Self-driving Cars Need Possible Human Intervention

5/14/2015 A word of advice from Consumer Watchdog to all self-driving car companies: self-driving cars need possible human intervention accessories such as brake pedals and steering wheels. The group pointed out the necessity of such items that would allow the human occupant to take control of the vehicle in emergency situations. Further, the group is


General Motors Issued Two Recalls Today

 5/13/2015 General Motors issued two recalls today. One deals with seats that may not be anchored properly and the other is for potentially defective seat belts. This latest bout of recalls includes roughly 525K vehicles, compared to the company’s 2014 record-breaking recall total of 26.95M vehicles. The first of the vehicles being recalled is the


Whistleblower Incentives: the Privatization of Oversight

5/4/2015 Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill that incentivizes whistleblower complaints within the automotive industry. The bill, modeled off of similar measures for the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), allows the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to award up to 30 percent of revenue collected in excess of


GM Bankruptcy Shield Saves the company Billions, Screws Everybody Else

General Motors won a massive legal victory to the dismay of many former customers when U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge, Robert Gerber ruled Wednesday, April 15th that the company can retain its bankruptcy shield protection of $10 billion for claims against it involving the massive ignition-switch recall. The ruling helps General Motors avoid potentially billions of


NHTSA Chief may Re-open Fiat-Chrysler Gas Tank Investigation

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator, Mark Rosekind, has indicated that the nation’s top automotive regulator may take a more aggressive stance toward Fiat-Chrysler following a massive $150 million judgment against the company over the burning death of 4 year-old Remi Walden due to an exploding gas tank on his Aunt’s 1999 Jeep Grand




In Defense of the NHTSA

In the wake of the global auto industry facing an enormous amount of recalls and legal actions, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has endured a sizeable amount of scrutiny in recent years. Some, including myself, have raised questions regarding lax testing standards, and allegations of cronyism between the agency and automakers. Given the


Is the NHTSA Too Cozy with Automakers?

While the General Motors ignition switch recall has dominated recent automotive headlines, it has been far from the only major automaker to face recent massive legal challenges. Over 60 million vehicles were recalled in 2014, and the 80,000 complaints received was more than twice the previous record set in 2004. Each of the top 8


Protected Speech in Play as Supreme Court Tackles Texas License Plate Battle

A Supreme Court hearing that began Monday regarding personalized Texas license plates will likely reignite the debate over protected speech and could potentially redefine the ways that governments collect revenue. Like many states, Texas offers drivers the opportunity to purchase specialty plates advertising causes or non-profit groups. Many groups pay the state to produce the