Category: Are You Ready For…
New-vehicle sales are on the rise due not only to demand originally held back by the Great Recession, but by consumers coming off of their leases for their next latest and greatest.
In its battle against Mercedes-Benz and Audi for record sales, BMW is mulling over the possibility of a second plant in North America.
Automotive News reports the repairs of some 2.6 million vehicles affected by the 2014 General Motors ignition switch recall will be delayed by one week as the needed part slowly enters into the automaker’s dealership network. Though most dealers thought they would be receiving the part Monday, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly insisted the part was set to arrive sometime during “the week of April 7″:
We plan to send letters this week informing affected customers that parts are arriving at dealerships and to schedule a service appointment with their dealer. Repairs are likely to begin to follow soon after the customer letter mailing.
Until then, dealerships may face service backlogs, especially with affected vehicles already on the lot that cannot be sold until they are repaired, which can only happen once customer vehicles go through the 30-minute swap. On the other hand, while dealers have noticed some frustration from their customers, the majority of their base was found to be patient with the status of the repair plan.
Wisconsin lawyer and self-proclaimed “Lemon Law King” Vince Megna has filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court against Tesla under the state’s lemon law.
In the wake of the 2014 General Motors recall crisis, Congress has sought to make improvements to current United States automotive safety legislation, though a number of hurdles await any pending bills needed to usher change to the automotive industry.
Bloomberg reports the Center for Auto Safety, citing a government petition from former General Motors researcher Donald Friedman, is asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a defect investigation into 2003 – 2010 Chevrolet Impalas over a glitch in the car’s software that could “misread a passenger’s weight,” preventing frontal airbags from deploying. The agency has 143 records of fatalities linked to failed airbags in the Impala, 98 of which noted the occupants were wearing seat belts at time of death.
The request reflects growing concern over the algorithms used in advanced airbags, designed to meet strengthened U.S. regulations in 2003 after previous airbags were found in 300 cases to prove fatal to small adults and children due to excessive force upon deployment, and where improvements could be made.
With the mandate that all vehicles post-2018 possess backup cameras set to begin its ramp up in 2016, suppliers will be the biggest beneficiaries of a growing safety market.
Though Ram knocked Chevrolet off the monthly sales throne for the first time since August 1999, the brand is ready to reclaim their part of Truck Mountain by offering incentives and extending their annual Truck Month into April.
A change to the California Air Resources Board’s Zero-Emission Vehicle credit program will leave Tesla with four credits per car cold for the foreseeable future, down from seven credits for every Model S through 2013.
In spite of General Motors losing $3 billion in shareholder value over four weeks since the recall crisis began, Bloomberg reports investors are holding onto their shares in the belief the automaker will recover from the debacle. Though questions about the delay persist, most shareholders are pleased with how CEO Mary Barra is guiding her company through the maelstrom.
Other factors in the massive stock decline include overseas challenges and weaknesses in product lines, including bringing European profits into the black, while Chevrolet’s Silverado fights Ram’s offerings in order to regain its traditional place in the monthly sales charts.
In an interview with New York Magazine, consumer advocate Ralph Nader said General Motors CEO Mary Barra has “a good opportunity” to make serious changes to the corporate cost culture that gave rise to the 2014 ignition recall crisis. Suggestions include appointing an independent ombudsman with a direct line to the president and CEO for engineers who need to speak out about possible problems without having to go through “cost-concerned bosses,” as well as holding accountable all involved in any cover-up of any potential product issues.
Nader also believes the federal government should go after personal prosecutions of those tied to the current recall, but adds that unless the media keeps putting the pressure on the Justice Department to do so, the only thing that could come is a settlement in the vein of the one reached between the agency and Toyota earlier this month.
Already available throughout Europe, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is now just arriving in United Kingdom showrooms at a post-credit price tag of £28,249 ($47,000 USD).
Looking to expand its global presence beyond its native China, Beijing Automotive Group announced they would like to acquire a “mid to high-level brand” in either Europe or the United States, and already has a list of potential brands in mind.