On Friday July 14th Honda announced they would be recalling 2.1 million Honda Accords worldwide. Of the 2.1 million Accords being recalled 1.15 million are in North America of which 51,995 are in Canada.…

Honda Recalls Over Two Million Vehicles Worldwide

On Friday July 14th Honda announced they would be recalling 2.1 million Honda Accords worldwide. Of the 2.1 million Accords being recalled 1.15 million are in North America of which 51,995 are in Canada. The Honda Accord models, built from 2013-2016, are being recalled due to a malfunctioning 12-volt sensor that monitors the battery state of charge.

According to Honda “the battery sensor may have been improperly manufactured with gaps that could allow for moisture intrusion.” Honda says that it affects the negative terminal on the battery. If moisture or road salt enter the gaps it could then cause the sensor to malfunction and potentially cause an electrical short. This increases the risk of the battery catching fire.

Honda says that there have been four reports of engine compartment fires however, no injuries have been confirmed. Honda says the risk of the battery sensor malfunctioning is higher in places that use road salt during the winter.

Honda dealerships will inspect the sensors and replace them if they are corroded. Those sensors that are found to be in working order will receive an adhesive sealant and the sensors will be replaced when parts become available.

Honda says they will start contacting owners of the affected Accords later this month. The battery sensors will be replaced free of charge at Honda dealerships.

No sports car brand is more respected than Porsche, and no model in the entire industry more revered than the mighty 911. It’s been in constant production for more than 50 years, having celebrated quinquagenarian…

Porsche celebrates one-millionth 911 milestone

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Dr. Wolfgang Porsche poses with the one-millionth 911, a special Carrera S that will soon begin a world tour. (Photo: Porsche)

No sports car brand is more respected than Porsche, and no model in the entire industry more revered than the mighty 911. It’s been in constant production for more than 50 years, having celebrated quinquagenarian status in 2013. Now just four years later it has achieved yet another milestone, the production of its one-millionth car.

On May 11, 2017, Porsche rolled a special Irish Green coloured 911 Carrera S Coupe off of its Zuffenhausen plant assembly line as part of its million-unit celebration, the car featuring exclusive details in homage of the 1963 original.

While no longer the bestselling vehicle in the German brand’s lineup, the 911 remains its most popular car as well as its most important model due to its heritage and performance credentials. The 911 is “key in helping Porsche maintain its position as one of the most prestigious car manufacturers in the world,” said Porsche in an associated press release.

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
This unique 911 Carrera S Coupe boasts Irish Green paint, gold emblems and 20-inch alloys. (Photo: Porsche)

Unlike the 911’s competitors, many of which have come and gone since 1963, the 911 is a car that can be driven comfortably and reliably each and every day, no matter the weather conditions, quality of road surface, traffic congestion, or any other external circumstance, yet despite its daily ease of use it can be taken to the track on the weekend and put through its paces without any modification.

In fact, more 911s have won races than any other roadworthy sports car, by professionals and amateurs alike. What’s more, Porsche credits the 911 with more than half of its own race wins, which says a lot when considering the many formidable models the brand has contested over the past five and a half decades, many of which were designed purely for motorsport.

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Porsche should consider offering a “Classic” model like VW does with its Beetle, as the gold emblems are beautiful. (Photo: Porsche)

Performance in mind, Porsche has never deviated from the original 911 concept, although according to Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, “…. we have continued to enhance the technology of the 911, refining and perfecting the sports car. That’s why it remains a state-of-the-art and technically innovative vehicle. We have also been able to expand the model line very successfully through derivatives.”

Today, Canadian sports car enthusiasts can purchase a 911 in three separate body styles and no less than 22 unique variants, the former including the Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa, while the latter is replete with names like Carrera, Carrera 4, S, GTS, Turbo, Turbo S, Exclusive Series, GT3, GT2 RS, and various permutations of each.

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Only one Porsche will ever wear this “911 Nr. 1000000” plaque. (Photo: Porsche)

One of the reasons Porsche is able to build so many different 911s is its advanced production facility in Zuffenhausen, which has been the home of 911 assembly since day one. Now the storied factory incorporates all two-door Porsche models, including the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster, which are all built on the same line “thanks to a sophisticated production approach” that includes workers who “are experts in up to 200 different tasks,” says Porsche.

“I cannot imagine the success story of the 911 without our unique Porsche employees,” said Uwe Hück, Chair of the Group Works Council of Porsche. “Today, we have the one-millionth 911. The good thing about it is that our colleagues still make them with the same devotion as the first car. The construction of the Mission E at the Zuffenhausen site is ringing in a new era at Porsche. And it is clear that if we are to make it a success, we will need our highly qualified and motivated employees. They will make sure that the Mission E is an emotional experience just like our 911 has always been – and always will be.”

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Porsche’s Zuffenhausen plant has been home to the 911 since day one. (Photo: Porsche)

On hand for the one-millionth line-off celebration was Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, who has been a part of the development of the 911 since job one (or rather job 901).

“54 years ago, I was able to take my first trips over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road with my father,” said Dr. Porsche. “The feeling of being in a 911 is just as enjoyable now as it was then. That’s because the 911 has ensured that the core values of our brand are as visionary today as they were in the first Porsche 356/1 from 1948.”

To call Porsche’s 911 a success would be an understatement of major proportion, and the car’s popularity is hardly slowing down. Last year Porsche delivered 32,365 911s worldwide, which resulted in the model’s best annual sales tally ever. Still, while it enjoys strong sales for a premium sports car, the 911 remains relatively exclusive and therefore holds its value very well. In fact, many 911 models have become coveted collector’s cars, with values that have escalated far higher than their original list prices.

1964 Porsche 911
The original 911 is a sought after collectible worth many times more now than it was 54 years ago. (Photo: Porsche)

Also impressive, over 70 percent of all Porsche cars ever produced are still on the road. One of the key reasons for their longevity is dependable operation, Porsche consistently found on top of third-party quality rankings, including J.D. Power’s Initial Quality and Vehicle Dependability studies.

If you were thinking of purchasing the one-millionth 911, consider one-million-and-one as this milestone car won’t be up for sale. You may be able to see it in person, however, as Porsche will soon be sending it on a world tour of road trips to include the Scottish Highlands, Germany’s famed Nürburgring, the U.S., China, and beyond.

Alternatively you can visit your local Porsche retailer and order a 2017 911 Carrera S in custom Irish Green with gold painted “PORSCHE” and “911” emblems, satin-silver mirror caps, 20-inch Carrera Sport alloy wheels, circular tailpipes, a leather interior with Sport-Tex seat centres in black and dark silver, a special plaque with your car’s build number, etcetera. No matter how you decide to have it built, a car collection is not complete without a Porsche 911.

It’s only fitting that Canada’s favourite family shuttle was the official conveyance in our capital city for our 150th confederation celebrations. Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s ultra-popular Dodge…

Chrysler Pacifica was official vehicle of Canada Day

2017 Chrysler Pacifica
A total of 26 Chrysler Pacificas shuttled Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrants around various events during the weekend. (Photo: FCA)

It’s only fitting that Canada’s favourite family shuttle was the official conveyance in our capital city for our 150th confederation celebrations.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s ultra-popular Dodge Grand Caravan, dearly departing Chrysler Town & Country, and advanced new Chrysler Pacifica minivans combine for unsurpassed annual seven- to eight-passenger vehicle sales, having found almost twice as many Canadian buyers as all other minivans combined in calendar year 2016. In fact, if commercial vehicle sales were taken out of the overall equation, FCA’s minivans would have accounted for more business than almost any other vehicle line in Canada last year.

Canada’s most popular Ford F-150 and runner-up Honda Civic might have been appropriate official Canada Day 2017 vehicles for our July 1st weekend celebrations too, but for the purpose of conveying visitors around Ottawa, the fleet of 26 seven-seat Velvet Red Pearl-painted and “Canada 150” maple leaf decaled Chrysler Pacificas were much more useful.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The choice of FCA vans was fitting for Canada Day, as they’re the most popular large family haulers in Canada. (Photo: FCA)

It didn’t hurt matters that these vans were produced in FCA’s Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario; the result of 6,000 hourly workers on three full shifts.

The Windsor facility builds both the conventionally powered Pacifica as well as the Pacifica Hybrid, the former featuring the brand’s class-exclusive second-row “Stow ‘n Go” seating that fold completely into the floor when more cargo space is required, while the latter includes a plug-in hybrid electric powertrain capable of 53 kilometres of pure EV range, up to 911 kilometres of total range, and a five-cycle Transport Canada claimed fuel economy rating of 2.6 Le/100km in the city.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica
All conventionally powered Chrysler vans offer second-row “Stow ‘n Go” seats that fold completely into the floor for added convenience. (Photo: FCA)

During the Canada Day weekend, Ottawa hosted a three-day festival in three venues including Parliament Hill, the Canadian Museum of History, and Major’s Hill Park.

“I can’t think of a more fitting vehicle than the Windsor, Ontario-built Chrysler Pacifica as the official vehicle of Canada Day 2017,” commented Bill Levasseur, VP, Sales and Marketing, FCA Canada. “Our Chrysler and Dodge minivans have been an integral part of millions of Canadian families’ lives over the years and we are honoured to have Chrysler Pacifica showcased in celebration of our nation’s milestone 150th birthday.”

Along with the fleet of vans shuttling event-goers from attraction to attraction, those in attendance were able to view 30-second video spots as part of the Major’s Hill event, plus FCA branding broadcasted on big screen displays at other event locations.

On Wednesday June 28, 2017 Ford issued a recall for 402,462 Transit vans and buses in North America. Ford says they are recalling the vehicles to fix a cracked drive shaft coupling that can cause the…

Ford Recalls Over 400,000 Transit Vans and Buses

On Wednesday June 28, 2017 Ford issued a recall for 402,462 Transit vans and buses in North America. Ford says they are recalling the vehicles to fix a cracked drive shaft coupling that can cause the Transit vans and buses to lose power.

Ford Transit Vans with a medium chassis cab are being recalled

The recall affects Transit vans and buses “with medium, long and extended wheelbases and chassis cab/cutaways with medium wheelbases.”

In the press release about the recall Ford said “In the affected vehicles, continuing to operate a vehicle with a cracked flexible coupling may cause separation of the driveshaft, resulting in a loss of motive power while driving or unintended vehicle movement in park without the parking brake applied. In addition, separation of the driveshaft from the transmission can result in secondary damage to surrounding components, including brake and fuel lines. A driveshaft separation may increase the risk of injury or crash.”

The press release goes on to explain that any Transit van affected that has fewer than 30,000 miles should have no problems with the driveshaft. Ford goes on to say that if the Transit van has had a driveshaft fixed or replaced that those models will also be problem free.

If the vehicle has over 30,000 miles Ford will be supplying an interim repair of the driveshaft until a final repair is available and completed.

Consumers will be notified by mail and directed to the closest Ford or Lincoln dealership to have the coupling replaced at no cost.

Of the 402,462 vehicles being recalled 370,630 are in the United States, 3,217 are in Mexico and 26,540 are in Canada.

The Ford Transit Vans were built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant

The affected vehicles were built in the company’s Kansas City assembly plant between January 17, 2014 and June 15, 2017.

Ford says they are not aware of any accidents or injuries that have been attributed to the recalled vehicles faulty couplings.

The Transit van recall will cost Ford Motor Company $142 million.

Toyota announced the new safety features in the Lexus LS in Japan this week calling it “the safest car in the world.” Toyota says “(the LS) aims to provide world-leading safety performance through…

Lexus Displays its Advanced Active Safety Technologies for the All-new “LS”

Toyota announced the new safety features in the Lexus LS in Japan this week calling it “the safest car in the world.” Toyota says “(the LS) aims to provide world-leading safety performance through the combination of two advanced Lexus safety systems.” The LS is a pre-emptive step for Toyota in its mission to end traffic casualties.

The two safety systems that have been integrated into the new LS are the “Lexus Safety System +” which is based on the Integrated Safety Management Concept. The idea being that instead of using individual safety technologies and systems independently they are instead integrated for a higher level of driver support. The second safety feature that has been incorporated into the new Lexus LS is the “Lexus Safety System + A”. This system is designed with “advanced pre-collision support and sophisticated driving assistance.”

The Lexus Safety System + A includes features such as driver emergency stop assist, lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control, front cross traffic alert, and a two stage adaptive high-beam system. The addition of active steering assist, pedestrian alert and nighttime pedestrian & bicycle response is entirely new to the LS. The addition of the latter three technologies to the Lexus LS helps prevent collisions that cannot be avoided through automatic braking solely.

Pedestrian alert and active steering assist are Pre-Collision Systems (PCS) that are a world-first technology that works in four stages. In the first stage the car will recognize a pedestrian and assess the risk and direction in which they are moving. During the second stage, as the car gets closer to the pedestrian an alarm will sound and an animation will appear on the large colour high definition display. The third stage is that automatic brakes will be applied to try and stop the car from striking the individual. The final stage only happens if the car recognizes that a crash is imminent without further input from the driver. The LS will then automatically steer around the pedestrian preventing a crash.

Another innovative safety feature on the new Lexus LS is the driver emergency stop assist, which gets engaged when the driver takes their hands off the wheel for an extended period of time. The LS gets “worried” that something has happened to the driver and it engages the hazard warning lights, honks its horn and slowly decelerates until coming to a stop at which point it unlocks the doors and calls emergency services.

Toyotas Chief Engineer for Safety Technology Kiyotaka Ise reiterated in the presentation “there still remain wide differences in how OEMs define automated driving. The word automated driving should be handled carefully to avoid the hype that it means that drivers don’t have to do anything”. So despite all of the safety technology which by many accounts already classifies it as autonomous, Ise said that Toyota “does not wish to call this LS an automated driving vehicle, rather, we would like to define it as a vehicle equipped with advanced driver assist technologies that can pave the way toward autonomous driving.”

According to Toyota the technology in the Lexus LS will be incorporated into all Toyota vehicles starting in 2018. The new Lexus LS is expected to go on sale in Canada later this fall.

The world’s most popular plug-in electric vehicle will soon receive a complete redesign, which is compelling news in itself, but being that Nissan hasn’t shared much about the upcoming model thus…

Nissan to bring ProPilot Assist to market with new Leaf

2018 Leaf ProPilot Assist
Nissan reveals the 2018 Leaf’s digital instrument cluster while also informing that its redesigned EV will also features semi-autonomous driving capability. (Photo: Nissan)

The world’s most popular plug-in electric vehicle will soon receive a complete redesign, which is compelling news in itself, but being that Nissan hasn’t shared much about the upcoming model thus far, we’ll take anything we can get.

Along with one solitary image of the new EV’s primary gauge cluster comes news about a single new feature, ProPilot Assist, which is the Japanese brand’s proprietary driver-assistance technology designed to reduce “the hassle of stop-and-go highway driving,” says Nissan in a June 22, 2017 press release.

Reportedly, ProPilot Assist will benefit 2018 Leaf drivers by controlling acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving. Along with the announcement, Nissan included a short explanatory video that we’ve attached within this report, which clearly shows how the state-of-the-art technology will assist drivers.

2018 Leaf ProPilot Assist
Check out the video at the end of this story, which depicts the 2018 Leaf’s ProPilot Assist system in action. (Photo: Nissan)

Nissan was clear in its release that ProPilot Assist will evolve to include “increasing levels of autonomy” in coming generations, with the ability to also “navigate city intersections”.

ProPilot Assist is part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of technologies, which is the automaker’s “blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered and integrated into society.”

Nissan has sold more than 270,000 Leafs globally since it became the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle in 2010. The next-generation 2018 Leaf will debut in Tokyo on September 6th (Sept 5 here in Canada).

Check out the video…

 

Tokyo – Automotive Linux Summit – Wednesday May 31, 2017 – Toyota Motor Corp announced that the new 2018 Toyota Camry will be sold in the United States with an infotainment system called…

Toyota Announces a Linux Based Infotainment System for the 2018 Toyota Camry

Tokyo – Automotive Linux Summit – Wednesday May 31, 2017 – Toyota Motor Corp announced that the new 2018 Toyota Camry will be sold in the United States with an infotainment system called the Entune 3.0 that runs on Automotive Grade Linux.

Automotive Grade Linux, also known as AGL, is an open source software platform based on Linux, specifically designed for automobiles. Ten global car manufacturers including Mazda, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Honda and Mitsubishi already use it. The purpose of the initiative is to work with other car companies to try and speed up innovation for vehicle applications. Automakers will have the ability to fully customize the applications without having to rely on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

When a manufacturer develops a new car it requires around 100 million lines of computer code. Approximately 70 percent of it is generic. This means the remaining 30 percent is customized to the specific model. The amount of coding required is one reason why vehicle development takes so long. It doesn’t stop there however, the code needs to be constantly updated and refined to ensure proper operation. The largest vice for current and past infotainment systems in vehicles is how quickly they become outdated. According to a press release by Toyota VP Keiji Yamamoto the AGL platform gives, “greater connectivity and new functionalities at a pace that is more consistent with consumer technology.”

By working with open source software such as AGL, changes can be made more rapidly and don’t require a manufacturer to write 100 million lines of new code every single time an adjustment needs to be made.

Working with companies like Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki will help Toyota minimize costs and development time. Toyota says the partnership can also help create an industry standard that can operate all internal devices such as music, media and navigation. The collaboration with AGL may also allow future integration of technologies such as autonomous driving functions and integrated car services.

Toyota is reducing its dependency on third party companies like Apple and Alphabet (Google/Android Auto) to have greater control of their products. Another reason for Toyota and other car manufacturers to change is to gain control of all the user data. AGL will store all user data that would otherwise be recorded by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Competitive and innovative infotainment systems are more important now than ever before, and moving to AGL is a bold step for Toyota. If the open source collaboration succeeds, don’t be surprised if other car companies like Audi and Volvo jump ship from Apple and Alphabet.

After a report issued by Daimler on May 10th stating it would no longer be selling the 2017 model diesel cars in the United States. Daimler has since become the center of attention of an investigation…

German Police Investigate Daimler AG Offices

After a report issued by Daimler on May 10th stating it would no longer be selling the 2017 model diesel cars in the United States. Daimler has since become the center of attention of an investigation by German authorities.

Twenty-three prosecutors and 230 German police searched Daimler offices to seek evidence related to the possibility of diesel engine emissions irregularities. The police and prosecutors say 11 sites are being investigated in the German states of Baden-Wuerttemburg, Berlin, Lower Saxony and Saxony with employees that are “known and unknown” to Daimler. Earlier in the year Daimler admitted that some of its employees were part of a criminal investigation.

This investigation comes after a United States federal judge gave the final approval to a settlement for Robert Bosch GmbH to pay $327.5 million USD to American VW diesel car owners. Bosch, the world’s largest car parts supplier, has not admitted to any wrongdoing stating “Bosch neither acknowledges the facts as alleged by the plaintiffs nor does Bosch accept any liability” however, last year it was reported by Reuters that $747 million USD was put aside to cover potential settlements.

Investigators confiscated files and hard drives, apparently containing sensitive information.

Daimler and Bosch are both based in Stuttgart Germany and in a recent quarterly report Daimler said, “Europe and the United States, have inquired about and are investigating test results.”

Last year the U.S. Department of Justice had asked Daimler for an internal investigation to be done because of possible emission irregularities, however, it went mostly unnoticed by German authorities.

Since May 23, the launch of the investigation into Daimler has seen its stock price drop three points. Which may be an indication of further fallout, or it may have more to do with the fact that U.S. President Donald Trump said he would like to impose a 35% import tax on all German cars. This import tax is unlikely to happen as the largest BMW factory in the world is located in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and employs 8,800 Americans and has a current daily output of nearly 1,400 vehicles.

For now though Daimler says they are fully co-operating with the investigation but refuse to comment on the proceedings.