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: Cheap Oil Is Bad News For Renewable Energy
The constantly dropping oil prices have a lot of you smiling every single time that you go to fill up your car with some sweet, sweet, delicious gas. Hell, some of you might be paying less than $2.00 for gas, that's amazing.
But the problem is that lower prices for crude are having a negative impact on renewable energy, like solar power and electric cars.
In fact, a study predicts that the dropping oil prices will have the biggest impact on the sales of electric cars. The reason is that electric cars tend to become less of a cost saving measure when gas gets cheap and more of an inconvenience. And since you see the price at the pump everyday, it's a more immediate indicator of oil prices. So, lower gas prices might make you think less about a Tesla and more about a BMW.
2nd Gear: Hyundai Wants To Take Down... BMW M?
You don't take the idea of a performance division at Hyundai seriously? Well, you should. Hyundai just hired Albert Biermann, the former chief engineer of BMW M. He's the man responsible for the new M3, M4, and M6.
At Hyundai, he'll be responsible for building new fast Hyundais and Kias, while also improving ride and handling across the range. And he has to move to South Korea.
But what will Hyundai call their performance division? That's the question.
3rd Gear: 104 More People Are Claiming From The GM Fund
In the last week, the GM recall fund has received 104 new claimants, including nine deaths. None of them have been approved yet. Right now, 100 total have been approved, with 58 injuries and 42 deaths on the books.
There have been 306 total — and 46 death claims — denied. There are another 692 claims still under review.
This won't be over anytime soon.
4th Gear: A New Auto Show?
It might come as a surprise to learn that the UK, one of the biggest auto enthusiast nations on the planet, doesn't have its own major motor show. Earl's Court used to be a big deal, but that has long since passed and the last British Motor Show was in 2008.
But now, a firm is looking into having a show in London starting in 2016. It wouldn't be a major international show like Detroit, Geneva, or Tokyo, but would still be an event for the car enthusiasts in the city.
5th Gear: BMW Expands Airbag Recall
BMW will join other automakers in replacing driver's side airbags all across the US, something that NHTSA has been pushing for ever since the Takata recall began.
This recall now adds 140,000 BMW 3-Series from 2004 to 2006. This is in addition to 574,000 cars that have already been recalled.
On this day in 1982, the Missouri Department of Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) inform residents of Times Beach, Missouri that their town was contaminated when the chemical dioxin was sprayed on its unpaved roads, and that the town will have to be evacuated and demolished. By February, the federal and state governments had spent $36 million to buy every house in town except one (its owners, lifelong residents of Times Beach, refused to sell). In 1985, the city was officially disincorporated.
How long will cheap oil last and do you think it'll really have an impact on electric car sales?