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Report shows Takata recall still moving slowly

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 3:16 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 3:16 PM

A new report on recalls of potentially deadly Takata air bag inflators shows that automakers have replaced only 43 percent of the faulty parts even though recalls have been under way for more than 15 years.

The report, issued Friday by an independent monitor who is keeping tabs on the recalls, also shows that auto companies are only about halfway toward a Dec. 31 goal of 100 percent replacement of older and more dangerous inflators.

The slow completion rate comes even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began coordinating the recalls and phasing them in two years ago. Before that, the automakers were obtaining parts and distributing them on their own. Normally automakers fix 75 percent of vehicles within 18 months after the recall is announced.

The report brought criticism from a U.S. senator in Florida, whose state has seen three deaths caused by the problem and where automakers have fixed 41.7 percent of the 3 million affected inflators.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion and fill air bags quickly in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to high humidity and temperatures and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion. That can hurl hot shrapnel into unsuspecting drivers and passengers. At least 19 people have been killed worldwide and more than 180 injured.

The problem touched off the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history, with 19 car and truck makers having to recall up to 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles. It also brought a criminal conviction and fine against Takata and forced the Japanese company into bankruptcy protection.

The report by independent monitor John Buretta says that as of Sept. 15, automakers have recalled 43.1 million inflators. Of those, only 18.5 million have been replaced, even though Takata recalls date to 2001.

In his report, Buretta concludes that there is "much room for improvement" in the Takata recalls. But he says that manufacturers are starting to make meaningful progress toward "developing sound strategic approaches."

The automakers, he writes, are using different communications methods to reach owners such as door-to-door canvassing. They also are offering mobile repair and trying to use third parties such as independent repair facilities to speed up the process.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, blamed the slow pace on a lack of leadership at NHTSA, which has been without its top administrator since the end of the Obama administration in January. "We still don't have any leadership at NHTSA to ensure this stuff actually gets done by the automakers," he said in a statement. "Until the agency gets a permanent administrator this recall is going to continue to drag on while the injury and death toll mounts."

NHTSA said in a statement that the Takata recalls are unprecedented in size and complexity and have resulted in groundbreaking lessons that will help automakers reach their repair goals. The agency said it is monitoring the automakers' progress and working to expand best practices to boost completion rates. The agency also has the authority to fine automakers that don't make recall repairs in a timely manner.

"NHTSA will rely on its broad array of enforcement authorities and will take further action as appropriate," the statement said.

Completion rates vary wildly by automaker, according to a separate document posted by NHTSA. Tesla was best at 78.6 percent, followed by Honda at 64.8 percent. Mercedes-Benz was the worst at 2.3 percent, followed by Karma at 9.9 percent.

Automakers initially were slowed by a lack of replacement inflators as Takata and other manufacturers ramped up manufacturing. But for many such as Honda, Takata's largest customer, ample parts are now available.

NHTSA coordinated the parts distribution, sending them first to southern states with higher temperatures and humidity. The recalls will be phased in over roughly the next three years.

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Tons of trash, overpowering stench at Moraine site of raid

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 6:55 PM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 11:50 PM

Deputies are moving years of waste

Tons of trash dumped in a wooded area off Germantown Pike, which has caused an overpowering stench, is part of a Monday law enforcement raid at the property that led to one arrest.

  • Raid at home, garage in 6700 block of Germantown Pike
  • Tons of trash found dumped in wooded area behind home
  • Man jailed, awaiting formal drug possession charge
(MIKE BURIANEK / STAFF)

A large law enforcement presence was at a Germantown Pike property all day.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies, a special weapons and tactics team and Regional Agencies Narcotics and Gun Enforcement task force members were on scene at a home in the 6700 block of Germantown Pike and deep into the woods of the property.

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Deputies brought a semi and dumpster back into the woods. They were seen moving some of the trash around. They hauled away a backhoe as evidence.

Neighbors said deputies carried piles of items from that wooded area, as well as from a house and garage.

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“They found stuff back there. They’ve carried out huge tubs, looked like it was really heavy. Big boxes of things. They carried out stuff in cloths, white cloths.”

Neighbors said the RANGE task force was ready to break down the home’s front door when one of them offered a key. They said they watched deputies carry out several guns, and then the task force did break a door to get into the garage.

One man was spotted handcuffed in back of a cruiser.

Logan R. Lucas(MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)

Logan R. Lucas, 23, was arrested at 2 p.m. during the raid in the 6700 block of Germantown Pike and booked into the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of drug possession, online jail records show. He has not been formally charged.

Deputies removed items from the home and deep in the woods behind the property, but so far have not said what led to the investigation.

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Crews also removed two dogs along with their food and water bowls from the home, Jacobs said.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Service restored to half of 4,100 DP&L customers without power

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 11:25 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 12:10 AM

UPDATE @ 12:10 a.m. (June 19):

Power has been restored to half of the original 4,100 customers reported out of service at 11 p.m.

There are now 2,138 without power as Dayton Power & Light crews work to restore service.

The cause of the outage is unknown.

UPDATE @ 11:55 p.m.:

About 500 people have power restored so far when Dayton Power & Light’s online outage map reported 4,100 customers in the dark.

There are now just more than 3,600 without power.

FIRST REPORT

More than 4,100 Dayton Power & Light customers are in the dark in Montgomery County.

Crews were sent to investigate why service was interrupted and to restore power, according to a utility spokeswoman.

The power outage was reported at 11:07 p.m.

According to the online outage map, service is expected to be restored by 1 a.m.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Video: Florida family saves kitten from interstate

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 11:51 PM

I-95 (File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
I-95 (File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Jacksonville, Florida, family saved a kitten from the side of a freeway Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Rebecca Marshall rescued the kitten, while her daughter, Allison Bullard, caught the entire event on video.

The rescue happened where I-95 North nears the Zoo Parkway.

Marshall said she was looking out the window when she spotted the kitten.

“We hurried and got off the exit and turned around,” Marshall said. “I was scared to death it’d be hit by a car or something by then.”

Bullard started to record, and nearly two agonizing minutes went by before they were able to get to the kitten.

“We were so scared he was going to run into traffic,” Bullard said. “He just ran straight ahead, it was scary.”

The kitten darted, but Marshall was able to catch up to it as it was trying to get into a storm drain.

“I just threw the towel over him and that was it, I caught him,” Marshall said.

The family wasn’t sure how the kitten ended up there.

Thankfully, the kitten from the incident should be fine.

“My dad, he noticed that we found him on Mile Marker 357, so we decided to name him Magnum, like the gun,” Bullard said.

They're bringing Magnum to the Jacksonville Humane Society on Tuesday.

“I knew that I was in danger the whole time, scared to death,” Marshall said. “But, I can’t just leave an innocent life.”

“So, it was worth it?” Action News Jax Reporter Russell Colburn asked

“It was worth it,” Marshall replied. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

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Dangerous heat to last into the new week

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 8:03 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 4:46 PM

5 Day Forecast with Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell


It will be quite hot and humid with mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will reach near 93 degrees, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. The heat index will be between 95 to 100 degrees by late afternoon. While most will stay dry, an isolated pop-up strong storm cannot be ruled out.

>>WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST:

- Air Pollution Advisory until Monday

- Heat index near 100 again Monday afternoon

- Storms to bring locally heavy rain by Tuesday

 >>5-day forecast

This Evening: A hot and humid evening is in the forecast with a slight chance for a pop-up storm. Any storms will quickly dissipate after sunset. Temperatures will fall through the 80s after sunset.

Tonight: Skies will become mostly clear. It will remain warm and muggy with a low around 73 degrees.

Tomorrow: Another hot day is in the forecast with the humidity making temperatures feel more like 100 degrees. Actual temperatures will top out in the lower 90s under mostly sunny skies. There is a slight chance for a pop-up late day storm. Chances will increase late Monday night. 

Tuesday: Skies will be partly cloudy with an increasing chance for scattered showers and storms developing, especially during the afternoon. Some of the storms could produce locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Highs will top out in the upper 80s.

>>LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans

Wednesday: Numerous showers and storms will be scattered across the Miami Valley. Some of the storms could produce locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Storms will taper down after sunset. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

Thursday: There is a chance for a few storms early in the day and then again toward late evening or at night. Otherwise partly cloudy skies are expected with a bit cooler, less humid air arriving. Highs will be in the lower 80s.

Friday: Scattered showers and storms will return by the afternoon with highs in the middle 80s.

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