VSP News: Industry Insights, Episode 11 - Bad airbag and gas lawsuits; amphibious water cars

A jury recently awarded $14 million to a teenager hurt by a Hyundai air bag, readers provide feedback on the BP contaminated gas class-action lawsuits. Also take a look at new technologies introduced to market, including a truly amphibious 'water car.'


We covered some pretty hot topics last week in our PTEN daily eNewsletter.  Some that are worth repeating and others that have updates.  So let's quick recap:

Jury awards $14 million to teen hurt by Hyundai air bag

At age 16, Duncan sustained traumatic brain injury when the side air bag in his  2008 Tiburon failed to deploy during an accident, the law firm claims. Plaintiffs claimed that the air bag failed to deploy because Hyundai placed the side air bag sensor in the wrong location in the 2003 to 2008 models of the Tiburon.  Something to keep in mind if you see a Tiburon in your shop.

BP has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over bad gas that came from the Whiting Refinery last summer

In August, the company recalled about 4.7 million gallons of contaminated gasoline that had been sold at more than 575 gas stations throughout the Midwest. Thousands of drivers who filled up with the tainted gas faced big repair bills for a variety of automotive maladies, including damaged engines and gunked-up fuel systems.  PTEN is based in WI, to hear this news was a little unnerving.  I'm curious, have any of you repair shops in the Midwest seen any of the vehicles affected by this? 

A truly amphibious car

Take a Jeep CJ-8, put a Honda Acura 3.7-liter V6 in the back to provide 305 hp, add a fiberglass hull, retracting wheels, and a jet boat drive and you've got the new Panther from WaterCar, which it claims is the world's fastest amphibious car.

Capable of doing over 80 mph (127 km/h) on the road and 44 mph (70 km/h) on the water.  The Panther is pricey, starting at $76,000 for a "Rolling chassis", $106,000 for a "Turn-key minus" version, and $135,000 for a complete Panther.  The panther is brand new to market, so you won't likely see this in your shop soon, but how should we be equipped for this one?  You need both Marine and Automotive service. 

Be on the lookout for Honda Odyssey minivans

U.S. safety regulators are investigating some Honda Odyssey minivans because they can brake without the driver pressing the pedal.

The probe affects nearly 344,000 vans from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received 22 complaints from owners about unexpected braking. In some cases, the vans braked while drivers were accelerating, cutting the speed by up to 30 miles per hour. Five people told the agency that dealers found trouble in a steering angle sensor in the electronic stability control system.

July Product Sneak Peek

GM's factory GDS2 diagnostics application now works with Drew Tech's CarDAQ-M and MongoosePro GM II J2534 interfaces. GDS2 supports full dealership diagnostics on all modules for GM's Global A vehicles from 2010 to present. DrewTech's CarDAQ and MongoosePro GM II products also support GM's Tech2WIN diagnostics application. For more information on this tool, go to VehicleServicePros.com/10980371.

The new Mac Tools line of cordless tools! Built to incorporate DEWALT’s advanced switch assembly and industry-leading battery technology. The line features new impacts, drills and ratchets. Technicians can now use Mac Tools 20V Max and 12V Max batteries on DEWALT tools and DEWALT batteries can be used on Mac Tools new cordless line of products. Making it easier for you! Look for this on the cover of July PTEN and online at VehicleServicePros.com/10961026.



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