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Mar 25, 2015

Govt. report finds U.S. Homeland Security deputy intervened in visa cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The No. 2 official at the U.S.
Homeland Security Department exerted improper influence while at
another agency on behalf of politically connected Democrats
seeking visas for foreign investors, the department’s inspector
general said in a report released on Tuesday.

Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, when
he was head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, gave
special treatment in three cases, including to a company run by
now-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the report found, but it
also determined that Mayorkas had broken no laws.

Mar 9, 2015

Fiat Chrysler recalls 703,000 vehicles in U.S. to fix ignition switches

WASHINGTON, March 6 (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
is recalling 702,578 SUVs and minivans to fix
defective ignition switches that can unexpectedly turn off the
engine, according to documents posted Friday by U.S. safety
regulators.

The recall covers Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and
Country minivans from 2008 to 2010 model years and Dodge Journey
SUVs from 2009 to 2010.

Feb 26, 2015

Takata must save faulty air-bag inflators for litigation, U.S. probe

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. safety regulator on Wednesday ordered Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to preserve all air-bag inflators removed through a recall process as evidence for a federal investigation and private litigation cases.

It was the first time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has ordered a company to preserve evidence for private litigation, said Gordon Trowbridge, a spokesman for NHTSA.

Jan 22, 2015

U.S. agency plans to add automatic brakes to auto safety assessment

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. auto safety
regulator plans to change its vehicle safety ratings program to
include automatic emergency braking systems, putting pressure on
automakers to add those features to new cars and trucks,
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Thursday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA)will add the braking systems to the recommended safety
features included in its New Car Assessment Program, which
awards up to five stars for vehicles based on safety.

Jan 7, 2015

U.S. sets air safety rule, airlines must implement in three years

By Alwyn Scott and Eric Beech

(Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Wednesday it is requiring domestic airlines to put in place proactive safety measures designed to highlight risks, deter accidents and make air travel safer.

The rule by the Federal Aviation Administration, which was four years in the making, requires U.S. airlines and freight carriers to submit so-called “safety management system” plans within six months and implement them within three years, the FAA said.

Dec 3, 2014

Chrysler expands air bag recall, only includes trucks

WAHINGTON/DETROIT, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Chrysler Group has told
regulators it will expand a U.S. recall of vehicles with Takata
Corp passenger-side air bags, but stopped short of
including all models regulators wanted included, a company
statement issued on Wednesday shows.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wanted
Chrysler to expand the areas in a June recall of about 371,000
Dodge, Ram and Chrysler brand cars and trucks from model years
2003 to 2007.

Dec 3, 2014

Chrysler will expand regional air bag recall: U.S. regulator

WAHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – Chrysler Group has informally told regulators it will expand a U.S. recall of vehicles with Takata Corp passenger-side air bags, a top regulator said.

David Friedman, deputy director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told reporters about the expanded recall on Wednesday after a U.S. Congressional hearing on problems with Takata air bags in older vehicles sold by at least 10 automakers.

Nov 20, 2014

Takata exec warns about ability to fix deadly air bag flaw

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, Nov 20 (Reuters) – An executive from
Japan’s Takata Corp told U.S. senators on Thursday that
the supplier is urgently trying to ramp up replacement parts for
millions of vehicles equipped with potentially deadly air bags,
but said it may not be able to move quickly enough.

The U.S. auto safety regulator also warned of the risks of
moving to a nationwide recall, as senators have urged, saying
such a move could divert replacement parts from humid regions
where the defective air bags are more likely to rupture upon
deployment, shooting metal shards into cars.

Nov 20, 2014

U.S. regulator to Chrysler’s Marchionne: get act in gear on Jeep recall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. government safety regulators on Thursday told Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne that the company “have to get their act in gear” to speed up repairs of recalled Jeep SUVs that face a heightened fire risk.

David Friedman, deputy director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was asked by reporters if he was satisfied with Chrysler’s performance in adding trailer hitches to affected Jeep SUVs to protect them in lower speed rear-end crashes.

Nov 20, 2014

Senators slam industry’s response to ‘live grenade’ air bags

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, Nov 20 (Reuters) – An executive from
Japan’s Takata Corp apologized at a Senate hearing on
Thursday to the victims of defective air bags that can rupture
upon deployment and shoot metal shards into cars, but stopped
short of taking full responsibility for deaths linked to the
scandal.

Separately, an executive from Honda Motor Co, whose
vehicles have been most impacted, acknowledged during testimony
that the automaker could have acted faster to recall and replace
the air bags.