safety

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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Fisker Karma ignites into flames while owner runs errands

Fisker Karma ignites into flames while owner runs errands

Here's some more bad news for the Fisker Karma crowd: an owner of the hybrid car returned from a grocery run to find his Karma engulfed in flames, Jalopnik reports. This isn't the first time we've heard of Fisker Karmas erupting into flames seemingly out of the blue, as earlier in May one actually caught a house on fire. Luckily, no one was hurt in this blaze, but needless to say, the expensive car isn't in too good of shape after the incident.

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Toyota admits more recalls needed: 778k at risk of suspension collapse

Toyota admits more recalls needed: 778k at risk of suspension collapse

Toyota will recall 778,000 cars and SUVs across the US and Canada, the company has admitted, having identified a problem with the suspension that could cause it to unexpectedly collapse. The recall, Toyota said, predominantly affects the RAV4, with 760,000 models impacted, though around 18,000 Lexus HS 250h sedans are also affected. However, the company also says that it is still working on a fix, and will have to notify owners when it's ready.

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Ford warns 2013 Escape 1.6L owners to park up immediately over fire risk

Ford warns 2013 Escape 1.6L owners to park up immediately over fire risk

Ford has warned owners of the 2013 Ford Escape with the 1.6 liter engine to turn off the car and back away, after a fuel line flaw was identified that could cause a fire risk. The recall, announced this morning, is over an engine compartment fuel line problem on the 1.6 liter version of the Escape only; "customers who already own 2013 Escape vehicles with the 1.6-liter engine are being advised to stop driving their vehicles and to immediately contact their dealers" Ford says, advising not even to risk driving the car to a service location.

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144k Lexus recall adds to Toyota’s stuck-accelerator woes

144k Lexus recall adds to Toyota’s stuck-accelerator woes

Toyota can't seem to catch a break from cars that are desperate to accelerate, with the Japanese company recalling a further 144,000 vehicles after spotting issues with mats jamming the gas pedal. Two models of 2010 Lexus SUV - including Toyota's hybrid version - have been added to an existing recall over concerns that the floor mats could inadvertently cause the accelerator pedal to jam.

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