I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 25 July 2014

USA - What a surprise, GM recalls another 717,000 cars for varying issues......

General Motors today announced six safety recalls covering 717,949 recent model vehicles in the U.S.
“These recalls signify how we’ve enhanced our approach to safety,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president, Global Vehicle Safety. “We are bringing greater rigor and discipline to our analysis and decision making. If we identify an issue – large or small – that might affect the safety of our customers, we will act decisively.”

The recalls cover:
414,333 2011-2012 model year Chevrolet Camaro; 2010-2012 model year Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain; 2011-2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse; and 2010-2012 Cadillac SRX models in the U.S. equipped with power height adjustable driver or front passenger seat structures. In these vehicles, the bolt that secures the height adjuster actuator may become loose or fall out. If the bolt falls out, the seat will move up and down freely because it is no longer attached at the height adjuster. The vehicles are safe to drive, but customers should not use the power height adjustable feature until dealers can replace the height adjuster bolt. GM is aware of one crash and three injuries but no fatalities related to this condition.
124,007 model year 2014 Chevrolet Caprice, 2014 Chevrolet SS, 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado LD and HD, 2013-2014 Cadillac ATS, 2014 Cadillac CTS, 2014 Cadillac ELR; 2013-2014 Buick Encore; and 2014-2015 GMC Sierra LD and HD vehicles because certain vehicles may have an incomplete weld on the seat hook bracket assembly. A loss of power to a laser welding machine may have resulted in an incomplete weld, according to data collected from the machine between July 2013 and January 2014. Dealers will inspect the weld. If it is sufficient, no further action is necessary. If it is insufficient, dealers will replace the lower seat track at no charge. Less than 1 percent of welds are expected to require seat track replacement. GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries as a result of this issue.
120,426 2011-2013 model year Buick Regal and 2013 model year Chevrolet Malibus equipped with front turn signals that use two bulbs in each front turn signal. While the driver would get a rapidly flashing turn signal arrow in the instrument cluster if both bulbs in one turn signal were burned out; if only one bulb on either side burns out, there would be no signal to the driver. Dealers will reprogram the body control module to fix the condition. GM knows of no crashes, injuries or complaints related to this issue.
57,242 2014 Chevrolet Impalas equipped with belt-drive electric power steering. On certain vehicles, customers may experience reduced or no power steering assist at start-up or while driving due to a poor electrical ground connection to the Power Steering Control Module. If power steering is lost, a warning message is displayed on the Driver Information Center and a chime sounds. Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering mode, but would require greater driver effort particularly at low vehicle speeds. Paint may have seeped behind the nut on the power steering control module ground stud. Dealers will inspect and clean paint from behind the ground nut, re-torque the nut and update the power steering control module software at no charge. GM is aware of one crash but no injuries or fatalities related to this condition.
1,919 2014-2015 Chevrolet Sparks imported from Korea that were assembled with a lower control arm bolt not fastened to specification. The condition could result in noise from the front suspension and separation of the lower control arm from the steering knuckle while driving resulting in loss of steering control. Dealers will inspect the left and right hand lower control arm attaching bolts to assure they are tightened to specification. GM knows of no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition. 
22 2015 model year Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon Denali vehicles in the U.S. In these vehicles, the roof carriers may have been attached with the wrong retaining nuts, resulting in holes or tears in the roof rail air bags if they deploy. Eight of these vehicles are in dealer stock and will be repaired before being sold.

The McLAREN P1™ GTR design concept previewed ahead of the Pebble Beach global debut.

McLaren will use its presence at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to showcase its ultimate track-focused model, the McLaren P1™GTR,  in design concept form.
Conceived in response to requests from buyers of the road legal McLaren P1™ for a track focused edition of their car, and available for purchase only to this group as a fully comprehensive programme to include driving events, training and vehicle support, the McLaren P1™ GTR will go into production in June 2015 when the 375th and final example of the road car has been completed - two decades on from the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans win by the legendary McLaren F1 GTR.

The McLaren P1™GTR is being designed and developed using five decades of race-winning knowledge from the pinnacle of motorsport.  Participants in the programme will have unprecedented access to the technologies, resources and expertise which have helped develop and train Formula 1™ champions.
The McLaren P1™ GTR design concept will be unveiled during an exclusive preview at the McLaren Brand Centre on the 18th Fairway at the Pebble Beach Lodge at 18.00 EST on Friday 15 August (02.00 BST Saturday 16 August), and will make its public debut on the Pebble Beach Concept Lawn over the course of the weekend.

Vettel and Ricciardo previews the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel
I like the race and atmosphere at the Hungaroring and have good memories of the races there. Even though I have never won in Budapest, it is still on my to do list. It is quite a slow track but also one that can catch you out. It has some tight, twisty corners and is quite a bumpy track, so you cannot underestimate it. It is normally hot in Hungary for the race, which makes it a challenge to drive, but also makes a nice weekend for the fans watching. I really like the setting of the race track, just outside Budapest and near to the Danube. In the evenings, I enjoy going for a walk along the banks or sometimes a jog in the morning. The Hungarian GP is the last race before the summer break, so we will be working hard to keep up the momentum and have a good result to enjoy over the holidays.

Daniel Ricciardo
I’ve always enjoyed the Hungaroring, but because it’s so tight and twisty, it’s maybe not the ideal layout for a grand prix. It’s like Monaco without the walls. It’s one of those weird situations where the driving is very satisfying but the racing, perhaps, is not. It’s a great, great track in qualifying where you’re driving on low fuel and fresh tires. There’s no let up, and you’re completely in the moment. In a race though, overtaking is difficult because the track is quite narrow, and that exciting sequence of corners doesn’t give you the opportunity to line up a pass. DRS has improved things, and the first corner and the downhill sequence that follows can be quite exciting.

McLaren previews Hungaroring race this weekend.

The relentless twists and turns of the Hungaroring provide the teams with a tricky final challenge ahead of Formula 1’s annual summer break. The 4.381km track is notoriously difficult to overtake on, but the drivers relish its demands and the vibrant city of Budapest, just 12 miles to the south, provides a perfect foil to the on-track action.
Facts & Stats: Hungaroring
The Circuit
The Hungaroring was the first racetrack in the world to be built specifically for Formula 1. It was constructed in just nine months ahead of its inaugural race in 1986, and it’s been the permanent home of the Hungarian Grand Prix ever since.

The 4.3km track is the slowest permanent circuit on the 2014 calendar, with an average speed of just 190km/h. There are no long straights and no high-speed corners, and four of the 14 turns are taken at speeds below 100km/h. Only 55 per cent of the lap is spent at full throttle, placing an emphasis on the mechanical grip generated by a car.
The Race
The track is rarely used away from the grand prix weekend; as a result, it’s very dirty at the start of Friday practice. The asphalt cleans up quickly, but if it’s windy, dust from the surrounding countryside gets blown onto the track and it can remain slippery off-line all weekend.

There are two DRS zones this year, located on consecutive straights at the beginning of the lap. This should help overtaking, but a good grid position will remain crucial because the track is narrow and it’s relatively easy for a driver to defend his position.

Pirelli are taking their Soft (Option) and Medium (Prime) tyres to the race. The abrasive track surface and high track temperatures, which are expected to exceed 50 degrees, will provide hostile working conditions for the rubber, which is why Pirelli are not taking their softest compounds to the race, as they did at the Santander German Grand Prix last weekend.
The Team
McLaren has an enviable record at the Hungarian Grand Prix, having won the race 11 times and taken six victories in the past nine years. Jenson Button scored his maiden Formula 1 victory at the circuit in 2006 and Kevin Magnussen has enjoyed success at the track in junior formulae.
Vital Statistics
Hungarian Grand Prix
25th - 27th July

Race distance 70 laps (306.630km/190.531 miles)
Start time 1400 (local)/1200 (GMT)
Circuit length 4.381km/2.722 miles
2013 winner Lewis Hamilton 70 laps in 1hr42m29.445s (179.506km/h)
2013 pole Lewis Hamilton 1m19.388s (198.664s)
Lap record Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m19.071s (199.461km/h)
First race 1986
What makes it special: Three things: the unrelenting nature of the track, the enthusiastic fans and the vibrant city of Budapest just up the road
Wins from pole 13
Track abrasiveness Medium. The asphalt is predominantly old and worn, but large sections have been re-surfaced in recent years and these areas are smooth
Pirelli tyre choice Soft (Option)/Medium (Prime)
2013 winning strategy Three pitstops
Fuel consumption Medium. Only 55 percent of the lap is spent at full throttle, but there’s a lot of stop-start
Brakewear Medium. There are 11 braking events around the lap, the heaviest deceleration being 5.05g into Turn One
Weather Hot. Cooling issues can be a big factor
DRS zones Two – one on the approach to Turn One, the other on the run to Turn Two
Turbo effect Medium. There are minimal incidences of full-throttle, but many hard bursts of acceleration from low-speed
Safety Car likelihood Low. There’s just a 10 per cent chance of a Safety Car
Grid advantage It’s very dusty off-line, making the left-side of the grid – the racing line – much grippier
Pitlane time It’s a short pitlane, taking just 18s to complete a stop
McLaren at the Hungarian Grand Prix
Wins 11 (1988, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
Poles 8 (1988, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012)
Fastest laps 5 (1988, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005)
Team Talk
Jenson Button: Car 22
Age 34 (January 19 1980)
GPs 257
Wins 15
Poles 8
FLs 8
“As you know, this has been a special place for me for some time. I won my first grand prix here back in 2006 – it was one of those day when everything seemed to go my way – and I won my 200th grand prix here. That was an emotional day – and it was back in 2011 – I can’t believe it was nearly 60 races ago.

“The Hungaroring is a great track. Everybody thinks of it as a slow circuit, but, out the back, it’s got some pretty decent corners – Turn Four requires some serious commitment, and it’s made harder because it has a blind apex. Equally, the sequence of S-bends that make up Turns Eight to 11 are really satisfying to drive.

“Nonetheless, it’s still a circuit where you require lots of downforce and grip, and I think we are making positive steps in that direction.”
Kevin Magnussen: Car 20
Age 21 (October 05 1992)
GPs 10
Wins 0
Poles 0
FLs 0
“I really like the Hungaroring. It isn't a fast circuit but, a bit like Monaco, it's a track on which a driver can really make a difference. I raced there last year in World Series by Renault 3.5 – and, although I didn't win either of the two races we had that weekend, I really enjoyed the first of them in particular.

“Qualifying had been messed up for many of the drivers, owing to torrential rain, and I ended up 16th on the grid. From there I got it all hooked up really well on race day, which was also extremely wet, and I overtook a load of cars as I worked my way up to second place at the end. It was great!

“I think we’ve shown recently that our car performs slightly better on tracks with a combination of low- and mid-speed corners, so I think this weekend will hopefully offer us another opportunity to score some useful world championship points.

“After a couple of frustrating races, I’m hoping for a weekend where everything comes together.”

Eric Boullier
Racing director, McLaren Mercedes
“McLaren has a fantastic record in Hungary – we’ve won 11 grands prix there – and, while it’s unlikely we’ll be in a position to win this year, I think we travel to Budapest feeling encouraged by a number of our recent performances. We know there’s still a lot to do, but there’s a feeling that the whole team’s motivation is growing.

“This is effectively the last race of the first ‘half’ of the season: Formula 1 takes a short break for the summer before we return for the final few races in Europe, then the long and intense series of fly-aways that end the year.

“It’s always beneficial to go into the summer break with a positive result, so we’ll be trying hard to do just that; even more important, it’s essential that we maintain our focus and determination with regard to car development. The next six months will be critical for everybody at McLaren, and we’ll be working as hard as possible to keep on pushing.”

USA - General motors profits down on Ignition Switch costs.

  • EBIT-adjusted of $1.4 billion, after $1.2 billion in recall-related costs and $0.2 billion in restructuring costs
  • Company records strong core operating performance in the second quarter 
  • Special charge of $0.4 billion for GM ignition switch compensation program 
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today announced second quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $0.2 billion, or $0.11 per diluted share. Strong core operating performance during the quarter was offset by a pre-tax net loss from special items of $1.3 billion, or $(0.47) per diluted share, and costs of $1.2 billion pre-tax primarily for recall-related repairs, or $(0.44) per diluted share.
"Our underlying business performance in the first half of the year was strong as we grew our revenue on improved pricing and solid new vehicle launches," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "We remain focused on keeping our customers at the center of all we do, and executing our plan to operate profitably in every region of the world." 

In the second quarter of 2013, GM’s net income attributable to common stockholders was $1.2 billion, or $0.75 per diluted share, which included a net loss from special items that reduced net income by $0.2 billion, or $(0.09) per diluted share.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted was $1.4 billion and included the impact of $1.2 billion in recall-related costs and $0.2 billion in restructuring costs. This compares to the second quarter of 2013, when the company recorded EBIT-adjusted of $2.3 billion, which included a charge of $0.2 billion for recalls and $0.1 billion in restructuring costs.
Net revenue in the second quarter of 2014 was $39.6 billion, compared to $39.1 billion in the second quarter of 2013. In the first six months of 2014, revenue rose to $77 billion, up from $76 billion in the same period a year ago.
GM Results Overview (in billions except for per share amounts)
 Q2 2014Q2 2013
Revenue $39.6$39.1
Net income attributable to common stockholders $0.2$1.2
Earnings per share (EPS) diluted$0.11$0.75
Impact of special items on EPS diluted$(0.47)$(0.09)
EBIT-adjusted  $1.4$2.3
Automotive net cash flow from operating activities$3.6$4.5
Adjusted automotive free cash flow$1.9$2.6

Segment Results
  • GM North America reported EBIT-adjusted of $1.4 billion which included the impact of $1.0 billion in recall-related costs in the quarter. This compared with EBIT-adjusted of $2.0 billion in the second quarter of 2013, which included the impact of $0.1 billion in recall-related costs in the quarter.
  • GM Europe reported an EBIT-adjusted of $(0.3) billion, which includes $0.2 billion for restructuring costs. This compares with $(0.1) billion of EBIT-adjusted in the second quarter of 2013.  
  • GM International Operations reported EBIT-adjusted of $0.3 billion, compared to $0.2 billion in the second quarter of 2013. 
  • GM South America reported EBIT-adjusted of $(0.1) billion, compared with EBIT-adjusted of $0.1 billion in the second quarter of 2013.  
  • GM Financial earnings before tax was $0.3 billion for the quarter, compared to $0.3 billion in the second quarter of 2013. 
Special Items
A special charge of $0.4 billion was taken for the GM ignition switch compensation program. There is no cap on this program, but this charge is the company’s best estimate of the amounts that may be paid to claimants. Due to the unique nature of the program, this estimate contains significant uncertainty and it is possible the total cost could increase by approximately $0.2 billion.
As previously disclosed, going forward the company expects recall expense to normalize to a slightly higher rate than it experienced prior to this year, but not materially. The company is changing how it estimates future recall expense and will now accrue at the time of vehicle sale an amount that represents management’s best estimate of future recall costs in North America. As a consequence of this change, GM is taking a $0.9 billion non-cash pre-tax special charge in the second quarter for the estimated costs of future possible recalls for up to the next 10 years on 30 million GM vehicles on the road today.  
Cash Flow and Liquidity
For the quarter, automotive cash flow from operating activities was $3.6 billion and automotive free cash flow adjusted was $1.9 billion. GM ended the quarter with very strong total automotive liquidity of $38.8 billion.  Automotive cash and marketable securities was $28.4 billion compared with $27.0 billion for the first quarter of 2014.
“With successful new vehicle launches, we continue to generate strong results in the U.S. and China and remain on track to be profitable in Europe by mid-decade,” said Chuck Stevens, GM executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We are confident we are currently on or ahead of plan to deliver the results we promised earlier this year, excluding the effects of recalls.”