Vehicle App Downloads Increase As Temperatures Decrease

Grandpa may not understand how to use Facebook but he sure wasn’t going to go out in -50°F windchill to start up his car! The polar vortex brought many troubles, challenges, and delays to Michigan drivers. The bone-chilling wind and subzero temperatures were horrifying enough that even technophobic people downloaded and used mobile connected apps to self start their vehicle engines.

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On January 30, 2019, self-starting apps were used more than 59 million times, which is a 70% increase from an average day in January, according to General Motors. These apps include myChevrolet, myBuick, myGMC, and myCadillac.

Santiago Chamorro, GM’s Vice President for Global Connected Customer Experience said, “With access to an app that connects directly to the vehicle, our customers are able remote start their vehicle from anywhere, and avoid spending extra time outside during unpleasant weather conditions."

GM stated that Michigan, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Minnesota were the states with the most users hitting “start” on their phones to warm up their vehicles.

According to USA Today, the GM vehicle self-starting app was introduced 9 years ago and was the auto industry’s first connected mobile app. In addition to starting up their engines, GM owners of Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC vehicles can also check their vehicle's oil life, tire pressure, and fuel level. The app can even help drivers locate the car if it’s ever lost.

Other automotive brands have also jumped at the vehicle app trend. For example, Chrysler vehicles such as Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and FIAT have Uconnect, Toyota has Toyota Owners, and the Ford Motor Company has FordPass. All of these apps allow drivers to start their vehicle engines, check their vehicle's oil life, tire pressure, fuel level, locates the car in a crowded parking lot, and some even allow users to sound the vehicle's horn and flash the headlights. Though connected car apps used to only be a feature in luxury vehicles, like BMW’s BMW Connected Drive, this technology has become widely available for most newer model vehicles regardless of their price tag.

There is nothing like stepping into a toasty car on a frosty morning, and thanks to automakers’ mobile connected apps, many people can start off their morning drive without worrying about their hands freezing and sticking to the steering wheel! However, there are dangers to letting a car warm up. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog recently informed readers of some bad habits drivers carry out that can hurt their vehicles. One such bad habit is letting the engine idle too long in an effort to warm up the car. According to AutoBlog, “idling for too long causes buildup on the spark plugs, rendering them less efficient. This may be bad news for your wallet, too, as it wastes gas.”


Mobile connected apps have made winter driving a bit more tolerable for Michigan drivers. However, the winter driving dangers of icy roads, vision-impairing snowfall, and other car accident causing winter driving threats still exist. Car accidents may lead to serious injuries and seriously expensive medical bills. Like a snow plow clearing the road, the car accident attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help clear up the legal process for victims of car crashes. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan accident attorney, call 844.4MI.FIRM.

How to Drive Safely Through a Railroad Crossing

Detroit can be described in three words, “The Motor City.” Ford Motor Company, one of the big three automobile manufacturers, was founded in Detroit in 1903. Over 100 years later, their commitment to the city remains strong, clearly evidenced by Ford announcing their intention to revive Michigan Central Station. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Bill Ford discussed his plans to transform the former train station from a dilapidated building into a thriving new Ford campus. Current plans suggest that in 2022, Detroiters will be able to walk into Michigan Central station and find, “coffee shops, restaurants and shopping” areas. The rest of the 18 ft. building will be dedicated to office spaces, which will be the source of 2,500 jobs for Ford employees!

While it has been idle since its operations were terminated in 1988, Michigan Central Station used to be a bustling train depot, seeing passengers frequently arrive and depart on their journeys. It’s current run-down, graffiti covered walls do not accurately paint a picture of what this building used to mean for the city. In fact, Historic Detroit depicts Michigan Central Station as, “Detroit’s Ellis Island” while it was in operation.

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Even though this particular station is no longer in service, trains continue to be an important mode of transportation. According to the Association of American Railroads, freight trains transport 5 million tons of materials and goods across America every day! In addition, companies like Amtrak allow passengers to travel throughout the country by means of rail transport.

Michigan drivers are likely to encounter railroad crossings during their travels throughout the state, or even across the country. Knowledge of how to approach and pass through a crossing may help drivers from getting into train accidents. It's important for car drivers to be alert at train crossings because because train crews do not have the ability to swiftly stop a train. Additionally, trains cannot steer to avoid an accident. Car drivers, on the other hand, can control the distance between their vehicle and the train tracks. Operation Lifesaver provides rail safety education to help drivers and pedestrians carefully navigate railroad crossings. The following are their railroad crossing car safety tips.

Railroad Crossing Safety Tips for Drivers

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  • Trains and cars don't mix. Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That's 18 football fields!
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the emergency number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. If a train is approaching, run toward the train but away from the tracks at a 45 degree angle. If you run in the same direction a train is traveling, you could be injured by flying debris.
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.

While Ford Motor Company has not yet revealed any plans to resume rail transport at Michigan Central Station, there are 4,800 public railroad crossings throughout the Great Lakes State. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for regulating the safety of these crossings. If drivers become aware of any safety concerns, they can contact by clicking the button below.

Staying safe while driving through a railroad crossing is primarily in the hands of the automobile driver. Oftentimes, drivers may find themselves in a rush to reach their destination, justifying the choice to forgo driving safety rules. No matter the situation, when approaching a railroad crossing with the warning signals activated, drivers must stop and wait for the train to pass. It might cause a delay, but waiting for the train to pass instead of speeding over the rails, may prevent a serious automobile accident.


When trains are absent, railroad crossings may not seem dangerous. But it’s possible that a train could pass by in a matter of seconds and demolish anything or anyone in its tracks. Drivers should be alert when near a railroad, and stay at a secure distance until it is safe to cross. For a free legal consultation with an motor vehicle accident attorney regarding railroad crossing car crashes or any type of auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Millennials Showing New Interest in SUVs

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC recently introduced readers to the Chrysler Portal, a concept car from Chrysler Fiat that was billed as a millennial dream car. It included selfie taking capabilities, shared playlists, LED accent lighting, and facial recognition software. Chrysler created the car in an attempt to combat the lack of interest from millennials in the automotive industry. 

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Well fortunately or unfortunately, the car selfies will have to wait. Car manufacturers such as Chrysler should be relieved by new data released by Autotrader and published in the Detroit Free Press which suggests that millennials are showing a newfound interest in SUVs. Data taken from an Autotrader survey showed that 40% of millennials say their dream car is an SUV. This growing interest from millennials aligns with an emphasis from car manufacturers on family-carrying vehicles. According to Ford US sales analyst Erich Merkle, who spoke to the Free Press, sales of SUVs are up across the board - large SUVs are up 12%, midsize SUVs are up 9%, and compact SUVs are up 4%. On top of that, consumers become very loyal to SUVs after their first purchase. Buyers cite the biggest selling points of SUVs to be the cargo space, higher seating position, ease of getting in and out, and extra seating. For instance, Ford's best selling car with millennials is the Escape, which can seat seven. After all, you can't have #squadgoals if the entire squad can't fit in the car!

While the features of the Chrysler Portal may be trendy for millennials, they might not be the safest. Millennials like to multitask, but keeping an eye on the road while trying to take the perfect selfie may prove to be difficult and certainly unsafe. Run-of-the-mill SUVs, on the other hand, have been consistently improving their safety features. Of the cars U.S. News and World Report consider to be the 10 safest SUVs, many come standard with safety features such as rear view cameras, automatic emergency breaking, and rear cross traffic alerts. Since millennials are a generation highly interested in technology, it's likely that they'll be willing to spend the extra money on optional safety features as well. These can include lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning - all of which make for a safer vehicle. 

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For years, the buying habits and lifestyles of millennials suggested that they wouldn’t be buying SUVs to the same degree as their baby boomer parents. Baby boomers moved out to the suburbs and started having families in their early 20s. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to live in urban areas and have shown less of a desire for marriage and children. As a result, millennials tend to use ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft as means of transportation, rather than purchasing a vehicle. Car manufacturers were right to be concerned by this lack of interest, as there are 80 million millennials in America, making them the largest generational group in the country. When it comes to the auto industry, according to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, millennials purchased only about 4 million cars and trucks in 2015, and are expected to have made up only 30% of new car sales in 2016. Millennials have enormous buying power, and if they weren't using that power to buy SUVs, it could be a huge loss for automakers.

There are a few factors that likely explain millennials' new desire for SUVs. One is that their lifestyles are starting to look more like those of baby boomers, no matter how much they try and deny that they're like their parents. While there is no exact definition of a millennial, the agreed upon age range is generally people born between 1980 and 2000. Since millennials are getting married and having children at older ages than previous generations did, this means they are just now reaching the time in their life when they need a bigger car to transport a family. As such, they are becoming more interested in the extra seating and cargo space that SUVs have to offer. Data from Ford shows that SUVs are most commonly purchased by people between the ages of 35 and 44, and millennials are just starting to hit that age range.

Another explanation for millennials' new interest in SUVs is the economy. Since the Great Recession has ended, it’s likely that millennials are just now starting to reach a point in their life when they have the resources to make a large purchase, such as an SUV and a house in the suburbs. 

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While millennial lifestyles are looking more like the life styles of baby boomers, according to Autoguide however, their actual car purchasing habits are still quite different. Millennials spend more time doing their own research before walking into a dealership, and the vast majority of that research is online. Millennials look up car ratings before going to the dealer just like they look up Yelp reviews before ordering takeout.

Millennials are clearly doing their research when it comes to car buying. This newfound interest in SUVs is great news for the automotive industry, who will welcome purchases of bigger cars and safety upgrades by millennials. It's also encouraging that millennials are just as interested in safety features as they are with selfies and custom playlists. However, no amount of research or high tech safety equipment can currently assure that accidents won’t happen. Whether driving an SUV or any other type of car, it’s important to be alert and to follow all traffic laws to minimize the risk of being involved in an automobile accident. Posting that car selfie would be pointless if you crashed the car that took it, right? 


Accidents can happen regardless of the type of car being driven and whatever advanced safety features the vehicle may have. If you have been involved in automobile accident call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle collision lawsuits including those involving SUVs. 

Driverless Pizza Delivery In Ann Arbor

Pizza delivery in Ann Arbor, Michigan just got a lot more interesting. Starting this month, Domino’s customers in Northeast Ann Arbor have the opportunity to have their pizza delivered to them by car and car alone - no delivery man required! The Ford Motor Company and Domino’s Pizza are working together on a project to deliver pizza via autonomous vehicle, to randomly selected customers in Ann Arbor.

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According to The New York Times (NYT), Ford is using specially designed self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrids to deliver Domino’s pizza. The cars have been designed to deliver data back to Ford regarding how smoothly the car travels through the city and makes the deliveries. That data is extremely important to the company, as they are hoping to start producing fully autonomous vehicles, without steering wheels or pedals, by 2021. It’s an especially daunting task as the NYT reports that Ford has been viewed as relatively "lagging" in the autonomous technology game compared to other car manufacturers. So, Ford may be hoping this pizza delivery experiment will help to put them ahead.

Domino’s Pizza, a company founded near Ann Arbor, is more interested in what happens specifically during the last few minutes of the delivery. What will happen when customers are faced with a self-driving car and no delivery man? Will customers be unhappy about having to come out of their houses to interact with the delivery car? What happens if the customer can’t figure out how to get the pizza out of the car, or there’s a problem with the order? This is all information Domino’s, and the autonomous service industry as a whole, need to know in order to move forward with driverless delivery vehicles. One thing customers are sure to love is that no driver means no tip!

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So, what about the delivery vehicle itself? Well, these aren’t your standard delivery cars, on the inside or the outside. The cars are white with large black lettering that says “self-driving” and “experimental,” in an effort to avoid as many car collisions as possible. On the roof of the car are sensors, software, fusions, and radar laser beams that are all used to scan the road and send data back to Ford. The car is even able to text the customer when it is approaching the delivery address. On the rear passenger side window is large red arrow that says “start here,” directing the customer to a touchscreen. Here, the customer will enter the last 4 digits of their phone number, which will open the compartment of the car that holds the food. There is space for 5 pizzas and 4 sides and each car is designed to keep the food warm during the ride.

The driverless delivery experiment was supposed to start on August 28, 2017, but was delayed due to inclement weather, since the equipment on the outside of the car cannot yet withstand heavy rain. Domino’s and Ford say they plan on continuing the experiment through September, with the cars making 3-6 deliveries a day. While the project is in testing, the cars will be manned, with both a Ford researcher who can override the vehicle in order to avoid any motor vehicle accidents, and a Domino’s employee who is there to observe the behavior of the customer. With two humans in the car until all of the autonomous kinks are ironed out, hopefully, no one in Ann Arbor will have to call a car accident lawyer!

Contrary to the popular belief that 'robots' such as self-driving cars are going to put humans out of work, Domino’s insists they are not looking to replace drivers with autonomous cars. Mr. Kelly Garcia, Domino’s senior vice president for e-commerce development, said, “We could use autonomous cars to fill in where we have a shortage of drivers, or add capacity during surges in business. We will have drivers for a long time. This is not about reducing labor costs.”

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While self-driving pizza delivery may seem outlandish to some, it’s quite possible it did not come as much of a surprise to Ann Arbor residents, since the city and the University of Michigan are home to a great deal of autonomous vehicle testing. Readers may remember The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC has written about the university’s driverless shuttles that transport students around the North Campus, as well as MCity, the university’s testing ground for self-driving cars.

Driverless food delivery is yet another leap forward for self driving technology. While many organizations are still concentrating on autonomous cars being able to transport people, companies like Ford and Domino’s are already looking ahead to the transportation of goods. If the experiment is successful, it could make way for a wide range of delivery services. Next thing you know, a Fedex truck might show up at your house with no delivery man to toss a package onto your lawn!


Self-driving cars continue to be an exciting step forward for driving technology. Presently however, no amount of innovation in the automotive industry can fully guarantee that drivers will always be safe and that auto accidents won’t happen. If you have been injured in an motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation.  

Ford To Create Artificial Intelligence Team for Autonomous Tech Development

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Ford Motor Company plans to accelerate its autonomous technology development by creating a Robotics and Artificial Intelligence team. The original Detroit automaker fully understands the future of automobile technology and does not plan on missing out on the growing opportunities. Ken Washington, Ford's Vice President of research and advanced engineering and Chief Technology Officer, stated, “the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the way we get around  —  even in just the next five to 10 years  —  is potentially enormous.”

So, to get ahead of the curve, Ford is collaborating with Argo AI, a startup artificial intelligence company. Argo was co-founded by Bryan Salesky, a former Google autonomous car project team member, and Peter Rander, an engineer for Uber. Per The Detroit News, Washington says that Ford's Robotics and Artificial Intelligence team will work with Argo, who will lead the development and design of the brains of Ford’s self driving vehicles, in an effort to advance the automaker's autonomous technology. More specifically, Washington writes on his blog that the main functions of the team will be to evaluate and analyze vehicle sensor technology, machine learning methods, and the development of personal mobility devices, drones and other aerial robotic mechanisms. The team will be working in Dearborn, Michigan with a small branch located next to University of Michigan’s MCity research center for autonomous and connected vehicles.

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Ford plans to have its self driving vehicle available to the market by 2021. The car will be fully autonomous, and will not include a steering wheel or pedals. Washington told The Detroit Free Press that they are making great progress toward their goal. He stated that the first fleet will most likely be released within the confines of a “geofence,” or virtual geographic boundary, inside a city or campus.

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However, the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence team may not only be limited to the advancement of autonomous technology. Ford plans to use the team for ergonomic research as well. The company wants robots to take the place of workers in roles that are more dangerous and life-threatening, in the hopes of reducing worker injuries and in building a safer working environment for all everyone. Aside from their work with Argo, Ford wants its team to continue building relationships with other startup companies and even lead projects with universities including Stanford University, M.I.T., University of Michigan, Purdue University, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and others.

Ford clearly has grand ambitions for the near future and is making bold moves to ensure that they will be successful in their driver-less car pursuits. While autonomous vehicles may help reduce the number of car accident fatalities in the future, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of highway crashes are currently caused by human error. So, until automakers like Ford are successful in implementing autonomous cars into our everyday lives, humans must remember to follow the rules of the road.


Ford should be proud of its Ford Fusion series, one of the main models that is being converted to become autonomous. This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded it a 5 star safety rating, and the U.S. News gave it a 9.3 out of 10. It is important to note however that while these are excellent safety ratings, no vehicle is considered to be invincible. Any vehicle controlled by a human is potentially prone to being involved in a car accident. If you have been in a car accident or accident of any kind, call The Michigan Law Firm at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our firm helps car accidents identify and receive any benefits they may be intitled to, under Michigan law.

Automakers Respond To Consumer Technology Demands

Forget about fuel economy, acceleration times, or reliability. What many new car shoppers want to know is if they will be able to integrate their smartphone with their new car’s multimedia system, and if the latest vehicle is Wi-Fi compatible. Automakers are increasingly developing new cars with these consumer demands in mind.  People in the market of buying a new car want to be able to access things like navigation, music, phone calls and text through their car's dashboard touchscreen, steering wheel buttons, or by voice command for a more hands-free experience. In response, the 2017 lineup of vehicles include one or more tech-savvy feature. Demand for multimedia systems, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, continues to increase, and with it, the number of vehicles catering to these needs.

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A year ago, fewer than 50 vehicles were offering one or more of these features. The list has reached over 100 this year, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. General Motors now has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in 30 of its models. Ford, a company that one year ago didn’t even have one vehicle with a multimedia system, is now the first vehicle manufacturer to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on every vehicle line it sells, including the luxury Lincoln brand. BMW and Porsche have the option for Apple CarPlay in a majority of their models, though no plans to add Android Auto have been announced.

While many automakers are jumping to integrate already existing technology into their cars, Toyota is going against the grain by creating their own system, called Scout GPS Link. This system allows the integration of a smartphone navigation app with the vehicle's multimedia system on many of the Toyota and Lexus models.

On the Wi-Fi front, GM and Ford are following in the footsteps of Chrysler by implementing Wi-Fi in some of their vehicles, thereby bringing wireless connection to models other than just luxury cars. Some GM cars now even have OnStar 4G LTE, Ford has upgraded their MyFord Touch system to make accessibility easier for users, and even Chrysler has extended Wi-Fi to its Jeep and Dodge models, giving vehicles an extended 150-foot range for secure and private network connections.

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As with all new inventions, the latest and greatest vehicle technology is not without its setbacks. When a driver is too busy changing the music, sending a text message, or consulting the multimedia system for directions, they are engaging in distracted driving behavior and are putting themselves and other drivers at risk of being involved in a distracted driving car crash.

Not only do these high-tech systems pose a car accident risk, but they also increase the likelihood of car hacking incidents. Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek conducted a controlled experiment to test the capabilities of the software, finding that they could remotely access a Jeep Wrangler and control its functions through its multimedia system. They were even able to cut the brakes and engine!

In response to the rising threat of car hacking, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) accounced that "to ensure a robust cybersecurity environment for these dynamic new technologies, NHTSA adopted a layered research approach, modified its organizational structure, and is continually developing vital partnerships, encouraging members of the industry to take independent steps to help improve the cybersecurity posture of vehicles in the United States. NHTSA's goal is to stay ahead of potential vehicle cybersecurity challenges, and to continue seeking ways to address or avoid them altogether."

Despite the public’s desire for a wireless network while on the road, it comes at a price some are not willing to pay. It has been proven that the Wi-Fi systems in cars can be exploited. Until the guidelines and regulations concerning cybersecurity in cars and their multimedia systems are tested, improved and enforced, drivers must use their car's technology with caution in order to avoid being hacked. Drivers should also be wary of interacting with their car while driving in order to avoid distracted driving car accidents.


Multimedia systems are designed to make things easier for the driver since they allow the driver to be able to use the features of their smartphone, without actually using their phone. While this hands-free technology may help to prevent the number of car accidents caused by distracted driving, it doesn't complete eliminate distracted driving behaviors. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. For a free consultation, call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM.

 

 

FTC Sued For Approving Used Cars With Recall Defects

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The old adage, "it's too good to be true" comes to mind in the light the news that used cars sale representatives have been approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sell used cars as certified, despite some of them having safety defects. Some of those defects include vehicles or parts under recall that have yet to be fixed. However, used car salespeople can still sell the cars as 'safe' or as subjected to 'rigorous inspection' vehicles just as long as they post a notice prior to the purchase of the vehicle stating that it may be under recall notice and by providing the buyer with the information to discover if the vehicle is under recall. 

CBS News listed that the defects may include exploding faulty Takata air bags in addition to other defects that can cause serious to fatal injuries such as, defective ignition switches, problems with the power steering, and damaged brakes. The FTC came to the decision during a settlement with General Motors (GM) and 2 used car dealers.

Opponents Of Recall Defective Car Sales

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not approve of the FTCs ruling. In fact, the FTC's agreement goes against NHTSA policy. The NHTSA's policy, which they unfortunately don't have the power to enforce, says that used cars must be inspected and fixed before being resold. 

Seconding the NHTSA's view on the issue, Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) said, “The FTCs reckless action will result in more people being killed and injured because of unsafe, defective used cars.” To back up their words with actions, Shahan’s organization is fighting along with a few Democratic senators, the Center for Auto Safety, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group against the FTC. “It’s a dangerous and irresponsible abuse of the commission’s authority,” Shahan continued. Now the FTC is facing a lawsuit from the 3 organizations on the grounds of consumer safety.  

The legislative director for the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, Deidre Cummings also said to NBC News that, "The Federal Trade Commission is supposed to crack down on false and misleading advertising, but instead they are encouraging it. They should have protected consumers, but chose to protect reckless car dealers.”

How Defective Car Sales Affect The Auto Industry 

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Many view the FTC's decision as a change in the auto buying industry. This may lead to car dealers altering their policies to reflect monetary benefits for themselves instead of safety measures for the consumers. In fact some changes have already been made. Ford has already modified their policies to include recall defects such as the Takata airbag. Ford Dealers can now sell vehicles with faulty parts as 'certified' as long as the word 'safe' is not utilized at anytime in the sale. Used Ford buyers will then sign an agreement noting that they are aware of the safety issue and agree to be contacted by the Ford dealer once the replacement parts arrive. 

In defense of their new policy, Sara Tatchio of Ford Communications stated that, “The safety of our customers is our top priority. Our dealers must complete all recalls when parts are available. In the extremely rare instance when parts are not available, our policy is that dealers must clearly disclose the situation including printing the open recall information and handing it to the prospective customer. As soon as parts are available, the dealer will then prioritize completing the open recall.”

How Consumers Can Protect Themselves From Recalls

They are few things consumers can do to safeguard themselves from buying a used vehicle that may have recall defects.

  • Look up a vehicle's Identification number (VIN) in the NHTSA’s recall lookup tool. The NHTSA’s system will show any outstanding recalls that have yet to be fixed on the vehicle.
  • Get a vehicle's history report on websites like CarFax to see if the car has been involved in any accidents, if any original parts have been replaced, and if it has been regularly and properly maintained. 
  • Before making a vehicle purchase, ask the salesperson about the history of the car and whether any defects or other safety problems have been made aware to them. 
  • Even if the vehicle list it has been subjected to "rigorous inspection" or as is labeled "safe," get it inspected anyway by a qualified mechanic before buying it. Try to find an auto shop that doesn't have ties to the dealership that the vehicle is being sold from. 

These tips are not 100% effective in every used car buying scenario but in general, they may ease the trepidation one may have in buying a used car. Hopefully, armed with the knowledge of past or present recalls and mechanic history, used car buyers can make an informed decision on what vehicle would serve their needs best while keeping them and others safe. After all, getting involved in a car accident due to a faulty or defective car part because you didn't due your due diligence in researching a used car before purchasing it, is an unfortunate way to harm yourself. 


Car recall lookup tools provided by government websites and agencies such as the NHTSA are one ideal way to make sure that car buyers are truly purchasing safe cars. It is unfortunate that the FTC would approve of the sale of cars with defective parts, thereby making buyers unable to trust the CPO seal that guarantees buyers that they are buying a recall-free vehicle. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by a vehicle under recall, call 844.4MI.FIRM and speak to the experienced staff at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We provide free consultations to discuss your legal options.

Ford Invests $150 Million In Velodyne

Driverless cars are a concept that many have been dreaming about for years. However, we are now in an age of technology where driverless car features are not only possible, but actually exist and are starting to gain steam with big time auto manufacturers like Ford and GM. In addition to some driverless features, companies like Ford are wanting to develop a completely autonomous car. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford is aiming to have such a car available by the year 2021.

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In an effort to work towards their goal of having a completely driverless car by 2021, Ford, along with web services company Baidu, recently invested $150 million in Velodyne. Velodyne is a Morgan Hill, California based company that was founded in 1984 which produces high-end audio systems, but it is now on the forefront of the driverless vehicle frontier. Velodyne received $150 million from Ford and Baidu to continue development and production of Lidar, which is the 3-D light-powered radar that helps self-driving cars see where they are going.

Mike Jellen, the company's president and COO, said the investment will help expand development and manufacturing operations and also speed the advancement of Lidar technology. "We ship Lidar today, we have thousands of them in the field, but what automakers are really looking for are longer-range sensors and higher-resolution sensors at a lower cost," Jellen said.

Until recently, Velodyne's Lidar systems cost about $8,000 — too high to be cost effective for an automaker trying to sell to individual customers. Later this year, Velodyne will begin producing a system that could cost as little as $500 for each unit, if a high enough volume is ordered. This is good news for Ford, because it means that their goal of trying to bring a completely driver-less car to market by 2021 is starting to look like a goal that can be reached. 


One concern for customers and manufacturers of driverless cars is the issue of how safe the technology of the autonomous car is, and whether or not these cars will be involved in more or less crashes than a normal automobile. Until autonomous cars become mainstream however, we won't know exactly how safe they are. In the meanwhile, drivers should be careful while operating human controlled vehicles on the road. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Car accidents can cause a lot of stress which our attorneys hope to alleviate by working hard to help you. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.

Documentary About Detroit And Its Iconic Mustang

Ford Car Crash

Ask any American what their favorite American car is and chances are that many of them will say, without hesitation, that it’s the Ford Mustang. So many people across the world have purchased the Mustang since its inception in 1964 that it has become an iconic car built by Detroit automaker, Ford. So iconic in fact, that a documentary has been filmed about the Mustang and Ford.

Just in time for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary this year, David Gelb, shows the world the masterful craftsman ship that goes into creating the Ford Mustang. The documentary is titled “A Faster Horse” based on Henry Ford’s supposed famous quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” David Gelb is probably best known for his 2011 award winning, critically acclaimed documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”

In his documentary, Gelb specifically focuses on the 2015 redesigned model of the Mustang and films for the viewer the entire path to creating a Mustang, from the assembling of the parts to its final display in local showrooms. It’s not all about cheer and cars however as Gelb also shows how the Mustang and Ford effect the city of Detroit, Michigan and its citizens. David Gelb explores the struggles of many of the citizens of Detroit who work at Ford’s assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, and how they endured the long-lasting financial crisis.

The film was premiered to the world on April 18th, at the Tribeca Film Festival. For any fans of the Mustang, fans or Ford, citizens of Detroit, or even all Michiganders, this documentary is a must see. Perhaps watching this stunning work of cinematography will persuade you to buying a Mustang. Just remember when you take it for a spin that just because it’s known for being a fast car doesn't mean that you have to put the pedal to the metal in a Mustang. Driving at high speeds is dangerous and can cause accidents.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Allowing our accident attorneys  to help you identify and recover your medical and insurance benefits may be the best decision you make on your road to healing. Our experienced team can help you get your medical bills paid, deal with insurance issues, and get you compensation for pain and suffering as allowed under Michigan law. Call us today at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.