Kia Recalls 380,000 U.S. Vehicles For Fire Risks – Transport

Freda Walters

To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com. KIA RECALLS 380,000 U.S. VEHICLES FOR FIRE RISKS Kia Motors Corp said it will recall nearly 380,000 Sportage and Cadenza vehicles because an electrical circuit could cause a fire in the engine compartment. The […]


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KIA RECALLS 380,000 U.S. VEHICLES FOR FIRE RISKS

Kia Motors Corp said it will recall nearly 380,000 Sportage and
Cadenza vehicles because an electrical circuit could cause a fire
in the engine compartment. The recall covers vehicles built from
the 2017-2021 model years and dealers will replace some fuses in
the electrical junction box. Kia is advising owners to park outside
and away from structures as a precaution until the recall repair is
complete.

Source: Reuters

AND NOW… A FOAM SHORTAGE

After the unprecedented winter storm in Texas and other states
last month, automakers and suppliers could be slammed by yet
another devastating parts shortage that could idle seating plants
as early as next week. The blizzard halted the region’s
critical petrochemical plants, which could lead to a shortage in
automotive seating foam, industry sources say. The storm that left
millions without heat or power amid subfreezing temperatures has
impacted production of oil refinery byproducts used to make
propylene oxide needed for the polyurethane foam found in auto
seats.

Source: Automotive News

A NEW SMALL FORD PICKUP

Ford Motor has quietly started production of a new pickup in
Mexico that’s expected to be smaller than its current Ranger
model, according to data released by the automaker. The new truck
was disclosed to investors Wednesday in the automaker’s monthly
production data as a “C-Pick Up” that’s being
produced at its Hermosillo plant. Only 21 vehicles were assembled
in February, likely indicating early prototype models for testing.
A spokesman for Ford declined to comment beyond what the company
disclosed in its monthly production report.

Source: CNBC

STELLANTIS WILL INCREASE PACE OF EV LAUNCHES IN EUROPE,
U.S.

Stellantis will go “full throttle” on battery-electric
vehicles to meet emissions goals in Europe and the U.S., as hybrid
powertrains eventually “disappear,” CEO Carlos Tavares
said. Tavares has not yet committed Stellantis, which has 14 brands
and home bases in France, Italy, Germany and the U.S., to a date
when it will sell only zero-emission vehicles but, he said,
“The societies in which we operate will trend toward a ban on
internal combustion engines.”

Source: Automotive News

VOLKSWAGEN ACCELERATES EV PLANS

Volkswagen is accelerating its plans for all-electric vehicles
in a bid to become “the world’s most desirable brand for
sustainable mobility,” a title arguably already owned by
Tesla. The German automaker Friday morning said more than 70% of
its Volkswagen brand’s European sales will be EVs by 2030, up
from a previous target of 35%. In the U.S. and China, it expects
half of its sales to be EVs by that time frame.

Source: CNBC

VOLVO DEALERS ON EDGE OVER DIGITAL RETAIL PLAN FOR EVS

As Volvo Cars transforms into an EV-only brand in less than a
decade, it is reinventing the way it will sell the next-generation
vehicles. The automaker last week announced plans to move to an
online-only, fixed-price sales model for its expanding fleet of
battery-powered models. Volvo’s all-digital strategy will have
ramifications for the brand’s 281 U.S. dealers. Retailers are
“concerned and fearful” about where they stand, Volvo
Retail Advisory Board Chairman Ernie Norcross told Automotive News
last week. Volvo Car USA CEO Anders Gustafsson was quick to attempt
to calm dealers’ nerves. Dealers will continue to sell the
vehicles and maintain the customer relationship, Gustafsson
said.

Source: Automotive News

EXPERTS SAY INDUSTRY’S SOFTWARE STRATEGY NEEDS TO BE AGILE
TO COMPETE

“A car is now a computer. When we think of a car we’re
not thinking of a cyber and physical component we’re still
thinking of physical car, because we’re not looking at it in a
new and refreshed perspective of what a car really has
become.” Those new nomenclatures expose an issue the
automotive industry is struggling to both recognize and
overcome—how to convert its long-standing emphasis on
cyclical product development and manufacturing into more
effectively focusing on what really now drives the
industry—continuous development through software. Not only
must the industry make that conversion, some experts say it must
make the move faster.

Source: Forbes

NISSAN RECALLING 854K SENTRAS TO FIX BRAKE LIGHT PROBLEM

Nissan is recalling more than 854,000 cars in the U.S. and
Canada because the brake lights might not come on when the driver
presses on the pedal. The recall covers certain Sentra compacts
from the 2016 through 2019 model years, including more than 807,000
in the U.S. Nissan says silicon contamination from grease used in
nearby components can cause oxidation that can make the stop lamp
switch near the brake pedal malfunction.

Source: Detroit Free Press 

DAIMLER DIESEL SETTLEMENT

A federal judge on Tuesday approved Daimler AG’s $1.5
billion settlement to resolve a U.S. government probe into the
German automaker’s use of undisclosed software that allowed
excess diesel pollution to be emitted by 250,000 of its vehicles in
the United States. The settlement with the U.S. Justice Department
and California Air Resources Board, which was announced in
September, includes an $875 million civil penalty levied under the
Clean Air Act, $70 million in additional penalties and $546 million
to fix the polluting vehicles and offset excess emissions, court
papers show.

Source: Reuters

TOYOTA LEARNED FROM FUKUSHIMA

Toyota may have pioneered the just-in-time manufacturing
strategy but when it comes to chips, its decision to stockpile what
have become key components in cars goes back a decade to the
Fukushima disaster. After the catastrophe severed Toyota’s
supply chains on March 11, 2011, the world’s biggest automaker
realised the lead-time for semiconductors was way too long to cope
with devastating shocks such as natural disasters.

Source: Reuters

VOLKSWAGEN’S SOLUTION TO SEVEN YEARS OF LOSSES IS ANOTHER
SUV

Volkswagen AG is looking to stem seven years of losses in South
America by padding out its SUV lineup, betting it will command
better margins and be more resilient through the region’s many
ups and downs. VW will produce the Taos sport utility vehicle at
its Argentina plant for South American markets and in Mexico for
the U.S. Its launch around midyear will mark the culmination of
roughly $2 billion of recent investment the German automaker has
announced for operations in Argentina and Brazil.

Source: Bloomberg

VOLKSWAGEN STRATEGY CHIEF JOST QUITS TO FOCUS ON BUILDING SMART
BOATS

Volkswagen strategy chief Michael Jost will quit after more than
a decade with the group, he said on his website, adding he would
now focus on building smart boats with his family. He became
Volkswagen’s head of group strategy product in 2018, driving
the group’s change to become a global leader in electric
vehicles.

Source: Reuters

ONE YEAR INTO PANDEMIC, AMERICANS PRIORITIZE CAR OWNERSHIP

Nearly 60% of car buyers responding to a Cars.com survey said
the pandemic influenced their decision to purchase a vehicle. More
than 50% bought sooner than originally planned, according to the
company’s national survey of more than 1,500 online
respondents, released on Wednesday. Another insight from the survey
is that over the past year, at-home delivery and virtual services
by local dealerships skyrocketed. Also over the past year, 38% of
car buyers were in urban or city areas. Three out of four city
dwellers said the pandemic influenced their decision to buy.

Source: Auto Remarketing

SUPERPRIME, PRIME CONSUMERS DRIFT BACK TO NEW CARS IN Q4

Customers in the highest credit tiers opted for new vehicles in
larger numbers in the fourth quarter, credit bureau Experian said
last week. The shift from used vehicles was driven in part by past
and upcoming stimulus checks, residual incentive activity from the
third quarter and tight inventory, though the credit bureau said
the exact reasons for the shift were unclear. The trend of
higher-credit consumers opting for used vehicles was disrupted last
year when strong automaker incentives enticed those buyers to the
new-vehicle market. Residual incentives and forthcoming stimulus
checks may account for why prime customer share of new-vehicle
originations rose in the fourth quarter, said Melinda Zabritski,
Experian’s senior director of automotive financial
solutions.

Source: Automotive News

TESLA BATTERY SUPPLY – VW BATTERY RECYCLING –  TOYOTA FUEL
CELL PLANS

Toyota is looking at some very large applications for its
fuel-cell tech. Will LG Chem ramp up production of Tesla’s new
battery format in the U.S.? And what does Volkswagen plan to do
with its millions of battery packs after they’re in EVs? This
and more, here at Green Car Reports.

LG Chem is reportedly planning to build cells in Tesla’s new
4680-format at a new U.S. plant. It’s not yet clear whether
this is the same plant it’s in talks with GM over, but it could
together with Tesla’s own cell-manufacturing plans give the EV
giant what it needs to keep ramping up U.S. production.

Volkswagen has shown, with a pilot battery-recycling plant in
Salzgitter, Germany, how it hopes to recover up to 95% of raw
materials from used battery packs for potential reuse. The
automaker plans to establish similar facilities around the
world—including in the U.S.

And Toyota has neatly packaged the fuel-cell stack from its
latest Mirai fuel-cell sedan into a hydrogen fuel-cell module that
can power buses, trains, or ships—or be placed into
stationary generators or power arrays. Two different layouts for
the 80-kw plug-and-play modules will give companies a lot of
options—although they’ll still need to take care of the
hydrogen storage and sourcing part of the puzzle.

And over at Motor Authority: A patent application filed by Apple
highlights a new zone-based lighting system that could
revolutionize cabin lighting—basing it on the movements of
occupants, or where they’re looking. Although likely for use
with Apple’s self-driving electric car, such technology might
be useful even as part of Apple CarPlay as vehicle interfaces
become more complex.

Source: Green Car Reports

Originally Published by Crowe MacKay, March 2021

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