Class Actions Suit Names 10 Automakers Over ‘Deadly’ Keyless Ignitions

Class Actions Suit Names 10 Automakers Over ‘Deadly’ Keyless Ignitions Ten automakers in the U.S. are being sued for allegedly concealing the possible risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in some vehicles with keyless ignitions.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against some of the world’s leading automakers claiming that they concealed the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than five-million vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions. According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, some vehicle owners were under the mistaken belief that the engines will automatically shut off. As a result, some drivers left their vehicles in succession, resulting in toxic gas being emitted sometimes in garages emotionally involved to homes.
Automakers being named in the lawsuit include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. Brands owned by those automakers are also being named as defendants, including MINI, Acura, Kia, Infiniti, Lexus and Bentley.
Drivers are claiming that the automakers have known for years in this area the risks of keyless ignitions, yet continued to market their vehicles as safe.
The largest focus on the lawsuit is that plaintiffs say the automakers could have avoided 13 deaths by installing an low-priced feature that would automatically shut off unattended engines, noting that even American automakers GM and Ford patented a shut-off feature. In addition, 27 complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 2009 over keyless ignitions.
Automotive News
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UK Extends £5,000 EV Rebate to February 2016

UK Extends £5,000 EV Rebate to February 2016 The U.K. is adding £200 million to its EV discount program, which will extend the £5,000 new vehicle credit for an three additional months to February 2016.
Previously set to run out this fall, U.K. government officials said they are expanding the rebates to spur more sales of low emission vehicles.
“The U.K. is now the fastest growing market for electric vehicles in Europe,” said Transport Minister Andrew Jones. “We will continue to invest to help make this technology affordable to everyone and to secure the U.K.’s position as a global leader.”
The original discount was made for 50,000 buyers, awarding £5,000 ($7,711) for the buy of what the U.K. marks as ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs). This assemble initially included only battery electric (BEVs) plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), but has since been expanded to fuel cell vehicles as well.
SEE ALSO: European Plug-in Sales Leap Ahead of US For The First Time
With the additional £200 million ($308 million) for the fund, these grants are now expected to last through February next year. According to Auto Express, the country has already seen positive progression from the grant.
“In the first half of 2015, sales of plug-in vehicles escalated dramatically with a 256 percent progression against the same period in 2014,” Auto Express reported. “By June, ULEV registrations had surpassed that of the whole of 2014.”

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California And Nevada Among Four States Vying For Faraday Future EV Factory

California And Nevada Among Four States Vying For Faraday Future EV Factory Although aspiring carmaker Faraday Future prefers to keep most of its plans a secret, it has revealed locations now under consideration for a new EV factory.
“We’re still actively talking to four states,” said company spokesman Marcus Nelson. “We have talked to California, Nevada, Georgia and Louisiana.”
Nevada, which successfully snagged a deal with Tesla to be home to its Gigafactory last year by offering $1.3 billion in incentives, may consider similar tax credits for Faraday Future (FF).
The Sacramento Business Journal reported that Governor Brian Sandoval met with company representatives last week to discuss building the factory in Southern Nevada. Officials with North Las Vegas are also in talks with FF.
Potential offers from California, Georgia and Louisiana are unknown. Nelson noted that FF will announce its final choice by the end of September.
It was only a month ago when FF announced that its battery electric will be available for patrons by 2017. This is certainly a bold statement from a new carmaker: to develop a car with an electrified powertrain from the ground up is no small feat.
SEE ALSO: This California EV Startup Says It’s Not Messing Around
But FF already has a small army in place. And some of its leaders boast an impressive resume. Richard Kim championed the design of the i3 and i8 concepts as BMW’s head of design. Nick Sampson – formerly on the engineering team for the Tesla Model S – and Silva Hiti – Chevy Volt’s senior director of powertrain – are also on FF’s roster.
The company has added another 100 employees to its payroll since last month’s announcement, with Nelson saying FF now has a staff of more than 300. For now, they are working in Gardena, Calif., out of building once owned by Nissan.
Sacramento Business Journal

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Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S P85D is the Best Car It’s Ever Tested

Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S P85D is the Best Car It’s Ever Tested The Tesla Model S P85D can add another item to its long list of bragging rights.
The regular Model S version of this all-electric luxury sedan was already the best car Consumer Reports had ever tested, earning an nearly unheard of near-exact score of 99 points. But the higher-performance P85D variant topped that, pouring away with a raw score of 103. Consumer Reports’ scale only goes up to 100, so they really had to alter the scoring system to accommodate this new benchmark.
Part of why this all-wheel-drive sedan did so well is that it took the evaluators’ breath away with its speed. With a measured zero-to-60 time of just 3.5 seconds, it’s the quickest car they have ever evaluated. Tesla advertises that it can blitz to 60 miles an hour in 3.1 seconds, or 2.8 as the “P90D” with a “Ludicrous Speed Upgrade” and 90-kilowatt-hour battery. But, raw acceleration is not the only thing that impressed Consumer Reports testers. Read more

Hyundai Teases Cleaner-Designed 2017 Elantra Interior

Hyundai Teases Cleaner-Designed 2017 Elantra Interior After numerous teaser photos of the upcoming 2017 Hyundai Elantra, here is the first look at the new model’s interior.
Last week, the Korean automaker released a teaser sketch of the all-new Elantra’s styling, revealing a model that appears to be heavily inspired by the new Genesis sedan. It appears that the upscale treatment will carry over to the cabin as the 2017 Hyundai Elantra will have a streamlined, design with a simpler center console. There’s a glaring lack of buttons as well, importance less reins to fuss with for the infotainment and climate control system. Overall, the interior is similar to what’s found in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis and that’s a excellent thing.
Hyundai has also changed the steering wheel, moving the reins slightly so that they’re more convenient for the driver. As for powertrains, expect the new Elantra to keep the existing 1.8- and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines while a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine will join the lineup mated to a seven-speed dual-clasp transmission. Expect the new Elantra to make its official public debut in November at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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IIHS: Front Crash Prevention Systems Better Than Ever

IIHS: Front Crash Prevention Systems Better Than Ever Vehicles that offer automatic braking are on the rise and the systems are better than ever according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The IIHS place 19 different new vehicles (photo from previous testing) with adjoin-crash avoidance systems to the test and fourteen of the models were given a Superior rating, while the other five earned the title of Advanced. To get the Superior rating, vehicles must have an autobrake system that “can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in both tests,” while for Advanced, the vehicle must “have autobrake and avoid a crash or reduce speeds by at least 5 mph.”
These systems work with a amalgamation of lasers, radar or cameras, to detect objects in adjoin of a vehicle. If a crash is deemed imminent, the vehicle will grab the brakes automatically to avoid a collision or at least mitigate the effect of the crash. A Basic rating is also handed out to vehicles that feature forward collision warning systems that do not effect the brakes.
The Superior rating was handed out to the 2016 Acura ILX, MDX, RDX and RLX; 2016 BMW X3; 2015 Chrysler 300 and its twin, the 2015 Dodge Charger; 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (both Collision Prevention Help Plus and Pre-Safe Brake equipped versions), CLA (both Collision Prevention Help Plus and Distronic Plus equipped versions) and E-Class; and the 2016 Mazda 6 and CX-5.
In the Advanced category, we have the 2016 Volkswagen Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta and 2015 Volkswagen Touareg. The BMW X3 is rated an Advanced with the camera-only system called City Braking Function, while adding the camera- and radar-based system bumps it up to Superior.
While most of these systems are available as options, Mercedes is the first automaker to offer a Superior rated system as standard equipment on its vehicles. That doesn’t mean you need to buy a luxury car to get an advanced automatic braking system though, as the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Mazda6 and CX-5 are all moderately priced vehicles with Superior auto braking available.
This technology is on the rise too, with the IIHS saying that 27 percent of all vehicles available for 2015 offer some type of autonomous braking, doubling the amount available back in 2012. Forwrd collision warning, which does not automatically brake for you, is now available on over half of all vehicles available in 2015.
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Tesla Model S Sets 452.8-mile Distance Record

Tesla Model S Sets 452.8-mile Distance Record A Tesla Model S P85D has gone 452.8 miles on a release charge.
Two drivers claim to have set a new world record for the longest distance traveled on a release charge with the Tesla Model S, which has an EPA-qualified 253 miles per charge. But by averaging a speed of 24.2 mph, the two were able to squeeze 452.8 miles out of a release charge on a drive that took 18 hours and 40 minutes.
Bjørn Nyland and a friend set out from Rodekro, Denmark and finished at the same spot after their hypermiling adventure.
Nyland is well known to the Tesla convergence as documenting other adventures in the Tesla.
SEE ALSO: Forbes Names Tesla As The World’s Most Innovative Company
Although this drive distance hasn’t been confirmed as an official world record, the Tesla Model S P85D did cover an impressive distance on a release charge, even though the drivers did average just 24.2 mph. Read more