can keep regulatory agencies focused on the people’s business.

But when business gets its say on Capitol Hill and the White House too, what’s the ordinary person to do?” See

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/26/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20140126

As an ordinary person, I can say: Thank you to the Melton family and The Safety Institute.

Lou 

 

Senators Urge Action To Protect Motorists


Senators Urge Action To Protect Motorists

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Hope

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 202-224-2742

Sarah Zukowski (Blumenthal) 202-224-0335

Josh Zembik (Blumenthal) 202-224-6452

 

Markey, Blumenthal Continue Investigation of Automotive Cybersecurity and Privacy Practices

 

Lawmakers have introduced legislation to establish federal standards to secure cars from cyberattack and protect drivers’ privacy

 

Washington (September 16, 2015) – Continuing the investigation begun by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in 2013, Senator Markey and Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) today sent new, expanded queries to 18 automakers asking for an update to the information on each company’s protections against the threat of cyberattacks or unwarranted invasions of privacy related to the integration of electronic systems into and within automobiles. Additionally, the Senators ask the companies for a description of any changes to their vehicle fleet or characteristics, policies, practices and experiences that may have occurred since the company first responded to Senator Markey’s original letter.

 

Last year, Senator Markey released the report “Tracking & Hacking: Security & Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk,” which detailed major gaps in how auto companies are securing connected features in cars against hackers. Most recently, researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller wirelessly hacked a Jeep Cherokee from miles away while the vehicle was on a highway, showing how hackers could control the air conditioning, windshield wipers and fluid, radio, transmission, the brakes and steering. As a result of the demonstration, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles to fix this vulnerability. In July, the Senators wrote to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) urging it to take immediate action and investigate potential widespread risk for consumers because of vulnerabilities in auto information and entertainment systems.

 

“As vehicles become increasingly connected to the Internet and to one another through advanced features and services, we continue to see how these technologies present vulnerabilities that can compromise the safety and privacy of drivers and passengers,” write Senators Markey and Blumenthal, members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “We have specifically learned how third parties can access the electronic controls and data of vehicles from many different entry points, including wireless connections, and we appreciate that many automotive companies have begun to take concrete steps to close these security gaps.”   

 

A sample copy of the Senators’ letter to automakers can be found HERE.

 

Senators Markey and Blumenthal sent letters to Aston Martin, BMW North America, Fiat Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, American Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motors North America, Jaguar Land Rover North America, Lamborghini, Mazda North America, Mercedes Benz USA, Mitsubishi, Nissan North America, Porsche, Subaru Motors America, Tesla, Toyota North America, Volkswagen Group of America (with Audi), and Volvo.

 

In July, Senators Markey and Blumenthal introduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act, legislation that would direct NHTSA and the Federal Trade Commission to establish federal standards to secure our cars and protect drivers’ privacy. The SPY Car Act also establishes a rating system — or “cyber dashboard”— that informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers’ security and privacy beyond those minimum standards.

Current Reality

“General Motors drivers looking for cheap places to eat, sleep and shop might be in luck with a new update to OnStar’s mobile app.

The AtYourService platform, which provides subscribers access to various shopping, dining and hotel deals, will soon be available through the service’s RemoteLink application, OnStar said today. AtYourService, currently available in-vehicle with the help of OnStar advisers, provides subscribers with information on nearby businesses, including savings at some restaurants, retailers, fuel and hotels.

The app’s new AtYourService tab will update offers from companies, including Dunkin’ Donuts and RetailMeNot, based on the user’s location and the time of day.”  See

Lou

 

Safety And Justice


Safety And Justice

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:Department of Justice Acts – But Not For GM Crash Victims The NY Times reported: “WASHINGTON — Stung by years of criticism that it has coddled Wall Street criminals, the Justice Department issued new policies on Wednesday that prioritize the prosecution of individual employees — not just their companies — and put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives….” “The new rules take effect immediately, but they are not likely to apply to investigations that are far along, such as one into General Motors over defects. Prosecutors in New York are struggling to charge company employees over problems linked to the deaths of more than 100 people, partly because the laws governing car companies require that prosecutors show that the employees intended to break the law, a higher standard than in other industries like pharmaceuticals and food.” Seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/10/us/politics/new-justice-dept-rules-aimed-at-prosecuting-corporate-executives.html?ref=internationalCrash Victims Act An announcement by The Safety Institute: “Today, The Safety Institute (TSI) announces that the Melton family will sponsor the Vehicle Safety Watch List in memory of their daughter Brooke, who died in a 2010 crash caused by a well-known ignition switch defect in her 2005 Chevy Cobalt. “Brooke would still be alive if GM had acknowledged the ignition defect and fixed it. Brooke would be alive if the regulators had followed up on their own investigations which revealed the problem,” Ken Melton said. “It’s clear to us that the accountability systems we have in place don’t work as well as they should. The Watch List provides another tool, another way to look at defect trends. So, we are investing in a process that can help uncover emerging problems before they take more lives and turn into a full-blown crisis and cover-up.”

“Brooke Melton, 29, died when she skidded into another vehicle after the ignition module of her 2005 Cobalt slipped into the accessory position. Evidence produced in the Melton case showed that GM knew about that the ignition switch problem as early as 2001.

Brooke Melton’s 2010 death was initially deemed the result of a loss-of-control crash on a rainy night. But the Meltons’ persistence revealed GM’s longstanding knowledge that its defective ignition module that could shift out of the run position while a vehicle is underway, turning off the airbags at the same time it is cutting off the engine power, anti-lock brakes and power steering. In February 2014, after GM reported the defect and launched a limited recall, the Meltons asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open an investigation into GM’s actions.

That investigation eventually led to $35 million in civil fines levied against GM, and nearly 15 million vehicles recalled. Congress held hearings on GM’s deception and NHTSA’s failures to probe the defect when it first learned about airbag deployment failures in 2007. The ignition switch defect is also at the center of a multi-district litigation (MDL).

In light of the more detailed picture that emerged, Ken and Beth Melton returned their original settlement and pursued GM for fraud to hold the automaker accountable and improve safety for all consumers. This case was settled in April.”  See

http://www.thesafetyinstitute.org/parents-of-gm-ignition-switch-crash-victim-sponsor-quarterly-vehicle-safety-watch-list/

and watch http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/parents-gm-crash-victim-fund-vehicle-safety-watchlist-n421826

Hope & Thanks For Safety and Justice Thanks to the Melton family and The Safety Institute for continuing the efforts to achieve Safety and Justice for all crash victims.