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Posts By: TTAC Staff
We’ve been often accused of hiring bad writers here at TTAC — and now we have confirmation.
Our own Steve Lynch, former Big Time Auto Industry Executive and author of the book about the Honda scandal, just received a Dishonorable Mention nod in the 34th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, where entrants are challenged to write the worst possible opening sentence to an imaginary novel.
The contest, sponsored by the English Department of San José State University, is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose opening line in his 1830 novel “Paul Clifford” has been mocked relentlessly over the years: “It was a dark and stormy night … ”
It goes without saying that Lynch’s entry was automotive related. (Read More…)
The state of Indiana is cracking down on motorists driving too slowly in the left lane.
In the first year of the State’s highway slowpokes law, state police issued 109 tickets and at least 1,535 warnings to drivers that didn’t move from the left lane when they should reasonably know another vehicle is trying to overtake them. The law went into effect last July.
by Mark Stevenson and Bozi Tatarevic
A day after former TTAC editor-in-chief and current Daily Kanban blogger Edward Neidermeyer hit out at Tesla regarding suspension failures and Tesla’s supposed customer bullying through a goodwill agreement on Wednesday, the electric vehicle manufacturer hit back.
According to Neidermeyer’s post, a 2013 Tesla Model S owner on the Tesla Motors Owners forum experienced a ball joint failure at around the 70,000-mile mark, and the owner referred to Tesla for a fix. The automaker offered what’s commonly known in the industry as “goodwill assistance,” which covered half the $3,100 total cost of the repair, as the Model S was out of warranty.
However, the vehicle owner and Neidermeyer took exception to part of the written goodwill agreement as it seems to include a non-disclosure clause, which Neidermeyer contends could dissuade other Tesla issues from reporting issues to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and subvert the federal vehicle issue reporting process.
Is Tesla silencing its customers via threat of litigation? And is this ball joint issue even a problem in the first place?
On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen that its cars violated clean air standards by incorporating a “defeat device” that used engine management controls to cheat emissions tests.
Since the EPA’s letter to VW, and subsequent order to recall nearly 482,000 Volkswagen cars, the scandal has deepened and developed with Volkswagen shedding billions in value in markets worldwide, halting sales of its cars in the U.S. and Canada, shuffling executives to other seats or out the door entirely, and other regulatory agencies jumping in to investigate.
Here’s a roundup of the stories so far.
Renault’s production alliance with Daimler is about to bear fruit as the automaker will unveil their new Twingo minicar at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show next month.
Citing weak results in 2013 and guidance challenges for 2014, investment ratings agency Moody’s has cut Fiat’s rating from B3a to B1, four notches below investment grade.
As inventories of unsold cars surge past 100 days’ supply, GM has shuffled its sales and marketing organizations in an attempt to move some of that bloated inventory. Last week, GM moved Buick-GMC sales chief Brian Sweeney, 46, to the top sales post at Chevrolet, taking over for the retiring Don Johnson. Sweeney’s replacement will be Duncan Aldred, 43, who most recently has been running GM’s British brand, Vauxhall. Both executives will will report to new U.S. sales chief Steve Hill, 53.
Automotive News is reporting that the continued changes in personnel at GM’s sales and marketing divisions has been a source of frustration for dealers and ad agency executives in recent years. Some dealers feel that what they see as GM’s strongest product lineup in generations is being compromised by chaos in the marketing team responsible for promoting those new products. (Read More…)
Inventories of unsold cars and light trucks have swollen to their highest levels since the recession while sales growth in the U.S. market has slowed significantly in the past five months. That combination could mean larger discounts and incentives and lower profit margins in 2014. According to Automotive News, all three domestic automakers started February with more than a 100-day supply of unsold vehicles. Industry-wide automakers had 88 days’ worth of vehicles at the start of February, the highest February inventories have been since 2009, when the industry was at its nadir.
General Motors, Ford, Chrysler will be joining Toyota in implementing a common standard for rating the towing capacities of their light-duty pickups. That uniform standard will allow shoppers to more accurately compare vehicles’ towing capabilities and reduce some confusion caused by truck makers with differing standards. Bear in mind, though, that for heavy-duty pickups, automakers will still rate their vehicles with their own standards.
Spokesmen for Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group acknowledged last week that starting with 2015 model year full size light duty pickup trucks they will be joining Toyota in using a towing standard originally adopted by the industry in 2009. GM said that it would join the other companies in using the new standard. (Read More…)
During a Tesla townhall meeting at the automaker’s European headquarters in Amsterdam, CEO Elon Musk announced to owners that an all-wheel drive version of the vaunted S would arrive in showrooms by the early months of 2015 at the latest.
Toyota announced Monday that as of 2017, the automaker will no longer manufacture any of their vehicles in Australia, driving in the final nail to the coffin containing the nation’s local automotive industry following similar announcements by Holden and Ford.
Reuters and The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Toyota Motor Corp. and the United States Department of Justice are close to a deal that would resolve a criminal investigation into how it disclosed to government regulators customers’ complaints about unintended acceleration. The Journal is reporting that the settlement would involve Toyota paying as much as $1 billion in fines, ending a four year investigation. Sources say that the deal could still fall apart, or the amount of money involved could change.
When Cadillac brought out their Vsport editions, cars that have higher performance than stock models but not quite the full-tilt performance offered in the V versions, some saw it as a watering down of the V brand. Now BMW appears to be following Cadillac’s lead with M Performance Automobiles, or MPA. Automotive News reports that MPA cars will have greater horsepower and a more sporting driving experience but they won’t have all of the chassis and performance mods that the top of the line M high performance models have. They also won’t have the high price tags of the M cars. The idea is to offer enthusiasts a moderately priced model with more performance than the base car.