DOT announces $10M fine for Graco car seat recall

Graco Children’s Products has been fined $10 million after the company failed to provide timely notification of a defect in more than 4 million car seats. Graco must pay a fine of $3 million immediately to the Federal Government and an additional $7 million is due in five years unless they spend at least the same amount on new steps to improve child safety. The penalties close an investigation launched last year by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into whether the company failed its obligations, under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, to begin what ended up as the largest ever recall of child seats. The seats had buckles that could stick or become stuck in a latched position, potentially placing child occupants at risk in an emergency. Parents need to know that the seats they trust to protect their children are safe, and that when there’s a problem, the manufacturer will meet its obligations to fix the defect quickly. Graco will create a plan and procedures for addressing certain targeted performance requirements, which may include methods to increase effectiveness of consumer product registration of car seats, which allows parents to be notified of defects, identifying potential safety trends affecting car seats industry wide and launching a child safety awareness campaign. According to NHTSA, on average, only 40 percent of people who have recalled car seats get them fixed. That’s in comparison to an average of 75 percent of people who have recalled light vehicles, for which registration is required by law. The company also must provide certification from an independent, third-party that it has met its cost obligations; if Graco fails to meet those obligations, it must pay the balance of the $10 million civil penalty. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act states that once a manufacturer knows or should reasonably know that an item of motor vehicle equipment, such as a car seat, contains a safety related defect, the manufacturer has a maximum of five business days to notify the agency. Once it notifies NHTSA of a defect, it is required to launch a recall. Under the consent order issued today, Graco admits that it did not provide the required defect notice. Under pressure from NHTSA, Graco recalled more than 4 million convertible and booster seats with defective buckles in February 2014, and nearly an additional 2 million rear facing infant seats in June. NHTSA launched an investigation into the timeliness of Graco’s decision making and reporting of a defect in those recalls in December. With this consent order, Graco is required to pay a $3 million civil penalty, and to commit at least $7 million to meet targeted performance obligations, over the next five years. Those obligations may include: · Improving its assessment and identification of potential safety defects. · Creating a scientifically tested program to increase effectiveness of child seat registration programs. · Revising its procedures for addressing consumer safety complaints and speed the recall of defective products. · Launching a campaign to disseminate safety messages to parents and caregivers by producing media products to incorporate in child safety campaigns.  

Bosch CDR Version 16.0.1

A new CDR software patch is now available for downloading from the Bosch Diagnostics website. Changes for CDR version 16.0.1 include:

2015 Ford Fiesta – changed EDR translation memory locations for RCM software part number AV1T-14C028-CB

2015 Ford Transit & Transit Connect – resolved an error opening a CDR file on some vehicles where a fault code was recorded in an EDR record

Refer to the “What’s New in this Version” section of the CDR help file for details.

Please visit our website and click on the link (CDR v16.0.1) to download the patch:

http://www.boschdiagnostics.com/software/pages/CDR_software.aspx

Current Release

CDR v16.0 System Software

CDR v16.0.1 Software Patch (requires installation of 16.0)

Note: You MUST have CDR v16.0 installed prior to installing the CDR v16.0.1 software patch. You do not need a new activation certificate.

The Bosch CDR system supports select airbag modules for vehicle as far back as 1996. To see if the pre-crash data from your vehicle’s airbag module can be downloaded please see the BOSCH CDR Coverage List. Veritech engineers utilize the Bosch CDR system as an important tool to aid in performing vehicle accident reconstructions. Airbag modules are capable of recording valuable pre-crash information, such as vehicle speed, brake application and seatbelt usage, but are not capable of telling the entire story. Accident reconstruction engineers must still consider all of the available physical evidence, along with the ACM data, in to order to properly reconstruct an accident. Veritech Consulting Engineering employs Professional Engineers who are specifically trained and certified in the use of the Bosch CDR system and have performed numerous accident reconstructions utilizing airbag module information. Click on the following link for more information on “black box” technology.  

Bosch Annouces Release of Version 16.0 Software

Bosch announces the release of CDR Ver. 16.0 Bosch is pleased to announce the release of the new CDR software version 16.0 software. What’s new for CDR Version 16.0? This new version of CDR software provides EDR readout for Bentley and Lamborghini vehicles. In addition, 2016 model year coverage was added for several OEMs. Refer to the CDR Help File for more detailed coverage information. New Vehicle Coverage Audi (MY2016, US/Canada markets) – A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q3 and Q5 vehicles Bentley (MY2016, US/Canada markets) – Mulsanne BMW (MY2014, US/Canada markets) – i3 & i8 Ford / Lincoln (MY2015/2016, US/Canada markets) – 2015 Ford Focus – 2016 Ford Edge – 2016 Lincoln MKX General Motors (MY2016, US/Canada markets) – Various Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMCs were added Honda / Acura (MY2016, US/Canada markets) – Acura ILX – Acura MDX – Acura RDX – Acura RLX – Honda Accord – Honds Civic – Honda Fit – Honda HRV Lamborghini (MY2015, US/Canada markets) – Huracan Mazda (MY2016, US/Canada markets) – CX-3 – CX-5 – Mazda2 – Mazda3 – Mazda6 Nissan (MY2016, US/Canada markets) – 370Z Coupe & Roadster Volkswagen (MY2014, US/Canada markets) – Routan   The Bosch CDR system supports select airbag modules for vehicle as far back as 1996. To see if the pre-crash data from your vehicle’s airbag module can be downloaded please see the BOSCH CDR Coverage List. Veritech engineers utilize the Bosch CDR system as an important tool to aid in performing vehicle accident reconstructions. Airbag modules are capable of recording valuable pre-crash information, such as vehicle speed, brake application and seatbelt usage, but are not capable of telling the entire story. Accident reconstruction engineers must still consider all of the available physical evidence, along with the ACM data, in to order to properly reconstruct an accident. Veritech Consulting Engineering employs Professional Engineers who are specifically trained and certified in the use of the Bosch CDR system and have performed numerous accident reconstructions utilizing airbag module information. Click on the following link for more information on “black box” technology.  

Honda Fined $70 Million for Failing to Comply with Laws That Safeguard the Public

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that as a result of a NHTSA investigation, Honda will pay two $35 million civil penalties, for a total of $70 million, for failing to report deaths, injuries, and certain warranty claims to the federal government in violation of the TREAD Act. In the Consent Order, Honda also agreed to increased NHTSA oversight and third party audits to ensure that all required reporting is completed now and into the future. In 2014 alone, NHTSA issued more than $126 million in civil penalties, exceeding the total amount collected by the agency during its forty-three year history.  These fines reflect the tough stance we will take against those who violate the law and fail to do their part in the mission to keep Americans safe on the road. NHTSA’s investigation into Honda’s safety reporting found that the automaker failed to submit early warning reports (EWR reports) identifying potential or actual safety issues. The first civil penalty is a result of Honda’s failure to report 1,729 death and injury claims to NHTSA between 2003 and 2014. The second civil penalty is due to the manufacturer’s failure to report certain warranty claims and claims under customer satisfaction campaigns throughout the same time period. Additional details are available in the audit report prepared for Honda by Bowman and Brooke and in Honda’s Response to NHTSA’s Special Order addressing the violations. Federal law requires manufacturers to submit comprehensive EWR reports of potential safety concerns to the Department. These quarterly reports include production information; incidents involving a death or injury; aggregate data on property damage claims, consumer complaints, warranty claims, and field reports; and, copies of field reports involving specified vehicle components, a fire, or a rollover. The data are then used to investigate whether safety defects or defect trends exist and warrant further action, including possible recalls. In addition to civil penalties, Honda has been ordered to comply with NHTSA oversight requirements under a Consent Order. It requires that Honda develop written procedures for compliance with EWR requirements, train appropriate personnel on at least an annual basis, and complete two third-party audits of the automaker’s compliance with its reporting obligations. The Consent Order also requires Honda to provide NHTSA’s Early Warning Division with information regarding the 1,729 unreported death and injury incidents and the warranty claims, so that the agency can analyze these incidents for potential safety concerns and take appropriate action to protect America’s driving public. While 2014 was a record year for civil penalties, the fines are limited by a Congressionally-established $35 million dollar cap, the amount Honda will pay for each of the two series of violations. The Administration’s four-year reauthorization bill – the GROW AMERICA Act – proposes to increase the limit to $300 million. The Administration’s proposal also seeks additional authority to aid NHTSA in its efforts to force recalls. NHTSA issued the following civil penalties in 2014:
  • Honda, $70,000,000, for failing to both submit early warning reports and warranty claims.
  • Gwinnett Place Nissan, $110,000, for failing to perform recall remedy in new motor vehicles prior to sale and delivery.
  • Ferrari S.p.A. and Ferrari North America, Inc, $3,500,000, for failing to submit early warning reports.
  • Chapman Chevrolet LLC, $50,000, for failing to perform recall remedy in new motor vehicles prior to sale and delivery.
  • Hyundai Motor America, $17,350,000, for the failure to issue a recall in a timely manner.
  • General Motors Company, $35,000,000, for the failure to issue a recall in a timely manner.
  • General Motors Company, $441,000, for failing to fully respond to Special Order by due date.
  • Prevost, a division of Volvo Group Canada, Inc; Volvo Industrial de Mexico S.A. de C.V.; and Prevost Car (US) Inc., $250,000, the second of six annual installments of a total of $1.5 million in civil penalties, for untimely recalls and untimely submission of early warning reports, and technical service bulletins (TSBs).
  • Southern Honda Powersports (a/k/a Big Red Powersports LLC), $25,000, the second of five annual installments of a total of $125, 000 in civil penalties, for the sale of unrepaired, recalled vehicles.

Bundling For the Cold with Children in Safety Seats

With temperatures falling below freezing, heavy winter jackets are a necessity to keep warm, but they can create dangers for children in car seats. “The risk of using a bulky jacket or a blanket under the harness is that it’s going to actually introduce slack and that harness isn’t going to be as snug as it should be on the child,” said Britney Lombard, a Child Passenger Safety Technician. While that might not sound like a very big deal, the extra space will allow your child to move around a lot more in the event of a crash. “When you add in a coat, that adds in a little extra bulk which would compress with the force of a crash and it can cause anywhere from minor to serious injuries including even ejection out of the car seat,” Lombard said. She offered some tips to keep your child warm and safe without putting them in danger. “One solution would be to just take the child’s jacket off when you get to the car seat, buckle them in nice and snug and put the jacket on backwards on their arms over the top of the secured harness,” she said. “You can also use a warm blanket instead of a jacket and just kind of tuck it around the edges so that it doesn’t go under or behind the child.” For more resources or to find a Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area who can check to make sure your child’s car seat is installed properly visit seatcheck.org or carseatsafetycolorado.com

Record 27 new booster seats earn highest IIHS rating

The ranks of top-rated booster seats continue to grow as manufacturers design models to earn high marks in the Institute’s annual booster seat evaluations, plus offer the style and convenience parents look for when it’s time to pick a safe seat for their booster-age children. Among the 41 models new for 2014, there are 27 BEST BET seats — more than in any prior year — and three GOOD BETs. Eight boosters are in a category the Institute calls “Check Fit,” and there are three new models that the Institute doesn’t recommend using as boosters. Prices for BEST BET boosters start around $25 and go up to about $370, depending on features, and several models are LATCH compatible. Boosters earn a rating of BEST BET, GOOD BET, Check Fit or Not Recommended, based on a protocol that involves measuring how three-point lap and shoulder belts fit a child-size test dummy seated in the booster on a stationary test fixture. Measurements are taken under four conditions spanning the range of safety belt configurations in passenger vehicles. The evaluations focus on belt fit and don’t involve crash tests. A BEST BET booster correctly positions belts on a typical 4-to-8-year-old child in almost any car, minivan or SUV. A GOOD BET provides acceptable belt fit in most vehicles. Correct belt fit means that the lap belt lies flat across a child’s upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crosses snugly over the middle of the shoulder. The Check Fit designation means that the booster may provide good belt fit for some children in some vehicles, but not as many as boosters that earn either of the top two ratings. Belt fit can vary depending on child size and vehicle model. Before buying these boosters, parents should try them out to see if they properly position safety belts on their children in the vehicles they will ride in. In addition to information on models new this year, IIHS maintains ratings for older booster seats still on the market. Altogether, IIHS has ratings for 69 BEST BET and eight GOOD BET boosters, 35 Check Fit boosters and five Not Recommended seats for 2014. Children should stay in a harness-equipped child restraint in the back seat as long as possible, up to the height and weight limits of the seat as recommended by the seat manufacturer. Parents can find this information on the child seat label and in the instruction manual. When children outgrow child restraints, they should use boosters until adult belts fit properly. For some children, that’s not until about age 12. Children ages 4-8 in boosters are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in crashes than kids restrained by belts alone. Children who are using improperly fitted belts are at risk of a host of crash injuries known as “seat belt syndrome.” These include spine injuries and internal organ injuries. Boosters help by elevating a child into position and guiding the belts for better protection.

What’s new for Bosch CDR Version 14.2?

What’s new for CDR Version 14.2? Bosch has launched CDR Tool support for Toyota vehicles. Additionally, MY2015 vehicle support was added for many vehicles. Refer to the CDR Help File for more detailed coverage information. New Vehicle Coverage Ford (MY2015, US/Canada Markets) – Mustang – F-150 General Motors (MY2015, US/Canada Market) Added many SDM module IDs for currently supported vehicles Jeep (MY2015, all supported markets) – Cherokee – Grand Cherokee – Wrangler Lexus (MY2015, all supported markets) – RC F – RC350 Toyota/Lexus/Scion (Various MY2001 – MY2015, Japan Market) – Toyota: 86, Allion, Alphard, Aqua, Auris, Avalon, Avensis, Belta, Blade, Brevis, Camry, Celsior, Century, Comfort, Corolla, Crown, Dyna, Estima, FunCargo, Harrier, HiAce, Hilux, ISIS, ist, Kluger, LandCruiser Prado, Majesta, Mark II, Mark X, Mark X Zio, Noah, Porte, Premio, Prius, Probox, Progres, Ractis, Raum, RAV4, Rukus, Rumion, SAI, Sienna, Soarer, Spade, Succeed, Surf, Toyoace, Vanguard, Verso-S, Vios, Voxy, Wish, Yaris – Lexus: CT200h, ES, GS, GX, HS, IS, IS-F, LF-A, LS, LX, NX, RC F, RC350, RX, SC – Scion: iQ, xA, xD   The Bosch CDR system supports select airbag modules for vehicle as far back as 1996. To see if the pre-crash data from your vehicle’s airbag module can be downloaded please see the BOSCH CDR Coverage List.   Veritech engineers utilize the Bosch CDR system as an important tool to aid in performing vehicle accident reconstructions. Airbag modules are capable of recording valuable pre-crash information, such as vehicle speed, brake application and seatbelt usage, but are not capable of telling the entire story. Accident reconstruction engineers must still consider all of the available physical evidence, along with the ACM data, in to order to properly reconstruct an accident. Veritech Consulting Engineering employs Professional Engineers who are specifically trained and certified in the use of the Bosch CDR system and have performed numerous accident reconstructions utilizing airbag module information. Click on the following link for more information on “black box” technology.

U.S. Department of Transportation Unveils New, Free, Online Search Tool for Recalls Using Vehicle Identification Number

Each year, millions of vehicles are recalled in the United States due to safety defects or noncompliance with federal safety standards. To help car buyers, owners and renters know that their vehicles are safe and their safety defects have been address, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has unveiled a new, free, online search tool consumers can use to find out if a vehicle is directly impacted by a recall. The new tool is available on www.safercar.gov/vinlookup and provides consumers with a quick and easy way to identify uncompleted recalls by entering their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). All major light vehicle and motorcycle brands can be searched. Also effective today, under the new NHTSA mandate, all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers are required to provide VIN search capability for uncompleted recalls on their own websites. This data must be updated at least weekly. NHTSA’s new VIN look-up tool directly relies on information from all major automakers, and regularly updated information from the automakers is critical to the efficacy of the search tool. Consumers can find their vehicle identification number by looking at the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle, or on the driver’s side door on the door post where the door latches when it is closed. “Just as every single automaker should never hesitate to recall a defective vehicle, consumers should never hesitate to get their recalled vehicle fixed,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman. “By making individual VIN searches readily available, we’re providing another service to consumers – the peace of mind knowing that the vehicle they own, or that they are thinking of buying or renting, is free of safety defects.”