FirstUp: Daily News

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Today’s FirstUp

October 22, 2014 

NHTSA Expands Faulty Airbag Warning to 6.1 Million Vehicles

According to Automotive News, federal safety regulators expanded a warning late Tuesday about faulty airbags made by Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. to 6.1 million vehicles in the United States. They also corrected and expanded a list of vehicles, issued in an advisory on Monday, with potentially defective airbags. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags," the agency said in a statement Tuesday. "Over six million vehicles are involved in these recalls, which have occurred as far back as 18 months ago and as recently as Monday," it added. Altogether, the agency estimated 7.8 million U.S. vehicles with Takata airbags could be subject to recalls announced in 2013 and 2014. The agency said its latest estimate of potentially affected vehicles was subject to change because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Takata said it would cooperate fully with U.S. authorities and automakers after NHTSA issued the latest advisory. For the latest on Takata’s airbag recall, click here

Honda, Acura Announce New Models
Honda and its luxury arm, Acura, will each be bringing some new sheet metal to the Los Angeles Auto Show, reports The Detroit News. Honda's all-new HR-V compact crossover is to make its North American debut on Nov. 19. The all-new subcompact crossover is based on Honda's tidy Fit hatchback. Serving as an entry-level model, the HR-V will slot below the brand's immensely popular CR-V in Honda's crossover lineup. The automaker hasn't announced what will power the HR-V, but it's likely the vehicle will use the Fit's 130-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and CVT gearbox. It will also share the Fit's Magic Seat setup inside the cabin, allowing users to move and fold the rear seats easily in a wide range of configurations for hauling gear and cargo. On the Acura side, a "substantially new" version of the brand's entry-level ILX sedan is scheduled to debut on Nov. 20. Honda's high-end division introduced the car in 2012. Acura plans to rework 2016 ILX with a new "potent" drivetrain and upgrades to the interior and exterior. For more on new Honda and Acura’s new models, click here

Mercedes-Benz Parent Daimler Sells Tesla Stake
Germany's Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz, says it has sold its 4 percent stake in Tesla Motors, but adds that work on electric-car projects will be unaffected. According to USA Today, Daimler had a 4 percent stake in Tesla, the upstart electric-car maker based in Palo Alto, Calif. Mercedes joined with Tesla to create the electric powertrain for its B-Class crossovers in the USA. Daimler says they will also be sold in Europe starting next month. "In Tesla we do have a bold partner," says Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler's board and head of Mercedes-Benz, in a statement. "Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued." Daimler's board member for finance, Bodo Uebber, says that Daimler was "extremely satisfied" with its Tesla investment, but "it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares. This will also allow Tesla to broaden its investor base." Read more about Daimler’s sale of its Tesla stake here

Auto Industry Trying to Prevent Cyber Attacks
The auto industry does not want to be the next segment under cyber attack, reports The Detroit Free Press. So far, retailers have been the target of hackers because there are billions of dollars to be stolen. Cars are still difficult to hack – thieves must physically get to the control units within the vehicles – and there is no money to be had, said David Strickland, an attorney with Venable in Washington, D.C. But the concern is terrorism, said Strickland, the former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The concern is that terrorists could take over the brains of vehicles and send them on nefarious missions. "We need to jump on it now," Strickland told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the 2014 SAE Convergence conference at Detroit's Cobo Center. To try to prevent attacks, automakers and NHTSA agreed a couple months ago to create a virtual Information Sharing Advisory Center that collects cyber threats and shares them. It won't be easy. "You are fighting criminals," Strickland said. But he is hopeful the auto industry has time because cars are not an obvious threat now. For on former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland’s concern over potential vehicle cyber attacks, click here

A Terrible Wreck, But Not a Total Loss
Most dealerships send totaled cars straight to the junkyard. According to Automotive News, White Bear Mitsubishi put one on display, and it has been reaping the rewards ever since. Click here to see a picture. The wrecked 2014 Outlander Sport outside the White Bear Lake, Minn., store's service drive came from a customer named Sarah Dittrich, who survived a June 2013 accident in which the vehicle was bumped across the median and into oncoming traffic. Dittrich slammed into a semi truck at 65 mph, but she walked away with just a bloody nose. "Thanks, White Bear Mitsubishi," Dittrich says in a commercial for the suburban Twin Cities dealership. "My Outlander Sport saved my life." Customers responded so well to the ad that the crashed Outlander Sport became a marketing mainstay. Since the campaign began, sales of the Outlander Sport have been scorching hot for White Bear. The dealership, which ranked third among U.S. Mitsubishi dealerships in 2013 for new vehicles sold, now sells about 70 Outlander Sports in an average month – more than any store in the world, said General Manager Richard Herod III. Click here to learn more about what one dealership is doing to promote the safety records of its vehicles

Time is Running Out to Nominate a Dealer for the 2015 Mungenast Lifetime Achievement Award
Time is running out to nominate an outstanding dealer or member of the industry for  the David F. Mungenast Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Each year, AIADA recognizes an individual for his or outstanding commitment and contributions to the international nameplate auto industry and community. AIADA's board of directors created this important honor in order to highlight a leader who possesses a similar community spirit and devotion to the industry as the awards' namesake, David F. Mungenast Sr., a former AIADA member who also served as chairman of the organization in 1998. AIADA needs your help to select the 2015 winner of the David F. Mungenast Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Please consider the requirements for nomination fill out the attached form. Return the nomination form to AIADA by mail, e-mail, or fax no later than October 31st. The winner will be announced at AIADA's 45th Annual Meeting & Luncheon in San Francisco, California on January 25, 2015. Thank you for your participation in selecting the recipient of this important honor. 

Around the Web
Hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder Nearly Sold Out [Autoweek]
How to Drive a Monster Truck [Autoblog]
Where to Find the Highest Speed Limits in the U.S. [Forbes]
15 Awesome Cars You Can't Find in America [Business Insider]


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