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Honda Recalling 1.1M Vehicles to Replace Airbags

Automaker just the latest to make big push to complete repairs.

by on Mar.12, 2019

American Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles due to faulty Takata airbags.

American Honda’s Takata nightmare continues with a voluntarily recall of about 1.1 million Acura and Honda vehicles in the United States to replace, for free, Takata desiccated replacement driver front airbag inflators that may rupture if an airbag deploys in a crash.

Takata’s faulty airbags triggered the largest automotive recall in history. The airbags deployed with such force that pieces of plastic and metal were propelled into the vehicle cabin killing nearly two dozen and injuring more than 125 people.

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Honda was one of Takata’s biggest customers. The vehicles involved in this recall were previously repaired using specific Takata desiccated replacement inflators (PSDI-5D) or entire replacement airbag modules containing these inflators, neither subject to recall at that time. Those replacement inflators are now deemed defective as well. (more…)

Tesla Backtracks on Store Closures; Raises Prices 3% Instead

$35K Model 3 exempt from price increase.

by on Mar.11, 2019

Tesla announced it will only close half of its stores and offset that by raising prices 3%.

Tesla buyers looking to walk into a store to buy a new vehicle were disappointed recently when Chief Elon Musk said the company would close the stores to cut costs — now they can rejoice.

In a blog post, the company announced it would only close about half of the stores across the country, after a spate of negative feedback about the move initially.

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“Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced,” the electric carmaker said.  (more…)

February Auto Sales in China Drop 13.8%

New energy vehicles, i.e. EVs, rose 53.6% last month.

by on Mar.11, 2019

New vehicle sales in China, like the Mazda CX-4, fell during the month of February 13.8%.

Automakers hoping that China might bail them out of sluggish sales in the U.S. are going to be disappointed as sales in the world’s largest market fell 13.8% in February.

The drop is eight consecutive month that China, only just two years ago posting double-digit increases, has seen buyers keep their money in their wallets. Sales fell 16% in January and 13% in December. Overall, 1.48 million new vehicles were sold in China last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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“The trend experienced last year has continued into this year, and the economic situation has also been weak. This has dragged down consumption,” CAAM’s Deputy Secretary General Shi Jianhua told reporters at a news briefing in Beijing. (more…)

BMW: The Leading US Exporter of New Vehicles

Automaker's SUVs extreme popularity give it the title.

by on Mar.08, 2019

BMW shipped more than 234,000 SUVs and coupes from the U.S.

Once again, BMW is the top exporter of vehicles from the United States. For the fifth year in a row, the German automaker’s X series sport activity vehicles took it to the top of the heap.

The company said it exported 234,689 units of its sport-utilities and coupes from its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant during 2018, totaling more than $8.4 billion in 2018.

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“Despite…the ongoing uncertainty regarding trade and tariffs, plant Spartanburg is still positively contributing to the U.S. balance of trade,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing Co LLC. (more…)

GAC Chairman Says Company Pushing US Entry Back Again

He blamed tariff uncertainty and brand name problem: Trumpchi.

by on Mar.08, 2019

GAC Motor President Yu Jun (center) says the company will be ready to enter the U.S. market in 2020. That entry time has been delayed again to later in the year.

Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group has once again delayed its entry into the U.S. market due to President Donald Trump’s implementation of tariffs as well as the man himself.

During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, GAC officials said they were pushing back their timetable to sell vehicles in America, looking to begin now sometime in early 2020 rather than late 2019.

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However, GAC Chairman Zeng Qinghong told reporters at China’s annual parliament meeting in Beijing Friday that it would be even longer now, not establishing a time frame. He mentioned the uncertainty surrounding tariffs – discussions between the U.S. and China are ongoing – but also something personally tied to the president: his last name, sort of. (more…)

Las Vegas Ponders Bet on Musk’s High-Speed Tunnel

Mile-long tunnel would ferry riders using high-volume cars.

by on Mar.07, 2019

Instead of cars, the Las Vegas version of Elon Musk's high-speed underground tunnels would use high-volume passenger cars, like a subway or train.

Sin City looks like it’s ready to indulge Elon Musk and his plans to build an underground high-speed transport system to ferry 1 million tourists back and forth across the city, starting January 2021, if approved.

Through the Boring Co., Musk will build the system, which is similar to what he’s proposed for Los Angeles, at a cost of $35 million to $55 million. The plan has already drawn the support of Las Vegas’ tourism agency.

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“It’s really innovative. I think it will be an attraction in and of itself, frankly,” Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told The Associated Press. (more…)

Honda Leads the Pack in Fuel Economy, Emissions

Twelve of 13 top automakers showed improvement.

by on Mar.07, 2019

Honda leads all automakers in fuel economy rankings, according to a new EPA report.

If you’re looking for a real gas miser of a vehicle, start with Honda. The Japanese automaker is the most fuel-efficient automaker in America says a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Honda has the highest fleet average fuel economy and lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any major automaker for the 2017 model year, the latest year for which full data is available, according to the report.

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Mazda had previously held the title for three consecutive years, and came in second behind Honda. Hyundai, Subaru and Kia round out the top five when it came to fuel economy numbers. (more…)

Toyota Building Lunar Rover for Japan’s 2030 Moon Landing

Japan's lunar mission targeting 2030.

by on Mar.06, 2019

Toyota will follow in GM's tire tracks and build a lunar rover, although it's likely it will look a bit different than the original shown here.

Toyota appears set to do something only General Motors has done before: Put a car on the moon.

The Japanese automaker is working with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to develop a new lunar rover for the agency’s new moon mission, which is targeted for 2030. However, more details are set to be announced next week.

Out of this World!

“We are planning to cooperate with Toyota in an exploration mission to the moon,” a JAXA spokesperson told SkyNews. (more…)

Mitsubishi Debuts Swiss-Inspired Engelberg Tourer PHEV

It travels 43 miles in electric only mode.

by on Mar.06, 2019

Mitsubishi rolled out its new PHEV, the Engelberg Tourer in Geneva. The vehicle is named after the Swiss ski resort.

Mitsubishi is looking to shake things up in Geneva with the debut of its Engelberg Tourer plug-in hybrid sport-utility vehicle designed to encourage family and friends to get out an enjoy life, including potentially at the Swiss ski resort it’s named after.

The Engelberg Tourer is a twin motor, 4WD, PHEV, which delivers high levels of performance in the most challenging weather conditions and on all road surfaces, Mitsubishi says. It combines this with the long cruising range inherent to the PHEV, in this case 434 miles with a full tank, allowing journeys out of town and to places with no charging infrastructure.

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The big ute combines passenger capacity with flexible luggage space, the Engelberg Tourer is designed for that: touring. Enhancing its qualities as an SUV for a more active type of lifestyle, the Engelberg Tourer is fitted with LED fog lamps that are located on an auto-open/close roof box and skid plates for front and rear bumpers.  (more…)

Fiat Concept Centoventi Offers Ultimate in Customization

New model debuted in Geneva hopes to curry favor like the 500.

by on Mar.06, 2019

The Fiat Concept Centoventi offers the ultimate in customization, right down to how far you can travel on a charge.

Fiat’s new concept, the Centoventi, looks to set a new standard for customization and simplicity for buyers, while hoping to capture the imagination of buyers the same way the Fiat 500 did starting in the 1950s.

The Centoventi, which is Italian for “one hundred and twenty,” is an electric vehicle designed more like a gizmo than a car. It comes in only one color, but can be personalized using the “4U” program which gives buyers a choice of four roofs, four bumpers, four wheel covers and four external wraps.

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Additionally, the interior can be customized with different configurations, infotainment systems and the even the size of the battery can be selected to determine how much range each Centoventi will have. (more…)