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: They're Working On It
So how is GM's recall of 2.6 million cars for the defective ignition switch going, anyway? Are they getting the cars fixed? Yes, just not a lot of them in the grand scheme of things, reports the Detroit Free Press:
General Motors said Thursday it has replaced just 47,000 of 2.6 million defective ignition switches and also warned investors to expect more recalls through the summer as the automaker continues to sift through old data looking for any hints of problems with its vehicles.
GM has said it expects to have all the necessary parts to execute the repairs by October. This whole thing is going to take a long time, basically. I wouldn't be surprised if we're still talking about the repairs next year.
2nd Gear: Toyota Issues More Recalls Too
They aren't getting as much shit about it in the press because they didn't hide a problem they knew about for a decade (as far as we know, anyway) but Toyota has had a bunch of recalls this year, too. Globally they've recalled 6.39 million cars in 2014 alone, a new record for them.
Add 430,000 cars and minivans to that number, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Toyota will recall about 370,000 Toyota Siennas, with model years between 2004 and 2011, due to a problem with the cable on the spare tire carrier stowed under the vehicle. The cable on these cars' carriers could break as a result of excessive corrosion, causing the tire to separate from the vehicle and increasing crash risks, Toyota said.
In addition to the Siennas, the latest recall affects 50,000 units of the 2014 Highlander over a seat belt problem and 10,462 units of the 2013 Lexus GS for a brake pedal load sensing switch issue.
3rd Gear: That Pesky Coup In Thailand Causes Headaches For Honda
Thailand is in the middle of a military coup at the moment, and that — along with a weakened economy and months of political unrest — is causing headaches in Southeast Asia's largest auto market. Just ask Honda, as Reuters reports:
The Japanese carmaker has also decided to delay by between six months and a year the startup of a new $530 million plant from its previously planned April 2015 date, said Pitak Pruittisarikorn, executive vice president at Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co.
"We have been worried about the unfavorable conditions since earlier this year, both economic and the political situation," he told reporters on the sidelines of a marketing event.
4th Gear: Suck It China
Exciting news, everyone! In a dispute with China over how that country imposes duties on auto parts imported from the U.S., the U.S. has emerged as the winner, according to Bloomberg:
The World Trade Organization has ruled in favor of the United States in a dispute with China involving cars and auto parts, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The United States in 2012 lodged a complaint with the Geneva-based WTO challenging Chinese duties on auto imports from the United States. A separate U.S. complaint that year said China unfairly subsidized its auto and auto parts manufacturers. U.S. trade officials have said duties cover more than 80 percent of U.S. auto exports to China and disproportionately fall on General Motors and Chrysler.
That'll teach China to play fair on the global stage! Well, probably not.
5th Gear: Toyota To Tesla: We're Still Homies, Right?
Toyota and Tesla have ended their deal to make the RAV4 EV together, but Toyota's North American engineering and manufacturing chief said he hopes they'll still continue working on battery technology together. From Automotive News:
"Tesla has quite a clear business strategy for developing a better battery," said Osamu Nagata, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. "[Automakers] as well as suppliers need to work on developing better batteries."
Nagata also spoke more about Toyota's magic fairy dust bullshit engines, I mean fuel cells.
Nagata also spoke about the future of fuel-cell vehicles, which Toyota has recently signaled will become a top priority for the company in coming years.
"I hope we can show the very strong capabilities of fuel cell vehicles so we can convince more and more people of the potential and possibilities of the fuel cell vehicle," he said.
I wonder what Elon Musk has to say about that?
Reverse: Early V8 Enthusiasts Killed By Police
On this day in 1934, wanted outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police officers as they attempt to escape apprehension in a stolen 1934 Ford Deluxe near Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
Neutral: Yeah Or Nah On Fuel Cells?
It's interesting Toyota mentions hydrogen fuel cells in the same breath as working with Tesla, as Elon Musk has famously spoken out against the technology. So who's right here?
Photos credit AP