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, 29 May 2015

USA - BMW expands TAKATA Airbag scandal to 420,661 vehicles.

BMW is recalling 420,661 U.S. vehicles due to issues involving Takata airbags, U.S. auto safety regulators said on Thursday. BMW of North America is recalling 20 models from 2002 to 2006 model years that contain Takata driver-side front airbag inflators. Regulators said the airbag module will be replaced.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said BMW examined its production and manufacturing records to determine the scope of affected vehicles and converted an existing national improvement campaign into a voluntary recall, increasing the number of affected vehicles to 420,661 from 140,696.
Takata is at the center of a global recall of tens of millions of cars for potentially deadly airbag inflators that could deploy with too much force and spray metal fragments inside vehicles. Regulators have linked six deaths to the component so far, all on Honda cars.
After months of resisting, Takata last week agreed with the NHTSA to roughly double its U.S.-based recall to 34 million vehicles spanning 11 automakers.
On Thursday Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it would recall 4,066,732 vehicles from the 2004 to 2011 model years "equipped with a dual-stage driver frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion which, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture," according to a filing by FCA with the NHTSA.
Toyota, Nissan and Honda have expanded their Takata recalls over the past week.

Volvo formally signed an agreement to locate its first US production facility in South Carolina.

Volvo Cars has formally signed an agreement to locate its first American factory in South Carolina at an event attended by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and key public officials in Charleston. This paves the way for the fall 2015 ground-breaking of a full manufacturing facility capable of producing up to 100,000 cars per year. The first American built Volvos are expected to roll off the assembly line in late 2018. 
 “Today we formalize an important milestone in Volvo Cars’ global transformation in the United States,” says Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, “our planned American factory demonstrates our commitment to the United States and our desire to be a truly global automaker.”

In addition to the signing, Volvo Cars announced plans to preserve 1,500 acres of wetlands with the State of South Carolina to support a “green belt” around the greater Charleston region. Volvo is also working with the local utility to power the factory with renewable energy and reroute storm water to form ponds that simulate wildlife habitats. Improvements to local roadway infrastructure will also ensure the factory has a minimal impact on the local environment.
Once completed, Volvo Cars will be able to manufacture vehicles on three continents, underscoring its position as a truly global car maker. It already operates two plants in Europe and two in China. The new US plant forms part of an ambitious medium term expansion plan to double global sales, boost market share and lift profitability.
Volvo Cars estimates that the factory will employ up to 2,000 people over the next decade and up to 4,000 people in the longer term. An economic impact analysis compiled by Dr. Frank Hefner at the College of Charleston estimates that, for an initial 2,000 direct jobs, more than 8,000 total jobs would be created as a result. The plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output on an annual basis.

SOUTH AFRICA - Nissan & BMW combine for the expansion of EV Infrastructure.

  • Nissan and BMW have signed a Memorandum of Understanding
  • The partnership will promote the sharing of know-how and the joint development of a charging network for electric vehicles
  • The charging points will power electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid-electric (PHEV)

Nissan and BMW have confirmed today the start of a partnership, to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid-electric (PHEV) in South Africa.

Nissan South Africa (NSA) and the BMW Group (BMW SA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the design and the joint construction of a national network of charging stations for EV and PHEV, designed for Nissan and BMW vehicles.

"The launch of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF, which took place in South Africa in 2013, was born from the global desire of Nissan to promote sustainable mobility and expand the market of zero-emission vehicles. 

In this direction we are convinced that the partnership with BMW SA represents a solid investment to create an automotive industry future-proof co-operational deal, "said Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan South Africa .

Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW South Africa, believes that the key to the future success of electric vehicles is a strong collaboration across the whole sector. 

"The launch of the BMW i3 and i8 has had an excellent response. A key imperative of our strategy is to ensure the implementation of the necessary infrastructure, in order to increase customer confidence in the effective usability of electric vehicles. 

In order for the introduction and the use of electric vehicles and hybrid-electric plug-in that they have genuine success in the market place, it is essential to work side by side: our partnership with Nissan is the first step in this direction."

The agreement between BMW SA and Nissan SA provides for the deployment of charging stations fast direct current (DC), comply with the standards both in the Combined Charging System 2 (CCS2), used for the electric and hybrid-electric plug -in BMW, both for the system Charge de Move (CHAdeMO), present in the car instead of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF.

In some regions, the national network of charging stations will also integrate shippers smaller alternating current (AC).

Under the agreement just signed, these chargers are equipped with sockets type 2, through which you can connect the EV and PHEV.

Plan and build a national infrastructure for charging electric vehicles involves a huge commitment; Once ready, the network will be managed by a special joint team, comprised of executives from both automakers.

"By sharing expertise, ideas and issues, BMW and Nissan will contribute to accelerate the deployment and adoption of EVs and PHEVs, for the benefit of the entire automotive industry. 

The two companies have shown a similar approach in the implementation of the charging network, as already realized in the creation of their electric vehicles traits futuristic, "This is the opinion of Mike Schüssler , chief economist Economist.co.zaand experienced automotive market.

BMW SA has presented its models EV and PHEV (BMW i3 and BMW i8) in March this year: both cars have been welcomed around the world, thanks to innovative technologies and emissions of carbon dioxide. In 2014, the BMW i3 was named "Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal, while in 2015 the BMW i8 was voted "World Green Car of the Year".

Nissan has started the initiative "zero emissions" in 2010 with the launch of the Nissan LEAF, the world's first EV produced on a large scale: thanks to its innovative design, the modern battery technology and the crucial role in creating a market for vehicles 100% electric LEAF in 2011 won the title of "World Car of the Year".Arrived in South Africa in 2013, today the 100% electric car LEAF has over 175,000 units sold worldwide.

The agreement between BMW SA and Nissan SA is effective immediately and is valid until 2017.

Translated from Italian

USA - FCA expands TAKATA Airbag scandal to over 5.2 million vehicles.

FCA US LLC has identified which vehicles will be affected by expansions of ongoing voluntary recalls to replace certain air-bag inflators produced by Takata Corporation.
Precipitated by disclosures made by Takata to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FCA US is consolidating two campaigns with new actions affecting model years 2003-2011. These actions bring the Company’s global Takata-related recall total to an estimated 5,224,845 vehicles.

FCA US is unaware of any related injuries or accidents involving the newly affected vehicles. All affected customers will be advised when they may schedule service.
One campaign involves an estimated global population of 4,747,202 vehicles equipped with certain driver’s-side air-bag inflators. Affected are:

  • 2004-2008 Dodge Ram 1500 pickups
  • 2005-2009 Dodge Ram 2500 pickups
  • 2006-2009 Dodge Ram 3500 pickups
  • 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 cab chassis vehicles
  • 2008-2009 Sterling 4500 and 5500 cab chassis vehicles
  • 2004-2008 Dodge Durango full-size SUVs
  • 2005-2010 Chrysler 300, 300C and SRT8 full-size sedans
  • 2005-2010 Dodge Charger full-size sedans
  • 2005-2010 Dodge Magnum full-size station wagons
  • 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota small pickups
  • 2006-2011 Mitsubishi Raider small pickups

Of this population, it is estimated that 4,066,732 vehicles are in the U.S., while 374,508 are in Canada. The remaining vehicles are in Mexico and various markets outside the NAFTA region.
This action supersedes an ongoing NHTSA-approved recall involving the same vehicles and expands the affected global population by an estimated 1,407,942 with the addition of model years 2008-2011. Inflators replaced in connection with the previous campaign will again require service.
The second action to which FCA US has committed involves replacing certain front-passenger air-bag inflators in model-year 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups. An estimated 437,947 are in the U.S.; 38,835 in Canada and 360 are in markets outside the NAFTA region.
This recall supplements two ongoing campaigns involving some of the same vehicles in certain U.S. regions subject to high absolute humidity.
Certain Takata air-bag inflators may deploy with excessive force, sending debris into the vehicle cabin. Vehicle age and consistent exposure to high absolute humidity are believed to factor into such deployments.
The Company is aware of one related injury. It involved a 2006 Dodge Charger and occurred in southern Florida, where there is high absolute humidity.
FCA US vehicles are no longer produced with either suspect inflator. These components also are distinct from Takata inflators cited in fatalities involving other auto makers.

USA - Honda expands TAKATA Airbag scandal by another 350,000 vehicles

  • Approximately 350,000 vehicles1 to be added to the prior passenger airbag inflator recall
  • Vehicles previously covered by voluntary national driver airbag inflator Safety Improvement Campaigns (14V-351 and 15V-153) will transition into a formal recall with no new additional vehicles requiring repair
Honda will add approximately 350,000 vehicles to its recalls of Takata airbag inflators in the United States following a recently announced defect determination by Takata. However, most of the vehicles deemed at risk in Takata's defect determination report. 
These were already subject to previous voluntary actions taken by Honda, including a national Safety Improvement Campaign (SIC) for driver front airbag inflators and a passenger front airbag inflator recall that was focused on regions with specific environmental conditions.

It may take several weeks for Honda to determine the specific list and the final count of additional Honda and Acura vehicles included in the initial recall population of passenger side airbag inflators identified by Takata, but the mailed notification to registered owners will occur within 60 days, as required. 
Honda is announcing this action today to encourage owners to take their vehicles to an authorized Honda or Acura dealer for repair once they are able to confirm that their vehicle is included in one of these actions.
American Honda senior vice president of Parts, Service, 
Technical, Export & Auto Operations, Bruce Smith commented: "The vast majority of Honda and Acura vehicles impacted by last week's announcement were already covered by past recalls or safety improvement campaigns. In fact, many of these vehicles have already been repaired – we've replaced nearly two-million inflators since 2013, most of those in the last nine months alone."
Passenger Front Airbag Inflator Recall Expansion

Honda will expand the number of vehicles affected by the existing November 2014 passenger airbag inflator recall (NHTSA No. 14V-700) in the United States to include approximately 350,000 Civic vehicles from the 2005 model year and Accord vehicles from the 2006-2007 model years. 

While some 2005 Civic models were previously included, no Accord vehicles from the listed model years were included in the previous action. 

Honda has not received any claims of passenger airbag inflator rupture in these model year vehicles. The same free repair - replacement of the passenger front airbag inflator - will be completed on these additional vehicles.

The passenger front airbag inflator recall initially has been limited to areas2 of the U.S. and its territories that experience consistent levels of high absolute humidity, based on the nature of Takata's defect determination. If Takata or the NHTSA later determine that a defect exists in additional vehicles or in other areas, Honda will expand this action as required to help ensure the safety of its customers.
Driver's Front Airbag Inflator Recall Transition

In December 2014, Honda initiated a voluntary national Safety Improvement Campaign (14V-351) to replace driver front airbag inflators in certain 2001 through 2011 Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States. 

That action was later expanded to include 2008 Pilot models (15V-153). As a result of the defect determination made by Takata, Honda will transition these same vehicles, already eligible for a free repair under the voluntary SICs, into a formal recall -- with no new additional vehicles requiring repair.

Honda expects to have specific vehicle information about the vehicles added to the passenger airbag inflator recall available online, through dealers and by phone through Honda and Acura customer service after June 15. We encourage any concerned owner to check their vehicle status now and again after that date. Consumer information about recalls can be obtained at 
www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com 
or by calling (800) 999-1009 for Honda owners or (800) 382-2238 for Acura owners, and selecting option 4.
Summary of models affected by one or more Takata airbag inflator recall or SIC (certain specific models only):
  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2005 Acura RL
1 Preliminary number of additional affected vehicles provided. The final number is pending review of vehicle registration records to determine all affected vehicles originally sold in or ever registered in the affected states and territories.
2 List of 13 U.S. states and territories with affected vehicles currently included by Honda and Acura in the passenger front airbag inflator recall: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saipan, Guam and American Samoa.

USA - Ford expands TAKATA Airbag scandal to over 1.5 million vehicles.

Ford is expanding its safety recalls on vehicles that have certain Takata airbag inflators after Takata declared that those inflators are defective, bringing the total number of Ford vehicles recalled for Takata airbag inflators to 1,509,535 vehicles to date.

This expanded recall follows Takata’s notification to the U.S. NHTSA last week that certain of its airbag inflators are defective, affecting several automakers across the industry. For Ford, affected vehicles include:
  • 2005-2014 Ford Mustang vehicles built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant for driver side airbag inflators;
  • 2005-2006 Ford GT vehicles built at Wixom Assembly Plant for driver side airbag inflators;
  • 2004 Ford Rangers built in North America at Edison Assembly Plant and
  • 2004-2006 Ford Rangers built at Twin Cities Assembly for passenger side airbag inflators.
As disclosed in November 2014, Ford is aware of one airbag deployment that might be related to the issue, in which a driver’s leg was injured by a metal fragment when the airbag deployed after a crash. Ford has not seen any other inflator ruptures on Ford vehicles in the field or in testing to date. 
A total of 1,490,764 vehicles in North America are now affected by this expanded recall, including 1,380,604 in the United States and federalized territories, 93,207 in Canada and 16,953 in Mexico.
Dealers will replace the airbag inflator at no cost to the customer.
Customers who want to know if their vehicle is included in these recalls can visit www.ford.com  and click on safety recalls at the bottom of the page. Customers can then enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see any open safety, compliance or emissions recalls, as well as customer satisfaction programs.