This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: Boom Goes The Airbag
Airbags made by Takata and put in, man, seemingly every Japanese car has the chance to explode all of a sudden, or just plain not work. We've been following this recall for a while and it's now been expanded by some 2.3 million Hondas, 755,000 Nissans, and 159,807 Mazdas.
According to Reuters, the total number of vehicles related to these airbag recalls is now at about 10.5 million, making it somewhere in the top five recalls of all time. Oh, and it's not over yet:
Separately, Takata has asked multiple car makers to cooperate on investigations related to vehicles sold in the United States that carry inflators, some of them made after 2002. Those companies could soon make follow-up announcements, said a person knowledgeable about the matter who declined to be named.
Fun story, I had to bring my old Honda Civic in twice for airbag recalls.
2nd Gear: Tesla Will Probably Win In New Jersey
When legislation passes one house of a bicameral body with unanimous support, as the resolution allowing Tesla to sell cars in New Jersey did, it's usually a good sign.
Thus we get a little glimpse in the future courtesy of the LA Times.
Wedbush Securities analyst Craig Irwin called the legislation a good resolution to Tesla's fight with dealers in New Jersey and will pave the way for the company to open up two additional stores there. He said there will be "strong support" for the bill in New Jersey's Senate and that Gov. Chris Christie is expected to sign the legislation.
Ok, so that's nice.
3rd Gear: What's Going On At Cadillac?
One of the few GM brands to skip most of the recall drama is Cadillac, which saw few cars needing to go back to the dealership and and a lot of new cars. The drama there has been that sales are slipping and no one appears to have complete and permanent control.
As Nathan Bomey reports:
One possible answer is that GM President Dan Ammann will take on added responsibilities. Kurt McNeil, GM's head of U.S. sales operations, has now assumed the role as Cadillac's interim vice president of sales and service — a position he held until 2012.
New Escalades are coming, so there's that.
4th Gear: A Lot Is Going On At Alfa
Alfa is clearly Sergio Marchionne's baby and he knows who he put in charge of making it work: Ze German Harald Wester, formerly CTO for Fiat and Maserati CEO. Henry Payne of The Detroit News took a few minutes to talk with him and got some insight into how Alfa is going to compete.
Wester: Why do we believe? Alfa is one of the best brands in this industry. It has dominated racing for a century. And then it got somewhat lost. They forget what the brand stood for. The work we have done over the last ten years with Maserati — the lessons learned is product first. We have the concept. We have the people. We have the team. We pulled it on purpose out of the big machine. As you can imagine in such a big machine, the pressure to ally is huge. We will put their experience into our platform. Its rear wheel driven. We have dedicated, Alfa-only, high-tech engines and powertrains. They all will be perfectly balanced front and rear. We will provide best-in-class power-to-weight ratios and design distinctive Italian-styled cars.
5th Gear: BMW + Brilliance = Suck It VW
BMW is going to go another decade with Chinese partner Brilliance as it tries to grow in the world's biggest car market — one that's been dominated by Volkswagen and GM.
Though they're expanding and building cars like the BMW X1, they've still got a long way to go to compete with better established players.
Reverse: It's A Pretty Great Name
On this day in 1902, German automaker Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) first registers "Mercedes" as a brand name; the name will gain full legal protection the next September.
Neutral: Has Your Car Been Recalled For Airbag Issues?
Do you think this will get as much play as the GM recall or do people not really care?
Photo Credit: Getty Images