Archive for the ‘Regulatory’ Category

Commerce’s Report on Auto Imports Affecting National Security Comes Sunday

Trump expected to do little with report right away.

by on Feb.15, 2019

President Donald Trump will soon have to decide if using punitive tariffs makes sense in negotiations.

Just days after proclaiming a national emergency that would take $8 billion from the U.S. budget to construct additional border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, President Donald Trump will be faced with another massive decision involving foreign countries.

The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to tell Trump on Sunday whether or not foreign vehicle imports constitute a national safety risk and offer suggestions on how to deal with the situation.

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He’ll have 90 days to act on the Commerce Department’s recommendation. However, President Trump already has a plan in place for the issue: a 25% tariff on vehicles imported into the country. (more…)

Honda Recalling 437K Vehicles Due to Fuel Pump Issue

Problem could lead to engine stalling.

by on Feb.14, 2019

The Honda Accord V6 is part of a recall of more than 437K vehicles for a fuel pump problem.

Honda is recalling 437,000 vehicles in the U.S. to fix a fuel-pump issue plaguing six-cylinder engines, causing stalling or limiting acceleration.

According to the automaker, a software update should resolve the problem; however, in some instances the fuel pump will need to be replaced. Sodium particulates can clog up or stick to the pump’s internal components.

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This could, in hot weather, cause the engine to stall or limit the acceleration of the vehicle. The vehicles affected in this action include: 2016-2018 Acura MDXs, 2015-2019 Acura TLX V6s and 2015-2017 Honda Accord V6s. (more…)

Ghosn Reimbursing Renault €50,000 for Wedding Expenses

Former CEO said he didn't know Renault paid for Versailles chateau.

by on Feb.08, 2019

Carlos Ghosn is reimbursing Renault €50,000 for expenses related to his 2016 wedding.

Former Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn is reimbursing Renault €50,000 for a bill the automaker incurred for the use of a chateau at the Palace of Versailles for Ghosn’s lavish wedding in 2016.

Ghosn, who is being detained in Japan and being investigated by French automaker Renault for financial misdeeds, said he was unaware that use of the facility was paid for by Renault. He believed the use of the chateau was part of Renault’s donation to the estate.

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French newspaper Le Figaro reported that Versailles allowed Ghosn to host his 2016 wedding reception on the palace grounds in exchange for Renault’s €2.3 billion donation.  (more…)

Tesla Purchasing Ultracapacitor Maker Maxwell Tech

Electrify America turns to Tesla Powerpack for new charging stations.

by on Feb.05, 2019

A Tesla supercharger station.

Tesla will spend $218 million to acquire Maxwell Technologies, an energy company that could help it both reduce battery costs and develop a battery alternative called an ultracapacitor.

Separately, Electrify America, a company dedicated to promoting and supporting electric vehicles, plans to use Tesla’s Powerpack battery backup system at more than 100 of its EV charging stations.

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“We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla said of the planned purchase of Maxwell in a statement.

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BMW Reveals New 7-Series Plug-In Hybrid

Three versions worldwide, including U.S.-bound 745e xDrive.

by on Feb.01, 2019

The second-generation BMW 7-Series plug-in opts for a bigger engine and bigger battery.

BMW continues its push to electrify its line-up with the official launch of the new 745e model. Three different versions of the plug-in hybrid will be offered worldwide, including the 745e, the 745Le and the 745e xDrive, the latter being the only variant planned for the U.S. market.

The new model marks the second-generation 7-Series plug-in but gets a complete makeover under the hood, abandoning the previous model’s 2.0-liter inline-four gas engine in favor of a 3.0-liter inline-six. Paired with a single electric motor, the package is claimed to delivered both improved performance and longer range when operating in EV mode.

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Part of the credit for those improvements comes from the increase in the size of the 745e sedan’s lithium-ion battery pack from 9.2 to 12.0 kilowatt-hours.

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Over a Dozen Michigan Automotive Operations Close As Fire Cuts NatGas Supplies During Record Cold Wave

Workers told to stay home – and to turn back their own thermostats.

by on Jan.31, 2019

A fire at Consumers Energy's facility in Armada Township, Michigan, north of Detroit, has Detroit-area automakers closing some plants. (Photo credit: Fox2Detroit)

The alert went out by smartphone to nearly 2 million natural gas customers across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula: turn back your thermostats or risk the possibility of having natural gas supplies cut off.

While some utilities have raised concerns about gas supplies in previous cold waves, the warning from Michigan-based Consumers Energy Co. was compounded by a fire at a gas compression facility near Detroit that created a potentially worst-case scenario, shortages even as demand for heat across the frozen state was reaching record level in temperatures dropping into the double-digits below zero.

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And individual consumers aren’t the only ones being impacted. Ford Motor Co. says it has reduced operations at four plants as of Thursday morning, while General Motors has temporarily halted or reduced operations at 11 of its own factories, as well as its Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren. About 20,000 workers at that sprawling complex have been asked to work at home through Friday. (more…)

Sweden Approves Volvo JV for Autonomous Car Testing

Zenuity ready to put software to real-world test.

by on Jan.30, 2019

Zenuity, a Volvo Cars joint venture with Veoneer, received approval from the Swedish government to begin autonomous testing on public roads.

A Volvo Cars joint venture has gotten approval to test its software in self-driving cars on Swedish highways at speeds of up to 80 kilometers or 60 miles per hour.

Zenuity, a joint venture between Volvo and Swedish tech company Veoneer, developed software for Level 4 autonomous driving that will be tested in a Volvo car by trained drivers with their hands off the steering wheel. The venture is striving to keep up with rivals in the U.S. and China in the development self-driving vehicles.

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Volvo’s self-driving effort was side-swiped last year when one of its sport utility vehicles, which was being used as a test-bed for Uber’s self-driving venture, was involved in an accident that killed an Arizona pedestrian. A post-accident investigation showed that the advanced-driver assistance features on the Volvo test vehicle had been disabled. (more…)