News & Analysis as of

Fiat moves to dismiss proposed class action suit

Late last week, Fiat filed a Motion to Dismiss the proposed class action against it following reports of hacking into vehicle information systems and its announcement that it was recalling 1.4 million Dodge, Ram and Jeep...more

New Study Says ... Pace of Adopting Active Safety System Should Be Picked Up

Vehicle safety systems are experiencing a period of development unlike any in the history of the industry. While the 20th century focused on passive safety systems, such as crumple zones, seat belts, and airbags, these...more

How Can the Automotive Industry Strengthen Its Regulatory Compliance Process and Reduce Its Compliance Risks?

Many Americans listened last week to the admissions by the now former President of Volkswagen that the company had been “dishonest” and had cheated on the U.S. emissions tests. How was this happening at the world’s #1...more

Increased Traffic Leads to Car Accidents in Woodland Hills

Car accidents happen daily throughout Woodland Hills, and many residents blame ever-increasing traffic in and around the Warner Center. If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident that was not your fault, know that...more

Prompted by Independent Study, EPA Issues Notice of Violation to Volkswagen for Circumventing Federal Emissions Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of a notice of violation last week to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (collectively Volkswagen) appears to have further validated EPA’s and...more

Lessons That Manufacturers Can Learn From Automotive Recall Issues

By now, anyone not living under a rock for the last 18 months is no doubt aware of the high-profile recalls that have been roiling the automotive industry. Although the long-running GM ignition switch recall may be the most...more

Distracted Driving and the Liability of Remote Texters

It’s common sense that driving while distracted is a dangerous combination. From sending text messages to talking on a cell phone, distracted driving caused by the use of cell phones and tablets is responsible for thousands...more

NHTSA Announces Record Setting Civil Penalty in Consent Order With Chrysler

In 2014, NHTSA collected a record setting amount of civil penalties. For 2015, NHTSA may be on pace to exceed last year’s record. On July 26, 2015, NHTSA announced a $105 million civil penalty against FCA US LLC, the former...more

Dodge, Ram, and Jeep vehicles recalled due to hacking vulnerabilities

As technology moves forward, more and more of our everyday gadgets will be connected to the Internet. With that convenience may come some vulnerabilities. On July 24, 2015, Chrysler and its parent company FCA US LLC (FCA US)...more

Preventing Whistleblower Claims in the Automotive Industry

Whistleblower and retaliation claims are some of the most costly claims brought by employees and they are on the rise. OSHA, who governs complaints for over 20 whistleblower statutes, reports a 58% increase in whistleblower...more

U.S. Senators Introduce Automobile-Focused Cybersecurity Legislation

On July 21, Senators Blumenthal (D-CT) and Markey (D-MA) introduced legislation, the Security and Privacy in Your Car Act (“SPY Car”Act), that would protect drivers’ privacy while allowing them to remain connected to the...more

The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Products Liability PART 3: Initial Contact

This is the third in a series of blogs examining the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its consequential impact on product liability risk. The development of the IoT has been so rapid and the applications...more

Does CPSC or FDA Have Jurisdiction Over Your Consumer Product?

As our readers know, we write about legal developments that affect companies involved in manufacturing, importing, distributing, and/or selling “consumer products.” In many cases, these products fall squarely within the...more

The Connected Car and Keeping YOU in the Driver’s Seat

Remember KITT? KITT (the Knight Industries Two Thousand) was the self-directed, self-driving, supercomputer hero of the popular 1980s television show Knight Rider. Knight Rider was a science fiction fantasy profiling the “car...more

This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile: Car Hacking and the SPY Car Act

Not coincidentally, on July 21, 2015, Wired Magazine published an article with groundbreaking evidence of hacking a car wirelessly, and Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation...more

A Study of Recall Completion Rates

This post was written by special guest authors Neil Steinkamp, Managing Director, and Jake Reed, Manager, from Stout Risious Ross. There has been much attention recently regarding the efforts made to complete recalls in...more

DOT Issues Scathing Internal Report of NHTSA’s Defect Investigation Processes

In the wake of GM’s ignition-switch, the Secretary of Transportation, Anthony R. Foxx, directed an investigation into NHTSA’s defect investigation policies and procedures. Specifically, Secretary Foxx requested that the U.S....more

Expert Declaration in Conjunction with Circumstantial Evidence Sufficient to Defeat Summary Judgment in Vehicle Defect Case

In Pavoni v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 2015 No. 13-55761 (“Pavoni”), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that plaintiffs’ expert declaration in conjunction with circumstantial evidence of the incident were sufficient to raise...more

NHTSA Seeks to Push Beyond the “New Normal” and into the “New Paradigm”

In recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received increased public and Congressional scrutiny stemming from high-profile safety defects, such as the Toyota unintended-acceleration issues...more

Car Hacking Concerns Re-enter the News

Following on the heels of Senator Ed Markey’s report released in February, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent letters on Thursday to NHTSA and various auto manufacturers regarding cybersecurity. The letters seek...more

The Takata Consent Order – Here's What You Need to Know

As is well known by now, TK Holdings Inc. – Takata – has entered a Consent Order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). The details and latest information on the Takata recall can be found online...more

Navigating Product Recalls

Recalls are in the news as much as ever. The number of units recalled in 2014 eclipsed the total from 2010-2013, combined. Takata’s recall is expanding to 34 million vehicles as the company enters a Consent Decree with NHTSA....more

Rollover Accidents: Causes and Potential Financial Recovery

Rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes, according to statistics from the National Highway and Transportation Administration. Every week, tragic headlines of fatal rollover accidents remind...more

Can the Feds Slow Down Truckers with Mandatory Speed-Limiting Devices?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is pushing for new regulations requiring tractor-trailer trucks to be equipped with speed-limiting devices. This regulation, if passed, will impact not only the...more

NHTSA's Enforcement Priorities Made Clear in U.S. DOT's Transportation Bill (Grow America Act)

Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled its long-term transportation bill, entitled the Grow America Act, which contained the Department’s wish list for funding and new authorities. On March 31, 2015, the...more

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