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Small Car Driver Risks on the Rise, Study Shows

Drivers of compacts more likely to die than larger vehicles.

by on May.26, 2017

The Hyundai Accent is one of the more dangerous cars on the road today, if involved in a collision, a new study shows.

Drivers of small cars have long known that they are at greater risk when involved in collisions with larger vehicles. However, the risk is increasing, according to a new study.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report suggests that traffic fatality rates are on the rise overall, but noted that of the top 10 vehicles involved in fatal crashes, five are minicars and three are small cars. The vehicle at the top of the list if the Hyundai Accent.

Safety News!

Despite the increase in the overall rate, the worst vehicles actually saw some improvement. The 2014 Hyundai Accent’s death rate of 104 compares with 120 for the 2011 Accent. The worst vehicle among the 2011 models was the Kia Rio with a rate of 149. The 2014 Rio’s death rate is 102. (more…)

GM Sued for Allegedly Cheating on Diesel Emissions Testing

Class-action suit claims Duramax diesels exceed limits by two to five times.

by on May.25, 2017

GM is accused of cheating on diesel emissions tests on its Duramax diesels in 705,000 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

No automaker appears to be able escape unscathed. General Motors Co. became the sixth automaker accused of using some form of cheat device to pass its diesel emissions tests, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in Detroit.

GM joins Volkswagen, which admitted guilt and has paid more than $25 billion in fines and fees, Daimler AG, Subaru, Peugeot, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler in being accused of or sued for using some sort of software or hardware to get around emissions rules.

News Now!

In fact, FCA was sued yesterday by the U.S. Justice Department over 104,000 Dodge Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees that allegedly used cheat devices. (more…)

China Approves VW deal with JAC to Build EVs

Volkswagen plans to sell 400,000 EVs in China annually by 2020.

by on May.24, 2017

Going forward, VW plans to shift away from diesels and focus on battery models like this I.D. Crozz concept.

When Volkswagen AG says its future is electric, it apparently really means it. Chinese regulators approved a deal between the German automaker and Chinese automaker JAC to jointly build EVs in what likely will be the world’s biggest EV market.

The new venture has an approval to produce 100,000 electric vehicles annually, according to a report in Reuters. The deal is worth about $740 million, according to a VW stock filing.

Global Auto News!

Since VW’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, the automaker has paid out more than $30 billion in fines and fees globally and reset its entire product portfolio to focus on electric vehicles and away from diesel-powered engines. (more…)

Feds Haul Fiat Chrysler into Court Over Diesel Emission Testing

FCA offered software solution hoping to avoid a trial.

by on May.23, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this year that the automaker wasn't attempting to cheat on its diesel emissions tests.

Looks like Fiat Chrysler’s best efforts weren’t enough as the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit accusing the automaker of illegally using software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel-equipped Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks sold since 2014.

Filed in U.S. District court in Detroit, the suit is a procedural step designed to turn up the pressure on Fiat Chrysler, according to Reuters. While Volkswagen AG has been dealing with its diesel emissions problem for some time — and at a cost in excess of $25 billion — this suit may be a signal that more makers should be concerned in the U.S. and abroad.

News Now!

The automaker has been working with federal regulators to resolve the issue and just yesterday appeared to believe it was on the path to avoiding a lawsuit from the Justice Dept. and potentially $6 billion in fines. (more…)

No Change to NAFTA Rule of Origin, Mexico Auto Exec Says

Trump readying for trade deal negotiations.

by on May.23, 2017

The Big Three automakers would like NAFTA to remain status quo; however, the Trump Administration is renegotiating the deal this summer.

Trump Administration officials recently began the official process to open talks about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and they’re going to find the auto industries officially agree on at least one point.

The auto industries in the U.S., Mexico and Canada all believe there shouldn’t be any changes to the rules of origin, Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican automakers industry group AMIA, told Reuters.

Trade News!

“Our position is that the trade agreement has been a success, and we shouldn’t be touching something as important as the rules of origin,” Solis told Reuters. (more…)

Uber Expands With Addition of Uber Freight

After months of testing, new app ready for truck drivers.

by on May.19, 2017

One of Uber Freight's big appeals to drivers is the ability to get paid for jobs in seven days, rather than three months.

Uber is no longer just about hauling people from the airport to their hotel or from the bar to their homes — it’s hauling freight.

The company unveiled Uber Freight, a cloud-based, on-demand, full truckload brokerage after the company tested concept in the “Texas Triangle,” Dallas, Houston and San Antonio for several months. And it basically operates the same way the ride-sharing service does.

The Last Word!

Uber Freight features an app just like the regular Uber app. However, it’s aimed at approved driers, who can search for available loads, see destination info, distance required and payment before they agree. Once they find a gig they like, the driver taps and it’s booked. (more…)

Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and BMW Settle Takata Suit for $553M

Four makers admit no wrongdoing in settlement.

by on May.18, 2017

Four automakers – Toyota, BMW, Mazda and Subaru – agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for $553 million.

Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and BMW agreed to a $553 million settlement for a class-action lawsuit, accounting for 16 million vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbag inflators, according to court documents.

Reuters reported that Toyota will pay $278.5 million as part of the settlement while BMW will pay $131 million, Mazda $76 million and Subaru $68 million. Nineteen automakers used the faulty inflators responsible for more than a dozen deaths and nearly 200 injuries worldwide.

News Now!

The inflators will explode under certain conditions, sending plastic and metal shrapnel into the cabin of the vehicle. Among those automakers in the class-action suit that haven’t reached a settlement: Honda, Ford and Nissan. (more…)

Toyota RAV4 SUV Outsells Camry Sedan

Maker facing tough task of getting buyers what they want.

by on May.18, 2017

The Toyota RAV4 outsold the best-selling sedan in the U.S. last month: the Toyota Camry.

The shift in consumer preferences from cars, specifically sedans, to trucks and utility vehicles has been an ongoing story for years, although it’s been at the fore since precipitous drop in gas prices a few years back.

Trucks and utes are outselling cars at a rate approaching 60/40 after crossing the 50/50 mark a few years back. Now, automakers are trying to figure out how to handle the growth of ute sales that are driving the new ratio.

Sales News!

In fact, so pronounced is the move that America’s best-selling car for the past 15 years, the Toyota Camry, is now being outsold by the new RAV4. In April, the Japanese automaker sold 329 more units of the little ute than the family sedan. It was the second time this year that it has happened. (more…)

Delphi Partners With BMW, Intel and Mobileye on Autonomous Tech

Supplier may also provide additional support.

by on May.16, 2017

Delphi is teaming with BMW, Mobileye and Intel to develop an autonomous driving system for 2021.

Unlike the old axiom, apparently three isn’t a crowd as Delphi Automotive announced it will join forces with Intel Corp. and Mobileye to help created the platform for BMW’s autonomous vehicle systems in the future.

The deal, which isn’t exclusive, puts Delphi into the role of integrator. It will merge all of BMW, Intel and Mobileye’s automated driving solutions into automaker vehicle architectures. Delphi may also provide software and hardware such as sensors and provide help in other areas as needed.

Stay Connected!

BMW, Intel and Mobileye announced last year that they would jointly develop a fully automated driving system for production by 2021. The three companies have developed an architecture that could be used by other automakers and mobility companies. (more…)

Lyft Inks Autonomous Development Deal with Waymo

Judge issues ruling in Uber/Waymo court battle.

by on May.15, 2017

Waymo and Left are partnering up to help the ride-share company accelerate its goals autonomous vehicle goals.

The intensity of the driverless ride-share competition just ratcheted up a bit more with the new partnership between Lyft and Waymo.

Lyft officials believe the deal will accelerate its vision for transportation while Waymo sadi in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and said the partnership would let its technology reach “more people, in more places.”

News You Can Trust!

Neither offered many details of the agreement. Lyft is the second-largest ride-share service in the U.S. behind Uber, which has been developing its own self-driving vehicles while in the midst of a battle over industrial secrets with Waymo. (more…)