Episode 43 : Not a Bucket of Doom - FCA in trouble, #Project2CV update, Zafira B recall, Suzuki mpg, Tesla cash, Queen's Speech, Sticky Bonnets, Scottish EV chargers, Volvo Concepts

Welcome to this week’s show. You will be pleased to hear there is less doom and gloom than of late! However, the chaps start with some follow up that doesn’t sound like good news for FCA.

 

FCA troubles in Germany

Last week Opel and FCA were to meet with the German regulator to discuss their engine management systems. Opel went, FCA did not. In Germany it is being reported that the regulator has not reacted well to this, funnily enough. The ultimate sanction being suggested is a ban on sales of FCA, in Germany. 

 

#Project2CV update

In happier news, @dollywobbler has updated #Project2CV. Progress is being made and he is selling off swathes (that may be an over exaggeration) of his fleet, the funds of which are being ploughed back into the restoration of Elly.

 

Second Zafira B Recall

Vauxhall have announced a second recall of Zafira Bs. This is, according to Vauxhall, in order to "improve the overall robustness” of the heating system following further investigations into the original problem. The first recall was to return cars to their original condition as faulty repairs were thought to be the culprit for the fires. 

 

Suzuki MPG Calculation Woes

Suzuki has now confirmed that 16 new models in Japan have had incorrect testing for fuel economy. Individual components were tested and these figures combined to produce the official figure. However, Suzuki states it does not need to change the figures as these are accurate. The reason for individual component testing is due to their proving ground being located on a hill by the sea, which gives varied weather conditions which makes it harder for them to produce consistent test conditions and therefore results.

 

Tesla raising funds

Tesla are looking to sell some shares to help raise $2 billion which it will invest in manufacturing, specifically to speed up Tesla 3 production. As Alan says this is a reassuring move, as it shows how serious Tesla is at meeting the new target Musk announced recently.

 

Secondhand Kia Sportages selling fast

Kia are on a roll at the moment, in particular their Sportage model. Not only is it doing we’ll with new sales, but second hand buyers are snapping them up, as reported by Auto Trader. Well done Kia!

 

Autonomous Cars in Britain

During the Queen’s speech, at the State Opening of Parliament, it was announced that Britain is to become a leading force in autonomous driving, with such cars being able to be insured on regular policies. This will allow cars to be legally driven on our roads. Thatcham Research released a nice timeline of how autonomous cars could come into reality, which you can read here. There is still the psychological problems manufacturers will have to help get motorists over as they’ve been ‘in control’ of cars up to now.

 

'Sticky' Bonnet Patent

Speaking of autonomous cars, Google has filed a patent for a sticky layer to be applied to the bonnet of an autonomous car, the theory being it will hold the pedestrian and stop them bouncing off thereby being hurt more. Anyone else imagining bonnets with giant flypaper stuck to them? 

 

Rural Scotland EV Charging Stations

In the homeland of Alan there is news that soon rural electric car charging points will outnumber petrol stations. There has been a big effort over the last five years to increase the number charging points and this looks to continue, making touring Scotland with your EV a more practical proposition.

 

Volvo Concepts

On the show both Andrew and Alan are BIG fans of Volvo and what they are currently doing as a company, so to hear about new concept models has them quite excited. Firstly there is the 40.1 concept, which, by all accounts, is the new XC40 expected in showrooms next year. The other is the 40.2 which is a third body style for the 40 range. 

 

Honest John's Cars of the Year Awards

Another week and another set of awards. This time it is Honest John's Cars of the Year. The difference here is the awards are given to the most popular cars on their site, thanks to page views. Click here to run through the list. Andrew and Alan like this way of judging and it makes a nice change to the 'panel of experts' style. Congratulations to Suzuki for the Vitara was the overall winner for 2016!

 

Smith & Sniff Videos

To round the show out, @sniffpetrol (Richard Porter) and @carpervert (Jonny Smith) have started to do some short videos together. These have been quite enetertaining and fun to watch. Click the link here to go see the latest and let them know you like it, as they'll hopefully do more!

 

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