NHTSA Expands Ford Engine Failure Probe to 700,000 Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation released today documents that shows it has expanded a reliminary Ford engine failure inquiry to an engineering analysis that covers more than 700,000 vehicles and questions Ford’s previous attempts to fix the safety defect. Explorer, Bronco, Edge Lincoln Nautilus, Aviator SUVs, as well as The F-150 pickup truck from 2021-2022 model years are susceptible to sudden loss of engine power.

During the preliminary inquiry investigation, several contributing factors were identified which can lead to the fracturing of the intake valves in the engines involved.* Ford acknowledged that a fractured intake valve can result in catastrophic engine failure and a loss of motive power and noted that following a valve fracture, a vehicle typically requires a full engine replacement. Continue reading

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Toyota Motor Enters Six Teams in Rebelle Rally

Toyota Motor North America (NYSE:TM) said today that it will have six teams competing in the 2023 Rebelle Rally. The annual off-road navigation rally, exclusively for women competitors, covers ~1400 miles of challenging terrain across the Nevada and California desert and takes place from 12-21 October 2023. Toyota’s teams will compete using a fleet consisting of six vehicles comprised of various grades among the company’s popular off-road options.

“The Rebelle Rally provides the perfect platform for Toyota team members to demonstrate their passion for learning and problem solving, develop their driving skills, navigate treacherous terrains, and work together as a cohesive unit,” said Kristen Tabar, group vice president, Advanced Mobility Research and Development at TMNA. Continue reading

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One-Third of UK Motorists Name Their Car

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One in three UK motorists have given a nickname to their car based on its registration plate, color, or make and model; and 34% of nickname-givers say cars without a light-hearted epithet are “missing something.” This from a Volkswagen survey released today on National Name Your Car Day in the UK. Among amusing car nicknames British motorists have adopted are The Beast, The Flying Banana – and Flo – because its plate started with FL0. The poll of 1500 motorists found 32% believe a car can have “a real personality.”

“Naming your car isn’t just a tradition, it’s a celebration of the bond you share – and it’s clear from all the feedback we’ve seen on our social media channels that Volkswagen owners really love their cars,” said Fiona Jones, Social Media Manager at Volkswagen UK. “Every car has a story and giving it a nickname somehow makes it more human. It’s a companion and a real part of the family. We’ve always known we have a strong fanbase, but it’s been particularly heart-warming to see so many stories coming through from owners during this project.” Continue reading

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UAW Strike Expands as Ford and GM Execs Squawk

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Yesterday afternoon the UAW expanded its Big Three strike to Ford’s Chicago Assembly (Explorer, Lincoln Aviator SUVs) and GM’s Lansing Delta Township plants (Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse crossovers). There was no additional strike action announced at Stellantis, because of “considerable progress in bargaining” moments before UAW president Shawn Fain talked to members on a Face Book live broadcast. “Stellantis made significant progress on the 2009 COLA, the right to not cross a picket line, as well as the right to strike over product commitments, plant closures, and outsourcing moratoriums,” Fain said. Then he went on.

“To be clear, negotiations have not broken down. We are still talking with all three companies. I am still very hopeful that we can reach a deal that reflects the incredible sacrifices and contributions our members have made over the last decade. But I also know that what we win at the bargaining table depends on the power we build on the job. It’s time to use that power. That is why I’m calling on an additional 7000 members across Ford and GM to go on strike starting at noon Eastern today,” said Fain. Continue reading

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Honda, Acura – New Deals with Evgo, Electrify America

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American Honda Motor today announced that it has reached agreements with EVgo and Electrify America, plus roaming network partners, giving Honda and Acura EV customers access to more of the largest charging networks in North America.

These latest agreements are in addition to the recent announcement that Honda will adopt the NACS charging standard with Honda and Acura EVs gaining access to the Tesla Supercharger network. Combined with the  joint venture that Honda established with six other major automakers to create a high-powered charging network, US Honda and Acura EV customers will be able to use the majority of public American DC fast chargers starting in 2024 and can expect ~100,000 DC charge points available to them by 2030. Continue reading

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Census Bureau Releases Data on US Fleet after 18 Year Gap

The US Census Bureau today released data on the nation’s inventory and use of selected vehicles. The Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS) is a collaboration with the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Energy; and the Census. For automakers it contains a wealth of data about miles driven, fuel economy and actual use patterns, which are key to product development, marketing, corporate forecasting, among other things.

This is the first release of the physical and operational characteristics of the nation’s vehicle population since 2004. The survey was first conducted in 1963 and then every five years from 1967 to 2002. Prior to 1997, VIUS was known as the Truck Inventory and Use Survey (TIUS). It was renamed as the survey expanded to include more types of vehicles. The survey was revived with data collection in 2022. Continue reading

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NHTSA Fire Alert – Park Your Kia or Hyundai Outside

Hyundai Motor America and Kia America have issued “park outside” recalls for more than 3.3 million vehicles due to the risk of fire. Until these recalled vehicles* have been repaired, the safest place to park them is outside and away from homes and other structures. Fires can occur whether the vehicle is parked and turned off or while driving. Moreover, owners ~1.64 million Hyundai and Genesis vehicles listed below should park their vehicles outside and away from homes until their vehicles have been repaired, due to a new recall for the risk of fire. (AutoInformed: Hyundai Fire Recalls – Palisade, Tucson, Sonata, Elantra, Kona; Kia Soul, Sportage, Seltos)

To date, Hyundai claims it does not know of any crashes, injuries or fatalities associated with this safety defect. There have been 21 related vehicle fires in the United States as well as 22 “thermal incidents,” including visible smoke, burning and melting. To date, Kia claims it does not know of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities associated with this safety defect. Kia knows of one engine compartment fire, three fires in the unit, and six instances of melting components. Continue reading

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EPA and Justice Sue eBay for Selling Toxic Substances

The US Department of Justice today on behalf of the EPA filed a complaint against eBay Inc. (eBay) for unlawfully selling, offering for sale, causing the sale of, and distributing hundreds of thousands of products in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (“FIFRA”) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The complaint filed with the federal Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn seeks a ruling that eBay’s business practices as an e-commerce retailer violated the CAA, FIFRA, and TSCA with injunctive relief to enjoin eBay from further violations of these laws, as well as civil penalties for violations of the CAA.

“Our nation’s environmental laws protect public health and the environment by prohibiting the unlawful sale of defeat devices; unregistered, misbranded and restricted use pesticides; and unsafe products containing toxic chemicals such as methylene chloride,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The complaint filed today demonstrates that EPA will hold online retailers responsible for the unlawful sale of products on their websites that can harm consumers and the environment.” Continue reading

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