BREAKING: NHTSA Blames Random Winter Brake Failures On Salt

U.S. investigators have spent years trying to figure out why the brakes on thousands of U.S.-made trucks and SUVs were failing without warning. Brake failures were behind at least 107 crashes last year and there is data illustrating that up to two million vehicles could be affected.

Finally, after four years of study, the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it has finally solved the mystery: Salt.

According to reports, the agency has “strongly” suggested that Americans “thoroughly wash the underside of their vehicles.” Investigators found unexpected brake failure could happen to anyone driving a 2008 and earlier vehicle in a cold-weather state.

In a 2011 NHTSA probe, the agency looked at GM trucks made in 1999-2003 following numerous reports that some of the U.S.’s largest passenger vehicles seemed unusually prone to sudden brake failure. Among the suspects: the Cadillac Escalade, the Chevy Suburban and the GMC Yukon.

Photo Courtesy of  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Photo Courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Investigators responded by sending out surveys, pored over safety records, and inspected 71 randomly selected vehicles — but nothing found warranted a recall/

However. the probe did find that sudden brake line ruptures were not limited to a couple of million GM cars. Instead, they could be a danger to anyone behind the wheel of an older model truck or SUV in one the U.S.’s “salt states.”

“Salt and other chemicals can accumulate on road surfaces, can accumulate on your vehicle’s underbody, and could put you and your passengers in danger,” says a safety video issued Thursday by NHTSA.

The ‘incubation period’ identified by the report was only eight years. By that point, cars driven in “harsh conditions” would have built up enough corrosion to produce extremely dangerous and life-threating structural problems.

If you live in one of the “salt states” and own a vehicle that falls within the period, you could seriously be at risk. The best action to take at the moment would be to follow the Agency’s directions and thoroughly wash the underside of your vehicle. This should be done semiannually to prevent the spread of corrosion.

We will be updating this story as soon as we’ve received more information.

Special Thanks to the National Post and NHTSA

 

 

Amazon Getting into the Brake Business

amazon damaged boxAmazon has announced the launch of Amazon Home Services, a new marketplace for on-demand professional services including brake repair. Customers can now browse, purchase parts and schedule brake repair on Amazon.com. Just think of it as a higher class Craig’s List where you can also buy the parts.

Amazon claims Home Services features handpicked pros offering upfront pricing on pre-packaged services with helpful reviews from customers and are using Yelp and Angie’s list as references. Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee backs all service purchases, so customers know the job will get done right. But, Amazon has not announced if the technicians have to be ASE certified.

Amazon Home Services is now available across the country in major U.S. metropolitan areas including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Amazon claims it curates an invite-only marketplace for professional service providers. Invited pros are background checked, required to maintain insurance, and expected to maintain a high performance standard.

Service pros compete for a customer’s business based on price, quality and availability. If customers find a lower price for the same service and pro, we will match it. This may work for curtains but not cars.

I don’t know if this is Amazon’s April Fools pranks, but it has the potential to put drivers at risk.

 

Taxi Driver Goes For A Swim Following Brake Failure

A taxi driver in Massachussets is thanking his lucking stars after being spared during an untimely brake failure crash while on duty last night.

According to reports, it was about 3am when the 27 year-old driver suddenly experienced a loss of pressure beneath his brake pad. The event happened so quickly that the driver was unable to respond with evasive action in time so the vehicle careened down a few flight of stairs and came to rest at the bottom of the Severn river.

Fortunately, the cabbie was uninjured in the incident and walked away from the scene.

The taxi has now been recovered but marks, believed to have been caused by the rescue operation, are still visible on steps leading to the water.

West Mercia Police officers posted the picture on social media, joking “Worcester welcomes its first water taxi – the launch didn’t go too well.”

Brake Cable Manufacturer Takes on Inferior Brake Cables

Bruin Brake Cables

What does it take to sell a quality American made automotive part from an American auto parts store? That’s a good question and one that is troubling Rick Gelscheit, the owner of Bruin Brake Cables, the last U.S. manufacturer of aftermarket emergency brake cables. It seems that it’s much easier selling to auto parts chains if the return address is overseas or south of the border.

“We sell emergency brake cables that pass a 1,200-foot-pound pressure test virtually every time,” he said. “We give the exact same test to foreign cables and they fail almost nine out of 10 of the time. Yet, if you go to an auto parts store for an emergency brake cable, your only choice is the inferior foreign cable.”

Not long ago, one of the monolithic automotive parts distributors, selling mostly foreign made automotive parts, including emergency brake cables, tried to hire Gelscheit to package foreign cables. Of course, he’d have to sell off all his equipment for making his emergency brake cables. Gelscheit felt like Jimmy Stewart talking to Old Man Potter, the latter with clearly nefarious motives.

When he refused the deal, he was threatened.

“I was told, if I don’t go along, they’ll sell their cables at a loss for as long as it takes to put me out of business,”

Read the Rest of the Story at Bruin Brake Cables 

Two Killed Due To Fiery Tanker Crash In Nigeria

Two people have been killed in Lagos, Nigeria after a runaway fuel tanker exploded after suffering from brake failure and crashing in to a building.

Eye-witnesses at the scene say they saw the tanker careening out of control before it slammed into a concrete building and burst into the flames. When the vehicle combusted, the fiery debris ignited the gas tank of a close-by motorcyclist, who then became engulfed in the flames and also perished at the scene.

According to a report by The Eagle Online, the flames were so large that they burnt two other vehicles and apparently two cows. The cows and the vehicles have been reported as being in stable condition.

So far there is no information on whether police will be taking any action or if they will simply write it off as an accident.

53 Dead in Barbaric Brazilian Bus Crash

Fifty-three people have perished following a gruesome crash that occurred last night in Brazil when a coach bus lost its braking power and plummeted off of a cliff.

According to reports, the bus swerved off a curve and fell 1,300 feet before violently crashing into a wooded area. Rescue crews were still trying to rescue survivors and recover the bodies of the victims until nightfall.

Currently, local Police have no information regarding how many passengers in total were aboard the bus or whether the driver was one of the victims, but said that at least six survivors were being treated for injuries.

A statistical analysis report by the Inter-American Development Bank stated that Brazil averages more than 18 highway deaths per 100,000 people per year, compared with about 10 in high-income countries.

Special Thanks Daily Sabah America