• Recall Roundup

    Jan 20, 2011

    Here are some current recalls that could be affecting your vehicles.  If you own any of the vehicles on this list, make sure you remedy the problem immediately.

    -Volvo Cars of N.A. is recalling more than 6,000 MY 2011 S60, S80, XC60 and XC70 vehicles because of a potential stalling problem. 

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the software calibration for the fuel cut-off functionality in the engine control module is too sensitive. A sudden engine stall could occur, increasing the risk of a crash. 

    Vehicle owners can reach Volvo at (800) 458-1552.

    -Jaguar Land Rover North America is recalling nearly 3,000 MY 2010-2011 LR2 vehicles because of an air bag problem. The shorting bar in the clock spring may have become disconnected when the driver's air bag module connector was installed. As a result, the driver's frontal air bag may not deploy properly in the event of a crash.

    Vehicle owners can reach Land Rover at (800) 637-6837.

    -Toyota Motor Corp. has launched a "limited service campaign" to repair cooling pumps on about 378,000 MY 2004-2007 Toyota Prius cars sold in North America. In the cars involved, air can leak into water pumps that cool parts of the electric drive system. When there is excess air in the cooling system, bubbles can form that inhibit cooling. When sensors detect overheating in the electric drive system, a warning light is triggered. In addition, the car's total driving power will be reduced. 

    Dealers will replace the water pump free of charge.

    -Jaguar Land Rover North America is recalling 6,475 MY 2010-2011 XJ vehicles because of a problem with the windshield wiping and washing system. The front wiper arms-to-spindle fixings were not torqued to specification during manufacture. As a result, the securing nuts could fail and lead to a loss of wiper arm synchronization and a clash of the wiper arms. They could detach from the vehicle as a result, posing a safety risk. 

    Vehicle owners can contact Jaguar at (800) 637-6837.

    -Volvo Trucks North America is recalling more than 6,100 MY 2007-2009 VHD, MY 2006-2010 VN and MY 2007-2009 VT trucks with an air-release fifth wheel. The inversion valve on the frame may be oriented in a way that allows contaminants to enter the valve through the exhaust port. This condition poses the risk of brake valve corrosion, which in turn creates a safety risk.

    The safety recall is expected to get underway around Jan. 10, 2011. Owners can contact Volvo Trucks at (800) 528-6586. 

    Photo courtesy of :wintertwined: and re-used under the Creative Commons license.

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  • According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 fuel economy trends report, the average carbon dioxide emissions for new cars and light duty trucks decreased by six percent from 2008 while also logging a 7 percent increase in overall fuel efficiency.

     

    In 2009, the average CO2 emissions from new vehicles were 397 grams per mile and the average fuel economy value was 22.4 miles per gallon (mpg). That is a decrease of 27 grams per mile, or 6 percent, from 2008 and the largest yearly CO2 decrease since 1981, according to the report.

    Average CO2 emissions have decreased by 64 grams per mile, or 14 percent, and average fuel economy has increased by 3.1 mpg, or 16 percent, since 2004. The positive six-year trend beginning in 2005 reverses a long period of increasing CO2 emissions and decreasing fuel economy from 1987 through 2004.

    The EPA says that its findings are consistent with the estimates that the agency provides for window stickers in new vehicles.  The EPA’s new 2011 Fuel Economy Guide provides data on estimated fuel efficiency for now models to help buyers select the right vehicle for them.

    How important is fuel economy to you when purchasing new fleet vehicles?  Let us know in the comments below.

    [via Environmental Leader]

    Photo courtesy of Chris Keating and re-used under the Creative Commons license.

     


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  • According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 fuel economy trends report, the average carbon dioxide emissions for new cars and light duty trucks decreased by six percent from 2008 while also logging a 7 percent increase in overall fuel efficiency.

    In 2009, the average CO2 emissions from new vehicles were 397 grams per mile and the average fuel economy value was 22.4 miles per gallon (mpg). That is a decrease of 27 grams per mile, or 6 percent, from 2008 and the largest yearly CO2 decrease since 1981, according to the report.

    Average CO2 emissions have decreased by 64 grams per mile, or 14 percent, and average fuel economy has increased by 3.1 mpg, or 16 percent, since 2004. The positive six-year trend beginning in 2005 reverses a long period of increasing CO2 emissions and decreasing fuel economy from 1987 through 2004.

    The EPA says that its findings are consistent with the estimates that the agency provides for window stickers in new vehicles.  The EPA’s new 2011 Fuel Economy Guide provides data on estimated fuel efficiency for now models to help buyers select the right vehicle for them.

    How important is fuel economy to you when purchasing new fleet vehicles?  Let us know in the comments below.

    [via Environmental Leader]

    Photo courtesy of Chris Keating and re-used under the Creative Commons license.

     

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  • Good news for those concerned with driver safety: new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that states that have strengthened their seat belt laws and increased penalties for infractions have seen significant improvement in seat belt usage.

     

    The NHTSA study shows that adopting a primary seat belt law improves belt usage by 10 to 12 percent in states that have done so.  Raising the penalty for an infraction from the national median of $25 to $6 increased usage by 3 to 4 percent, and raising the cost to $100 yielded a 6 to 7% gain. 

     

    These enhanced penalties and tougher laws have already been adopted by several states, and the NHTSA says that it is helping to save lives on America’s roads.

     

    "Seat belts are the single most protective safety device ever invented for use in vehicles, saving thousands of lives each year. Now our research proves that when states step up sanctions, they're rewarded with huge improvements in belt use," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

     

    The full report can be viewed here.

     

    Please remind your drivers that seat belts are an important safety tool and should be worn at all times when their vehicles are in motion.  It’s not only a good idea, but a lifesaver.

    Photo courtesy of Dylan Cantwell and re-used under the Creative Commons license.


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  • With the new 2011 F-150, Ford is launching the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup of any manufacturer. The new 3.7-liter V6 model will deliver best-in-class 23 mpg highway, pending EPA certification. The 5.0-liter V8 model is projected to 21 mpg highway, also pending EPA certification.

    "The all-new engine lineup for the 2011 Ford F-150 is focused on delivering what matters most to truck customers - best-in-class power, capability, durability and fuel economy," said Barb Samardzich, Vice President of Powertrain Engineering. "Each engine offers an unequaled combination of these attributes."

    The improved efficiency of each engine is complemented by additional improvements to the transmission and other areas of the new F-150.

    The 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission has been upgraded to include SelectShift capability with progressive range select and manual mode, and the F-150’s transmission has been optimized for the new engines.

    Another fuel saver is the addition of electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) to the 3.7-liter V6, 5.0-liter V8 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost powertrains. The EPAS system replaces a conventional hydraulic system, which runs continuously off the engine, with a system that draws power only when needed. EPAS contributes about a 4 percent fuel-economy benefit compared with conventional hydraulic systems.

    Details on each new F-150 engine can be found here.

    Photo courtesy of John Lloyd and re-used under the Creative Commons license.

     

     

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  • For those looking to see the next wave of auto trend and technology, keep your eyes out later this month. The 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show will feature 20 world debut vehicles and more than 30 North American debuts.

    Of the 20 world debuts, several have been already announced, including Nissan's redesigned Quest minivan, the Murano Cross Cabriolet crossover convertible concept, and a sedan concept called the Ellure. Land Rover will show its new 4-door Range Rover Evoque and SAAB will showcase the 9-4X crossover. KIA will unveil its first hybrid, the Optima sedan; Volkswagen will unveil its new Eos; and Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep plan to reveal a handful of products highlighted by the new Chrysler 200 sedan and convertible.

    The show will also feature more than 30 North American debuts, including the completely redesigned Hyundai Elantra. Audi, BMW, Porsche, Lotus, and Fiat will also unveil new models at the show.

    This year's show also features a new generation of electric vehicles. Chevrolet's range-extended electric Volt and Nissan's battery-electric Leaf will make appearances at the show, preparing for their rollout in Los Angeles as one of the first markets to receive the vehicles by the end of 2010. Many other electric and hybrid vehicles will be showcased as part of a large group of environmentally friendly vehicles.

    The 2010 LA Auto Show will be held Nov. 17 and 18 for the press and Nov. 19-28 for the public.

     

    Photo courtesy of Rance Costa and re-used under the Creative Commons license.

     

    [via Automotive Fleet]


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  • Does your fleet keep a large inventory of parts on hand to hedge against the stress of sudden repair needs?  Your pragmatism could be hurting your fleet’s bottom line.  Take a look at what Light and Medium Truck had to say about this issue in a recent article:

     

    Fleets trying to trim costs during a slow economy may want to take a closer look at the unused and obsolete parts sitting on the shelves in their parts departments.  A fleet’s parts inventory can represent thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars, and all to often fleets buy too many parts and keep them too long, industry executives said.

     

    “[Fleets] buy a lot to get a better price, but the cash that is tied up could be used elsewhere,” said Jett Kuntz, national sales director with Genuine Parts Co. Genuine is the parent of Integrated Business Solutions, the business arm that manages fleet parts programs of the National Automotive Parts Association.

     

    Fleets also may hold on to parts that are either too old or for vehicles that are no longer in the fleet. Kuntz said fleets usually estimate that about 10% of the parts on their shelves are obsolete, but “in reality, we see it as high as 20% to 30%.”

     

    “Take a part that costs $100,” said Jim Salas, president of JLS Transportation Services, Davie Fla. “If they have 100 $1 bills stacked up instead of that part, I guarantee you they would pay attention to it.”

     

    “If a part has been on shelf for a year, send it back to the dealer,” he said.

     

    Identifying old and unused inventory is not difficult. There are numerous services and programs that can help fleets get their parts process and costs under control. Every maintenance management program available, for example, has some type of parts control module with features ranging from a simple data entry of parts to high-end editions with detailed parts histories, automatic ordering from the dealer, even the ability to include photos, schematics or images.

     

    “Ideally, if you could stock nothing, that would be perfect scenario,” he said, “but [fleets] have become very aware of carrying costs. They’re much more aware of shrinkage and issues they’ve faced and are only inventorying things that are fast moving. We see that going across the fleets in general. It’s becoming more normal because of the costs involved.”

     

    To see the full article, click here.


    Photo courtesy of Aaron Weber and re-used under the Creative Commons license.

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  • General Motors Company announced Wednesday that it has commenced a $13 billion public offering.

    The offering will consist of 365 million shares of common stock to be sold by certain of its stockholders. The company will also issue 60 million shares of its Series B mandatory convertible junior preferred stock with a liquidation amount of $50 per share.

    The estimated price range for the offering of common stock is $26.00 to $29.00 per share.

    Unless converted earlier at the option of the holder, each share of the Series B preferred stock will automatically convert on the mandatory conversion date, which is expected to be three years from the original issue date. The conversion provisions depend on the applicable market value of the company's common stock, and are subject to certain anti-dilution adjustments.  

    The underwriters have the option to purchase from the selling stockholders up to an additional 54.75 million shares of common stock and from the company an additional 9 million shares of Series B preferred stock, on the same terms and conditions, to cover over-allotments, if any.

    Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan (representatives of the underwriters), BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and RBC Capital Markets will be the joint book-running managers for the offering. 

     

    [via Automotive Fleet]

    Photo courtesy of paul (dex) and re-used under the Creative Commons license.


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  • On November 11, General Electric announced that the company will purchase 25,000 electric vehicles for its fleet and through its Capital Fleet Services between now and 2015.  The purchase marks the single largest single commitment to electric vehicles by a company in history.

    GE will initially purchase 12,000 GM vehicles, beginning with the Chevrolet Volt in 2011, and will add other vehicles as manufacturers expand their electric vehicle portfolios.  GE is in a position to help build a nationwide infrastructure to help its 65,000 global fleet customers convert and manage their electric fleets.

    GE owns one of the world's largest fleets, operates a leading global fleet management business, and offers a portfolio of product solutions including charging stations, circuit protection equipment and transformers that touch every part of electric vehicle infrastructure development.

    GE also announced two electric vehicle customer experience and learning centers to provide customers, employees and researchers first-hand access to electric vehicles and developing technologies. The centers will monitor and evaluate vehicle performance and charging behaviors, driver experiences, service requirements, and operational efficiencies, while also affording the opportunity to experience a variety of manufacturers and models, and gain insights on electric vehicle deployment. More will be built nationwide in the coming years.

    GE is launching this comprehensive electric vehicle program as part of its ecomagination business strategy to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology though innovation and R&D investment. In support of the announcement, an electric vehicle readiness toolkit has been launched on ecomagination.com to help municipalities, customers, and individuals prepare for wide-scale electric vehicle deployment.

    [via Fleet Financials]

    Photo courtesy of Ian Carroll and re-used under the Creative Commons license.


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  • Hello again everybody, it’s time for another Fleet Safety Tip of the Week from Automotive Fleet! With winter fast approaching, it’s time to make sure your fleet is protected against hazardous road conditions that arise when the temperature drops.  Here is some advice on how to handle black ice on the roadway:

    You may want to pass this tip along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder…

    Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing. Black ice often makes the road surface look slightly wet like a water puddle, making it dangerously deceptive. Shaded spots, bridges, overpasses and intersections are areas where ice is likely to form first or be the most slippery. Hazardous icy road conditions can sneak up on you, so when the temperature gets close to freezing (below 40°F) watch out for these clues:

    -Ice building up on your outside mirrors, antenna, or the top corners of your windshield.

    -Water spray from tires of vehicles in front of you suddenly stopping indicates an ice patch.

    -Roadside trees and signs have a frosting of ice even though the road surface only looks wet.

     

    Keep these rules in mind and keep your drivers safe through the winter months.  If you have any other tips for handling icy roads, leave a comment and let us know!

    Photo courtesy of Simon Doggett and re-used under the Creative Commons license.


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