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Chrysler Announces Major New Recalls

Nearly 840,000 vehicles impacted by five separate campaigns.

by on Jul.08, 2013

Chrysler's 200 sedan is one of the maker's many models covered by five separate new recalls.

Chrysler Group LLC is recalling nearly 840,000 vehicles due to a series of safety-related issued, putting new stress on the Detroit maker’s efforts to rebuild its reputation for quality, reliability and durability.

The problems cover a wide range of issues, including faulty head restraints, airbag software glitches and electronic stability control systems. The quintet of recalls comes just weeks after the maker reluctantly agreed to call back 1.2 million Jeeps due to potential fire hazards.

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Though the Jeep recall was significantly smaller than federal safety regulators originally sought it nonetheless means that Chrysler has so far had more individual vehicles sold in the U.S. covered by recall orders than any other maker.


Nissan May Delay Launch of U.S. Leaf Production

But maker sees upside to the disaster.

by on Jun.14, 2011

Nissan will likely delay the start of Leaf production at its Smyrna, TN plant.

Nissan may be forced to delay production of its Leaf battery car at its main U.S. assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, company officials are warning, due to ongoing problems resulting from Japan’s March 11 natural disaster.

The earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan has already had a significant impact on the roll out of the Nissan Leaf battery cars, delaying the planned spring ramp-up of production at the launch plant in Japan. Nonetheless, the March 11 disaster also is helping demonstrate that EVs can fit into modern society without a lot of fuss, the maker claims.

The March earthquake and tsunami is likely to cost Japanese automakers more than a million units of lost production, while severely reducing profits for the year.  (Honda projecting a two-thirds drop in profits for the fiscal year. Click Here for more.) Significantly, some key launches are being impacted, including significant delays in the ramp-up of the 2012 Honda Civic and a several-month delay in the introduction of the new Toyota Prius V.

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It has taken Nissan, meanwhile, longer to build up production of the Leaf, while Hideaki Watanabe, Nissan vice president for zero emission vehicles, said the timing of the planned opening of the Leaf assembly line in Smyrna is uncertain.

“After March 11, all the resources of the company were devoted to helping with the recovery (in Japan.) This delayed the planning,” he said. “It put us in a very difficult situation,” Watanabe told a group of reporters.


First Look: 2012 Mazda5

Updating the microvan

by on Nov.22, 2010

Mazda aims to hold its lock on the microvan market with next year's launch of the new 2012 Mazda5.

L.A. Auto Show-goers are getting a first look at Mazda’s next-generation people-move, which is sharing the stage with the Japanese maker’s future Shinari concept vehicle.

With the Shinari providing a longer look at Mazda’s design direction, the Mazda5 gives a more immediate sense of where the maker believes the market is going – and how it plans to keep building on its momentum.  So far this year, noted Jim O’Sullivan, the maker’s senior American executive, Mazda sales have risen 10%, while residual values have also been rising rapidly.

In approaching the development of the all-new 2012 Mazda5, program manager Hideki Matsuoka said he combined the best features from the current model and set out to further evolve it.  The goal was to create a new multi-activity vehicle combining superior environmental performance with a new expression of stylish design.

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“This expresses our goal to build a new family mover for the global market that offers a smart solution to the user’s every need by establishing a balance between diverse functionality and outstanding performance,” said Matsuoka.

Five key values drove the development of the 2012, which is due in showrooms during the first half of next year, including smart and emotional design, easy to use functionality — particularly in the interior — great quality and a refined, dynamic driving performance coupled with excellent fuel economy.