Hagens Berman Blog

Auto News: Hyundai & Kia Recalls, Tesla, Self-Driving Technology

by Hagens Berman


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Drivers say automakers are putting lives at risk by not recalling engines known to fail or catch fire

Problem-plagued engine is potentially in millions more vehicles, auto safety expert says

A Vancouver family is blaming a big car company after experiencing heart-stopping engine failure on a B.C. highway — a life-threatening emergency they say could have been avoided if Hyundai hadn't delayed a safety recall for years.

In January, John Killoran was driving on the snowy Coquihalla Highway in B.C. with his wife, Danielle Collette, and their baby boy when the engine shut off without warning while they were travelling at 120 km/h.

What the Vancouver couple didn't know at the time is that Hyundai and its sister company Kia have recalled approximately 3.7 million vehicles in Canada and the U.S. with the same or similar engines over fears a high-speed stall could cause a crash or the engines could catch fire. read more »

Federal authorities leave it up to automakers to assess the safety of their own automated driving systems, but mounting investigations into Tesla crashes suggest regulators need to get tougher.

Why it matters: Tesla cars cannot drive themselves, but some owners are too trusting of their car's Autopilot assisted-driving technology and fail to stay alert.

If the government finds Teslas are more prone to crashes than other vehicles with similar systems, it could determine Autopilot has a defect that poses "an unreasonable risk to safety" and order the company to conduct a recall.

What's happening: Two federal agencies are investigating a March 1 crash in which a man died when his Tesla Model 3 drove beneath a semitrailer that was crossing a Florida roadway near Delray Beach.

Plus, Tesla is under the microscope for at least three other crashes in Florida and California. read more »

Speed bump for self-driving cars

The hype over self driving cars is forcing big car makers to bet on a key technology of self driving cars before the tech is even proven. read more »

Locking More Than the Doors as Cars Become Computers on Wheels

Going back at least a decade, cars have been targeted by hackers, some who ended up working with the industry, others acting maliciously. But vehicles now carry far more electronic equipment, and autonomous driving, relying on sensors, cameras and radar, is on the horizon, with all kinds of ripe new targets.

Concern that cars could be seriously hacked — by criminals, terrorists or even rogue governments — has prompted a new round of security efforts on the part of the auto industry.

The average car has over 150 million lines of computer code, and some have even more than a Boeing 787, according to a 2018 KPMG report. That complexity, the report said, “creates a real risk of cyberattack — a risk we fear many companies in the automotive industry may be underestimating.” read more »