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Auto News: Daimler, Knee Airbags, Tesla

by Hagens Berman


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Daimler may be fined 1 billion euros for diesel cheating

Prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany are set to fine Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler between 800 million euros ($895 million) and 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) for diesel-related violations, German magazine Der Spiegel said in its online edition on Friday.

German motor vehicle authority KBA had discovered cheating software fitted to Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class vehicles and ordered the carmaker to recall 280,000 vehicles, Spiegel said.

A fine of up to 5,000 euros per vehicle is being considered by the Stuttgart prosecutor, the magazine said, so that could potentially be far more than 1 billion euros in all. read more »

Unnecessary knee airbags may cause more harm than good, study says

With airbags, it may seem like the more the merrier – they are essential devices that have prevented tens of thousands of deaths in vehicle accidents, after all – but a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that one type, knee airbags, don’t do much in the way of preventing injury. In some cases, they may even increase risk, researchers have found.

Knee airbags, which deploy from a car’s lower dashboard, are meant to distribute impact forces on an occupant’s legs in the case of an accident, thereby reducing leg injuries. Designed to control movement of the lower body, these airbags may also reduce impact forces on the abdomen and chest. read more »

Tesla electric car catches fire after hitting tow truck in Moscow

A Tesla Model 3 electric car caught fire after crashing into a parked tow truck on a Moscow motorway late on Saturday, with the Tesla driver saying he had failed to see the vehicle with which he collided.

Asked in a video published on REN TV website if he was using an Autopilot self-driving system, driver Alexei Tretyakov said he was in a drive assistance mode in which he was still holding the steering wheel.

Footage of the incident on state TV channel Rossiya 24 showed the car by the side of the road engulfed in flames and thick black smoke. Two small explosions occurred within a few seconds of each other and the metal frame of the vehicle was all that remained after the fire, TV footage showed. read more »