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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…)

Ford Recalling 1.48M F-150 Pickups Due to Transmission Issue

Sometimes the transmission will downshift to first gear unexpectedly.

by on Feb.13, 2019

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 trucks from model years 2011–13 due to a transmission downshift problem.

Ford Motor Co is recalling 1.48 million F-150 pickup trucks because of a transmission issue that could, in certain circumstances, lead to a crash.

The company said that select 2011–13 model year trucks with six-speed automatic transmissions could downshift into first gear without warning. This downshift could cause the axle to lock up, causing the truck to skid and the driver to lose control.

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As of now, there have been five accidents and one injury – whiplash – reported tied to the problem. The recall covers 1.26 million trucks in the U.S. The rest are in Canada. Affected 2011-13 F-150 vehicles were built at Dearborn Assembly Plant, April 28, 2010 to Oct. 28, 2013, and Kansas City Assembly Plant, May 18, 2010 to Nov. 18, 2013. (more…)

Ford Sued by Three MIT Profs about EcoBoost Technology

Trio claims their tech is responsible for new engines.

by on Feb.13, 2019

Ford's F-150 EcoBoost models are the subject of a lawsuit filed by three MIT professors.

According to a newly filed lawsuit against Ford, the automaker “boosted” the technology used in newer versions of its famed EcoBoost engines from a trio of professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ford introduced EcoBoost to the world in 2009, suggesting the turbocharger-based system would allow smaller engines to provide big power while retaining their ability to use less gas. While the public initially played wait-and-see with the technology, it’s now spread across Ford’s engine offerings like ivy on a brick building.

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The automaker and university have a long history together, and the lawsuit suggests Ford may have taken advantage of that relationship. The MIT professors claim the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is using its dual port- and direct-injection technology without permission for its EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8 engines produced in recent years. (more…)

GM Offering $25K Reward to Catch Noose Hangers

Company ups effort to end racist acts in Ohio plant.

by on Feb.12, 2019

Several employees have reported incidents of racial intimidation at GM's powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio.

General Motors’ battle against racist acts in an Ohio plant is getting more serious as the automaker is now offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who has information about nooses and other racist symbols appearing at the site.

The company began offering the $25,000 reward in January at the GM Powertrain plant in Toledo, after a string of complaints from employees about the behavior of other employees starting in early 2017 and symbols evolved into a lawsuit against the company in the fall of 2018.

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“We have zero tolerance for discrimination, and we’re doing everything we can to identify the culprit. This is another step we’ve taken, working with police to intensify the investigation,” GM said in a statement to the Free Press. “We’re outraged that anyone would face threats, and our hearts go out to anyone affected by this bigotry.” (more…)

Tesla Out of Cheaper Model 3s, Stakeholder Cuts Share in Half

T. Rowe Price halves stake from 10.12% to 5.2%.

by on Feb.11, 2019

The mad rush to blow out Model 3s at the end of the year has left Tesla with very few Model 3s to deliver.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said that the company would face some stiff headwinds in the early part of this year, and now some of those issues are now coming to light … as are the consequences.

The company’s last recent round of layoffs were unexpected, but were initially seen positively as analysts suggested the company would need to find ways to cut costs. However, according to Reuters, one of the teams that were cut significantly should have raised alarm bells sooner.

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Reuters reports that Tesla’s delivery team saw 150 of 230 employees lose their jobs. The Las Vegas-based group was largely responsible for delivering the company’s savior vehicle: the Model 3.  (more…)

Rock Star Sting Joins Protest Against GM Oshawa Closure

Musician shows support with performance of musical in Oshawa.

by on Feb.11, 2019

Actor/musician Sting and the cast of The Last Ship in Toronto are going to Oshawa for a free performance to support workers at the GM plant that is shutting down.

Union workers at General Motors’ plant in Oshawa, Ontario, have found a high-profile ally in their fight to prevent the announced closure of the plant: Musical star Sting.

The musician, who has won multiple Grammys and fronted The Police before expanding into acting and musical theater, is joining forces with Unifor in protest of the plant closure. He and the cast of his musical, The Last Ship, are performing in Oshawa on Thursday.

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The musical is currently playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. However, it will travel to Oshawa for this performance – at no cost. Unifor is paying the cost to rent the theater. (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…)

Toyota’s 2020 Sequoia is Going Pro — TRD Pro

Automaker offers upgrades for TRD Pro line-up.

by on Feb.07, 2019

Toyota added the Sequoia to its portfolio of TRD Pro branded off-roaders for 2020. It debuted at the Chicago Auto Show.

For families whose idea of fun is to get off the tarmac and get a little dirty by hitting the path less traveled, Toyota has stepped up its game with the all-new 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro — the latest addition to the TRD line-up.

Unveiled today at the Chicago Auto Show, the new Sequoia gets the TRD treatment for the first time. With a chassis fortified by a TRD-tuned Fox shock absorber suspension, an array of proven off-road equipment specially designed or selected by Toyota Racing Development engineers, the full-size Sequoia TRD Pro offers off-road thrills for seven.

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The TRD Pro portfolio of vehicles includes the Tacoma and Tundra pickups and 4Runner SUV. Introduced in 2014, the TRD Pro lineup emerged from Toyota’s rich off-road racing heritage. The TRD Pro badge signifies a vehicle that’s capable of going where ordinary pickups and SUVs fear to tread, while still retaining the comfort for daily driving, the automaker notes. (more…)

Cadillac Adds to Growing Portfolio of CUVs with XT5 Sport

New package gives customers a more aggressive offering.

by on Feb.07, 2019

Cadillac expands the XT5 portfolio with the new Sport package offering buyers a more aggressive looking crossover.

Cadillac continues to play catch up when it comes to its crossover line-up with the debut of its new XT5 Sport package at the Chicago Auto Show.

General Motors luxury brand had been late to the party when it came to luxury utes smaller than the its class-leading Escalade. However, it’s certainly been trying to make up for lost time since it put its plans in place to compete in the segment.

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The new XT5 Sport arrives on the heels of brand’s recently introduced XT4 small ute that has quickly become a strong seller for Cadillac. However, the XT5 Sport fills a need for an aggressive-looking model that competitors like Lexus, BMW and others have been offering. (more…)