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Toyota will recall a total of 3.37 million vehicles to resolve two safety-related issues, one of which involves an environmental control that can quickly become very bad for the environment.
The largest of the two recalls concerns faulty side curtain airbags that could partially inflate without warning, according to the Associated Press. The issue isn’t related to the Takata airbag recall — rather, the problem stems from small cracks in some driver and passenger side airbag inflators, which can widen over time and lead to the partial inflation of the side curtain. Read More >
Indonesia is the biggest vehicle market in Southeast Asia, and Ford Motor Company is running away from it.
The automaker’s announcement earlier this year that it plans to stop selling vehicles in the country came as a shock to dealers, who now want Ford to compensate them in a big way, Reuters reports. Read More >
South Koreans are used to having a bunch of Americans hanging around, but the arrival of a group of Tesla employees won’t be welcomed by executives at Hyundai.
Tesla wants into the South Korean marketplace, and just posted job listings for sales and engineering positions in the Asian country, Bloomberg reports. Already registered in South Korea, the automaker plans to open up an office in Seoul and hire a recruiter based out of Japan. Read More >
The diesel emissions scandal can’t be blamed for all of Volkswagen’s sales woes.
Today, the automaker announced first-quarter profits fell 86 percent compared to the same time last year, not surprising given its sidelined diesel models, the hit to its reputation, and a hastily cobbled together $18.2 billion scandal fund.
Worldwide sales of Volkswagen passenger cars fell 1.3 percent (year-over-year) this quarter, but the scandal doesn’t tell the whole story. That number would have been in positive territory if select countries weren’t grab-your-money-and-get-out economic disasters. Read More >
It beats hooning your mom’s Honda Odyssey.
A teenager took the top spot in the first three races of the Toyota 86 Racing Series this past weekend, beating back the 38 entrants in the fledgling event.
Former kart champion Cameron Hill’s win is exactly what Toyota had in mind when it crafted the three-year series. Designed as an entry point for up-and-coming drivers, the series pits up to five professional drivers against a field of amateurs, with training being top of mind. (Though a $125,000 prize pool sweetens the deal). Read More >
Ford Motor Company probably wishes it had gone with a CVT.
After weathering years of complaints about the performance of its six-speed PowerShift dual clutch transmission, Australia just added to the misery with a class-action lawsuit, CarAdvice reports.
The suit, which alleges the transmissions are unsafe, concerns 2010–2014 Ford Fiesta and Focus models. Read More >
Three versions of a Renault hatchback spectacularly failed their frontal crash tests in India, earning them zero out of five stars, even with an available airbag.
It’s food for thought for the 125,000 Indian buyers who placed orders for the subcompact coffin, but the Renault Kwid isn’t alone in flunking Global NCAP testing in that car-hungry country.
The Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon also failed to earn a single star, reports Business Standard. Read More >
Tesla Motors responded quickly to a bombshell exposé on the low-paid foreign workers helping to expand the company’s California assembly plant.
The investigation by the Bay Area News Group, published in The Mercury News, detailed the hundreds of Slovenian and Croatian laborers brought into the Freemont plant on business visas last year to build a paint shop. Paid $5 an hour, safety protocol among the group was lax, work hours were long, and a serious injury ended in a workers’ compensation lawsuit.
Tesla was cleared of any wrongdoing by an accident investigator, but now the company says it has a moral responsibility to stop all unsafe and unfair work practices at its facility. Read More >
It’s nowhere near the scale of the Volkswagen debacle, but Nissan is in hot water with the South Korean government over dodgy emissions from its diesel SUV.
That country’s environment ministry accuses Nissan of using a “defeat device” to disable the emissions controls on its UK-built Qashqai SUV, Automotive News reports. Read More >
Norway is gearing up for a legal fight, and its sights are set on a troubled automaker from Germany.
The country’s sovereign wealth fund, built from oil and gas revenues and assorted investments, plans to file a class-action lawsuit targeting Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal, Reuters reports. Read More >