Kia, Hyundai expand U.S. engine fire recalls by 534,000 vehicles

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Kia said it is withdrawing 378,000 Kia Soul 2012–2016 cars due to engine damage and fire risk, while Hyundai and Kia are taking off 155,000 Tucson cars 2011–2013 and Sportage 2011–2012 due to possible leaks oil pan in a separate callback.

Last month, companies said they would withdraw 168,000 cars due to fire hazards.

Since 2015, South Korean automakers have recalled more than 2.3 million vehicles to eliminate the various risks of engine ignition in a series of reviews.

In November 2018, Reuters reported that federal prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into Hyundai and Kia to determine if vehicle reviews related to engine malfunctions were conducted correctly. Companies declined to comment on the study.

In May 2017, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a formal investigation into the recall of about 1.7 million Hyundai and Kia cars due to engine defects.

Hyundai said it met with NHTSA in December 2018 to discuss the company's analysis, and the agency said the company "expects Hyundai to issue a safety recall” 2011-2013 Hyundai Tucson.

According to the companies, there are no reports of accidents or injuries related to any new recall.

According to Kia, one new reminder on Thursday was caused by high exhaust gas temperatures that could damage the catalytic converter and possibly other parts. Dealers will upgrade software to prevent overheating of the catalytic converter.

Reuters reported in January that companies will offer software updates for 3.7 million vehicles that are not subject to recall. Automakers have said that the software update is aimed at protecting vehicles from internal damage, and they will also offer new extended warranties for engine problems.

A South Korean informant in 2016 reported a problem at NHTSA, which checked the timeliness of the three US reviews and whether they covered enough vehicles.

In 2015, Hyundai recalled 470,000 American Sonata sedans, saying that engine failure would cause the vehicle to stop, increasing the risk of an accident. At that time, Kia did not recall its cars, which use the same "Theta II” engines.

In March 2017, Hyundai expanded its initial US recall to 572,000 Sonata and Santa Fe Sport vehicles powered by Theta II engines, citing the same problem with industrial waste.
On the same day, Kia also recalled 618,000 Optima, Sorento and Sportage vehicles, each of which uses the same engine.

On Wednesday, the Car Security Center, which had requested NHTSA to withdraw additional vehicles, told Congress that Kia and Hyundai should withdraw more cars at risk of fire after reports of 300 fires that were not the result of a collision.


Volkswagen shuffles management responsibilities at core brand

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Volkswagen said that since March 1, Christian Sanger will lead VW's Digital Car & Services company and will lead collaboration across the entire software development group and the concept of intelligent mobility.

VW Brand Chief Operating Officer Ralph Brandstätter will take responsibility for ensuring the quality and value development of the VW brand for passenger cars and take responsibility for small, compact and medium-sized production lines.

"This change will provide the CEO with more opportunities to fulfill the strategic tasks facing the group,” Volkswagen said in a statement referring to Diess.

Diss, who is the head of the VW brand, will retain the post of head of the VW product safety committee, and Frank Welch, who is currently the head of VW technical development, will be able to devote more time to his work as head of the research and development group, says company message.


Ford recalls 1.48 million F-150 pickups in North America over transmissions

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Ford said that on some trucks of the 2011-2013 model year with a six-speed automatic transmission, an unintended shift to first gear without warning may occur, which could lead to loss of control over the car. Ford is aware of five accidents, including one report of a stroke potentially associated with this problem.
Recall 1.26 million trucks in the United States and 221,000 in Canada. Dealers will upgrade transmission control software, and the company will notify customers next month.

In March 2016, Ford has withdrawn 153,000 American Ford F-150, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator cars for 2011-2012 due to a similar problem with downshifts. Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley said the main reason was different from the new recall.
In December 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating whether this review should be extended to almost 1.4 million cars in 2011–2013 after 123 complaints and two accidents, but there were no reports of injuries.

The agency said that an unexpected downshift "can lead to a sudden slowdown of the car without warning. It can also skid or block the rear tires, increasing the risk of a collision. ”

The investigation continues.
Ford also said it is releasing two other reviews. One of them covers 28,200 Lincoln Continental cars in North America in 2017 for door latches, which may not work due to the accumulation of silicon and may lead to the door opening while driving.

Ford said he did not know of any reports of accidents or injuries. Dealers will replace door latch assemblies in all four doors.

Ford also speaks of 4,200 Ford Mustang, Lincoln Nautilus and Lincoln Navigator 2019 models for complete instrument sets that remain empty when starting cars. Dealers will update the software. There are no reports of failures due to recall.


Lawyers suing Fiat Chrysler in diesel case seek over $100 million

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The lawyers said that on Tuesday evening they reviewed more than 4 million pages of documents and participated in almost 100 testimonies, as they were looking for up to $ 99.5 million in legal fees and $ 7 million in expenses.

On January 10, the Italian-American automaker announced that it had settled civil lawsuits with the US Department of Justice, the state of California and diesel engine owners, that it was using illegal software that produced false results of diesel emissions tests.
Fiat Chrysler estimated the value of the settlements at about $ 800 million, and this amount could potentially increase to more than $ 900 million with legal fees. Settlement court hearings are scheduled for later Wednesday in San Francisco.

The settlement includes $ 311 million. US civilian penalties to US and California regulators, up to $ 280 million. United States for the settlement of claims of owners of diesel engines and extended guarantees in the amount of $ 105 million. USA.

German car supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, who provided emission control software for Fiat Chrysler cars, also agreed to pay $ 27.5 million. US to settle claims owners of diesel engines.

Under the terms of the agreement, 307.5 million. Doll. The US from Fiat Chrysler and Bosch will give owners an average of $ 2,800 to receive software updates for diesel engines.

The settlement covers 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel engines from the 2014–2016 model year, according to the US Department of Justice, which is also conducting a criminal investigation.

The settlement also includes $ 72.5 million. US as a fine for civilian states and $ 33.5 million. USA in the form of payments to California to offset excess emissions and consumer requirements.

The huge punishment was the latest result of strict compliance by the US government with regulations on vehicle emissions after Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) admitted deliberate evasion of emission rules in September 2015.
Fiat Chrysler will be required to collaborate with suppliers of catalytic converters in the secondary market to increase the efficiency of 200,000 converters in 47 states that do not yet require the use of high-performance automotive gasoline catalysts in California. Officials of the Ministry of Justice estimate that these efforts will cost between $ 50 and $ 70 million.

Regulators said Fiat Chrysler used "defeat devices” to trick emissions tests in actual driving conditions; Fiat Chrysler did not accept responsibility.


Tesla urges tariff exemption for Chinese-made car computer 'brain'

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"Increased tariffs for this particular part cause economic damage to Tesla through increased costs and an impact on profitability,” the company said in a statement that was not previously reported in the government.

Tesla, led by technical billionaire Elon Musk, is one of many companies, including American automaker General Motors Co No. 1, to warn of rising costs associated with the tariff war between the two largest economies in the world.
The Chinese-made computer that Tesla used in a car assembled in Fremont, California, had an import of $ 16 billion. United States, which in 2018 was charged with 25 percent tariffs in the United States Trade Mission.

In an edited request published by the USTR on December 17 on a government website, Tesla did not identify the supplier of the computer. But he said that he could not find another manufacturer "with the required specifications, in the requested amount and in the time required for further growth of Tesla".

Tesla, who called the computer model 3 "the brain of the vehicle," added that "the choice of any other supplier would postpone the program (model 3) for 18 months with the installation of clean rooms, line testing and staff training."
The use of a new supplier "significantly increases the risk of poor quality parts, which can lead to general problems with vehicle quality, which may affect the safety of our vehicles and consumer acceptance of the final product," added Tesla in her request for tariff reductions.

Tesla declined to comment on the issue of tariffs on Friday. But this led to aggressive cost cutting because it works to achieve production goals for the Model 3, which has become the top-selling luxury sedan on the US market along with the larger model S.

Other automakers have been looking for similar exceptions, but have not yet received a response.

In late July, GM requested an exemption from the 25 percent US tariff on its Chinese-made Buick Envision sports car. Envision accounted for almost 15 percent of Buick's US sales last year, although sales fell 27 percent.
In October, GM also looked for exceptions for about two dozen parts, including the ignition buttons and transmission bearings. Nissan Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV also filed requests for parts exclusion, while Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] requested an exception for electric bikes rented through the Uber app.

The Trump administration has introduced 25 percent tariffs totaling $ 50 billion. US annual exports of China and 10 percent tariffs for an additional $ 200 billion. USA in China's exports. Tariffs were in response to what the Trump administration calls China's dishonest trading practices.


Nissan files claim against Ghosn's sister in Brazil court

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The court report of December 11, which was reviewed by Reuters, showed that the Japanese automaker filed a lawsuit against Claudine Bishara de Oliveira. The list stated that Nissan acts as a plaintiff, and Oliveira - as a defendant with the theme "unfair enrichment”. Further details were not immediately available.

Nissan said that the lawsuit, which provides for the suspension of the statute of limitations on a document created three years earlier, will allow him to continue the lawsuit.
"At the moment, this is just a notification to protect the interests of Nissan from the statute of limitations," the company replied in response to a question by e-mail. "This is not just a request for sentencing Oliveira."

Nissan refused to clarify the document or the charges against Oliveira. A representative of the Ghosn family did not respond to a request for comment on the filing. Oliveira did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brazil-born Ghosn was arrested last month and charged this week in Japan for allegedly understating his income. Nissan also accuses him of diverting company funds to pay for personal expenses. Since his arrest, he has been detained in Japan.
Sources familiar with this question told Reuters that the Gosna office formed an advisory role for Oliveira and gave her compensation, although Nissan's internal investigation found no evidence that such work was done. Sources requested anonymity because the information is not publicly available.

A representative of the Ghosn family did not respond to a request for comment.
Nissan is already struggling with Ghosn and his daughter Caroline to maintain an apartment on the waterfront in Rio de Janeiro, which Ghosn used when he ran the company, and which, he says, may contain evidence of wrongdoing. Ghosn and his daughter were sued to pick up what they called personal items, such as photographs, jewelry, watches, and books.
On Thursday, Nissan faced a setback, as the appellate judge ruled that Gosn or his daughter should be allowed into the apartment within 24 hours to receive personal belongings. The decision provided for the presence of two judicial officers, as well as the presence of Nissan representatives.

It was not immediately clear whether Nissan could appeal this decision.

The apartment in Rio de Janeiro became the center of a side battle with the criminal investigation in Japan, which, according to Nissan, was the result of an internal investigation of Gosn’s offense on the advice of an informant. Nissan says that he found three safes in the apartment that could contain evidence of Gosna’s alleged crimes.

In court documents, Gosna’s lawyers said that since Nissan entered the apartment after his arrest, the automaker could "insert objects or documents that could jeopardize its good reputation.”


Toyota to buy out PSA stake in joint Czech factory

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The French firm will also introduce another compact van model for its Japanese partner from its Vigo plant in Spain as of 2019, they added in a statement.
Toyota will fully own the Czech plant in Kolin from January 2021, and the plant will continue to manufacture the "current generation” of compact cars for the two companies.

These are currently Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and Toyota Argo models.
"Toyota intends to continue production and future employment at the Kolin plant,” the companies said, without disclosing financial details.

PSA is already collecting vans for Toyota at the Sevelnord plant in northern France.


GM plans major announcement on global operations Monday: Canada union

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Unifor, which represents the majority of union automakers in Canada, said that GM said that after December 2019, a product that will affect production at the plant will not be produced in Oshawa.

A union statement appeared after a Canadian channel's news channel said that GM plans to close all operations at a plant in Oshawa, near Toronto.

GM spokesman declined to comment on Sunday evening.
GM is cutting jobs to cope with car sales in North America. For several months, the company repeatedly discussed the issue of reducing the demand for a car, said one of the participants in the briefing on this issue, and this question will undoubtedly reappear when GM negotiates a contract next year with the United Auto Workers union.

GM is expected to announce as soon as this week some involuntary hired layoffs after it failed to get so many volunteers to accept the ransom, the person said, hoping.

GM said on October 31 that about 18,000 of their 50,000 employees in North America are eligible for redemption.

Accelerated cost cutting and restructuring at GM comes in, like many industry leaders, and analysts predict that total auto sales in the United States will decline in 2019 and 2020.
At the same time, China, the world's largest car market and the largest auto sales market for GM, has slowed sharply in the past few months.

Analysts say GM has too many North American plants building slow-selling sedans.

GM shares fell 12 percent in a year, and GM CEO Mary Barra, in her message to employees last month, quoted stagnant stock prices as a reason for tougher restructuring measures.

According to her, the automaker had negative cash flow in the first nine months of the year, and he had to cut costs.

GM offers redemption to North American employees and says it can fire white-collar employees if they do not achieve the goal of reducing costs.

A person inquiring about this issue confirmed that GM had planned a major announcement about the future of the plant in Oshawa, but said that the automaker wanted to notify employees of its plans before making any reports about this plant.

According to Automotive News, total car production at the Oshawa complex fell by 60 percent in the first ten months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

GM has about 2,500 union employees in Oshawa, which produces both the Chevrolet Impala sedans and the Cadillac XTS. It also completes the final build of stronger silver and Sierra pickup vendors that depart from Indiana.

Political pressure in Canada is already growing at GM, which has received billions of dollars in aid from the governments of the United States, Canada, and Ontario after filing for bankruptcy during the global recession in 2009.
"We are aware of the reports, and in the coming days we will work to determine how we can continue to support our automotive industry and workers,” said a Canadian government official.

"The work of many families is on the line,” said Colin Curry, a member of parliament for Oshawa. "Communities throughout Ontario would be devastated if this plant were to close.
The US automaker has other operations in Canada, including the plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, where it assembles the Chevrolet Equinox.

The reported plant closure is another blow to the Canadian auto industry, which has lost jobs in the United States, where governments offer manufacturers rich incentives and Mexico, where labor costs are lower.

However, the new trade deal, which the United States, Mexico and Canada hit in September, leaves a significant opportunity for Canadian factories to increase their exports of duty-free trade.


VW embarks on $50 billion electrification plan

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VW will spend almost 44 billion euros (50 billion dollars) on the development of electric vehicles, autonomous driving and new mobility services by 2023 and will explore further areas of cooperation with the American automaker Ford.

Diez said that he hopes that by the end of the year it is planned to outline a cooperation agreement with Ford, starting to focus on commercial vehicles. He added that merging with Ford was not on the agenda, and also said that there were no plans to take a stake in the American company.
Mass production of electric vehicles will help automakers reduce costs to the same level as current diesel vehicles, said Diez at a press conference in Wolfsburg, VW's hometown.

"Very emotional vehicles, with big economies of scale, I think we will be the most profitable company in electric cars,” said Diez, answering a question in English.

The supervisory board of Europe’s largest automaker has voted for far-reaching capital spending plans to start mass production of electric cars in Europe, the most radical shift in strategy after the VW diesel fraud scandal begins in 2015.
Volkswagen will return three of its German plants for building electric cars and exploring alliances with battery partners and competing automakers.

VW plans to increase the productivity of its plants by 30 percent by 2025, having built more cars of different brands on the same production line. He wants to reduce the rate of research and development of the automaker in the automotive division of the group to six percent of revenues from 2020.

"Volkswagen must become more efficient, productive and more profitable in order to finance high costs in the future and remain competitive,” said Diss.

The unions, which control half the seats in the Volkswagen supervisory board, must sign a plan to create global production capacity for 1 million electric vehicles by 2025 amid their fear that building battery-powered cars will require fewer workers.

About 436,000 industrial jobs in Germany are tied to the construction of gasoline and diesel engines.

According to ING analysts, the work is in jeopardy, since a car with an engine with a burner has 1,400 components in the engine, exhaust system and gearbox, while the battery and engine of an electric vehicle have only 200 components.

Volkswagen executives this week set out plans to turn auto plants into Zwickau, Emden, and Hannover to build electric cars, providing workers with job guarantees until 2028.
The first electric car ID should roll off the production line in Zwickau in 2019, as the plant rises to a production capacity of 330,000 electric vehicles. Zwickau is currently building the VW Golf and Golf Estate.

The Volkswagen MEB car platform is also being considered by Ford, since the two companies are continuing search negotiations on an alliance for developing self-propelled and electric vehicles.
"Our two companies complement each other very well in terms of both products and regions. Joint development and production of a number of light commercial vehicles underlies the proposed cooperation, ”said Diss.

VW expects significant synergies from this alliance, which may allow the creation of a new next-generation Amarok pickup truck series and additional sports cars, Diez said.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett told Reuters this week that the company was open to investing in its autonomous car business by automakers and others, but warned that expanding its partnership with VW was a "delicate dance.”


Chinese state-owned automaker FAW Group gets $144 billion credit line

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FAW stated that in its report on social networks, it would like to consolidate its cooperation with banks, create an open and innovative financial platform and provide funding for FAW initiatives in the future.

According to the FAW source, the credit line is part of the government’s plan to revitalize the economy of China’s northeastern provinces, refusing to determine that the source is not authorized to speak publicly on this issue.

The China National Development and Reform Commission announced plans to increase the rustbelt triumph in January, the latter in a long series of efforts to help the region, but the announcement did not mention FAW at the time.

Shares in two FAW blocks, FAW Car Co Ltd (000800.SZ) and Tianjin FAW Xiali Automobile Co Ltd (000927.SZ) jumped 10% after the daily credit line news.
FAW has a joint venture with Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), which manufactures VW and Audi cars, and the other with Toyota (7203.T), which builds the Crown and Corolla models.

The 16 banks in agreement with FAW include China Development Bank, China Construction Bank (601939.SS), Bank of China (601988.SS), and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (1398.HK).

China's economy slowed to the weakest quarterly pace after the global financial crisis in the third quarter, data from last week showed that it suffered from the weakest factory output since February 2016, as automakers reduced production due to slower sales.

The numbers came as regulators are moving quickly to calm nervous investors as a multi-year campaign against debt risks, and the trade war with the United States began to bite.