Good Morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.
1st Gear: Park It Outside, Preferably Not Near Any Schools Or Hospitals
Earlier this week General Motors announced a recall of 1.41 million older mid-size shitboxes due to a potential fire risk, and now they are telling owners not to park those cars inside or in garages until they are fixed. Because of the fires, you see. From The Detroit News:
The Detroit automaker said earlier this week it is recalling the 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-04 Chevrolet Impala, 1998-99 Chevrolet Lumina and 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-99 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2004 Buick Regal “because drops of oil may be deposited on the hot exhaust manifold through hard braking, which can cause engine compartment fires. GM is working on a remedy.” GM said there have been 19 reported minor injuries over the last six years.
The recall covers cars with 3.8-liter V6 3800 engines. There have been four recalls for the issue since 2008.
In a dealer bulletin made public Friday, the automaker said the vehicles are safe to drive, but GM recommends that owners not park in a garage or other structures. GM is currently “finalizing a remedy.”
2nd Gear: More Recalls!
Great news everyone, more recalls! For airbags! Here’s Jeep:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is recalling about 284,089 older-model SUVs in the United States due to inadvertent airbag deployment.
Fiat said the affected vehicles — certain model-year 2003 Jeep Liberty SUVs and 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees — are not equipped with Takata Corp. airbags.
Honda Motor Co. said it will recall 303,904 Accords in the U.S. to fix a flaw that could lead to side-door airbags deploying even if the vehicles are not in a crash.
Airbags in 2008-09 model year Accord sedans may inadvertently deploy if the ignition is on and a door is slammed, or if there’s a significant impact to the lower body of the car, Honda said in a statement.
Neither are Takata airbags, curiously enough.
3rd Gear: Recalls Are Expensive
Fiat Chrysler is doing well enough at the moment overall, but recall costs drove them to a $334 million loss in Q3. According to The Detroit News, here’s how those costs broke down (pun very much intended):
A $334 million loss in the third quarter for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV did not deter CEO Sergio Marchionne on the automaker’s ambitions to increase North American profit margins and achieve global company goals.
The loss was due to two charges of more than $1 billion: $850.2 million (761 million euro) pre-tax charge for estimated future recall campaign costs for vehicles sold in prior periods in North America; and a $158.6 million (142 million euro) hit from costs related to vehicles damaged in the massive August explosion at a port in northern China — expenses the company expects to recover through insurance.
4th Gear: Volkswagen Sales... Increase, Maybe?
But enough about recalls, let’s address our other favorite Morning Shift topic: Volkswagen. According to Reuters, thanks to discounts and sales on non-diesel models, they may have eked out a small gain last month in cars sold:
The German carmaker is offering discounts on new models and other incentives in the world’s second-largest auto market, which have helped to offset a sales ban on all 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel models enacted last month when VW’s rigging of emissions tests became public, said the people with knowledge of the sales data.
U.S. sales of the VW brand, due to be published on Nov. 3, could show an increase between about 1 and 5 percent, one of the people said.
He cautioned this “trend figure” could still change as dealers often don’t report sales until the last day of the month, which still has two selling days to come. VW’s deliveries were up only 0.6 percent in September to 26,141 cars.
5th Gear: Remember The BMW Hydrogen 7?
According to a BMW official at the Tokyo Motor Show who spoke to Reuters, the German automaker is planning a hydrogen-powered large sedan, for real this time, to debut around 2020:
Oct 29 BMW AG on Wednesday said its first fuel cell vehicle would likely be a larger-sized sedan which would put on the market after 2020, when a hydrogen development partnership ends between the German luxury automaker and Toyota Motor Corp.
[...] “It will be sometime after 2020,” Merten Jung, head of fuel cell development at BMW, told Reuters in an interview at the Tokyo Motor Show.
He added: “We don’t have a model yet, but ... as the character of our technology favours larger cars, our model will probably be something like a long distance car, a larger sedan.”
Jung said the goal is for this car to have a greater range than the 430-ish mile hydrogen Toyota Mirai.
Reverse: We’d Hoon A Daimler Quadricycle
Neutral: Has Your Car Been Recalled Lately?
And if so, what for?
Photo credit GM
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