Report: Toyota settles lawsuit tied to crash that triggered recalls

Filed under: Government/Legal

Toyota floormat/pedal entrapment

For a recap of the various Toyota recalls, visit our comprehensive guide

Toyota owners had been contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about unintended acceleration issues for years, but one tragedy put the spotlight on Toyota’s problems. Last August, California police officer Mark Saylor and three family members died when the family’s 2009 Lexus ES 350 rental flipped and caught fire after a trapped floor mat reportedly caused the vehicle to speed out of control. A month later Toyota, officially recalled 3.8 million vehicles for floor mat issues and by February 2010 over eight million vehicles were recalled for unintended acceleration issues worldwide.

Automotive News
now reports that Toyota has settled with the family of Mark Saylor for an undisclosed financial sum just over a year after the accident. Toyota reportedly declined to offer any insight into the agreement, and there’s a good chance we’ll never know how much money the company paid to settle the case out of court. Toyota is likely years away from putting all of its legal troubles in the rearview mirror, though. The spate of recalls generated numerous other lawsuits and several previously decided court cases were re-opened after the automaker’s troubles became front-page headlines.

[Source: Automotive News sub. req.]

Report: Toyota settles lawsuit tied to crash that triggered recalls originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 Sep 2010 08:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford introduces airbags with enhanced crash protection, debuting on 2012 Focus [w/video]

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Ford

Ford's next-gen airbag system

Ford’s next-generation airbag technology – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford has given us a sneak peek at its production-ready 2012 Focus, and while our lips may be sealed about its specs and our impressions, we can now give you the lowdown on the Blue Oval’s new airbag technologies that will debut in its forthcoming C-segment stunner.

For the driver, the new steering wheel airbag uses a tether system that pulls in the lower section of the bag back toward the dashboard. This creates a small pocket that Ford engineers say will soften the blow of the airbag to the driver’s chest and ribs, reducing the threat of bodily injury in a frontal crash.

The side airbags also work to prevent injuries to the driver and front passenger by adding shoulder vents that stay open during inflation, reducing pressure for smaller occupants. Taller folks will block these vents with their shoulders, and this added pressure can actually prove to be helpful.

Along with the shoulder vents, Ford has used an adaptive venting system in its passenger-side front airbag, which diverts some of the inflation gas outside of the bags. This better protects passengers by enhancing head and neck protection by matching inflation force with the size of the occupant, which is monitored by the weight sensors already built into the seats.

As you’d expect, these safety features won’t just be limited to the 2012 Focus. Ford says that this technology will quickly spread to the rest of its model range within the next few years. To see exactly how these systems work, follow the jump to watch an instructional animated video, as well as actual crash test footage. Ford’s press release is available for your reading pleasure, as well.

Gallery: Ford’s Next-Generation Airbag Technology

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Ford introduces airbags with enhanced crash protection, debuting on 2012 Focus [w/video]

Ford introduces airbags with enhanced crash protection, debuting on 2012 Focus [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Moto2 rider Shoya Tomizawa killed in San Marino Grand Prix crash

Filed under: Motorsports

Shoya Tomizawa

Less than a week after 13-year-old Peter Lenz was killed in a crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, another motorcyclist’s life has been claimed at the track.

Shoya Tomizawa was on his 15th lap at the Misano circuit during the San Marino Grand Prix when he apparently lost control of his Moto2 bike at full speed, was thrown off the bike and then hit by two other riders before sliding 130 feet to a halt.

Tomizawa was taken to a local hospital immediately after the crash and succumbed to his injuries soon thereafter.

The Moto2 rider had moved up the ranks since beginning in pocketbike racing when he was only three years old, eventually graduating to the 125 class. This year, he took a win at Qatar and sat seventh overall in the standings.

We extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Tomizawa’s family, friends and fans.

[Source: Daily Mail | Image: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty]

Moto2 rider Shoya Tomizawa killed in San Marino Grand Prix crash originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 Sep 2010 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Police cruiser cam catches 100-mph highway jump and crash

Filed under: Etc., Videos

Ohio highway crash

100-mph highway crash – Click above to watch the video after the jump

We can’t help but hold our breath whenever we see video of cars being wrecked at speed. Take this incident, for example, in which Brennan Eden, age 19, slams his Pontiac Firebird into the concrete pillar of an overpass while doing over 100 miles per hour. Oh, and this was after he slid into the median and sent the car airborne and sideways. You’d never think it from watching the video, but Eden managed to survive the crash after being ejected from the car and no other motorists were injured – what a relief.

The accident took place on Interstate 675 in Beavercreek, Ohio and was amazingly captured via a dash-mounted video camera inside a local police cruiser that Eden just happened to pass at the right time. This kid should go buy a lottery ticket after thanking his lucky stars for this one. See the full crash footage for yourself after the jump. Thanks for the inbox full of tips on this one, people!

[Source: WDTN]

Continue reading Video: Police cruiser cam catches 100-mph highway jump and crash

Video: Police cruiser cam catches 100-mph highway jump and crash originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Jack Roush loses sight in left eye after plane crash, still aims to fly

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Celebrities

They say that statistically speaking, flying is safer than driving. Jack Roush might beg to differ with that assessment. After his second life-threatening plane crash in eight years, the NASCAR bigwig was back at the Michigan International Speedway this past weekend to watch his team in action.

Roush’s recovery from his injuries during the crash in Oshkosh, WI will be almost complete with one notable exception: Roush has lost the vision in his left eye. For now, Roush also has a back brace to support a fractured spine and piece of hardware in his cheek.

Despite the loss of vision on one eye, The Detroit News indicates that Roush has excellent sight in the right eye and fully intends to fly again once his physical recovery is complete. While there are tougher vision restrictions on commercial pilots, private aviators are evidently allowed to fly with only one eye.

Interestingly, based on a quote in the DetNews article, it sounds like Roush might be blaming the airport’s air traffic controller for the plane crash:

“I filed my NTSB report today, which is a matter of public record. It speaks for itself. The reality of it, on a trip arrival into Oshkosh, Wis., I was put in conflict with the flight plan of another airplane close to the ground, and I was unable to address the conflict and keep the airplane flying. I ground-looped the airplane. The airplane did a great job staying intact.”

No doubt we’ll hear more about this as the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the incident further, but for now, Roush says he just feels extraordinarily lucky.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Jason Smith/Getty]

Report: Jack Roush loses sight in left eye after plane crash, still aims to fly originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Aug 2010 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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