Recalls, recalls and more recalls. (AutoComplete, Ep. 15)
Welcome to Roadshow's AutoComplete, your weekly podcast and rundown of the week in automotive news.
My name is Tim Stevens, I'm Editor in Chief of Roadshow.
And this week, I'm flying solo because Brian Cooley is flying as well, and he is over the Rocky Mountains somewhere right about now.
And so I'll be giving you All the best news this week on my own.
So here we go.
First big story of the week is that Mitsubishi admitted that they've been fudging some of their mile per gallon figures in their home country of Japan.
They're basically out of the US market at this point, so not a really big impact here, but it could be seen as bit of a reaction to Dieselgate.
Four separate models on the Japanese market, two of which are produced for Nissan Are apparently giving incorrect fuel figures.
And no details on exactly how they've been providing this sort of information, what sort of hack they have going on inside of the cars at this point either.
Ultimately, it's pretty bad news and indeed the company's stock took a pretty big hit.
Mitsubishi at this point is in not very good shape and certainly news like this is not going to be Anyway, I hope for that figure.
But ultimately, this is the sort of thing that we are expecting to see even more of as Dieselgate goes on and on and on.
And indeed we'll have some updates on Dieselgate a little later on in the program.
We're expecting to see more companies kind of airing their dirty laundry, as it were.
And this week, well Mitsubishi taking a bit of a beating.
But again, we'll see which company Comes up next.
But again, given that Mitsubishi's not really having much of a presence in the U.S. market at this point or indeed much of anywhere outside of Japan.
Again, a little bit limited in terms of the scope of this issue.
But indeed we do have an update on Dieselgate and we cannot go another week without adding some sort of an update to the endless saga at this point.
It's been revealed in a Bloomberg report that Volkswagen engineers were using code names to refer to these emissions hacks They put into the software of the car to basically help them to fake the results that they needed to pass tests by the EPA and by the European Union as well.
They refered to the cheap programming as things like acoustic software and other code words that ultimately are not entirely accurate and as a coder I can say.
That most [UNKNOWN] doesn't really make much noise.
So I don't know what acoustic software is supposed to mean.
Still no official word on Volkswagen, but as we do record this, we're expecting news today.
This is April 21st, and Volkswagen expected to give us some more details on that today.
Keep an eye on RoadShow.com for more news on dieselgate, but even as we do get information on what exactly Volkswagen's going to do to fix all these cars.
We still have a long way to go.
This saga is far, far from over, even when the fixes start to come through.
We've gotten some updates on the Apple car this week, the supposed Apple car, code named Project Titan.
There have been rumors swirling for years now that Apple's been trying to build a car.
We got some more rumors this week.
The first one is that Apple has supposedly an R&D center in Germany.
Specifically, somewhere near the Magnus Star facility, which is one of the companies that's reported to be working with Apple to produce this car.
It also would put them pretty close to BMW, who Apple has also been reported to be working with, to develop this car.
And again, it's all rumor, speculation at this point, really have no hard information on whether or not Apple is trying to build a car.
But if they were and if they were going with a third party manufacturer like Magna Steyr who produces cars for Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz and others, that would be a pretty good place for them to be.
But supposedly this facility is more on the R and D side looking into new technologies and new things that could help to differentiate this car from what's on the market.
Again, nothing pointing to Apple actually producing a car, but there was other news this week That Apple has hired former Tesla Vice President of the eco engineering Chris Porritt.
Prior to coming to Tesla Chris was actually the engineer at Aston Martin, so he's got quite a bit of automotive experience under his belt and he is indeed a vehicle engineer talking specifically about making cars and making cars better.
So if you're on the fence about whether or not Apple's building a car, thinking that maybe they're still working on software not actual cars, as I must say I am myself.
This definitely points to Apple building a physical car that rolls on wheels and that will sit in your driveway, not just a piece of software that will run in someone else's car.
Now this isn't exactly a poaching, Chris was apparently out of Tesla for some time now.
And indeed, we've heard Elan Musk jokingly say that the Apple Car product is a bit of a Tesla graveyard where a lot of engineers from Tesla kind of go after their careers have expired after leaving the company.
Again, no word on exactly what Chris Ford is doing with Apple.
He's apparently within the secret projects division.
Which was certainly point to Project Titan.
We are a long way away from this car coming to market.
Expectations are somewhere in 2019, or 2020.
We know basically nothing about the car at all.
It's expected to have a lot of autonomy features.
Expected to be an EV.
It's been described as a minivan, but it remains to be seen exactly what the thing looks like.
Gonna be a long way to go before we have any information on this story but of course the idea that Apple could be building a car is a pretty intriguing one.
On the side of Tesla this week we've got some word of some issues with the Model X. We've been hearing rumblings and rumors of issues with production and quality with the Model X and this week those rumblings kind of came to a head.
A number of Model X related issues came to the fore, and specifically issues around quality and also in engineering.
The quality ones tend to deal with the doors.
Those vaunted gull wing doors that Elon Musk demanded in the car are causing some issues.
Not opening correctly, not closing correctly.
Sometimes not opening or closing at all, which is definitely a bit of a problem.
There's also more fundamental issues in the engineering of the car, specifically around the windshield.
The windshield in the Model A is pretty different from any other car on the road.
And she sweeps up and over your head, and it's very distinctive in a much different from anything else out there.
This is actually done because multiple panes of glass are in that glass enabling the structural rigidity that you need for that to work.
Those multiple panes are causing issues in terms on night vision.
You are getting double images, some people are saying, in their Model X cars.
That is not good when you are looking at a headlight and you see four headlights instead of two that can be a little bit disorienting.
We saw some pictures online in the Tesla forum.
And indeed some other people are complaining about that issue as well.
It something that is going to happen in multiple panes of glass.
And, indeed, we are going to be testing the Model X ourselves.
So I'm looking forward to seeing if this is actually an issue.
But, ultimately, it's not good news for Teso.
They've already said that the hubris of the Model Egs, i.e., the over arching engineering of the thing has been causing the problems.
And now that these cars are on the road, we're starting to hear from more and more users that these cars are, well not perfect.
But again we're gonna be testing a model axe and putting it through its paces in the very near future.
So look for it again to the roadshow.com for all the And all the excitement on potential problems in the Model X, but there's some good news for Tesla owners out there.
If you have a Model S or a Model X and you did not choose to get the autopilot feature when you purchased the car, Tesla's giving free trials to those owners of those cars so you can give it a shot and see if it's something you want to add to your car.
People are seeing a pop up in their dashboard giving one free month of the service and if you like it after that free month there'll be a $3,000 upgrade which can just be applied in software on the car.
Tesla can do this because all the hardware needed to add auto power to the cars, all the radar sensors, the sonar sensors, the imaging systems, all that's built into every Model S and every Model X that they make these days.
It's really just the software that's needed to upgrade those systems.
Enabled to be auto pilot functionality so you can drive on the highway, take your hands off the wheel, the adaptive cruise control and even changing lanes just by hitting the turn signal.
Again this is a one month free trial and after that month your car will be downgraded back to its original state.
And I would have to say I wouldn't recommend trying this unless you have that $3,000 to spend because is very, very compelling stuff Once you go on the highway, and once you realize how nice it is to have the car pretty much take care of itself, you're gonna want to spend that $3,000.
And even if you're pre-ordering a Model X or a Model S, just go ahead and pay the extra $2,500, save the $500, and again, you're gonna want this feature for sure.
We have a lot of recalls to go through this week.
We're gonna start out with a pretty big one from General Motors.
They've been recalling just about a million pickup trucks on cross bulk GMC and Chevrolet because of some seat belt issues.
These are 2014 to 2015 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks if you have a car, a truck excuse me in that model year range.
You're definitely going to want to take it in and get your seat belts fixed because ultimately, seat belts are something you want to be functional all the time.
Not the only recall this week, Toyota also is recalling cars, 25,000 2016 Toyota Avalons And Toyota Camry's also due to a seatbelt issue, and the Takata recall issue is actually poised to get even worse, there are discussions ongoing right now about whether or not Takata should be forced to recall every airbag in the U.S.
85 million airbags that have not been recalled just yet The company is being forced to basically proof that all of these airbags are safe, even the ones that haven't fallen within any of the recalls that they've issued thus far.
If indeed the recall is expanded to cover every single [FOREIGN] air bag out there, it's hard to imagine this company having any hope of survival.
Because the cost of that is going to be well into the billions.
That's a lot of money.
So that's the beginning of our Complete for this week.
But we've got a lot more news to come and a lot of run-downs on what's exactly coming up on the Roadshow.com.
So, we're going to take a quick break.
We'll be back with more recalls and more news and updates on the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
Welcome back to Road Show's Auto Complete.
We will look back at the week in automotive news.
Now let's take a quick look at some of the great content coming to the RoadShow.com this week.
We have our first drive of the brand new Audi R8 V10+.
And Chris Paukert took that super car down to Daytona where he put it on the oval and did somewhere around 170 miles per hour which is pretty impressive for a street car.
We also have Antuan Goodwin's review of a new BMW X1 which is surprisingly good and me, we've got my first take of a new Mazzaradi Levante luxury SUV.
I drove that around Italy on the road, and off the road too.
I find we got pretty muddy in that car, so you're going to want to check that out too.
Again, that's all available at the roadshow.com.
Now, back to the news, and back to the recalls.
But first let's start off with some BMW news BMW is one of the first manufacturers to add support for go pro action cameras into their car.
And now they're actually adding support for the cameras to their new M lap timer app.
Through that app, you can already track lap times in your M performance car, or your M3s or your M4s, and other cars like that.
But now that app has been upgraded to work with your go pro cameras too.
So you can see exactly where they're pointed, and even reviewed footage.
The car can still control the cameras directly so you can start them and stop them through the eye drive control, but now you can review the footage through your phone as well, giving extra functionality.
Again, all this integrated within your M cars and we part of an update to the M.
a time or app, you can deed your car as suitably equipped.
The new seven series is getting a new special edition with what must certainly be the worst product name ever released into the American market.
It is a special edition commemorating the company's one hundred year anniversary, which is going through this year.
And the name is.
Are you ready the BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence the next 100 years.
That is the full name of the new special edition BMW 7 Series Seven series.
I hope the salesman are very patient as you come in and ask for that car.
That is a special edition car, which has special wheels, that lovely blue paint color.
Some other bits of trim and other extra upgrades, giving it a little bit more luxury touches.
And probably a very, very big badge on the trunk.
Ultimately you can just refer to it as the next 100 years as well.
But that has gotta be the longest, ugliest name we've ever seen on a car before.
And some more ugly news on the 7 Series, unfortunately the car's first recall.
The new 7 Series of course hit market this year with some carbon fiber construction and lots of other neat technology.
Unfortunately one of those bits of technology isn't working so well, specifically the airbag control module on the car.
Is failing and causing a reboot every now and again and typically your cars will be safe.
But if you happen to have an accident while that module is rebooting, the airbags will not fire, which of course is a pretty bad thing when you're in a big car like that which has lot of airbags.
So about 6100 of the 7 series cars, 740s, 750s, and 760s, Are being recalled and if you drive on of them, again head to your BMW dealership to get an upgrade for that software module and make sure your air bags fire as they are supposed to.
Finally this week we got news that the Detroit International Auto Show, or aka the North American International Auto Show Getting a pre significant update for its next iteration in January of 2017.
It's gonna be launching a service called AutoMobili-D which is going to be a large area pavilion dedicated just toward future mobility concepts.
Be a lot of demonstrations as of electrification, of autonomy will even be an indoor test track for self driving cars can show their stuff.
Probably with some editors on board as well, maybe myself.
It's simply gonna give us something to look forward to as these topics become more and more important in the automotive industry and ultimately as Detroit tries to establish itself as a leader when it comes to research into autonomy electrification.
another new technology that's going to bring us into a broad, beautiful future of mobility concepts.
That is your week in news, your run down in auto completes for all those news items and a lot, lot more, head to the roadshow.com.
And you can follow me on Twitter for a lot of other updates At Tim underscore Stevens on there.
Thanks again for tuning in.
We'll be back next week.