Feds Investigating GM Over Autonomous Cruise Program
Tesla is not the only major auto manufacturer getting a look from federal investigators over technology designed to let cars do the driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a probe into General Motors’ autonomous Cruise program, Autoweek reports. Investigators are looking into two types of complaints: inadvertent hard braking resulting in rear-end collisions and complete immobilizations leading to traffic jams.
“Although the two types of incidents appear to be distinct, they each result in the Cruise becoming unexpected roadway obstacles,” NHTSA said in an investigation report. “This may introduce multiple potential hazards such as a collision with a Cruise vehicle, risk to a stranded passenger exiting an immobilized Cruise vehicle, or obstruction of other traffic including emergency vehicles.”
Cruise is a San Francisco-based GM subsidiary focused on autonomous driving technology. Its self-driving cars are currently being tested on the streets of the city.
The company reportedly scrambled to update its self-driving driving software late last year after the crash in San Francisco that left two people injured. It recalled certain vehicles for software fixes after an NHTSA review indicated that the vehicles may “incorrectly predict” the path of oncoming traffic.
Meanwhile, NHTSA and other federal agencies are circling Tesla over concerns about the company’s Autopilot driver-assist technology.
The electric vehicle manufacturer also faces a wave of lawsuits over crashes involving cars said to be engaged in Autopilot at the time. The suits allege generally that Tesla has pitched and marketed Autopilot as completely autonomous driving, giving drivers a dangerous sense that they can let the vehicle do all the work.
Car Defects Put Lives at Risk
The Cruise probe is one of several safety issues facing GM.
The company recently announced, for example, that it is recalling 740,000 vehicles over faulty lights that increase the risk of a crash. Last year, GM called back some 100,000 Cadillac and GMC sport utility vehicles, which it said were equipped with defective backup cameras that may fail unexpectedly, also increasing the risk of a crash.
GM is not alone: Major auto manufacturers recall millions of vehicles every year, citing a wide range of defects that put everyone on the road at risk.
Fortunately, car owners and lessors in California have some important rights under the state’s lemon law. They do not have to wait around for a recall to get a defective vehicle fixed.
The state’s lemon law requires Ford and other car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. The law also forces manufacturers to buy back (or replace, in some situations) cars that they cannot or will not fix.
Speak With a Lemon Law Attorney at Our Firm
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or are haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, the California lemon lawyers at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.