Archive for September, 2018

Musk Settles: Pays SEC $20M, Resigns as Chairman

Tesla also paying $20M bringing total to $40M in penalties.

by on Sep.29, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk settled with the SEC paying a $20 million fine and resigning as the chairman of the company.

After an initial round of defiance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk elected to take the path of least resistance with the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to resign as chairman and pay a $20 million fine.

Tesla will pay an additional $20 million as part of the deal with the agency, bringing the total paid to $40 million.

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“The total package of remedies and relief announced today are specifically designed to address the misconduct at issue by strengthening Tesla’s corporate governance and oversight to protect investors,” Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement. (more…)

Tony Swan, Dean of Automotive Journalists, Dead at 78

“Drive fast. Take chances.”

by on Sep.28, 2018

For some, the love of things that go "vroom" starts at a very young age.

I’d expected to see Tony Swan looking frail and subdued. He had, after all, just gone through the latest in a seemingly endless series of chemotherapy sessions, never mind surgeries. But things were as lively as ever at the Ypsilanti home he shared with wife Mary Seelhorst as I arrived for the annual holiday party. No question, Tony had been to hell, but he was back, and he had transformed the detritus of his chemo treatments, bags, tubes, rack and all, into a mad take on a Christmas tree.

Whether on track or behind the keyboard, Tony Swan maintained a zest for life and a passion for automobiles in every shape and form until almost the very moment he passed on last night. Indeed, he had gone on several media events over the last couple months, and attended a nearby Concours just a few weeks ago.

The Last Word!

“Drive fast. Take chances.” It was a clever coin of a phrase, but it was also one Tony lived by. Given the chance to do just one thing with his life, he’d probably have chosen racing, he would admit on occasion. Even after age and illness made it increasingly difficult to maintain the pace of his addiction he continued on a slower scale, partnering with friends and former colleagues on the LeMons circuit, championing vehicles that wouldn’t even have qualified for rent-a-wreck status.

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Is Ford Semi Committed? Maker Reveals EV Concept Truck

Level 4 autonomy and a slew of tech is packed into the concept.

by on Sep.28, 2018

Ford's F-Vision concept debuted at the IAA show in Germany. For now, it's just a concept officials claim.

Does Tesla have another competitor in the battery-electric semi truck arena? Maybe.

Ford Motor Co. took the wraps off an electric semi truck concept called the F-Vision at the IAA Commercial Vehicles expo in Hannover, Germany. The company’s vision is similar in many ways to Tesla’s offering with a high level of autonomy and a sleek exterior design.

Keep on Truckin'!

However, it would appear that Elon Musk and the gang in Palo Alto can breathe easier – at least about this anyway – as Ford says the new F-Vision is only a concept. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Nissan Altima

One very good reason why the sedan isn’t ready to die.

by on Sep.28, 2018

For 2019, the new Nissan Altima will be offered in a heavily equipped First Edition trim.

The sedan is dead. Long live the sedan. Or so goes what currently passes for conventional wisdom, backed by the decision to slash the number of four-door models, indeed, eliminate them entirely at Ford Motor Co.

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But I have seen the future and it is not an entirely SUV and CUV-driven world. If the complete makeover that is the 2019 Nissan Altima is any indication, there’s a clear place for sedans for the foreseeable future. And among the many new features that would seem to make the Altima a natural alternative for Snowbelt buyers who might really want a more conventional set of wheels: Altima marks the first time Nissan is offering all-wheel-drive in one of its sedans. That is, in fact, a relatively rare feature among mainstream four-doors, and not available on segment leaders Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

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Honda Issues Recalls for Rear Cameras and Airbags

Two actions: one new, one an ongoing effort.

by on Sep.28, 2018

Honda is recalling 232,000 Accords and Insight hybrids to fix a malfunctioning rear camera system.

Honda issued two recalls one to fix a new problem and a second to resolve an ongoing effort in the biggest recall in history.

A malfunctioning rear camera is forcing Honda to recall about 232,000 2018 Accord vehicles and 2019 Insight hybrid cars in the U.S.  The problem lies in the software for the rear camera display, which fails to work.

Recall News!

There have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem, according to Honda Motor Co. officials. (more…)

VW, Stanford U Partner to Develop New Fuel Cell Technology

New process could cut price significantly.

by on Sep.28, 2018

New technology being developed by Volkswagen and Stanford University might make this type of fueling up a reality.

Volkswagen has teamed up with Stanford University to develop a process to manufacture the fuel cells that can power vehicles in the future by reducing the amount of platinum used.

Fuel-cell technology is regarded as a serious alternative to battery-electric technology, but it has always come with a comparatively high cost.

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One of the biggest cost drivers for fuel cells is the use of the platinum, which is required as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell.  (more…)

Update: Musk Denounces SEC Lawsuit

“Unjustified action…leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed.”

by on Sep.28, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk refuted the fraud charges brought against him in a lawsuit by the SEC.

Elon Musk and the Tesla board have fired back at the SEC, denouncing the federal lawsuit that could lead to the ouster of the automaker’s founder and CEO.

On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Musk, alleging he made “false and misleading statements” to investors when tweeting and posting about his plans to take the carmaker private last month. The suit could force Musk’s ouster, bar him permanently from holding a position of authority at a public company and result in millions of dollars in fines.

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While Tesla itself was not named in the suit, many observers expect that move could yet follow. Even if it didn’t, the company has been targeted by several investor lawsuits. (more…)

BMW Charges Up 2019 i3 With 153-Mile Battery

But has the Bavarian City Car finally found the sweet spot for range?

by on Sep.28, 2018

BMW is looking to eliminate the criticism about the range, or lack thereof, on its i3 city car with a bump to 153 miles.

BMW’s little city car, the i3, has won plenty of kudos since it was first launched in the 2014 model-year, but it has also turned off a number of potential buyers who simply can’t get charged up about its limited range.

That may change in the coming months, BMW today announcing a new, extended-range model, the i3 120Ah, as well as the sportier i3s 120Ah, The two versions will deliver a nearly 30% increase in range compared to the current, all-electric i3. BMW also plans to offer the new battery pack with the i3 REX, the city car variant that adds a gas-powered range-extending engine, though final EPA numbers have not yet been released.

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Even with the more capable battery pack the i3s 120Ah might best be described as a longer-range version of the quirky BMW electric vehicle, now offering 153 miles between charges, compared to 115 miles with the largest battery pack it previously offered. That roughly matches what you’ll get with the second-generation Nissan Leaf, but falls well short of the 238 miles offered by the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the nearly 300 miles delivered by the Tesla Model 3 with its optional extended-range battery pack. (more…)

Mercedes-AMG Gives New Hypercar its Official Name

Germans also release pics of new Mercedes-AMG One.

by on Sep.27, 2018

The Mercedes-AMG One is shown here in production trim, including its active aero system.

Project One has apparently become reality. Daimler AG is giving an official name to its upcoming hypercar. What was known until now as Project One will simply become the Mercedes-AMG One when it finally goes into production.

A near street-ready version of the $2.5 million hybrid two-seater will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show, the automaker announced this evening, the news coming just days after Mercedes released shots of the Project One prototype going through track testing on a course many believe to be the grueling German Nurburgring.

Hypercars!

“The name stands for the highest automotive ambition: to bring Formula 1 hybrid technology to the road,” the automaker said, adding that, “Mercedes-AMG One will be the pinnacle of the model portfolio and the absolute top-of-the-line model – as is logically referenced by the One.”

(more…)

SEC Sues Tesla CEO Musk, Alleges Fraud Over Privatization Plan

Penalties could be severe and affect Musk’s other companies.

by on Sep.27, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is being sued by the SEC, which claims his "plans" to take the company private were "false and misleading."

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk, alleging he committed fraud when tweeting and posting about his plans to take the carmaker private last month.

Tesla itself was not named in the suit, though the company has privately given indications it expects to be rolled in later, according to sources. The announcement by the federal agency seriously compounds the problems already facing Tesla and its founder and CEO Musk. They are already being sued by short-sellers who claim the privatization effort was little more than a way to hurt them, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

News You Can Trust!

In a statement filed in Manhattan District Court, the SEC accused Musk of making “false and misleading statements” to investors when he first tweeted about going private early in August. “In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source,” the complaint adds. (more…)

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