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October 20, 2015 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
More Automakers Will be Included in Takata Airbag Probe, NHTSA Says
Will the Scandal Force VW to Sacrifice Its Iconic Brands?
In California, Electric Cars Outpace Plugs, and Sparks Fly
FCA Design Gets More International as Non-Italians Take Key Jobs
Key Test for Self-Driving Cars: A Northern Virginia Highway
Top Stories
More Automakers Will be Included in Takata Airbag Probe, NHTSA Says

U.S. regulators signaled that their investigation into Takata Corp. airbag inflators will expand beyond 11 automakers, amid signs that vehicle design could play a role in whether the devices pose a deadly risk to the public. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind said his agency can add more auto manufacturers to the consent order that regulators announced with Takata in May. He said some carmakers could also begin to move more quickly when they suspect a potential problem.
Source: Reuters
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Will the Scandal Force VW to Sacrifice Its Iconic Brands?

Faced with billions of euros in costs for its emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen AG may have to consider an overhaul of a 12-brand empire built in the last two decades that makes everything from cheap cars to motorbikes to heavy trucks. While VW in the past could afford to prop up financially struggling divisions such as the Spanish Seat unit, Bugatti super-car nameplate and MAN heavy trucks with robust profit from Porsche and Audi, that money will now need to help cover costs linked to the crisis.
Source: Bloomberg

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In California, Electric Cars Outpace Plugs, and Sparks Fly

Of all the states, California has set the most ambitious targets for cutting emissions in coming decades, and an important pillar of its plan to reach those goals is encouraging the spread of electric vehicles. But the push to make the state greener is creating an unintended side effect: It is making some people meaner. The bad moods stem from the challenges drivers face finding recharging spots for their battery-powered cars. Unlike gas stations, charging stations are not yet in great supply, and that has led to sharp-elbowed competition.
Source: The New York Times
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FCA Design Gets More International as Non-Italians Take Key Jobs

The appointments of a German to head Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ European design operations and an American as Alfa Romeo’s exterior styling chief are the latest examples that Italians are playing a lesser role in the top design positions at the automaker.
Source: Automotive News
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Key Test for Self-Driving Cars: A Northern Virginia Highway

Self-driving cars faced what might be their ultimate test Monday: I-95 in northern Virginia. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute demonstrated its automated vehicle technology Monday on the I-95 Express Lanes, a stretch of asphalt on the notorious I-95 corridor that connects the traffic-choked suburbs of northern Virginia to the nation's capital. Officials at the institute and an administrator at the U.S. Department of Transportation said they believe it's the first time that driverless technology this advanced has been tested on an actual highway, though they acknowledged that research in the field is evolving quickly and not always easily tracked.
Source: Associated Press
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Quotable
"The digital advertising campaign we are undertaking -- the first ever campaign of this type by an automotive supplier -- is designed to ensure that anyone with a potentially impacted vehicle is made aware of the issue."

   -- Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada, commenting on the supplier's efforts to reach owners of recalled vehicles, Automotive News, Oct. 19

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