Ford’s electrified pickup gets its first recall, Volkswagen thinks the chip shortage is ending, and Kia and Hyundai have been raided by German emissions inspectors. All that and more in The Morning Shift for June 28, 2022.
1st Gear: The F-150 Lightning Gets A TPMS Recall
Ford is recalling 2,886 Lightnings across the U.S. and Canada due to issues with the tire pressure monitoring system. From Reuters:
The recall is the first for the Ford electric pickup. Ford said the truck’s tire pressure monitoring system light might not illuminate when intended. It also might not be able to provide adequate warning of low tire inflation pressure because the recommended tire cold inflation pressure value was incorrectly set to 35 psi rather than the correct inflation pressure of 42 psi.
Ford says dealers can update the truck’s body control module to fix the issue, but that an OTA will be on the way in the next 30 days that will do so remotely. As first recalls on a brand new truck go, particularly for a first electrified truck, this one’s pretty banal. No Bronco roof issues here.
2nd Gear: Volkswagen Sees An End To The Chip Shortage
The chip shortage has been hell for both carmakers and car buyers, driving supplies down and prices up. Entire production lines have been idled due to lack of parts, but one automaker thinks the end is near — Volkswagen. From Reuters:
Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) sees a strong second half of 2022 and expects progress in catching up with rival Tesla (TSLA.O) as easing chip shortages start to offset supply chain bottlenecks and rising costs, the carmaker’s CEO said on Tuesday.
CEO Herbert Diess thinks that improvements in chip supply will help VW catch up with Tesla for EV sales, as the latter sends its time building up its factories in Germany and Austin. Volkswagen operates at a scale far beyond that of Tesla, but will that be enough to overcome the brand’s less-than-stellar offerings?
3rd Gear: German Regulators Raided Hyundai And Kia Over Suspected Diesel Cheating
German regulators think Kia and Hyundai shipped a couple of diesel vehicles with emissions defeat devices, and have raided the companies to try and find evidence. Okay, more than a couple, a few. Fine, 210,000 cars are implicated. From Bloomberg:
Eight premises in Germany and Luxembourg were raided by 140 officers on Tuesday, prosecutors said in an emailed statement. They’re investigating people at both automakers as well as at BorgWarner, Inc., which now owns Delphi Technologies Plc, one of two company that allegedly provided the software for the diesel engines, prosecutors said.
A Hyundai spokesman confirmed that the German offices were raided and said the company is cooperating with the authorities, declining to comment further. Representatives for Kia, BorgWarner and Robert Bosch GmbH, the other software supplier named by prosecutors, didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking comment.
The case covers 210,000 cars sold until 2020 that, prosecutors say, were allegedly equipped with software that “massively” reduced or completely switched off emission reductions when the vehicles were used on the roads. Customers weren’t told that they didn’t comply with EU rules, according to the statement.
If I were an automaker selling diesel vehicles in Germany, I would simply not install emissions defeat devices to circumvent the country’s laws. I don’t know why automakers haven’t figured out this method yet.
4th Gear: Nissan Suspends Production In Russia
While the rest of the world was shutting down operations in Russia, Nissan kept its plants in the country up and running — that is, until April 1, when it idled its Russian production facilities. However, there’s a catch: Production is only suspended for six months. From Reuters:
Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) has decided to suspend production in Russia for the first half of this fiscal year that began on April 1, Chief Executive Makoto Uchida was quoted as saying at the automaker’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.
It’s unclear whether Nissan will extend the suspension if current events continue, but it’s clear that many global companies are backing out of Russia, at least until it stops its military operations in Ukraine. With that kind of pressure, it would certainly be a bad look for Nissan to resume production in October without major changes.
5th Gear: The UK Is Getting Two Lithium Refineries
A startup, based in the United Kingdom (a place Jalopnik’s own Brit Owen Bellwood swears is real), has gotten its hands on government funding to build a lithium refinery in the region. Its goal is to bring more of the EV supply chain to the rainy island, reducing reliance on foreign markets. From Financial Times:
A start-up company seeking to build one of Europe’s first lithium refineries in England to supply electric vehicle battery makers has secured financial backing from the UK government.
Livista Energy was among 21 projects that received nearly £45mn of support from the state-sponsored Advanced Propulsion Centre in its latest funding round.
Livista, which is backed by Getreide and other private investors and was established in 2020, wants to build a plant with an initial capacity of 30,000 tonnes a year, rising to 60,000 tonnes as demand for EVs increases.
That compares with the 50,000-tonnes-a-year plant Green Lithium, another start-up that has secured investment from commodity trader Trafigura, is planning to build in the UK.
Livista floated the possibility of building its refinery in “Blythe, Northumberland,” a location I refuse to believe actually exists. The other startup, Green Lithium, is running entirely on private funding — no investment from the UK government.
Reverse: Guy Named After Band Shot In Car
Neutral: How Do You Deal With Jet Lag?
I just got back from Colorado, and I don’t have any carpet on which to make fists with my toes. Any tips for getting back on East Coast time?