Welcome to Auto Complete.
This is CNET Road Show's weekly podcast about what's latest in automotive and technology and the collision if you will between the two of them.
This is episode 7 for February 25, 2016.
I'm Bryan Cooley.
Let's start off with the closing end of a story we were talking about last time, and this is an unfortunate resolution for you 2016 Civic owners.
There is now a formal recall.
This is the issue with a part of the engine where something called the pin that goes in the piston and connects it to the connecting rod.
We ran you through a diagram of this last week, That pin may not be clipped into place, which can be kind of catastrophic.
You do not want that thing loose inside of a running engine.
So what they've got is about a 42,000 car recall now.
'16 Civics, here are the production dates.
You can look this up on that plate in your car.
They were made between September 22 of 2015, and February 3rd of 2016, so these cars just ended production with the Fall.
Now, here's the details.
They will inspect, repair, or replace your entire engine if they need to, or repair it by going deep inside of it, at no cost, of course.
There will not be parts available to do this, though, until summer of this year.
So even though the recall is out now, they do not have an immediate fix.
That can be a little nerve-wracking if you're driving one of these cars that could be a bit of a breakdown time bomb.
If you want to talk to Honda about it, here's a phone number.
888-234-2138 and the recall number on this is JX9 That's the Honda recall.
If you want to call and talk to corporate, that's where you can reach them.
So that's what's happening latest on the Civic recall.
Unusual for Honda to have such a fundamental issue.
In fact, we're reading in the actual recall notice that some of the engines don't just have the clip that holds the piston pin in place improperly installed, some of them apparently don't have it all.
I'm almost surprised those engines ran beyond leaving the Dealership driveway.
Let's talk about some more recalls.
Toyota's got some seatbelts under recall.
1 million vehicles.
These are going to be, as we understand it, going to be fixed with a little cover where the belt goes in and out of the retractor and it's getting frayed there.
But it's a fair number of vehicles and 1 million's nothing to sneeze at.
It should be an easy fix.
These are primarily Rav4 '06 to 2012, and Rav4 EVs, 2012 to 2014.
If you've got one of those, you got a seatbelt recall looking at you.
Takata airbags, as if they could recall any more of these, they have.
It is now being speculated that Takata's airbags may be recalled from the current 29 million expected defected ones out there.
These are the ones that will blow in your face and, Spray shrapnel around the car.
That 29 million could actually be 120 million recalled airbags, because of this dangerous defect.
This is according to a report that Reuters put out this week, talking to some sources in the US government regulatory bodies.
They have not stepped it up to that level yet, but that would be an amazing recall.
120 million bad air bags.
It just, it's almost incomprehensible how Tocata get's through that.
They've already got other competitors that are helping them make replacement airbags.
They can't begin to dig out of this with their own production.
And they still seem kinda mystified about why it even happened, which ya just don't wanna hear from a company that makes air bags.
On a better front, here is an innovation piece of news that I love, that's just been approved by the US regulators, that General Motors can use video rear-view mirrors.
This has been so long in coming, and it's so cool.
The idea is that you've got the rear-view mirror, the one that's up here in the middle of your ceiling in your car, is normally a reflective mirror.
But, if you hit a button, it becomes a video screen.
A narrow Wide video screen using a camera in the back of the car.
So you no longer see the heads of passengers in the mirror, you don't see the seats behind you in the mirror, you don't see the pillars, all that junk you stuck in the back of your crossover, it all disappears, and it's like you're looking out of your car, and your car is cut off right behind you.
It's not that clever.
It's just rear view camera technology used another way on another screen.
But US regulations didn't allow it, now they do.
This is great.
It'll be coming out on the Cadillac CT6, the XT6 and also on the Chevy Bolt which is going to be their new affordable compact electric car.
The next step is when can they start replacing side view mirrors?
With cameras as well, that can be trickier.
A lot of the roadshow crew is heading off to the Geneva motor show in the next day or two.
Here's some of the stories we're looking for.
In addition, we talked about last week, we've got some new work of a possible compact Audi crossover.
The Q2, a very small vehicle.
It is going to be a new, smaller compact level for Audi.
They've got nothing quite like this below Q3, obviously, based on the platform, we believe.
Of the new, latest Golf.
Interestingly they had to go into a little negotiation with Fiat Chrysler to call it the Q2 because Alpha Romeo has had a trade name on Q2 for awhile for a limited slip differential.
So they had to work that out, now they can use the name Q2.
We may also see a likely related new Volkswagen cross over at Geneva.
Again it's probably gonna share some bones with that new Audie Q2 if we do see that.
And here's a story not coming out of Geneva but it's on the new car bucket.
The new future concept car bucket is the popular return of the BMW8 series.
It's a very polarizing car.
You want to think it's one of the coolest looking cars ever.
That would be me.
We think it's one of the douchiest cars ever that would be a lot of people also.
This car really had a weird kind of reputation and personality, if you will.
It is, of course, being expected to come out to do battle head to head with the Mercedes S Class coupe, which is a new and much buzzed about entry from Benz.
The 8 series has been gone for 16, 17 years now, so this is not imminent.
We may see a prototype or a concept on the show circuit in a couple of years, but the word from Auto Car is that they have heard rumblings of concrete evidence of the eight series is coming back.
Let's talk about diesels.
Volkswagen Diesel gate, got to touch on that every week.
As we speak right now, this is THursday, February 25th there is a court hearing coming up today here in San Fransisco, where we're based.
Where the Federal Judge who is seeing over the class action suit Against Volkswagen and against its suppliers they're having a status meeting.
What may come out of that is some interesting evidence as to how they're going to proceed along different avenues, who can be sued, and were the status is on the potential of a buy-back program.
A lot of VW owners out there say I don't want this thing fixed.
I just want you to buy the car back because I don't trust the fix that you're gonna put into it.
So a lot of that is yet to be figured out.
We may get some more information on that by the time you see this podcast, because it's about to go on right now as we're taping the show right now live.
No new news on the EPA or California Air Resources Board approval of VW's submitted fixes for your two liter.
They're still mowing it over by all the information we have.
So I've got nothing for you this week to report yet.
Soon as we have it, we'll have it in the news section at Roadshow at theroadshow.com and of course we'll dissect it in the next edition of Auto Complete.
As soon as we hear about that.
And here's an interesting sidebar to the VW diesel story.
We're hearing now from a German newspaper called [FOREIGN] that Volkswagen is being incented by the US government.
It's not tied to Dieselgate, these are electric cars, but it's sort of a quid pro quo with the regulators in the US according to one German newspaper, built on Sunday saying that, look, if you move your EV production to the US, which we want, as the US government, we may go easier on you.
With some of the sanctions around the diesel emissions thing.
It's a weird time to be honest, they have nothing to do with each other, at the technology level.
They do have something to do with each other at the federal public air quality protection level, but barely.
EV production is never gonna unwind the damage done by this many diesel spewing cars, certainly the number that have been going on around the globe, so interesting connection there.
When we come back, I'll update you on a couple of great new things we have on Roadshow I want you to take a look at, and we're also gonna take a look at the first car that knows how to dance over potholes, when AutoComplete continues.
Back to Auto Complete, episode 7. I'm Brian Cooley, Editor at Large for Roadshow.
Tim Stevens, Editor in Chief, normally is with me.
He is on assignment this week.
So, here we go.
Some things going on at Roadshow, I want you to take a look at.
I like to hand pick, just a Just the most interesting stories for you.
We have one of our new rivals videos.
That's where we take a hand full of cars, usually three, that are direct competitors in a sector and put them head to head with a different editor in each one to get a variety of takes.
And this one we've got For the seven seat luxury SUVs, XC90 the Acura entry is in there and we're also taking a look at what Audi is doing in the space with Q7.
So that's a great rival to take a look at with Antuan Goodwin Wayne Cunningham and M.E Hall.
We also have a great piece by Chris Paukert about how autonomy is the new luxury.
You're really hearing a lot about this from the luxury car makers saying, you know, we've gone as far as we can with leather and wood and lots of cylinders The new luxury is pushing autonomy hard and turning the car into a rolling living room where you actually get your time back in a great place to get it back while the car handles the driving.
Good piece by Chris.
And also, people love our editor's picks this week Is $5,000 or less hot hatches.
These are obviously well-used cars.
But if you want to spend 5,000 bucks, well five bucks is possible too.
$5,000 and get a really cool Well-used, but worth owning hot hats from back in the day.
We have a great list for you, all sitting over there at the roadshow.com.
And last time I went to the 24-hours of [UNKNOWN] I think I did see a $5 hot hat as well.
Okay, Ford's got a new technology that is taking advantage of adaptive suspension in a new way We have a video of this over at Road Show as well.
You may have heard about this, but its fascinating to watch.
It takes the suspension active components that read the road and adapt to what's happening.
It can pick up when a pothole is right there at the wheel, and actually lift the wheel up a little bit, kind of pick it up.
And keep it from dropping down hard into that pothole and damaging the tire and the wheel.
It's actually a brilliant way to minimize wheel and tire damage, especially as we go to low profile tires.
So, this new Ford Fusion Sport For 2017 is going to have this ability and it does it interestingly.
Without cameras or sensors.
That's what I found fascinating.
I thought it was gonna have cameras looking ahead, reading divots on the road and then telling the suspension to pick that wheel up Or keep it from descending too low.
What it does is merely sample really quickly.
It can tell every two milliseconds the trajectory of every wheel around the car.
And it can tell from one two milliseconds slice to the next that that wheel is descending rapidly into something.
And the other wheels aren't, that says pothole.
And it takes the suspension components and says stiffen up and hold that wheel out of the pothole.
Really interesting stuff.
If you see it in the video, I think you'll be intrigued by the demo they did of how it works.
We're focused on Geneva auto shows, I mentioned coming up in a couple days, but New York auto show is coming up end of March.
So we're starting to read that one for you.
One of the more interesting roll outs.
There is going to be a new concept of the Acura MDX From teaser photo we've seen.
That's all we've got.
It clearly has some facial DNA from the new NSX, like most of the Acuras will.
That's why you do a halo car is to trickle down its look, at least, to other cars.
And also, very likely, is going to eschew the tried and true 3.5 liter V6 that Kinda seems to power everything at Acura at some point.
But that that is very likely expected to be pushed out of the engine lineup, or least not the majority engine on that new MDX.
We'll keep an eye on that one for you.
Let's take a run to Teslaville, there's always a batch of Tesla news every week.
You cannot get a cordless charging Tesla from Tesla yet, as you probably know.
But, a company that makes a countless charging for cars it's just about to add a model as to their list supportive vehicle.
There's a company called Evatran, and this is a kick you buy, it say an inductive charging you put on the ground Round.
Inside or outside, it works indoors or in your garage, or outside in your driveway.
And you adapt, or have professionally installed, an inductive coupler, under the belly of your Tesla model S. Now that's gonna make some people nervous right off the bat, since it's not a Tesla piece.
But they'll start making it for model S, for rear wheel drive model S, shipping in April.
Somewhere later in the year, if you have an all wheel drive model S, one of the more recent cars, it does 20 miles of additional range, for every hour.
It's what they ballpark the charge rate as.
So, it's a little slower charge of course, then connecting this guy to a high current wall coupler, certainly.
But it's a lot more convenient.
That's the idea of inductive charging.
You just drive on, lock the car, and get out of there.
Nothing to open and connect and run a nasty, wet, dirty cable to, or anything like that.
No pricing on it yet.
They're just taking reservations at like 200 or 300 bucks.
And this is interesting, in their FAQ, they say that this will not void the warranty on your car.
I think the key there is in installing it Will not void the warranty on a Tesla, because that's federal law.
If it does something bad to the car, as I understand Magnus and Moss that it could be a place for Tesla to push back and say the damage to your car was caused by this aftermarket charger, go talk to them.
That's how that warranty act works on the Federal level.
We did an a piece on that on CNET on cars Not long ago, so just bear that in mind.
I've got no reason to believe that Evatran is not building a good charging product, but they also say they will pick up any cost of repairs caused by their equipment, and especially that car installed coupler that goes under the belly of your vehicle.
They make these for other EV's, it's the first time they've done it for a [UNKNOWN].
Five hundred miles of free towing now if you're Tesla mod ever needs it.
That's a big jump from the previous offer of 50 miles from the factory, they just made a huge jump.
If you ever need to get to a service center, they will pick up that thing and take it 500 miles.
That's a long damn way.
But I think this is partly in response to the fact that Tesla's dealer network isn't exactly in every street corner.
And hasn't gotten that ubiquitous since they've launched?
They got a lot of folks that bought the car that lived out in Montana that are saying, you know what, I'm still not near a dealer.
Help me out here.
So 500 mile towing is now complimentary with your Tesla S ownership.
A new referral program, you know Tesla doesn't do TV ads like every other car maker in the world.
But here's one that theyre doing to promote their cars.
This is a referral that if you get someone to buy a new model S and take delivery by tax day here in the U.S. by April 15th.
First of all, they will get $1200 off on home charger install.
Without a home high current charger, electric cars are just not really practical in most cases.
Secondly, what do you get?
You get entered to win a free trip for four down to SpaceX which is Elon Musk's other company, down in the LA area and learn what he's doing in his efforts to create common space travel for the average person.
And, more importantly, to me, you also get a free Tesla.
They will give you a Model X P90 D, their new crossover, electric with the dual motors.
This is top of the line.
That's the really cool part.
You can have the trip, I want the car.
Tesla has got one last thing this week, which is more of an internet story than a car story, but you no longer have to go Teslamotors.com to get to Tesla.
You can now finally go to Tesla.com.
They have scored the domain that is the most natural, simple, and obvious one.
The story is interesting.
We don't know who paid, How much to get this?
Under what sort of coercion, duress, negotiation, chat over dinner and **** tales?
New details coming out about that.
We do know this, it was owned by a guy in Silicon Valley for I think a couple decades.
Tesla.com and he didn't do a lot with it.
He had it because he was a big fan of Nikola Tesla.
Now all of a sudden now he has transferred it to Tesla.
I hope he got a Nice fat check.
That's it for Auto Complete, episode seven for this week.
I'm Bryan Cooley editor at large.
You know where to find the latest, especially on that diesel hearing on Volkswagen that's going on today as we're taping.
It's all waiting for you at theroadshow.com.
See you next week with the latest on the intersection of cars and technology.