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Archive for the ‘Quality and Reliability’ Category

Former Worker Countersues Tesla Over Sabotage Claim

Martin Tripp alleges automaker tried to cover up quality problems.

by on Aug.06, 2018

Former employee Martin Tripp claims he was fired after trying to report problems at Tesla's Gigafactory.

A former employee at the Gigafactory battery plant has sued Tesla after it claimed he committed sabotage and stole intellectual property.

Martin Tripp was fired by the battery-carmaker in June and subsequently sued by Tesla for allegedly sabotaging the company’s manufacturing system and also stealing its intellectual property. In turn, Tripp has filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission, while also filing a lawsuit against Tesla.

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In the lawsuit, the former employee said the carmaker took action after he “raised his concerns about the seemingly exorbitant amounts of scrap” being produced at the Gigafactory, though “no action was taken.” Tripp even sent an email to Tesla CEO on May 16, 2018 expressing his concerns and backing them up with “graphical charts.”

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Ford, Takata Reach $299M Airbag Settlement

Deal helps vehicle owners recoup costs.

by on Jul.17, 2018

Ford and Takata reached a $299.1 million settlement to help offset the costs of owners with faulty airbag inflators in their cars.

Ford Motor Co. and Takata agreed to a $299.1 million settlement to allow the automaker to cover economic damages tied to the supplier’s faulty inflators. The deal covers about 6 million Ford vehicles with the inflators.

Takata produced airbag inflators that became unstable over time, inflating with too much force, spewing metal and plastic into the vehicle cabin. To date, 23 deaths and nearly 300 injuries have occurred as a result of the inflators.

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The terms of the deal, which is described as an economic loss settlement, were revealed in court documents filed in a federal court in Miami, according to Reuters. (more…)

Tata Motors “Cheapest Car” is No More: Nano is a No-No

Series of fires, poor marketing doom entry-level sedan.

by on Jul.13, 2018

After several fires, demand for the Tata Nano plunged to just 500 units in 2011.

The car that was once considered the second coming of the Model T is now at the end of its run: Tata Motors killed the Nano.

The small four-door car that was developed because Tata’s Motors Chairman Rajan Tata saw a family of four trying to navigate a street on a motorbike in a rain storm hit the end of its nine-year production run yesterday.

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That was in 2003 and it took Tata about six years to get the first of the small cars to production, including having to shift the plant from one region in India to another after protests by farmers in the area. (more…)

Big Surprises in 2018 JD Power Initial Quality Survey

Overall quality reaches record high – and Korean brands lead the surge.

by on Jun.20, 2018

The Genesis G90 topped its segment while the Genesis brand led the industry overall.

New vehicle quality has reached an all-time high according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, and the 2018 IQS reveals a number of surprising trends, starting with the fact that three Korean brands lead this year’s study.

The latest IQS, which looks at “things-gone-wrong” with vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership, reveals that traditional mechanical issues, whether powertrain problems or squeaks, rattles and wind noise, are today increasingly rare. Motorists are far more likely to experience issues with infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems, but many of those problems are also being addressed.

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“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, the head of global automotive research for Power. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.”

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Korean Newcomer Genesis Tops Vehicle Satisfaction List

Nissan, GMC, Hyundai and Ram also score well in annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

by on Jun.19, 2018

Genesis was the top brand overall in the 2018 VSA, while the G90 sedan was top Luxury Car.

Reflecting the massive shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs, CUVs and pickups, light trucks are doing a better job of pleasing buyers, at least if the 2018 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are any indication. And SUVs are the most satisfying products of all, reports consulting and research firm AutoPacific, Inc.

But that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Genesis, the new Korean luxury brand that has yet to introduce its first utility vehicle, was the number one brand in the 2018 VSA, edging out more established competitors, such as Lexus, and achieving the highest score ever in the annual satisfaction study.

Best of the Best!

“In just two years, Genesis has reached a level of owner satisfaction unattained by more established luxury brands,” said AutoPacific President George Peterson, adding that the Genesis G90 sedan also won the VSA for Luxury Car for the second year in a row.

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Comrade Musk Wants to Launch “Pravda” Website to Rate Journalists

Tesla CEO increasingly intolerant of media, investor critics, even taking shots at owners.

by on May.24, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has another new idea: a news site! He'd call it Pravda.

It’s hard to tell whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s latest idea was more influenced by the old Soviet Union or the current resident of the White House.

Like President Donald Trump, the billionaire entrepreneur has had his run-ins with the media, Tesla coming under increasing scrutiny in recent months due to production problems, lawsuits, quality issues and mounting financial losses. So, it seems, Musk might lift the name for the old Soviet government’s official media mouthpiece, Pravda, and use it as a way to fire back at critical journalists.

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“Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication,” Musk said in his latest burst of tweets. “Thinking of calling it Pravda …” (more…)

Musk Strikes Back After Tough Reviews of Model 3

CEO suggested problems were related to software issue.

by on May.22, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk took to twitter to defend and explain some of the issues Consumer Reports came across in reviewing the Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to twitter – as he often does – to defend his company and the Model 3 and explain problems that Consumer Reports told its readers about were easily fixed.

The magazine, which stopped short of giving the Model 3 an endorsement, pointed out that the new sedan performed poorly in braking tests. In fact, it said it tested two vehicles and each of them performed worse in the 60-to-0 mph test than a new Ford F-150 truck.

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This happened even after the car it owned received a software update to improve the vehicle’s braking system. (more…)

Tesla Model 3 Not Faring Well in Media Spotlight

Consumer Reports, Edmunds point out problems with new sedan.

by on May.21, 2018

Tesla's Model 3 isn't getting the rave reviews from some media outlets the company would like.

Tesla’s Model 3 is slowly working its way on to the driveways of the tens of thousands of folks who ordered one — including Consumer Reports and Edmunds, and the results are not what the EV maker had hoped.

Consumer Reports said it “found plenty to like about the luxury compact sedan (which starts at $35,000 but goes all the way up to $78,000), including record-setting range as well as exhilarating acceleration and handling that could make it a healthy competitor to performance-oriented cars such as BMW’s 3 Series and the Audi A4.”

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However, it quickly pointed a few flaws in the new model, primarily long stopping distances in the magazine’s emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls, that prevented it from earning a recommendation. (more…)

Ford Adds 26K Full-Size Transit Vans to Previous Recall

Water intrusion problem impacting vehicle's electronics.

by on May.02, 2018

Ford is recalling 100K Transits in North America for a water intrusion issue.

Ford Motor Co. announced the expansion of an existing recall on its full-size Transit vans. The automaker is adding 26,000 more vehicles to the action, bringing the total number affected to just under 100,000 units.

The newly added vehicles to the initial recall, which occurred last October, were built between 2014 and 2017, the company said. These vehicles were not included in Ford’s prior action due to an identification error of certain configurations of the vehicle population.

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In affected vehicles, water intrusion into the module may result in rapid flashing of the turn signals, loss of the instrument cluster display, loss of heater and air conditioning controls, and loss of multimedia including radio, screens and SYNC system, Ford said.  (more…)

Subaru Employees Manipulated Fuel Economy Data

Automaker query finds 900 vehicles with incorrect information.

by on Apr.30, 2018

Subaru officials released a report outlining how 900 Japanese-built cars were given incorrect fuel-economy and emissions testing approvals.

Subaru Corp. said employees manipulated fuel economy and emissions figures on about 900 vehicles manufactured in Japan. The company has been investigating the issue since it first came to light last fall and issued a report of its findings last week.

The revelation came as part of a government-mandated self-investigation, which end up in the head of the company to resigning. Additionally, the query determined that “unqualified” employees had been performing the fuel-economy inspections for as long as 30 years.

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Subaru recalled 395,000 vehicles sold in Japan and estimated the scandal would cost $177 million. (more…)