Detroit – The U.S. government is withdrawing a proposal to require all passenger vehicles to have safety systems to prevent unintended acceleration.

The government said Monday the rule isn't needed because the auto industry has installed systems voluntarily.

The industry opposed the rule. It was proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2012 after a series of unintended acceleration problems with Toyota vehicles.

The agency says all 2018 passenger vehicles have systems that override the throttle if a driver presses the gas and brakes at the same time, and it doesn't expect any automakers to remove the brake-throttle override system in the future.

But Jason Levine, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, said it will take years to find out whether automakers installed the systems because of the pending rule. "With no requirement, the control system can disappear from future models or be sold as a luxury with no recourse for consumers," Levine said.

The move comes as the administration of President Donald Trump pushes to reduce or eliminate regulations, which Trump considers an unnecessary burden on industry. "NHTSA does not find that there is presently a safety need for a BTO (brake-throttle override) requirement," the agency said in the withdrawal notice, which was posted Monday on a government website.

The rule also would have required vehicles to return to idle if a driver stops pressing the gas pedal. But NHTSA wrote that it needs a broader understanding of safe design of vehicle electronic control systems to make a decision on that.

Override systems would have been required in passenger cars, trucks and buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Most large trucks and buses weigh more than that, however.

The proposed rule was an outgrowth of investigations in 2010 into claims that electronic defects were causing unintended acceleration in some Toyota models. An investigation by NHTSA and a separate study by NASA ruled out electronic defects in high-speed crashes and determined that in some cases drivers had inadvertently pressed the brake and gas pedal at the same time or that gas pedals had become trapped by floor mats.

One accident that gained attention was the August 2009 high-speed crash of a Lexus near San Diego that resulted in the deaths of four people. Investigators determined that the driver, a veteran California highway patrolman, had applied the brake of the loaned car but was unable to override the accelerator, which was trapped by a floor mat.

In February 2011, Toyota Motor Corp. recalled 2.17 million vehicles in the United States to address accelerator pedals that could become entrapped in floor mats or jammed in driver's-side carpeting, prompting NHTSA to close its investigation. The agency also fined Toyota $50 million for not recalling millions of vehicles in a timely fashion.

The rule was aimed at minimizing the risk that drivers would lose control of their vehicles as a result of either accelerator-control system disconnections or accelerator-pedal sticking or floor-mat entrapment, the safety administration said at the time.


Source – Associated Press

Read More

How to extend truck tire tread life


With tires being one of a fleet's biggest costs, it's important to have a program in place that enables you to get the most value out of the tires you buy. Here are a couple of steps that can help you extend tire tread life.

Watch the video above on the Fleet Equipment website to learn more.


Source: Fleet Equipment

Read More

Amsterdam, 6 May 2019 – LeasePlan, one of the world's leading Car-as-a-Service ("CaaS") companies, has launched a new app that allows private lease customers to share their cars with friends and family

The pilot app – called 'Tess' – allows selected friends and relatives of LeasePlan's private lease customers in the Netherlands to book the vehicle, track its parking location and take care of all relevant administration, such as rental payments and fuel costs.

By working within drivers' own trusted friends and family networks, 'Tess' is designed to overcome consumers' reluctance to share their cars – a key factor holding back the development of many car sharing platforms.

Michel Alsemgeest, Chief Digital Officer LeasePlan, says:

“People increasingly want flexible subscription services to fulfil their mobility needs, and the introduction of ‘Tess’ fits perfectly with this trend. 'Tess' enables car sharing solely with your friends and family, so the trust issues that stopped many people from sharing their cars just aren't there anymore. In addition, because 'Tess' allows you to easily split the costs with everyone who has driven the car, you can get it making money for you even while you're not driving it – which makes private leasing an even more affordable option. With our customers' feedback, we aim to work on the further rollout of 'Tess' and other digital car subscription services."

Lease costs can be split evenly over all participants or can be calculated based on an hourly rate for the usage per person. When appropriate, the lease car owner can request payment, including fuel costs, using the popular repayment app 'Tikkie'.

'Tess' is integrated with Google Maps and uses a tracking beacon to make the car locatable when parked. In addition, 'Tess' uses the latest voice recognition technology to allow users to reserve the car or get access to other important information, such as its location or current mileage. Drivers can talk to ‘Tess’ via Google Assistant on their mobile phone or smartwatch, or through Google Home.

For more information, click here.


“Putting climate change at the top of Europe’s agenda will provide us, as business leaders, with the clarity and confidence to further invest in the net zero emissions industries of the future, driving innovation and protecting European competitiveness on a global scale.”Tex Gunning

Urgent action is needed to tackle climate change. That's why LeasePlan CEO Tex Gunning, along with leaders from over 60 businesses, investors and business networks, signed a letter – organised by The Prince of Wales' Corporate Leaders Group – to call on EU regulators to sign carbon neutrality into law by 2050. Click here to read the letter and see a full list of companies who signed the letter.


Executives from several fleet management companies discussed their vision for the future of fleet management at NAFA I&E 2019, and detailed why it’s an exciting time to be part of the industry.

Fleet managements executives who spoke during the panel included Dan Frank, CEO and president, Wheels, Inc.; Tom Callahan, president, Donlen; Jay Forbes, CEO, Element Fleet Management; Bob White, president, ARI; and Matt Dyer, CEO and president, LeasePlan USA. Moderating the panel was Mike Joyce, executive director, American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA).

They stressed the importance of fleets looking to leverage the assistance of existing fleet technologies, suppliers, and other industry partners to be better prepared for the gradual changes that will be happening in the industry.

“This is a great opportunity for all of us, to be agile enough to stay up to speed, but I think we’ll look back on this time and reflect on really how innovative it was,” said Dyer.

Other topics addressed during the panel included the growing risk of distracted driving and how safety initiatives can help curb this, and learning to have a better understanding of who has ownership of the data that is collected by fleets, fleet management companies, and other industry suppliers.


Source: Automotive FLEET

Read More