Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive

Industry Interests

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U.S. regulators still reviewing Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicle fix: lawyer

A U.S. Justice Department lawyer said at a court hearing it could take "weeks or months" before regulators decide whether to approve a software fix for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV diesel vehicles. The Justice Department had sued Fiat Chrysler, accusing the Italian-American automaker of illegally using software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel vehicles sold since 2014. Fiat Chrysler lawyer Robert Giuffra said the company is optimistic regulators will approve the company's proposed software update as part of certifying 2017 diesel models to allow them to go on sale and then use that software to update the 104,000 vehicles on the road.

[Reuters]

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BlackBerry offers software for running computer systems on cars

BlackBerry Ltd said it has developed new software for running complex computer systems on vehicles, giving the once dominant smartphone maker a leg up in a burgeoning segment of the technology market. The company declined to name any automakers who plan to use the technology, but senior BlackBerry executive John Wall said "multiple" car companies have started incorporating it into onboard computer systems of vehicles that are currently in development. BlackBerry touted the product, the QNX Hypervisor 2.0, as a way to make vehicles more secure from hacking, saying it can isolate multiple systems to run on a single piece of silicon, allowing them to isolate functions critical to safety from systems that are exposed to wireless networks.

[Reuters]

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Subaru sold vehicles with faulty windshields, drivers say

Subaru of America Inc. has knowingly sold vehicles with faulty windshields and has failed to repair the defect or reimburse customers, according to a putative class action filed by drivers in California federal court. Lucia Luong, who bought a new 2015 Subaru Outback that she alleges spontaneously suffered a cracked windshield in March, said Subaru has knowingly sold vehicles with windshields that have cracked, chipped or fractured under normal circumstances, and has denied valid warranty claims in an effort to minimize its own costs. “Subaru knew of and concealed the windshield defect that is contained in every class vehicle, along with the attendant dangerous safety problems and associated repair costs, from plaintiff and the other class members both at the time of sale and repair and thereafter,” Luong said in the complaint.

[Law360]

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Renault plans foray into energy market with mega battery

Renault-Nissan is drawing up plans to build a 100 megawatt power storage plant in Europe, sources told Reuters, hoping to give electric car batteries a second life in a project that could eventually compete with utility companies. Like rival Tesla's energy storage business, the Renault-Nissan move underscores its desire to cultivate a second-hand battery market while encouraging the development of energy infrastructure that works for electric cars. The Renault-Nissan alliance plant, which has yet to be built, would be big enough to power 120,000 homes, or supplant the role of a gas- or coal-fired power station in meeting peak electricity demand on the grid, the sources said.

[Reuters]

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Ford offering short-term consumer auto leases through Canvas

Silicon Valley's latest mobility startup, a short-term vehicle leasing company called Canvas, is backed by old-school muscle: Ford Motor Credit Co, the dealer and consumer financing arm of U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. From its San Francisco base, Canvas started offering variable-term leases with flexible payment options to Bay area customers in early May, with plans to eventually roll out the service to other cities. "Our mission is to identify, test and launch financial products that meet the changing needs of consumers," said Ned Ryan, co-founder of Breeze and chief executive officer of Canvas, in an interview.

[Reuters]

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Autos need devices to curb child heatstroke deaths: U.S. lawmakers

Automakers could help prevent accidental deaths of small children left in hot cars by installing devices to remind drivers to check their back seats for passengers before getting out, three U.S. lawmakers sponsoring a safety measure said. The bipartisan group of lawmakers joined safety experts and parents with testimonials of personal tragedies to publicly press for a law they said would have averted many of the 800 deaths of children left in overheated cars since 1990. "It should be bipartisan, non-partisan, it should be America's legislation," Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican told a Washington press conference.

[Reuters]

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G.M. Wants to Drive the Future of Cars That Drive Themselves

The chief executive of General Motors, an automaker synonymous with Detroit, saw the future of driving not in the Motor City but on the streets of San Francisco. Mary T. Barra, a G.M. lifer who had worked her way from engineer to the top, was in the back seat of a prototype self-driving electric car as it wound its way through the city’s downtown a year ago.

[New York Times]

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Fiat, GM Suits Show Emissions Saga Unlikely To End Soon

Allegations of emissions cheating recently lobbed at Fiat Chrysler America and General Motors by regulators and consumers, along with a recent study revealing diesel vehicles in global markets produce far more emissions than expected under regulatory limits, signal the defeat-device problem will likely continue to plague the industry.

[Law360]

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One-size-fits-all not working for dealer metrics

Partner Aaron Jacoby was quoted in an Automotive Worltd article titled, "One-size-fits-all not working for dealer metrics". The article talked about how not all dealerships are created equal and judging them all by the same standards is not fair - nor is it legal in certain US states. Maryland became the most recent state to sign such legislation into law with the passing of House Bill 1120. 

[Automotive World]

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U.S. carmaker lobby wants rules of origin left intact in NAFTA talks

A powerful U.S.-based automakers group said that it favors keeping rules of origin intact in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), echoing comments from its Mexican counterpart. Under the trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, rules of origin stipulate that products must meet minimum regional, or NAFTA-wide, content requirements to be tariff-free. "We believe the NAFTA rule of origin, which establishes the highest threshold of any free trade agreement the U.S. has ever negotiated, should remain intact," Annemarie Pender, spokeswoman for the Association of Global Automakers, told Reuters.

[Reuters]

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