May 19, 2016

VW prepares to offer buy back of recalled vehicles

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Sources close to the Volkswagen negotiations with U.S. government officials say the company is getting close to announcing a deal that would finally answer questions about how it intended to deal with the hundreds of thousands of recalled vehicles. Sources say the automaker will offer to buy back nearly half a million impacted vehicles, an attempt to turn the page on a disastrous period for the car company.

The company said that it will agree to buy back up to 500,000 of the older 2.0-liter diesel engine vehicles sold in the U.S., which contain flawed software designed to cheat U.S. emissions tests. This means that the Jettas, Golfs and Audi A3s sold since 2009 would be included. However, another 100,000 vehicles with larger 3.0-liter diesel engines, mainly Audi and Porsche models, will not be part of the buyback offer.

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May 17, 2016

Semi-Trucks Involved In Recent Deadly Mississippi Car Accidents

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Two recent crashes in Mississippi reveal just how dangerous accidents involving passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers can be. Though most people understand that passenger cars and semi-trucks aren't evenly matched, people often forget how catastrophic the results are when the two collide. Sadly, the harm is almost always suffered by those in the passenger vehicles whose cars were no match for giant commercial trucks weighing 10 or 20 times more.

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May 12, 2016

Georgia Car Accident Victim Sues Teen Driver And Snapchat

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Safety experts, legislators, law enforcement authorities, parents and even private companies have all gone out of their way to warn teens about the dangers associated with distracted driving. Though cellphones pose dangers to drivers of all ages, studies indicate that younger drivers are more likely than others to use their phones while operating a motor vehicle and are more likely to become involved in an accident as a result. The combination of a distracting activity and inexperience behind the wheel can lead to sometimes deadly results.

The latest example of the harm that can come when teens are distracted behind the wheel occurred in Georgia, where an 18-year-old is now being sued for causing an accident that left the driver of the other car seriously injured. Though accidents caused by teen drivers are hardly news, personal injury suits that target multibillion dollar technology companies are. In this case, the teen and Snapchat are both being sued by the victim of the accident who is seeking compensation for the harm he suffered as a result of what he says was a Snapchat-related crash.

The accident occurred last year when Christal McGee and three of her friends were driving around town in a Mercedes-Benz a little before 10 p.m. Exactly what happened next depends on who you believe. Christal claims that an oncoming driver, Wentworth Maynard, drifted into her line, causing her to run off the road and lose control of her vehicle. Wentworth says that it was Christal who caused the accident, claiming that the teen was using Snapchat at the time and speeding recklessly as a result.

An accident reconstructionist has said that Christal was driving 107 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The accident was severe and Wentworth was hospitalized for five weeks, suffering serious brain damage as a result. Wentworth and his wife are now suing Christal and Snapchat in an attempt to be compensated for the expenses associated with their accident and subsequent recovery.

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May 10, 2016

Boy Dies After ATV Hit By Vehicle


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Most people think of riding four-wheelers as relatively harmless fun. In fact, the all-terrain vehicles are seen as safe enough that children can ride them. The problem is that ATVs are still motorized vehicles and can cause serious harm given the right circumstances. This is doubly true when the ATVs are allowed out on public roadways where they can encounter much larger and faster passenger vehicles.

Police in Fulton, MS say they are investigating a case where an 11-year-old boy died while out for a ride on his four-wheeler. Police say that details are still sketchy, but it appears that he was on his ATV on Van Buren Road in the mid-afternoon when he was hit by a car. The driver of the automobile was also injured in the accident and taken to a hospital for treatment.

So far no charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle. Police say they that the Mississippi Highway Patrol will investigate the accident and what may have led to the deadly crash. They will even bring in accident reconstructionists to help recreate the crash scene.

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April 21, 2016

Mississippi Law Enforcement Focuses On Texting During National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Everyone should know by now that distracted driving is dangerous. In fact, studies show that distracted driving presents many of the same risks, both to occupants of the vehicle and unsuspecting drivers on the road, as drinking and driving. Given these dangers, some law enforcement officials in Mississippi have decided to crack down on texting while driving, one of the most egregious (and easily prevented) forms of distracted driving.

Many people may be unaware that a law was passed in Mississippi last year that ratcheted up penalties for those found texting while driving. Thankfully, some police departments took notice and have used the new rules to enforce responsible driving. The sheriff in Harrison County, MS has especially targeted distracted drivers since coming into office only a few months ago. Deputies in that department have already written nearly two-dozen texting while driving tickets and say they expect to write even more come the summer when fines associated with the infraction rise.

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April 18, 2016

Woman Wins $10 Million Wrongful-Death Verdict Against Domino's

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In a tragic case out of Florida a woman won a $10 million wrongful-death judgment against the Domino's delivery driver who caused an accident that led to the death of her husband. Domino's has said it intends to appeal, arguing that the driver is an employee of an independent franchisee and that Domino's should thus avoid legal liability for his actions.

The crash occurred back in 2011 when the Domino's driver pulled out into Richard and Yvonne Wiederhold's lane of traffic. Richard, a fire chief, swerved to avoid colliding with the delivery vehicle, which caused his car to flip and crash into a tree. Yvonne was in the car too and suffered serious cuts to her legs, but Richard was left paralyzed from the chest down. Yvonne then spent the next 15 months caring for her husband, feeding him through a tube and bathing him. Unfortunately, Richard developed a blood clot and died shortly thereafter, a complication associated with his paralysis.

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April 15, 2016

Another Shoe Drops In The Ongoing VW Emissions Scandal

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For months now, Volkswagen has been embroiled in disputes with American regulators, safety experts, European officials and, more recently, consumers. The company has been fighting a multi-front battle, trying to keep itself afloat while refusing to take the kinds of responsibility critics have urged executives to consider. Unfortunately for VW, they now appear to have yet another unhappy group to contend with: dealerships.

Earlier this month a group of three family-owned and operated dealerships based in Illinois and Florida filed suit against Volkswagen. The dealer is claiming that the company intentionally defrauded them (not to mention consumers) when it installed the software on its diesel engines designed to trick government emissions tests.

Specifically, the lawsuit, which is structured as a possible class-action claim, alleges that VW and its executive leadership misled dealers into investing millions of dollars building fancy showrooms designed to market supposedly environmentally friendly vehicles all the while the company was working hard to cheat emissions tests. The lawsuit claims that the eco-conscious reputation of the company was a veneer and that this ended up costing dealers across the country a lot of money.

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April 13, 2016

Deadly Mississippi Crash Linked To Failure To Yield

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Authorities with the Mississippi Highway Patrol say that they now understand more about a deadly accident that occurred earlier this month. Accident reconstructionists with the MHP have revealed that the crash on April 3rd involving a fire truck occurred because the fire truck did not yield the right of way.

The accident took place on Mississippi 43 and Carter Store Road. Police say the crash occurred when a Lake Harbor fire truck crashed into a Ford Escape carrying five members of the same family. The accident left a 10-year-old boy dead and resulted in serious injuries to the other four members of the family. The father was listed in stable condition while the mother and two other children, one four-year-old and a four-month-old, were all in critical condition.

Experts believe that the fire truck was heading east and was attempting to cross over the southbound lanes when it slammed into the Ford Escape. This failure to yield, especially at such a high rate of speed, is incredibly dangerous, creating the possibility of a deadly outcome just like this. Authorities say that the two firefighters inside the truck told investigators that they had been out doing training that day. Neither of the firefighters was injured in the crash and police say they will continue to investigate the case.

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March 31, 2016

Damage Caused By Hoverboards Continues To Mount

A woman's home in Washington State recently burnt to the ground after a fun toy she got for Christmas burst into flames. Thankfully, watchful neighbors spotted smoke and called 911, allowing emergency responders enough time to put out the blaze before the house was destroyed.

What toy was the source of so much damage? A hoverboard. The electronic gadgets were the most popular item this holiday season and have caused mounting problems for owners, leading not only to damaging falls, but also malfunctioning and, on occasion, spontaneous fires. In fact, a local news station in Arlington, Washington noted that this was the third time a hoverboard has ignited in the town in only the past three months.

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March 28, 2016

Lack of Progress With VW Recall Worries Consumers

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VW announced, to much fanfare, last month that it would begin repairs on vehicles in Germany with the rigged diesel engines. The company said that it was finally taking steps to address its mistakes, causing consumers to breathe a bit easier, believing that the faulty emissions software might actually be repaired. Though VW has indeed started, the repair process remains in very early stages and, at the current rate, may take decades to fully resolve.

Since beginning its repairs, Volkswagen has said that it fixed 4,300 vehicles. This may sound like a reasonably large number; it's not. The problem is it pales in comparison to the number of affected vehicles. There are 2.4 million impacted vehicles in Germany. VW's current repair rate is 1,400 vehicles per week. If the current rate continues, experts say the company won't be finished repairing the faulty engines until 2048.

Though the company hopes to increase its speed, the magnitude of the problem should give anyone pause. Currently, VW is repairing 1,400 vehicles per week. To be able to process all the impacted cars within a year (not a short amount of time) would require the company to up the rate to 46,000 vehicles per week, a tremendous increase. Whether that kind of improvement is even possible, no one knows.

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March 24, 2016

Drunk-Driving Fireman Loses Control And Crashes Fire Engine

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Typically, we think of drunk drivers as being lawbreakers, those who refuse to take responsibility for their actions and, in so doing, jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of others. We certainly wouldn't think emergency personnel, those we trust to keep us safe, would ever operate a vehicle impaired, especially given how many times these people would have witnessed firsthand the costs that come from driving drunk.

Sadly, that's exactly what happened this past week when a Lee County, Mississippi firefighter was arrested after allegedly driving drunk. Even more troubling, authorities say that the firefighter was actually on duty and driving a fire engine at the time of the crash.

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March 22, 2016

Pedestrian Killed After Being Hit By Vehicle

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Though car accidents can be terrible and even deadly, the reality is that when two vehicles crash into one another the resulting harm can vary greatly. The accident could result in some chipped paint or a broken fender. Even more serious accidents can still spare vehicle occupants much harm thanks to seatbelts, airbags and increasingly safe automotive design.

The multitude of safety features on vehicles today is a huge benefit for those inside the vehicle, but do nothing to protect those on the outside. Many drivers forget about pedestrians, incorrectly believing that accidents always involve other cars. When these accidents occur, pedestrians are left vulnerable and exposed, unable to rely on the airbags or seatbelts that keep those of us inside the vehicle safe. It's for this reason that pedestrian accidents often end so tragically.

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March 6, 2016

Another Bad Week For Volkswagen

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VW found itself in the news yet again this week after several unflattering stories were released. Since U.S. regulators revealed the car company's software cheats last year that were designed to mask emissions problems with its diesel engines, the automaker has had a run of bad press.

On a serious note, the New York Times recently launched an investigation into the company and what executives knew of the emission problem. A devastating article appeared earlier this week that showed executives, including the former CEO of VW, knew about the trouble, including the emissions-cheating software, months before they've previously claimed.

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March 4, 2016

Another Automaker Accused of Emissions Cheating

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Though Volkswagen has managed to steal the spotlight for the past several months after news of its emissions-cheating software was revealed, it may have to share the stage as a recent class action suit levels similar charges against another automaker. Now it's Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz, that will need to address allegations that it too created software to cheat emissions test and allow its vehicles to pollute at unacceptably high rates.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Daimler this past week arguing that Daimler's U.S. Mercedes-Benz unit produced engines that contain devices aimed at bypassing emissions regulations. Specifically, the software is installed in diesel engines, the same as those at issue in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal.

The lawsuit here began with a car owner from Illinois who believes that his Mercedes uses a device that allows it to emit more pollutants than is legally allowed. The cheat is alleged to work only in certain cases, for example, by allowing pollutants to be emitted at higher levels when the temperature outside is colder.

The lawsuit bases its claims on two things: one is an article by a major German publication, Der Spiegel, which mentioned similar allegations of emissions cheating. The other was a study conducted by an independent research organization, which allegedly identified the offending software. The class action demands that the court either order a recall to repair the offending devices or offer free replacement cars, a seriously expensive proposition.

Source: http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/class-action-lawsuit-mercedes-benz-alleged-defeat-devices/

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March 2, 2016

Mississippi Accident Leaves One Child Dead And Others Severely Injured

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A terrible accident this past week in Mississippi serves as a tragic reminder of the importance of wearing seat belts. The extent of injuries related to the wreck were severe, with one child dead and multiple others recovering at local hospitals.

The wreck occurred last Saturday night in Lowndes County, Mississippi. Around 9 p.m., officials say that a northbound Mustang collided with a westbound pickup truck. The crash occurred at the intersection of Highway 69 and New Hope Road.

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