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Posted: Fri, 11/05/2018 - 11:57

The Volkswagen Group has urged motorists to not use the rear-left seatbelt Polo’s and two Seat brands after Finnish magazine finds concerning faults.

The rear-left seatbelt in Volkswagen Polos as well as the Seat Ibiza and Arona have been found to have a potentially dangerous fault, originally reported by Finnish magazine Tekniikan Maailma.

 

Independent tests by the magazine, which were later confirmed by the manufacturer, found that when driven at speed and all three seat belts are in use, the rear left seatbelt can unexpectedly unfasten.

The Guardian reported that the VW Group said it was aware of the fault and advised owners not to use the middle seatbelt until a solution to the problem is found and a recall can be carried out.

A spokesperson from the Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg, Germany told The Guardian: “Based on the analysis made at our factory we have identified the seat belt issue that Tekniikan Maailma has found in the tests.

 

“At Volkswagen, safety remains a main priority and we immediately reacted to solve the issue. As a consequence, a feasible technical solution has been identified.

“Volkswagen is now waiting for the concerned authorities’ final validation in order to implement it, both on the customers’ cars and on the future series production.”

 

Article from AM-Online

Posted: Tue, 24/04/2018 - 13:05

Volkswagen reveals its fully-electric super sports car, the I.D. R Pikes Peak.

With 500 kW (680 hp), 650 Nm of torque and weighing less than 1,100 kg, the super sports car will take on the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado Springs, USA, in June 2018. The goal is to beat the existing record of 8:57.118 minutes for electric cars. To achieve this, the I.D. R Pikes Peak will race 0 to 100 km/h in 2.25 seconds, which is faster than Formula 1 and Formula E cars.

‘The car looks fantastic and has already been attracting a lot of interest from the media and on social media channels for a few weeks,’ said Jürgen Stackmann, member of the board of management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. ‘This project shows once again that Volkswagen is on the right track with its major E-mobility strategy and the introduction of the I.D. family. The I.D. R Pikes Peak and the start at the most iconic hill climb in the world offers Volkswagen the magnificent opportunity to charge the topic of E-mobility, both emotionally and from a sporting perspective.’

The I.D. R Pikes Peak features two electric engines, generating a system capacity of 500 kW (680 hp). As in production vehicles with electric drive, lithium-ion batteries are used as the energy storage system. Their power density is the crucial factor for the system when producing high voltage. Unlike in the manufacturing of production vehicles, the goal of the motorsport engineers was not maximum range, but the highest possible power output on the way to the Pikes Peak summit.

Roughly 20% of the electric energy required is generated during the 20-kilometre drive. The key here is energy recovery: when braking, the electric engines convert some of the braking energy into electricity and feed this into the battery.

With all of this new and exciting technology making it into vehicles, we are going to need highly skilled people to be able to fix them, mechanically and physically. We are already seeing a demand for EV training within Technicians and rightly so.

Posted: Mon, 23/04/2018 - 15:42

Stephen James BMW has opened the UK’s first ‘BMW Store’ at Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre - with product geniuses and a robot replacing sales executives.

Staffed by a team of eight product geniuses – and with a robot taking on part of the role usually filled by sales executives – the new facility will allow shoppers to take a test drive moments after booking a slot on an interactive touchscreen.

A “Click and Buy iPad wall”, meanwhile, is loaded with pre-configured specifications on a range of BMW vehicles, providing simple access to a wealth of information, and allowing users to progress through to ordering online.

A statement issued by BMW UK said that a robot would also be patrolling the store offering support to customers in place of a traditional sales executive. The statement said: “Pepper the Robot will be on hand to give visitors information about the store, receive customer feedback and even take contact information from customers wishing to continue with a vehicle purchase.”

BMW UK chief executive, Graeme Grieve, said technology-packed store format reflected the values of the BMW brand.

Alongside its high-tech approach, the Bluewater store will carry a rotating selection of three new models on site, beginning with the brand-new BMW X2 20d M Sport, the practical 218d Luxury Gran Tourer and the compact 118i 5-door, allowing customers to get fully hands-on with the BMW range.

Visitors can experience the buzz of scale-model motorsport by trying out the Scalextric track, while existing owners can take advantage of a free coffee in the Isetta Bar by showing their BMW vehicle key.

Posted: Wed, 18/04/2018 - 15:38

According to Reuters, Toyota Motor Corp plans to sell US vehicles that can communicate with one another using short-range wireless technology by 2021.

By the mid-2020s, Toyota plans to adopt the communications systems across all its vehicles in America and hopes other companies will follow its example.

Talking vehicles have been tried by US carmakers for more 10 years. The technology uses short-range communications to spread data up to 300 meters, including location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles. The data is transmitted up to 10 times per second to close vehicles and can identify dangers and provide warnings to avoid accidents.

Posted: Tue, 17/04/2018 - 11:40

According to Thatcham Research, the Volvo XC90 is the safest car ever tested, with zero recorded fatalities.

Since the Volvo XC90 went on sale in 2002 it has sold over 50,000 vehicles, yet not a single person or passenger has been killed while in the vehicle.

One reason for the Volvo’s safety is that it was an early leader in the use of camera and radar systems to warn drivers about hazards on the road. These systems automatically bring the car to a stop if it gets too close to another vehicle.

Apart from its safety benefits, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) could also bring cheaper insurance premiums.

Using lasers, cameras or radar, the car will detect an impending collision, and give the driver a warning. If he or she doesn’t act, the car will brake automatically. Thatcham Research calls AEB the most significant development since the safety belt.

AEB has been shown to reduce such collisions by 38%, according to research by the safety organisation Euro NCAP. By cutting the number of accidents, it is possible that the cost of insuring a car with AEB could also come down.

Posted: Mon, 16/04/2018 - 11:49

Volvo Trucks has introduced its first all-electric truck, the Volvo FL Electric.

The first trucks in the new FL Electric range are entering regular operation with two customers in Gothenburg, with series production of the new model starting in Europe next year.

"We are immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic. With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports," said Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks.

The manufacturer is offering holistic solutions to suit the needs of individual customers with regards to range, load capacity and driving cycles.

The Volvo FL Electric has a GVW of 16-tonnes and its motor develops 425Nm of torque.

It can operate for a range of 185 miles on a full charge and can be recharged in one hour using a fast charger

Posted: Thu, 12/04/2018 - 10:34

Used car values continue to rise at auction, up 1.7% in March compared to February. Year on year are ahead 9.2% to £9,68, the second highest on record.

Stuart Pearson BCA MD UK Remarketing said: “Buyer demand was strong in March, resulting in average values reaching record levels and excellent conversion rates around the 24-strong BCA network.

 

Reflecting seasonal patterns, we saw greater volumes from both fleet and lease and dealer part-exchange sources and this uplift is likely to continue in the weeks ahead.

“With Easter now behind us, we expect demand to be maintained well into April as professional buyers compete for stock.

Posted: Tue, 10/04/2018 - 10:38

A Servicing Stop survey has revealed 64% of motorists are now more likely to head online to buy their new or used car. Automotive specific sites such as Autotrader pull 40% of the custom, while 16% head to Gumtree and Ebay, according to the survey of 1,006 consumers. A further 8% will look on Facebook and Twitter for their next vehicle. However, one-in-three car buyers will still consider shopping at a showroom, with almost half of those surveyed claiming it is the safest and most trusted place to buy a car.

Servicing Stop's chief executive and founder, Oly Richmond said: “Motorists are driving a hard bargain online, opting for cheap and quick deals on a new set of wheels over the traditional process of visiting a showroom.

“There’s always been a risk involved in buying a second-hand vehicle but it seems drivers are increasingly willing to take the risk, aware of the consequences and buy online - it’s great to see drivers presented with more diversity in terms of their buying options but it’s a surprise to see so many motorists buying online but still holding faith in the showrooms.”

Posted: Tue, 03/04/2018 - 14:43

Nissan has outlined its target to sell one million electrified vehicles annually by 2022.

The aspiration was announced as part of the Japanese brand’s MOVE to 2022 midterm plan, which includes evolving autonomous driving systems and improving vehicle connectivity.

“Our product and technology strategy is dedicated to positioning Nissan to lead the automotive, technology and business evolution. Our efforts are focused on delivering Nissan Intelligent Mobility, encompassing the three core elements of electrification, autonomous drive, connectivity and new mobility services,” said Philippe Klein, Nissan’s chief planning officer.

Nissan will develop eight new pure electric vehicles between now and 2022, it will also launch new electric car brands in China and a new electric mini-vehicle for the Japanese market.

Infiniti models will be launched with electrified powertrains by 2021 too and Nissan will offer 20 models globally with ProPilot autonomous driving technology by 2022.

Posted: Thu, 29/03/2018 - 11:30

Figures from the SMMT show that the UK saw a 34.8% increase in electric and hybrid vehicle registrations in 2017. Aimed at meeting demand for technicians skilled in the assistance of Electric, Hybrid and PHEV vehicles at the roadside, Allianz Worldwide Partners, in partnership with the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI), is setting a new industry standard for training and awareness.

A total of 119,821 alternative fuel vehicles were registered in the UK in 2017, up from 88,881 in 2016, with the sector accounting for one in every 21 new cars. Anticipating increased demand for highly qualified, specialist engineers, the Allianz Worldwide Partners network of dedicated manufacturer technicians, along with its fleet of Multi-Technicians, are working to achieve a Level 4 accreditation in Electric, Hybrid and PHEV vehicles, with the IMI acting as the awarding body.

Skill requirements include identifying AC and DC voltages, as well as high voltage symbols, cabling and components, during maintenance and repair. Following procedures is a key skill, along with safe working practices engaging with Electric, Hybrid and PHEV vehicles that require assistance and advising others when a vehicle is in a ‘safe condition’ to carry out maintenance or repair.