Rental Car Companies Agree not to Rent or Sell Recalled Vehicles

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The four largest rental car companies in the country have agreed to requests made by two senators who are pushing for legislation to prevent rental companies from renting or selling defective vehicles that have not yet been repaired. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, Senators Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer announced the agreement Thursday with Hertz, Avis, Enterprise and Dollar Thrifty, the four most popular rental companies in the United States.

The companies have said they will support the law, which will for the first time put them under federal oversight on recalls. The push for this new law came from Cally Houck, the mother of Raechel, 24, and Jacqueline, 20, who were both killed in a fiery crash in 2004 while returning to the Bay Area after visiting their mother in Ojai.

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Young Football Player Killed in Accident Caused by Tire Tread Separation

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Even Perez, 10, was killed in a car accident in California after the vehicle in which he was a passenger went out of control and crashed, the morning of September 15, 2012. According to a news account in The Hanford Sentinel, the fatal SUV rollover crash occurred on the 5 Freeway south of Derrick Avenue near Coalinga. California Highway Patrol officials say that 2001 Mitsubishi SUV was traveling at about 70 mph when the tread on the left rear tire separated.

The SUV overturned into the center median and three out of the six passengers, including Even, were ejected. Even died at the scene. His mother, Alma Lopez-Diaz, 37, and four other passengers were transported to a Fresno hospital. They were identified as Even’s three siblings and one other child – 13-year-old Eddie Lopez, Christian Cervantes, 9, Alex Alukya and Rosemary Perez, both 12.

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Man Killed in Monrovia Car Accident

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Jimmy Hughes Jr., 37, was killed in a Los Angeles County car accident after he lost control of his SUV and crashed into another vehicle. According to a City News Service report, the fatal crash occurred on the 134 Freeway near Harvey Drive in Monrovia, the morning of September 14, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Hughes was westbound on the freeway when he lost control of his Chevy Suburban SUV, which went off the shoulder, across the median and into eastbound lanes. The SUV then collided with a Toyota Solara and overturned. Hughes sustained fatal injuries. The driver of the Toyota Solara suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jimmy Hughes Jr. for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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Government Probes Ford Crown Victoria Steering Issues

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Federal officials have launched a vehicle defect investigation into Ford Crown Victoria police cars after complaints regarding possibly faulty steering columns. According to a news article in The Associated Press, the probe affects about 195,000 cars from the 2005 through 2008 model years. So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received three complaints that part of the steering column can separate and result in loss of steering control. No crashes or injuries have yet been reported. During the investigation, officials will determine whether the vehicles in question are defective and whether a safety recall is warranted.

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Man Killed in San Bernardino County Rollover Crash

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David Alex Trujillo, 26, was killed and two others – 21-year-old Frankie J. Ruiz of Colton and a 3-year-old Rialto boy – were injured in a rollover accident, the night of September 8, 2012. According to The Press-Enterprise, the fatal crash occurred along Highway 259 near Highland Avenue in San Bernardino. California Highway Patrol officials say the southbound 1993 Jeep Cherokee veered to the right and struck the curb causing it to roll over. The vehicle then hit the guardrail and tumbled down a steep embankment. Trujillo was ejected and died at the scene. Ruiz sustained major injuries while the boy escaped with minor injuries. Officials suspect that Trujillo and Ruiz were not wearing their seatbelts. The investigation into the cause of this crash is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and many friends of David Alex Trujillo. My thoughts and prayers are also with the two injured victims. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

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Castaic Man Killed in Santa Clarita Area Car Crash

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Anthony Friel, 45, was killed in a Santa Clarita area car accident after he lost control of his Toyota pickup truck and crashed. According to a news report in The Signal, the fatal accident occurred early morning on August 26, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Friel was traveling in the northbound lanes of the Interstate 5, between Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway, at the time of the incident. His truck collided with a sign and then went airborne, before striking a large tree. Friel suffered massive head injuries. He died at the scene. Officials are investigating the cause of the crash.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends of Anthony Friel who are mourning the loss of their loved one. I offer my deepest sympathies to them. Friel was apparently a local resident who graduated from Saugus High School and worked as a stagehand.

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Is General Motors Ignoring Defective Airbag Complaints?

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There have been a number of inadvertent airbag deployment incidents recently involving General Motors vehicles. According to an MSN news report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and GM have not investigated these alleged airbag defects involving problems with the airbag sensors despite multiple reports of inadvertent deployments. There have been at least 19 reported instances of sudden airbag deployments involving GM vehicles. According to the report, the vehicles include Chevrolet, Cadillac, Hummer and Buick models.

One consumer reported an incident where the side curtain airbags in a CTS-V wagon deployed suddenly. The driver of a 2009 Chevrolet HHR SS had a similar experience when the vehicles side curtain airbags deployed as during a hard left turn. The driver of a 2011 Buick Regal was surprised when four side airbags deployed as his vehicle went over a bump on the roadway. It is not clear if GM or NHTSA will begin an investigation with regard to these potentially defective vehicles.

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NHTSA Requires Changes to Black Box Data Standards

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Many recent model-year vehicles contain event data recorders (EDRs), known as “black boxes” that constantly track and capture key vehicle information that could prove to be very useful after a car accident. However, the access to the data collected from the EDRs and its analysis has so far been problematic and ineffectual. This stems from the variations in the information being recorded by the gadgets that are made by different automakers, as well as an absence of a consistent retrieval system for the data. According to Consumer Reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ruled that all automakers must standardize the data collected by these black boxes. The ruling does not mandate black boxes in all vehicles, but it does affect what data is collected and how that data can be accessed.

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Nissan Versa Vehicles Under Investigation for Potential Airbag Defects

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced an investigation into Nissan Versa sedans from model year 2012 for potentially defective airbags. According to Consumer Reports, there are 100,000 Nissan sedans that may be affected by this auto defect. NHTSA officials say that there is “pinched wiring” in the steering wheel that can prevent the airbag from deploying during a collision. It is not clear if the investigation will result in a recall or if any Versa occupants have been injured by airbags failing to deploy.

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SUV Rollover Crash in Temecula Proves Fatal

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Freda Maloseuga, 44, was killed in a Temecula car accident after she lost control of her SUV, the night of August 7, 2012. According to The Press-Enterprise, the SUV rollover crash occurred on the Interstate 15. The victim was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban north on the Interstate 15 near Winchester Road, when the left rear tire began to lose pressure, which led to a tread separation. California Highway Patrol officials say Maloseuga was traveling at about 65 mph when she turned the steering wheel abruptly and lost control. She overcorrected and the SUV began to spin and overturned. Maloseuga was transported to an area hospital where she died from her injuries. A total of seven people were injured in the crash.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Freda Maloseuga for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Car Crash Statistics

According to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were seven fatalities and 367 injuries reported as a result of car accidents in Temecula in 2009. During the same year, 203 people died and 7,974 were injured due to Riverside County car accidents. More

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