With April fool jokes, law settlements, and supercar recalls, March had been a month of peculiar news from the automotive industry.
Tesla has been in the news for a tweet by its CEO, Elon Musk, who announced that Tesla was “so bankrupt that you won’t believe it”. It was meant to be an April fool joke, an expensive one at that. This came around the same time that a Model X experienced a crash in “auto pilot” mode. Sources show that shares of Tesla plunged 7% since the tweet. But there is other news from Tesla that is no joke. 123,000 of their early Model S sedans are being recalled to fix a faulty power steering bolt which can corrode from road salt. These bolts were supplied by the German manufacturer Bosch. If this bolt fails, the driver will not lose control but will find a little difficulty in turning the steering. The fix will be free and will consume an hour.
Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s gearbox had been giving the firm problems for a long time now. The gearbox wrongly indicates that it’s slotted into park when it is not. And that had resulted in 68 injuries and 266 crashes till date. Out of which, the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin attracted the most media attention. The terrible incident happened two years ago when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away from its parked position, pinning him against a brick wall. The family of the late actor has now settled the lawsuit against FCA but other details have not been disclosed. Post-verdict the company stated “pleased that we’ve reached an amicable resolution in this matter.”
1.3 million Ford Fusions (2014-2017) and Lincoln MKZs (2014-2018) are being recalled as at least two accidents and one injury is attributed to an issue that can lead the steering wheel to come off the column. The steering wheel bolt that attaches the wheel to the column is found to be the source of the issue as it is found to provide less torque than what is required so it keeps on loosening itself. The fix is a simple procedure in which Ford will replace the bolt with a bigger one and a larger nylon patch will be applied to keep it all intact.
In the United States, 154,753 2009 and 2010 Hyundai Sonata sedans are being recalled to work on a problem that can fail the operation of the airbags in the event of a crash. The airbag control unit is prone to short circuits that can cause the unit to prevent the operation of the airbags and seatbelts. Only 1 percent of all models are estimated to be affected and it is not related to the global Takata recall.
On the expensive end of the spectrum, Pagani has issued a recall for their Huayra BC models due to a faulty battery management software which may prevent the batteries from supplying enough power to start the car and keep it running in idle. Only 16 examples of the supercar are affected worldwide. The batteries will be replaced with units that have better software.
That’s all from the month of March. Stick around this section to know regular updates on the recalls.