Honda to Build New $436 Milllion Car Manufacturing Plant in China

Honda Motor Company said on Thursday that its Dongfeng Honda Automobile joint venture in China will build a third production facility at a cost of 3 billion yuan ($436 million) to meet rising demand in the world’s second biggest economy.

The plant, which is designed to accommodate production of electric cars as well, is scheduled to begin making automobiles in the first half of 2019, the company said on its website. The annual capacity of the facility near Wuhan, will be 120,000 units.

The addition of the third plant will increase Dongfeng Honda’s annual production capacity to 600,000 units. Honda’s total Chinese production limit will rise to 1.25 million units, including the 600,000 capacity of Guangqi Honda and 50,000 units made per year by Honda Automobile China Co, which makes cars for exports.

Toyota Motor’s Global Sales Anticipated to Surpass 10 Million This Year

Toyota Motor’s global sales in 2016 are expected to top 10 million for a fourth consecutive year, according to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review. ADRs added less than 1% intraday.

The company is expected to raise its 2017 projection above the unofficial figure of roughly 9.4 million it gave to suppliers in the summer, the news report said without saying where it got the information.

A new all-time high could be in the cards for 2017 sales, the report added. ADRs of the company traded near the top end of their 52-week price range of $97.80 – $127.28.

New Passenger Car Registrations Rise for Ford, Fiat in November

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association Thursday reported that for November, the European Union passenger car market managed to rebound following the slowdown observed in October, with increases seen for brands Ford (F), Toyota (TM), and FCA Group (FCAU) and declines at General Motors’ (GM) Opel and Honda (HMC).

According to the report, new registrations grew 5.8% to 1,148,618 units, boosted by all major markets, with Spain, France, and Italy posting the strongest gains while the U.K. and Germany followed with more modest figures.

Among gainers were Ford, up 1.9% to 76,972 units Toyota, up 6.2% to 48,663 units, and FCA Group, with up 10.3% to 73,888 units. Decreases were posted at General Motors’ Opel, down 1.1% at 73,377 units and Honda, down 5.3% at 10,240 units.

GM Announces 473,000 Vehicle Brake Pedal Recall

Detroit-based automaker General Motors Corp (GM) announced, Tuesday, that they will recall more than 473,000 vehicles across the United States and Canada. According to a story from the Associated Press, the recall will cover some of the 2015-2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD, GMC Sierra 2500 HD, and Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle models.

According to the statement from General Motors, a nut on the brake pedal pivot mechanism can potentially come loose which, of course, can result in malfunction of the brake pedal. Apparently, not every vehicle is affected as, at least it appears, GM had learned of the issue during manufacturing and corrected some of the parts on the assembly line.

To fix the pivot bolts, owners of the affected vehicles will need to bring their model back to the dealer who will then install an adhesive material and then adjust and retighten it. For now, the company has not released any information regarding a repair schedule and any potential filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have not been released. Fortunately, the company also reports that they have not received any notices of crashes or injuries as a result of this problem.

The Associate Press also reports that potentially affected owners will be notified about the recall shortly.

While this report might be somewhat minor—because of a lack of related incidents—it marks the second vehicle recall in only the past few months. In October of 2015, GM also announced the recall of 1.4 million vehicles because of a fire risk. Many of these vehicles were already a part of a previous recall, but this would be the third time the company attempted to remedy the problem since 2007.

The recently discovered fire risk was due to a faulty ignition switch, as reported in 2014. At the time, GM recalled 30 million vehicles across the globe, subsequently compensating families for more than 100 related deaths. According to GM reports engineers were actually aware of this issue as far back as 2001; yet the cars went to market. As such, the company has already settled criminal charges for approximately $900 million.

More To Come from the Takata Airbag Vehicle Recall

The long-running global Takata Corp airbag safety crisis continues and The Volkswagen group of America has recalled approximately 850,000 vehicles.  The automotive company revealed they would recall about 680,000 vehicles in America; partner Audi will recall roughly 170,000 vehicles, according to spokespeople from each company.

Accordingly, Volkswagen’s move comes after auto safety regulators in the United States declared 5.1 million American vehicles defective.  This means that even more airbags are included in the recall than had been previously expected.

Of course, Volkswagen is not the only company affected by this recall.  Today, BMW also reported they would recall 840,000 vehicles in the United States for fear they are equipped with the faulty Takata Corp airbags.  This arm of the national recall will cover BMW cars and SUV models between the years of 2006 and 2015.  This is a new edition to the models which BMW had previously listed in the original recall.

The original recall was filed in 2009, when it was found that Takata airbag inflators can explode with too much force and, perhaps more importantly, sprayed metal shrapnel throughout the passenger compartment.  So far 14 automakers and 24 million US vehicles are included, for a total of 28 million Takata airbag inflators.

In a statement, VW Group said the company was unaware if any of the faulty SDI or PSDI-5 inflators had been installed in any VW Group vehicle worldwide; thus the recall is more precautionary than anything else.

In terms of Volkswagen, the company is specifically recalling the models:

  • 2009-2014 Volkswagen CC sedan
  • 2010-2014 Jetta SportWagen
  • 2010-2014 Golf
  • 2012-2014 VW Eos convertible
  • 2012-2014 Passat midsize sedan (those assembled in the United States)
  • 2006-2010 Passat sedan and wagons (those built in Germany)

In terms of Audi, the recall covers:

  • 2005-2013 A3 Compact
  • 2006-2009 A4 Cabrio
  • 2009-2012 Q5 Crossover
  • 2010-2011 A5 Cabrio

Until all repairs are completed, any and every affected Audi and Volkswagen vehicle at pre-owned certified dealers will be placed on stop-sale.

The Volkswagen recalls come after Daimler AG announced the recall of 840,000 US vehicles which have Takata airbags.  The company said this includes 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and 136,000 vans.  The recall includes 2005-2014 models:

  • Mercedes-Benz SLK convertible
  • C-class and E-class sedans
  • M and GL-class SUVs
  • R and SLS-class coupe

Finally, Daimler also made it known they would also recall vans made between 2007 and 2014 (including not only Mercedes-Benz but also Dodge and Freightliner brands).

Nissan Altima Hood Latch Recall Expanded to Nearly One Million Vehicles

This week, Japanese car company Nissan Motor Company has announced yet more recalls pertaining to a faulty hood latch. Now the third such recall, this brings the total up to nearly one million vehicles between model years 2013 and 2015. The first two attempts at fixing the problem involved the simple application of a new lubricant to the Altima’s hood latch assembly. Nissan had hoped this would be a quick fix that would retain the efficacy of the secondary latch. Obviously, this fix was largely inconsistent and thus unsuccessful.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the base of the recall pertains to poorly manufactured hood latch assemblies from Ontario-based part maker Intier Automotive. The agency says that the parts were not properly coated with paint, which exposes them to corrosion, resulting in early degradation of the latch and, thus, faulty function.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statement details: “Over time, corrosion may create mechanical binding that could cause the secondary hood latch to remain in the open position after the hood is opened and then closed. If the primary hood latch is released and the vehicle is driven while the secondary hood latch is in the open position, the secondary hood latch may not hold the hood closed as designed while the vehicle is in motion.”

In addition, the NHTSA has already noted the receipt of complaints of many recent Nissan Altima mid-size sedan owners. Unfortunately, the number of complaints make up approximately 25 percent of the manufacturer’s total US sales in 2015. On the up side, though, the faulty issues reported have not been associated with any injuries or crashes, according to Nissan spokesman Steve Yaeger.

The initial recall involved more than 220,000 Nissan Altima models prior to 2014 and then expanded in 2015 to include another 625,000 Altimas between 2013 and 2015.

Nissan has recently said that will send out recall notices to owners of the affected vehicles, via postal mail, in mid-February. After this, then, owners can take their vehicles to a Nissan dealer for servicing, free of charge.