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    Entries in NHTSA (6)

    Monday
    Feb212011

    The Verdict is In...

    Last week the National Institute of Highway Safety and NASA cleared Lexus and Toyota electronic systems from being responsible for claimed run-away acceleration events. Way to go Lexus for their proactive approach and Raising the Bar for Safety, Leadership in Safety and Integrity! 

     

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said,

     "We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota's electronics systems, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-Speed acceleration in Toyotas.”

    In a recent CNN Money article, Peter Valdes-Depena said,

    "An intensive 10 month investigation into possible causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota cars found no fault with the automaker's electronic throttle control systems, the Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.”

    For further reading, please see this article from the manufacturer.

    Thursday
    Jan202011

    Rearview Cameras – A Coming Requirement

    Currently back-up cameras, which display images on console video screens, are available as standard features, or options, on all Lexus models. Lexus, true to its commitment for innovation and service, has enjoyed a leadership role in offering these features to its customers.

    Now the US Federal Government wants back-up cameras installed in all new vehicles from all auto manufacturers beginning in late 2014, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. As he recently said, these changes will help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles to make sure it is safe to back up.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 18,000 people are injured, and almost 300 people are killed each year as a result of back-over accidents. More alarmingly, most of these victims are either people over the age of 70 or children. Nothing could be more tragic!

    With available technology, there is no reason to accept a blind spot of any size. Back-over deaths are particularly tragic and the systems already exist to prevent them, said a spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non-profit organization funded by the auto insurance industry that analyzes safety and driving issues.

     

     

    Not only could the mandatory implementation of such camera systems minimize injuries and deaths, but it also could significantly reduce contact incidents between vehicles, which, even under low speeds, can create significant damage and repair expense. Such financial savings, alone, could more than offset costs to implement these systems on all cars. As such, would the government and/or the insurance industry subsidize the costs for implementation of these features in some form? Discussions are ongoing and only the future will tell.

    Under the plan proposed by the government, 10% of a car maker s new vehicles would need to have installed systems by September 2012, 40% by September 2013 and 100% by September 2014.

    As mentioned, 100% of all Lexus models already have such camera-display systems available. Additionally, some Lexus models have front and right-side cameras that provide images toward the front, as well as the side clearance when turning right. Consistent with the Lexus Covenant, we always will be at the forefront of any performance, safety, reliability or comfort developments for our customers' best overall ownership experience.

     

    Thursday
    Oct212010

    Lexus Brake Recall: Questions Answered

    By now you may have heard that today Lexus has filed a Safety Recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of our customers have concerns on what exactly this means and is their vehicle effected. Please follow along as we answer many of the common questions that you may be having.

    Q: What Vehicles are Effected?

    A: Certain 2004 – 2006 RX 330, 2006 GS 300, 2006 IS 250 and 2006 IS 350

    Q: What is Effected?

    A: There may be a faulty master cylinder seal casuing a small amount of brake fluid to slowly leak into causing the brake warning lamp to illuminate.

    Q: What does this mean?

    A: Over time this may cause your brake light to illuminate and if not treated could potentially lead to a decrease in brake performance and brake feel.

    Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified of the recall by mail in early November. Please follow along our blog and we will keep you updated as new information is released.

    If your brake light is currently on please contact our service department at (888) 758-4745 or click HERE.

    Saturday
    Sep252010

    2010 National Child Passenger Safety Week

    Today is National Seat Check Saturday which is aimed at building awareness and safety regarding child passengers. Studies show that automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for children 3-14 years of age.
    Follow the link below to find out the 1-2-3-4 progression of child seats as your infant grows from toddler to tween. There is also a national registry where you can be notified of any defects or recalls on your child safety seat.
    The National Highway Safety Administration also offers local sites where certified technicians will inspect and verify (for free) your child seat's proper installation. Click HERE to find the inspection station nearest you.
    "While installing and using child safety seats may appear to be easy enough, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that close to 3 out of 4 parents do not properly use child restraints ... and if you are one of them, that child safety seat may not protect your child the way it should."
    Friday
    Sep102010

    Repost: Highway Deaths Reach 60-Year Low

    Today's news celebrates progress in promoting safety on our shared roadways. Thanks to effective drunk driving-reduction campaigns and more regular usage of seatbelts, traffic-related deaths have diminished year-over-year to an all-time low.

    We've said it here before this article, but all the passive safety features in a Lexus cannot, alone, save drivers from accidents. Awareness, active safety measures, and wearing a seatbelt are still the best ways to be safe on the road.

    Please check out this article from Angela Greiling Keane, of Bloomberg, for a more in-depth analysis of these recent safety findings:

    "The number of people killed on U.S. highways fell last year to the lowest since 1950, the Transportation Department said in crediting the slumping economy, seat-belt use and campaigns to combat impaired driving.

    Fatalities in vehicle crashes in 2009 declined 9.7 percent to 33,808 from a year earlier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today in a statement. People injured in crashes fell 5.5 percent to 2.21 million. Total miles driven rose 0.2 percent from 2008, the department said.

    “Traffic fatalities and injuries are the lowest since the first year we started counting more than six decades ago,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today at a press conference in Washington. “Almost 34,000 deaths on our roads is still unacceptable. While we’ve come a long way, we have a long distance yet to travel.”

    The fatality rate fell to 1.13 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2009, compared with 1.26 deaths for 2008, the agency said. Deaths declined in all types of vehicles, including motorcycles that had posted increases for 11 consecutive years.

    The slumping U.S. economy may have played a role in the decline because fewer people are going out for entertainment in the evening, a higher-risk time of day for crashes, LaHood said.

    “So when the economy rebounds, will fatalities and injuries rebound?” he said. “They may.”

    LaHood also credited safer cars and roadways for the declines.

    “The way to drive safely is not drink and drive, buckle up, put your cell phone in the glove compartment, put your BlackBerry in the glove compartment,” said LaHood, who will hold a second summit on distracted driving next week in Washington. “Personal responsibility is part of driving an automotive safely.”

    --Editors: Steve Geimann, Steve Walsh"