safety

Federal regulators want black boxes in cars made after September 2014

Federal regulators want black boxes in cars made after September 2014

We mentioned earlier this month that rumors were circulating that the federal government would move to place event data recorders inside new vehicles. Federal regulators are now proposing that all new automobiles sold in the US after September of 2014 will be required to be equipped with these event data recorders. The recorders are somewhat like the black boxes that are found inside aircraft.

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Toyota hit with whopping $17.35 million fine from NHTSA

Toyota hit with whopping $17.35 million fine from NHTSA

Toyota is finding itself with a big bill to pay today, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hitting the company with a $17.35 million fine. The fine is based on safety defects discovered in 2010 Lexus RX 350s, though Toyota isn't getting fined simply because those defects exist. Instead, the company is getting hit with this fine because it allegedly failed to report these defects within the allowed window of five business days.

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New seatbelt automatically unlocks when submerged

New seatbelt automatically unlocks when submerged

I'd wager at one time or another just about every driver has wondered what exactly they would do if their car ever started to sink in a lake. Each year hundreds of drivers across the United States drown because they're unable to get out of a vehicle that has become submerged in water. Some of those deaths are likely thanks to panicked drivers who are unable to release their seatbelt.

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Toshiba reveals four-legged Fukushima robot explorer

Toshiba reveals four-legged Fukushima robot explorer

Toshiba has revealed a new robot intended to explore the radioactive mess of Japan's Fukushima No.1 reactor in Tokyo, a four-legged beast that can birth a second, separate robot to squeeze through narrow spaces. The tetrapod 'bot - which resembles a Toshiba-branded coolbox on spindly legs, and carries both a camera and a dosimeter - is remotely controlled by a wireless operator, and has clever onboard intelligence that allows it to totter across uneven terrain without tumbling.

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Google grabs NHTSA safety exec for self-driving cars project

Google grabs NHTSA safety exec for self-driving cars project

Google has poached a US highway safety executive to work on its driverless cars program, NHTSA deputy director Ron Medford, to better guide its autonomous cars through evolving legislation. Medford, who has worked at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2003, will jump ship to Google's automotive division from January 7, 2013, as the new Director of Safety for Self-Driving Cars.

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Toyota recalls Scion iQ over airbag failure

Toyota recalls Scion iQ over airbag failure

Toyota's tiny Scion iQ is facing a recall over a potentially big problem, with the dinky four-seater being called back after a fault potentially preventing the airbag from safely deploying was identified. The issue centers on cabling for safety sensors under the front passenger seat, which - if damaged by foreign objects near the seat rails - might stop the airbag from firing in a crash, or the seat belt pre-tensioner from working properly.

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7.43 million Toyota recalls over flaming switch fears

7.43 million Toyota recalls over flaming switch fears

Toyota has been forced to recall a whopping 7.43m cars worldwide over fears that a dodgy power window switch could pose a fire risk, the latest in a series of embarrassing safety stumbles for the Japanese firm. The problem, which affects a span of Toyota vehicles from the cheapest through to some of the company's most expensive models, is down to unevenly applied grease to the driver's side electric window control which, the car company warns, could lead to excess heat, melting or smoking of components, and even an impromptu armrest fire.

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