senate

Google's autonomous car goes to Washington--and so do GM and Lyft
Google's autonomous car goes to Washington--and so do GM and Lyft

In the summer of 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published some intriguing classifications for autonomous vehicles, suggesting that the agency was prepared for self-driving cars to arrive in the very near future. That fall, however, NHTSA and its reps said that such talk...Read More»

Schoolhouse Rock: 'I'm Just A Bill'
Finally: House Passes Bill Requiring Rental Companies To Repair Recalled Cars (But It's Not Perfect)

The quest to move a multi-year transportation bill through the U.S. Congress met with a bit of success yesterday, as the House of Representatives passed its own version of the legislation. A similar version of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act of 2015 was previously...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Senators Intro Bill To Require Recall Warning Lights On Dashboards, Mandatory Collision Avoidance

As everyone knows, 2014 was the Year of the Recall. Between fatal ignition switch flaws at General Motors and exploding airbags from Takata, recalls were at the forefront of everyone's mind. It wasn't just the volume of recalls that made 2014 remarkable, though. It was also the fact that some of...Read More»

OJ Simpson in vintage Hertz ad
Senate & House Consider Bills To Force Rental Companies To Repair Recalled Cars

Rental car companies like Avis and Hertz aren't required to fix recalled vehicles before loaning them to customers. Several years ago, that yielded tragic results for Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters who were killed after unknowingly renting a recalled car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Federal Bill Would Force Owners To Get Recalled Cars Repaired (But Is It Legal?)

Many have dubbed 2014 "The Year of the Recall", but in fact, recalls have been on the minds of legislators for a very long time. Now, two U.S. Senators -- Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) -- want to tighten the laws around recalls in ways that might affect you. We have to...Read More»

gas pump
U.S. Senators Propose Gas Tax Increase. Will It Fix Our Crumbling Roads & Bridges?

America doesn't do a great job of maintaining its highways and byways. At least a third of our roads are substandard, and our crumbling bridges need $3.6 trillion of repairs. Part of the reason for those shortcomings is that the federal gas tax, which was designed to keep our infrastructure up to...Read More»

Gavel. Image: Brian Turner
Feds Say That GM Doesn't Have To Force Chevy, Pontiac, Saturn Owners To Park Recalled Cars

In early April, a federal judge heard from plaintiffs who wanted General Motors to tell owners of 2.59 million vehicles affected by the "Switchgate" recall to park those cars until they were fully repaired. Several days later, the judge ruled that GM didn't need to do any such thing. In her...Read More»

Mary Barra
Switchgate Update: GM On Trial & On Capitol Hill

If you follow the news, you've heard about General Motors' current recall fiasco -- the one dubbed "Switchgate" in the media because of the faulty Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn ignition switches that have been linked to at least 31 accidents and 12 deaths. On the off-chance that you expected...Read More»

2007 Saturn Ion Red Line
Switchgate: GM Knew About Defects In 2001, Offers Owners Free Loaner Car & $500 Credit

The ever-expanding recall fiasco known as "Switchgate" currently affects more than 1.62 million Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn vehicles from the 2003-2007 model years, 1.37 million of which are registered in the U.S. However, the uproar over the recall doesn't stem so much from its size as its...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Hyundai, Kia MPG Flap Reaches Congress, May Spark Other Probes

Is your car as efficient as it's supposed to be? Can you achieve the EPA estimates found on its window sticker? The Hyundai/Kia fuel-economy flap has many drivers -- and members of Congress -- asking these same questions. Brace yourselves: investigations of other makes and models could be just...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Consumers Union Pushes Car-Safety Rules On Capitol Hill

The surface transportation bill that's been slowly and not-so-surely winding its way through both houses of Congress has been called many things. Notably, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the House version "the worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public...Read More»

Field sobriety test
Four Senators Push Takedown Of Apps That Show DUI Checkpoints, One Provider Complies

Four U.S. Senators have come out swinging against smartphone apps that reveal DUI checkpoints, allowing potentially intoxicated motorists to find alternate ways to the next whiskey bar. The Senators sent letters to Apple, Google, and Research In Motion asking the companies to remove offending apps...Read More»

Clunkers
UPDATE: GOP Will Oppose Cash-For-Clunkers in Senate

Last week, we reported that the US House of Representatives voted 316 to 109 to pass HR 3445, which allocates another $2 billion to Cash-for-Clunkers from an energy-loan guarantee program. A backlog of dealer paperwork and unexpectedly high consumer interest means the program may already have run...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Consumer Groups Lobby For Liability Warnings on Chrysler Vehicles

The United States Federal Trade Commission has received a petition from consumer organizations worried about Chrysler vehicles manufactured prior to April 30, 2009, when the company entered bankruptcy court. Specifically the organizations are concerned about Chrysler Group (aka "New Chrysler") and...Read More»

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