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.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

UK RECALL #3 - URGENT - Various Vauxhall/Opel models MUST NOT BE DRIVEN - Please read.

Vauxhall is advising customers of any ADAM and Corsa/Corsavan models registered since May 2014 that around 3000 of these vehicles have been manufactured with a steering system part that does not meet Vauxhall’s specification. As a precaution, these vehicles should not be driven prior to inspection.  
Vauxhall puts the safety and convenience of its customers first and as this condition concerns their safety, the company is taking immediate action. From Saturday September 27th, owners will be able to find out if their vehicle is affected by going to the Vauxhall website homepage (www.vauxhall.co.uk) and clicking on the ‘Safety Check for ADAM and Corsa’ button for further information. Alternatively customers can call the Vauxhall Customer Assistance Centre for advice on 0800 026 0034 between 09.00 and 17.30hrs. 
The company became aware of the condition during routine quality control at the vehicle manufacturing plant. The company is not aware of any accident or injury related to this condition.

UK RECALL #1 - Toyota recalls Hilux models for steering issues

Vehicle Details
Reference :R/2014/103
Manufacturer Ref :
Model :Hilux
Launch Date :18/09/2014
Numbers Involved :5
Build Start Date :31/03/2014
Build End Date :07/04/2014 
Recall Details
Description :The steering intermediate shaft pinch bolt may not have been tightened correctly during assembly. The bolt may loosen and cause abnormal noise and freeplay at the steering wheel. Prolonged use in this state may cause loss of steering.
Remedial Action :Inspect steering pinch bolt. If necessary replace intermediate shaft and bolt or intermediate shaft, bolt and steering link assembly.
Vehicle Id :AHTCR32G##8024964 to AHTCR32G##8025030
AHTFR29G##7041230 to AHTFR29G##7041239
AHTFR22G##6086381 to AHTFR22G##6086595
AHTDR22G##5531610 to AHTDR22G##5531690
AHTFZ29G##9112437 to AHTFZ29G##9112780 

USA RECALL #6 - Certain Caddy XTS & Chevy Impala recalled for possible incorrect Sensing & Diagnostic modules.

Report Receipt Date: AUG 28, 2014 

NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V518000 

Potential Number of Units Affected: 5 

Manufacturer: General Motors LLC

USA RECALL #5 - Chrysler recall certain Jeep Grand Cherokee & Dodge Durango for possible fuel pump issues.

Report Receipt Date: SEP 04, 2014 

NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V530000 
Potential Number of Units Affected: 188,723 

Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC

USA RECALL #4 - Chevy Impala and Caddy XTS recalled for possible electronic parking brake issues.

Report Receipt Date: SEP 09, 2014 

NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V541000 
Potential Number of Units Affected: 132,921 

Manufacturer: General Motors LLC

USA RECALL #3 - Lincoln recalls MKC for possible windscreen bubbles.

Report Receipt Date: AUG 06, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V484000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1,139 

Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company

USA RECALL #2 - Adrian Steel converted Ford E-Vans for a possible propane leak.

Report Receipt Date: AUG 06, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V501000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 28 

Manufacturer: Adrian Steel Company

USA RECALL #1 - Yamaha recalls FZ09 Motorcycle for possible electric harness issues

Report Receipt Date: SEP 10, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V550000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 5,300 


Friday, 26 September 2014

USA - New Limited Edition beelte added to range gives, classic looks and greater value.

Limited-edition 1.8T Coupe further improves the Beetle’s compelling value story
On Thursday 25th September, Volkswagen of America, Inc., announced that the limited-edition Beetle Classic model will go on sale this week, starting at $20,195 for the 1.8T Coupe. This new model enhances the value story for the Beetle, adding a host of new features in addition to the Beetle’s already extensive list of standard equipment. Currently, this is the lowest priced model in the Beetle lineup, starting nearly $1500 lower than the Beetle 1.8T automatic.

The Classic trim features 17-inch “Heritage” aluminum-alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, a leather-wrapped shifter knob and handbrake lever, Sirius XM® Satellite Radio, an RNS® 315 navigation system, a multifunction steering wheel, two-tone brown “Sioux” leatherette and checked cloth seating surfaces, comfort front seats with driver’s side lumbar support, and a six-speed automatic transmission. The car is available in three colors—Pure White, Black Uni, and Reflex Silver—and has an understated retro look inside and out.
The Beetle Convertible Classic will go on sale early in 2015, starting at $25,995. It adds the same interior and exterior features as the Coupe. Both the Coupe and the Convertible are fitted with the 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The Beetle 1.8T Coupe has an EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating of 33 mpg with the six-speed automatic transmission, and the 1.8T Convertible achieves 32 mpg.

USA - 2015 FIAT 500e arrives in style in Oregon.

  • 2015 Fiat 500e models are now available at studios in California and Oregon 
  • Fiat 500e lease available for $199 a month for 36 months with $999 due at signing 
  • Fiat 500e recently named “Top Electric Vehicle” at the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s annual Drive Revolution event 
  • 2015 Fiat 500e features two new exterior colors and a redesigned center console 
  • All-electric Fiat 500e delivers a best-in-class 108 highway MPGe rating and class-leading 87 miles of combined city/highway driving range, with city driving range typically greater than 100 miles
The fully electric Fiat 500e is now available as a 2015 model year at FIAT studios in California and Oregon for $199 a month for 36 months with $999 due at signing. Sales of the Fiat 500e expanded to Oregon earlier this year. Previously, the all-electric Fiat had been sold only in California, where it has been in high demand since its introduction in 2013.
“Bringing the Fiat 500e to Oregon gives more customers in this environmentally minded state the opportunity to enjoy the Italian style and engaging driving dynamics of the Fiat 500, but with zero tailpipe emissions,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC.

This summer, the Fiat 500e was named the “Top Electric Vehicle” for a second consecutive year at the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s Drive Revolution, an annual alternative-fuel vehicle event in Portland.
“The Fiat 500e is attractive and fun. It remains a model that will, with a short test drive, convert people who hadn't even thought about electric cars into EV enthusiasts,” said Bengt Halvorson, Drive Revolution Event Co-chair.
The 2015 Fiat 500e features a redesigned center console, with a new cup holder design and an additional, conveniently located USB port that is fully functional and integrated with the radio. Two paint colors have been added for 2015 for a total of seven available exterior paint colors, including new Luce Blu (light blue with a pearl finish) and Celeste (light blue).

Alternative Transportation Program

For those times when a 500e customer needs to drive beyond the vehicle’s range or needs the carrying capability of a larger vehicle, the Fiat 500e retail plan provides an alternative transportation plan called the Fiat 500e Pass program. 

The FIAT brand and Enterprise Holdings, owner and operator of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental brands, partnered on the Fiat 500e Pass program, which provides purchasers and lessees of a new 500e up to 12 days of alternate transportation each year for the first three years after the date of purchase. 

USA - Custom Edition REAPER™ Silverado available at select GM dealerships.

The Reaper™, a performance off-road edition of the 2014 Chevy Silverado pickup, is now available at select General Motors dealerships nationwide. Co-developed by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and Southern Comfort Automotive, the specialty pickup truck offers drivers enhanced muscular styling, an eye-attracting street presence and amped-up off-road performance.
Interested Chevy enthusiasts can learn more about the limited-edition Reaper and find participating GM dealerships by visiting www.reaperperformanceusa.com.
“The Reaper blends Lingenfelter’s legendary performance engine tuning and suspension know-how with Southern Comfort Automotive’s expertise in custom styling for a truly unique and exciting vehicle,” said Mike Copeland, vice president of operations, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering.

Matt McSweeney, president, Southern Comfort Automotive, adds that the combination of engine performance and off-road capability offered by the Reaper is drawing a lot of consumer interest. “This vehicle is already creating a lot of excitement on dealer lots. Our General Motors dealers are looking to increase the number of Reapers they have available since this custom truck is such a big draw.”
The modified Chevy Silverado comes in red, white, gray and black with a long list of standard features including a three-inch lift, long-travel off-road suspension, Fox Racing shocks, 20-inch exclusive Reaper wheels mounted on General Grabber LT tires and a Lingenfelter performance exhaust system.
The Reaper’s style is enhanced with a custom hood fitment and grill assembly, high-clearance front bumper, wide-body fender flares, a wheel-to-wheel rock guard with removable side steps and high-profile exterior Reaper badging. Custom lighting includes integrated LED driving lights, side front fender marker lights and an integrated off-road flood light system.
The interior is embellished with embroidered headrests, door panel accents, a gauge package and an auxiliary switch panel for flood lights and additional accessory upgrades.
Available upgrades include a Magnuson TSV1900 Supercharged 5.3L or 6.2L tuned engine, a 17-inch beadlock off-road wheel and General tire package, bold Reaper graphics and a frozen matte paint finish.
The 2014 Chevy Silverado Reaper edition carries a three-year 36,000-mile warranty on Lingenfelter upgrades* and Southern Comfort Automotive restyled parts.

Cadillac announces name for new super saloon - the all new Cadillac CT6

Cadillac announced today that its new, high-technology car positioned at the top of its range will be called Cadillac CT6.
“The Cadillac CT6 continues our brand’s elevation and global growth,” said Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac chief marketing officer. “CT6 will constitute an entirely new approach to the prestige sedan, emphasizing a dynamic driving experience and advanced technology.”
When it launches in late-2015, the CT6 will expand the Cadillac range upwards – meaning it will not replace any current product. Positioned above today’s CTS and XTS product lines, the CT6 aims to join the elite group of top-class large luxury cars.
Currently in development, the new RWD-oriented sedan uses advanced, lightweight materials and new body construction techniques to reduce fuel consumption while enhancing driving dynamics and safety.  

“This Cadillac will be the lightest and most agile car in the class of top-level large luxury sedans,” said Travis Hester, executive chief engineer, Cadillac CT6. “Using the lessons learned from our dynamic ATS and CTS product lines, we have developed an entirely new vehicle architecture for the CT6. It will employ a mixed material philosophy that combines the best and most efficient components optimized for each area of this new top-of-the-range car.”
The model name CT6 is derived from Cadillac’s use of CTS for its centerpiece carline, the current version of which is Motor Trend Car of the Year for 2014, Road & Track’s Best Luxury Sedan and one of Car and Driver’s “10Best.” The name also indicates a coming shift to a simplified naming convention for future Cadillac models. Under this strategy, familiar lettering like “CT” would be used for car models, with the number indicating the relative size and position of the cars in the hierarchy of Cadillac models.
“As we expand the portfolio, we can assist consumers in placing the cars within a structure, as they compare cars both within our showroom and across the market generally,” Ellinghaus said. “However, this will be an evolutionary process – we will only change a product’s name when the product itself is redesigned or an all-new model is created, as in this instance.”
The Cadillac CT6 will be assembled in Detroit, part of a previously announced $384 million investment in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant. Tools and equipment unique to the CT6 were installed recently at the plant. Production is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.

USA - Hyundai celebrate two models in contention for North American Car of the Year.

  • Only Brand with Two Vehicles Among the 10 Selected

The North American Car of the Year, one of the most prestigious automotive awards in the industry, named its short list and Hyundai Motor America was the only brand with two vehicles among the 10 selected – the all-new Hyundai Genesis and all-new Hyundai Sonata.
“In a world bursting with terrific new cars, it’s easy to become a little myopic, and lose sight of extraordinary achievement. Hyundai makes an excellent example,” said Tony Swan, North American Car of the Year juror. “In 2009, Hyundai challenged the luxury sedan establishment with its new Genesis, and collected the North American Car of the Year award. In 2011, the Hyundai Sonata was a finalist for the award. In 2012, the Hyundai Elantra took top honors again. And this year two Hyundais—Genesis and Sonata, both completely redesigned for 2015—are on the list of 10 North American Car of the Year semifinalists, selected from an original list of 29 cars. Not bad for a company that didn’t even exist until 1967.”

The short list will narrow down to three finalists later this year, with the winner of the 2015 Car of the Year being announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“This is a tremendous recognition of two great products and an outstanding team effort,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “Our design group, assembly plant, service engineering and product planning teams all were critically responsible in developing and launching these vehicles, that we can now say are two of the best introduced this year. The competition is certainly tough, so we know we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Hyundai has excelled in this competition in recent years, winning Car of the Year in 2012 for Elantra and 2009 for Genesis, along with a second place finish for Sonata in 2011. This is the first time that two Hyundai vehicles have been included on the short list in the same year.
The complete short list in alphabetical order includes:
  • Acura TLX
  • Audi A3
  • Chrysler 200
  • Ford Mustang
  • Honda Fit
  • Hyundai Genesis
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volkswagen Golf/GTI

Dacia may cut back range to stem sales declines.

Renault must decide whether to cut the Logan MCV station wagon, Dokker car-derived van or Lodgy compact minivan from Dacia’s lineup, a spokesman said, confirming a report in French daily Les Echos.
The three models are at risk because of a market shift away from vans and stations wagons, Inovev analyst Jamel Taganza said.
“The market in these segments is moving toward SUV/crossovers across the subcompact, compact and economy car segments,” Taganza said.

European sales of the Lodgy are down, the Dokker is flat but the Logan MCV’s volume is up sharply, helped by the arrival of a new generation last September.
Despite the mixed sales results for the three models, Dacia remains a bright spot for Renault. Through eight months Dacia’s European volume was up 30 percent to 250,769 units because of strong demand for the Sandero subcompact, Logan sedan and Duster SUV, according to market researcher JATO Dynamics.
While Renault does not break out Dacia’s financials, Morgan Stanley estimates that Dacia has an operating margin of 9 percent, which matches what premium automakers generate.
Keeping any weak-selling models in the lineup could put that profitability at risk.
Lodgy sales plummeted 44 percent to 11,238 units in the first half in a segment that was down 9 percent to 197,380, according to JATO.

Renault said that through August it sold 23,930 Logan MCVs in Europe, up from 10,700 during the same period last year.
Of the three at-risk Dacia models, Taganza said demand for the Dokker was the most consistent despite it being in a segment that fell 41 percent percent between 2011 and 2014. “The Dokker’s sales remain relatively stable,” Taganza said. “In addition, the Dokker doesn’t compete that much against the Kangoo.”
Renault’s Kangoo ranked 4th among Europe’s car-derived vans in the first half because of a 20 percent volume increase to 13,260. The Dokker was No. 5 in the segment with first-half volume growing 2 percent to 9,952, according to JATO.
Bruce Gain

Lotus pulls out of the USA for 2015, but will return in 2016, we hope they do.

Lotus may be due for a pit stop in the U.S. The only Lotus model sold in the U.S., the Evora, is being dropped for the 2015 model year because it no longer meets federal crash standards.
In a statement to Automotive News Europe, Lotus said it remains committed to the North American market. “We will not be producing a 2015 model year Evora, therefore there will be limited availability of the 2014 model year car over the next few months,” the statement said.
The company promises it will return in 2016 with an Evora that is “fully U.S. compliant.”
The 2014 Evora has a base price of $69,965, including shipping.

The 62-year-old company announced late last week it is laying off 325 people from its global staff of 1,125. That follows layoffs in July at its U.S. headquarters near Atlanta that reduced staff from 11 to just seven employees. The Automotive News Data Center estimates Lotus has sold just 112 cars this year through its 42 U.S. dealers.
Lotus posted a 159 million pound loss in the financial year that ended March 31, 2013, following a loss of 115 million pounds the previous fiscal year. Lotus declined to provide more recent financial data.

Lotus spokesman Alastair Florance said parts, service and warranty payments to dealers are unaffected by the restructuring and will continue as normal.
A dealer in California who declined to be identified says the company has enough inventory on the ground until the new car arrives.
It is unclear if the restructuring will affect Lotus Engineering, a separate arm of Group Lotus that contracts engineering services to automakers and suppliers. Calls and emails to Lotus Engineering’s Ann Arbor office were not answered.
Nick Gibbs contributed to this report
Richard Truett 

Italian Consumer group to sue FIAT and VW for false fuel consumption figures, and about time too !!!!!!!!

An Italian consumer group is inviting car buyers to join a class action lawsuit against Fiat and Volkswagen over allegations that the companies exaggerated the fuel-saving credentials of their vehicles.
After conducting tests on Fiat's Panda 1.2 and Volkswagen's Golf 1.6 TDI models, Altroconsumo said on Tuesday the two models were between 18 percent and 50 percent less fuel efficient than stated by the two manufacturers in their marketing and sales material.
The consumer group is asking Fiat to pay compensation of 247 euros ($320) to each buyer of the Panda model and 509 euros to owners of the Golf model tested, based on what it estimates to be additional fuel costs for an average annual distance driven of 15,000km (9,320 miles).

"Consumers buying supposedly efficient cars are misled too often," Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumer Organization, of which Altroconsumo is a member, said in a statement.
"The deplorable side-effect of this practice is that drivers might disregard fuel consumption information altogether."
Altroconsumo alleged that Fiat and Volkswagen were using loopholes such as over-inflating tires or reducing the vehicle weight, giving significantly lower consumption figures than realized in real-life driving situations.

Officials at Fiat and Volkswagen both said they were unable to comment immediately.
Altroconsumo said the class action will go ahead regardless of how many people join and expects to deposit the papers with an Italian court within weeks.
EU regulators are already preparing draft legislation that will require a vehicle's fuel consumption performance to be tested on roads rather than in laboratories.

More sad news as NEVS lays off staff as Saab output remains idled

China's cash-strapped National Electric Vehicle Sweden said it would lay off up to 200 employees at its Saab car plant in Sweden as production is unlikely to resume anytime soon.
NEVS, which bought the bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab in 2012, halted already-low output in May because of a shortage of money. In August, it obtained protection from creditors through a Swedish court while trying to secure funding.

"The ongoing discussions on collaboration and ownership structure, which have not yet resulted in a binding agreement, indicate that the decision for a start-up of production will take time," NEVS said in a statement Wednesday.
It said the layoffs, due to lack of work, were a step in a reorganization plan that the company's administrator would present at a creditors' meeting on Oct. 8. NEVS currently has 550 employees.

NEVS has said it was in talks with two unnamed car firms to secure more money, that it has external debt of about 400 million crowns ($56 million), and that it generated a pretax loss last year of 601 million crowns on sales of 41 million crowns ($5.9 million).
The firm is betting on an electric version -- now in a prototype stage -- of a decade-old Saab model to bring the brand back from the dead. It is targeting its home market of China.