Author Archive: Simon Burger

Author Archives for Simon Burger

I have been watching the increasing fallout over Toyota’s huge recall with interest and I must admit a certain amount of satisfaction and pleasure. They aren’t my favourite manufacturer I will come out and state that now. For lots of reasons but mainly their incredible arrogance, shoddy treatment of suppliers who I have spoken to, downright lies about fuel economy of the new Prius and coverups over the years of recalls that should have happened. Somebody who worked for a robotic supplier to Toyota summed it up perfectly for me just yesterday, ”
This about sums them up – air fresheners not needed in their toilets – ’cause it doesn’t stink there.”

The satisfaction comes from the fact that I wrote on this blog about the increasing number of recalls in 2007 and the deterioration in quality back then. Some poor missguided soul slagged me off, saying I didn’t know what I was talking [...]

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shares in Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) fell for the sixth straight day on Friday as the world’s top automaker’s problems intensified over a recall of millions of vehicles due to faulty accelerator pedals and floor mats.

Toyota shares fell 2.1 percent to 3,485 yen in morning trade in Tokyo. They have lost 15 percent in the last five days.

“Toyota’s stock might fall further until the impact on earnings and profits from the recall becomes clear,” said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief equity marketing officer at Tokai Tokyo Securities.

U.S. Congressional investigators are seeking e-mails and other documents from Toyota and U.S. safety regulators about the automaker’s recall.

It would be the first congressional review of its kind since the same committee investigated defective Firestone tires linked to deadly Ford Motor Co (F.N) rollovers in 2001.

On Thursday, Toyota said it would extend its safety recall of its most popular cars to Europe and [...]

If you’re planning on choosing a roadgoing car based on racetrack results, maybe you’d better think again. With the world’s greatestoff-road race, the Dakar Rally, currently powering its way through Chile, it’s interesting to note that the leaders of the event (BMW and Volkswagen) are among the least reliable 4×4 vehicles on the road, where it really counts. Newly released and highly credible information from the U.K. has revealed the most and least reliable pre-owned 4×4 and SUV cars on the market (see the top 10 lists here). Honda’s CR-V won the crown of the most reliable 4×4 by a fair margin while Audi’s A6 Allroad is the most unreliable 4×4 on the road, with Volkswagen’s Touareg and BMW’s X5 placing second and third most unreliable. That’s right folks, despite performing spectacularly in race events such as the Dakar, the VW Touareg is the second most unreliable 4×4 on the market, according to Warranty Direct.

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BMW will finally deliver the electric car everyone knew was coming at the NAIAS in January. The BMW ActiveE
Concept is essentially an electric BMW 1 Series Coupe built using the knowledge gained from year-long MINI E fleet trials, and the resultant vehicle is bristling with ideas and well worth a look. The 125 kW motor is located in the rear axle, the lithium ion batteries recharge in three hours, offer a range of 160 km (100 miles) and an interesting variation on regenerative braking can add as much as 20% to the range. With an electronically limited top speed of …

BMW claims the ActiveE will hit 100 km/h in less than 9 seconds (0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds), with the 60 km/h mark
being reached in less than 4.5 seconds and the maximum speed is electronically limited at around 145 km/h (90 mph).

Electrical vehicle components are usually much more [...]

A large percentage of the cars on the road, up to half in some countries, are owned and maintained by fleet management groups rather than individuals. In recent times we’ve seen a number of fleet management companies begin producing statistics on the reliability of their often massive fleets to better inform the public on the reliability of current vehicles. Now U.K. publication Fleet News has conducted research across a number of the major British fleets to produce a reliability survey across more than a million late model vehicles to reveal that the Honda Civic is the UK’s most reliable car and the Ford Transit the most reliable van. Honda snagged three of the top four most reliable cars but got beaten as the most reliable manufacturer.

The research, making it the largest vehicle reliability survey ever conducted in the country, quizzed companies
involved in the contract hire and leasing sector and asked them to [...]

Toyota Vitz recall

Toyota to recall 82,220 Vitz compact cars in Japan

TOKYO —October 22nd

Toyota Motor Corp will recall more than 82,220 Toyota Vitz compact cars in Japan due to a faulty window switch, the transport ministry said Wednesday.

The defective window switch could short out due to excessive lubrication, possibly causing it to catch fire, said ministry official Kazumi Furukawa.

The ministry has recorded 32 malfunction cases, including one fire, due to faulty window switches in the Toyota Vitz since 2007. No one was injured in the fire.

The recall in Japan will begin Thursday, 22nd October, Furukawa said. When a car maker wants to recall vehicles in Japan, it must inform the transport ministry of the plan.

Toyota Vitz subcompact, which is marketed overseas as the Yaris, is one of Japan’s top-selling cars.

The world’s No. 1 automaker announced last month it would recall some 3.8 million vehicles in the United States—Toyota’s biggest recall there—after four people were killed in August in a high-speed [...]

The Audi e-tron electric Quattro with 4,500 Nm of torque

One of the highlights of IAA 2009 was undoubtedly Audi’s electric Quattro, and the development ecosystem the company is establishing. Dubbed the e-tron, it has four motors producing in total a 230 kW (313 hp) and a stunning 4,500 Nm (3,319.03 lb-ft) of torque, enabling it to accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds, and from 60 to 120 km/h (37.28 – 74.56 mph) in 4.1 seconds. The car’s lithium-ion battery is stored directly behind the passenger cabin for an optimal center of gravity, and holds 42.4 kilowatt hours, enabling a range of 250 km.

The performance figures are by no means the only evidence of the consistent and holistic strategy. The design makes it clear that the e-tron belongs in the major leagues of sports cars, and the package takes into account the specific realities of an electric [...]

Mercedes announces three Concept BlueZERO electric vehicles

Mercedes-Benz reckons it won’t be just one technology that paves the way to sustainable mobility. After showing the 200 km range all-electric BlueZERO E‑CELL at the NAIAS in January, the German giant is to create a family of modularly-constructed, liquid-cooled Lithium-ion electric cars by adding two more derivatives of the close-to-production vehicle in Frankfurt next week. The BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS extends the range to 600 km using a turbocharged petrol engine as a range extender generator, while the BlueZERO F-CELL is fuel-cell-powered with a range of about 400 km.

The BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS is part of a family of modularly constructed electric cars, which will enable Mercedes-Benz to meet all customer requirements for sustainable mobility in the future. In this variant of the concept vehicle, the electric motor of the purely battery-powered BlueZERO E-CELL is combined with an additional three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine. Putting out 50 kW, the [...]

General Motors made a lot of noise Aug. 11 with the announcement of a 230-mile-per-gallon city fuel-economy rating for its Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car. Not to be outdone, Nissan (NSANY) said its Leaf electric car gets an equivalent of 367 MPG.

This one-upsmanship by the two automakers probably just confused any would-be buyers of these cars, which will both hit the market later next year. It also raises serious questions for the government and car companies: How will federal regulators rate the efficiency of the newest-tech cars, and how will the automakers use that data to market
them? Neither number is likely to match up the real fuel-economy performance for either car, since Volt buyers will all drive it differently and Leaf drivers won’t even use gasoline.

To see how unhinged MPG becomes as electricity takes a bigger role under the hood, look at the Chevy Volt. The Volt will always drive using [...]

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