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Posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 1:45 pm    


In a recent article, the New York Times reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, recently announced a new online search tool to allow consumers an easy way to check on whether or not recall repairs have been completed on a specific car, truck or motorcycle. According to the article by Cheryl Jensen, NHTSA’s new online search tool allows consumers for the first time ever to find out if the recall repairs have been made to a specific vehicle simply by typing in the vehicle identification (VIN) into the website.

In the past, consumers who visited NHTSA’s website to check on recalls could only search by vehicle make and model year to learn whether a particular model was subject to a recall. They could not find out whether the recall mandated repairs on a specific used car had been completed.

Now, using NHTSA’s new free search tool, consumers will be able to determine whether a specific used car they are considering buying has been recalled and if the appropriate repairs have been made.

The VIN number on an automobile is usually located inside the driver’s door on the center pillar near the door latch or on a small metal plate mounted on the driver’s side of the dashboard just inside the lower corner of the windshield.

For more information see:…le=Search&mab Reward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%222%22%3A%22RI%3A14%22%7D




Posted on Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 3:50 pm    

According to a recent article by AP writer Dee-Ann Durbin, the four door Mini Cooper Countrymen was the only small car of twelve cars recently tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to earn a top rating of “good” in frontal crash tests.

To earn a “good” rating, the vehicle must keep the cabin around the occupants largely intact and protect them with seat belts and airbags.  The IIHS noted that when the car’s cabin collapses, the car seat and airbags can move out of place, significantly increasing the risk of injuries.

The Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ all received a rating of “acceptable”.

Among the worse performers in the test performed by the IIHS were the Nissan Leaf, Nissan Juke, Fiat 500L and the Mazda 5 wagon.

Source: Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era, Thursday July 24,2014


Posted on Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 1:45 pm    

According to a recent article in USA Today, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that many teenagers drive vehicles that don’t offer good crash protection and lack important safety features. This is important because motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers.

As Larry Copeland points out in his article, the risk of injury in crashes is greatly affected by the type of vehicle driven by the teen driver.  The IIHS reported that in many cases car buying decisions for teenagers are driven solely by price, which often results in teenagers driving smaller cars or older vehicles.  Thus, IIHS has come out with its first list of recommended used vehicles costing less than $20,000.

Among the vehicles making the list are the Kia Optima (2011 and newer);  Volvo S40 (2007 and later); Acura RL (2005 and newer); Chevy Malibu (2010 and later); and the 2005 Saab 9-3.  A complete list is posted at

Here are a few tips offered by the IIHS for selecting a used car for a teen driver:

  1. Stay away from vehicles with high horse power – which can tempt teen drivers to test the limits.
  2. Pick bigger, heavier vehicles that offer better protection in a crash.
  3. Look for a vehicle with electronic stability control.
  4. Pick a vehicle with the best safety rating possible from the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listings.

Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at IIHS, says “Start by looking for a midsize or large vehicle.  Make sure it has electronic stability control.  Find one with the best crash-test rating you can afford”.


For more information see  Source: USA Today Thursday, July 17, 2014-Car Shopping For Teen Driver? Consider These, Safety Group Advises. by Larry Copeland.


Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 6:19 pm    

A recent article in The New York Times reported that one-third of the 30 million cars recalled in the United States this year were recalled for potentially faulty air bags.  And on June 23rd, several automakers announced they would be recalling more than three million vehicles because their air bags, manufactured by Takata, could rupture and discharge debris inside the car.

According to The New York Times article, what occurs is that because the propellant was not properly prepared, this creates more pressure than intended causing the air bag’s inflator’s metal case to rupture.  This can result in shards of metal being sent into the passenger compartment of the automobile.

The recall announced on June 23rd is in response to an investigation opened earlier this month by NHTSA after it received complains of injuries caused by the air bag’s inflators rupturing. The recall included vehicles manufactured by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Ford, Chrysler and BMW.

The Times article also reported that, Takata said that it had improperly stored chemicals and mishandled the manufacture of explosive propellants, used in its air bags, at its plant in Mexico. And, Takata apparently failed to keep adequate records regarding quality control adding to the difficulty in identifying the vehicles with the potentially defective air bags.

Honda appears to have been hit particularly hard having to recall a total of approximately 7.7 million vehicles because of problems with inflators provided by Takata.  A Honda spokeswoman said that Honda was aware of more than 30 injuries and two deaths in the United States related to the Takata air bags.

For more information on this problem see:…and-mazda-join-recall-over-faulty-air-bags.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0