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Nov 5, 2015

U.S. House slashes proposed spending increases for auto safety

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite public outrage over deadly
auto defects including faulty ignition switches and air bags
inflators, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted
to slash proposed spending increases for vehicle safety
including defect investigations.

In a Republican amendment to the House transportation
funding bill, lawmakers scaled back spending for the fiscally
embattled National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by
one-fifth to one-third from funding levels sought by the Obama
administration and approved by the Senate last July.

Nov 4, 2015

Insight – Buffett’s BNSF helped lead fight to delay train safety technology

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Philadelphia in May, killing eight people and injuring scores more, the railroad industry’s campaign to delay a Dec. 31 deadline to install technology to prevent such disasters appeared to be finished.

Not, as it turned out, if billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, had anything to do with it. Thune chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the rail industry.

Nov 4, 2015

Dumped by Honda, air bag maker faces fresh questions over future

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co said it will no longer use front air bag inflators made by Japan’s Takata Corp, raising questions about the future of the embattled parts supplier.

Takata, which counts Honda as its biggest air bag customer, was fined $70 million by the leading U.S. auto safety regulator on Tuesday. Shares in the Japanese auto parts firm slumped by as much as a fifth in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Nov 4, 2015

Buffett’s BNSF helped lead fight to delay train safety technology

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – When an Amtrak passenger train
derailed in Philadelphia in May, killing eight people and
injuring scores more, the railroad industry’s campaign to delay
a Dec. 31 deadline to install technology to prevent such
disasters appeared to be finished.

Not, as it turned out, if billionaire investor Warren
Buffett and Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, had
anything to do with it. Thune chairs the Senate Commerce
Committee, which oversees the rail industry.

Nov 4, 2015

Honda drops Takata air bags after U.S. fine, ban on volatile chemical

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co
said it was ditching air bag inflators made by Japan’s
Takata Corp, after the top U.S. auto safety regulator
on Tuesday fined the supplier $70 million and ordered it to stop
using a potentially dangerous chemical.

Regulators have linked eight deaths – all in cars made by
Takata’s biggest air bag customer Honda – to the inflators,
which use ammonium nitrate and can explode with too much force,
spraying metal fragments inside vehicles.

Nov 3, 2015

U.S. fines Takata, bans volatile chemical in its air bags

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – The top U.S. auto safety
regulator on Tuesday imposed a relatively modest $70-million
fine on air-bag supplier Takata Corp and ordered it to
stop making inflators that use ammonium nitrate.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited the
chemical as a factor in explosive air-bag ruptures that caused
seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries in the United States.

Nov 3, 2015

U.S. fines on Takata could be $200 million for faulty air bags

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – The top U.S. safety regulator on Tuesday has imposed a fine that could be as high as $200 million on air-bag supplier Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and ordered it to quit making inflators that use ammonium nitrate as a propellant.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited the chemical as a factor in explosive air-bag ruptures that have caused seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries in the United States.

Nov 2, 2015

Google aims to begin drone package deliveries in 2017

WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Internet giant Alphabet Inc
, the new holding company for Google, expects to begin
delivering packages to consumers via drones sometime in 2017,
the executive in charge of Google’s drone effort said on Monday.

David Vos, the leader for Google’s Project Wing, said his
company is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and
other stakeholders about setting up an air traffic control
system for drones that would use cellular and Internet
technology to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at
altitudes of under 500 feet (152 meters).

Oct 22, 2015

Regulators, lawmakers tighten Takata recall scrutiny

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators will decide next month whether to take the unprecedented step of coordinating the Takata air bag inflator recall, saying the task of replacing nearly 24 million potentially deadly devices could be too massive to succeed without intervention.

At a public presentation on the recall that currently spans 12 automakers, regulators on Thursday laid out a range of options from naming an independent overseer and speeding up recalls for priority vehicles to enlisting independent repair shops in the replacement effort.

Oct 22, 2015

U.S. regulators, lawmakers tighten Takata recall scrutiny

WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators will decide
next month whether to take the unprecedented step of
coordinating the Takata air bag inflator recall, saying the task
of replacing nearly 24 million potentially deadly devices could
be too massive to succeed without intervention.

At a public presentation on the recall that currently spans
12 automakers, regulators on Thursday laid out a range of
options from naming an independent overseer and speeding up
recalls for priority vehicles to enlisting independent repair
shops in the replacement effort.

    • About David

      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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