Archive for the ‘Regulatory’ Category

NHTSA Analyzing 12.3M Non-Takata Airbags Due to Possible Defect

ZF-TRW produced airbags for six automakers.

by on Apr.24, 2019

The 2011–13 Kia Optima has already been recalled once for an airbag problem.

As U.S. auto safety regulators are attempting to wind down the ongoing Takata airbag debacle, they are now investigating nearly 12.3 million vehicles with airbags that may not inflate during a collision.

The vehicles are equipped with airbags produced by ZF-TRW, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and could be responsible for as many as eight fatalities. The airbags do not inflate due to faulty control units.

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The investigation involves 2010-2019 model year vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota. (more…)

Former Nissan Chief Ghosn Smacked With New Charge in Japan

New allegations likely mean extended detention term.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been hit with a new charge by Japanese prosecutors.

On the day jailed former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s was supposed to be released, Japanese prosecutors brought a new charge against him virtually assuring he would remain in custody for the near future.

The authorities added a fourth charge after finding out that payments made to Nissan by a supplier were allegedly redirected to Ghosn for his “personal enrichment.” Ghosn was already released once on $9 million bail last month. Whether or not he will be released on bail again is up in the air.

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“Such misconduct is completely unacceptable, and Nissan is requesting appropriately strict penalties,” the automaker said in a statement. Ghosn faces three other charges, including allegedly understating his income and allegedly transferring personal investment losses to Nissan. (more…)

Big Three Group Supports Trump Report on USMCA Benefits

Support comes despite conflicting study from IMF.

by on Apr.19, 2019

A new report from the U.S. Trade Representative says the new USMCA will bring substantial benefits; however, an IMF study suggests otherwise.

Detroit’s automakers are rushing to defend a report from the Trump administration that touts the benefits of the new North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration report, produced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), was released Thursday in advance of less than an underwhelming independent government estimate of the economic impact of proposed U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

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Trump has portrayed the new agreement he negotiated as a replacement for NAFTA as likely to lead to a rush of new investment and jobs in the U.S. and an end to the outsourcing he and others have blamed for a hollowing out of American manufacturing. (more…)

German Prosecutors Charger Former VW CEO Winterkorn with Fraud

Lawyers charge four other executives as well.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged by German prosecutors with fraud related to the diesel emissions scandal.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged with fraud on Monday by German prosecutors for his role in the automaker’s diesel emissions testing scandal. The scandal came to light in 2015.

“Former Chief Executive Dr. Martin Winterkorn is being charged with a particularly serious case of fraud, a violation of the law against unfair competition and breach of fiduciary trust,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

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Prosecutors also said that Winterkorn and four other managers faced charges, but did not give the names of the other four or say whether they were still employed by Volkswagen. Winterkorn’s lawyer, Felix Doerr, declined to comment, saying he had not seen all of the paperwork, according to Reuters. (more…)

Survey: Most Americans See EVs as City, Commuter Cars

Majority see the need for just 75 miles of daily range.

by on Apr.12, 2019

One of several recent Mini electric vehicle concepts.

Sales of battery-based vehicles have finally begun to escalate as their availability – along with public awareness – grows. But a new survey suggests that consumers are pigeonholing them into a niche that could limit their popularity.

Nearly two out of three American consumers said they saw the best way to use a battery vehicle was for commuting or as a city car, according to the survey by Mini USA, the British automaker that is itself preparing to enter the electric vehicle market.

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“It is important for us as a brand to understand how consumers want to use their electric vehicles, and what they know and don’t know about them as we move closer to the launch of the MINI Cooper S E electric vehicle in the U.S.,” said Andrew Cutler, Head of Corporate Communications, MINI USA.

(more…)

Wait Times at U.S.-Mexico Border Rising, Impacting Autos

Wait times as long as 17 hours becoming common.

by on Apr.09, 2019

Trucks are already waiting in long lines to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, sometimes as long as 17 hours.

Automakers and suppliers are beginning to feel the sting of long delays at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing that have cut the number of inbound trucks to the U.S. by half due to delays as a long as 17 hours.

The reason for the delay is a decision by the Trump administration to move 750 border agents from commercial to immigration duties in order to deal with the influx of families seeking asylum in the United States.

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The result has been massive backlogs at crossing points, which can be problematic for a just-in-time industry like automotive, which does $1.7 billion in daily trade across the border. Many times parts travel back and forth across the border before finding their way into a finished automobile. (more…)

Unlikely Partners: Tesla Helps FCA Head Off Massive EU Fine

Automakers will "pool" emissions numbers.

by on Apr.08, 2019

It appears that European sales of the Model 3 are going to not only help Tesla, but Fiat Chrysler as well.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has come up with an intriguing way to head off hundreds of millions of dollars in fines from the European Union for missing its emissions targets, a solution that will team it up with its upstart competitor Tesla.

FCA is using an “open pool” option that will allow it to count Tesla’s growing sales in Europe as if they were its own products. Tesla has used a similar approach in the United States, a move that was particularly critical in its early years.

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“The whole point of a CO2 credit market is to leverage the most cost-effective ways to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in the market,” FCA said in a statement. “The purchase pool provides flexibility to deliver products our customers are willing to buy while managing compliance with the lowest cost approach.” (more…)

EU Claims VW, BMW and Daimler Colluded to Limit Emissions Tech

Automakers slowed use of new tech from 2006 to 2014.

by on Apr.05, 2019

Volkswagen as well as BMW and Daimler colluded to limit use of improved emissions technology in their European vehicles, an EU investigation found.

After completing its investigation, it was determined that collusion did occur … between Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler AG, European Union investigators said in a preliminary report.

EU authorities declared the three German automakers colluded to limit the development of emissions-cleaning technology in their vehicles, violating EU laws between 2006 and 2014. The union’s antitrust regulator, according to Associated Press, recently completed an investigation into the actions of the three companies.

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It determined that the three automakers agreed to limit the use of exhaust-improving technologies for gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The result limited the access of Europeans to less polluting cars, but not the price. (more…)

Tesla, SEC Set to Engage in Legal Battle Royal Over Tweet

Both sides heading to court April 4 on contempt charge.

by on Mar.27, 2019

CEO Elon Musk is facing a contempt charge levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 4.

The ongoing feud between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission about whether or not the brash executive should be held in contempt over a recent tweet is going to be resolved April 4 – in U.S. District Court.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan scheduled oral arguments on an SEC contempt motion in the Manhattan court after both sides elected to skip an evidentiary hearing. The agency is accusing Musk of violating the terms of a fraud settlement reach last year with a tweet on Feb. 19.

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In the tweet, he told his 24 million followers that the California-based EV maker could produce about 500,000 vehicles this year. He did not get prior approval for the tweet from Tesla’s legal team. (more…)

Oslo First City to Institute Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles

City wants taxis to be zero-emission vehicles by 2023.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Oslo wants to install induction plates into taxi stands to allow them recharge wirelessly by 2023.

One of the issues limiting the appeal of electric vehicles is recharging, but Oslo, Norway will be the world’s first city to mitigate that problem as it will install wireless charging systems for taxi cabs.

The city is requiring all of its taxis be zero-emission vehicles by 2023 while Norway is requiring all new vehicles sold in the country be the same by 2025. The new induction-based chargers aim to make recharging quick and easy, according to Finnish utility Fortum.

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“The future is electric, and it is already here, right now. Wireless charging is a potential game changer,” said Sture Portvik, Oslo’s electro mobility manager, in a statement. “From 2023 onward, all taxis in Oslo will be zero emission.  (more…)