TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen Completed Second in China, Big Difficulty for Takata, and Apple’s Longtime Car Guy Gone

Signing ceremony for VW’s Foshan plant in China. Picture courtesy Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen’s chief in China says they’re possibly not retaking the crown from General Motors there anytime quickly.

That, Apple’s lead car guy is gone, Takata’s in difficulty and a lot more … following the break!

Der neue Volkswagen Satana (China)

Volkswagen’s China chief: ‘Volume is not everything’

Volkswagen’s chief in China mentioned the automaker would have a good year in China and deflected any sales race with General Motors by saying “volume isn’t every little thing,” according to Reuters.

Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen in China, told reporters that the firm would focus on resale and residual values in the country — not sheer numbers.

GM surpassed VW final year in sales last year in China, according to the report. It might stay that way this year.

Apple Logo Circa 2005

Longtime Apple vehicle exec leaving

A longtime Apple executive for projects including the iPod and iPhone, and reportedly head of the company’s automotive division, is leaving the business, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Steve Zadesky, a 16-year Apple veteran and former Ford engineer, is leaving the business for private reasons not connected to functionality, according to the report.

Zadesky reportedly led the company’s secret project “Titan” given that 2014. His departure could be a setback for the secretive tech company who could be stockpiling auto industry veterans for an upcoming car — or massive dance party. We’ll never know due to the fact Apple doesn’t tell us anything.

29 - Jackson the Standard Poodle in snow - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Storm causes delays for plants, auto show

Common Motors and Toyota closed their plants in Kentucky ahead of Winter Storm Jonas, according to Automotive News.

Toyota shuttered for the weekend its Georgetown, Kentucky plant, which produces the Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES 350. GM closed its Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that makes the Corvette for the weekend ahead of the storm that will reportedly bring a lot more than 12 inches of snow to the location.

Similarly, the Washington Auto Show’s public days over the weekend were postponed for the storm. The auto show is scheduled to reopen on Monday.

Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky plant was not affected by the storm.

Takata Driver Airbag

10th fatality confirmed five million much more cars added to enormous Takata recall list

Regulators added 5 million much more automobiles to the huge list of automobiles affected by faulty Takata airbags, Reuters reported. The total number of faulty automobiles in the U.S. has grown to much more than 24 million, with the number of faulty inflators growing to 28 million.

In announcing the additional affected automobiles, regulators also confirmed that a tenth person has been killed by the defective airbag inflators. Officials say a Georgia man was killed Dec. 22 by a faulty airbag in his Ford Ranger truck.

Vehicles affected for the initial time contain Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Saab. Extra Ford, Honda and BMW vehicles had been added to the recall list on Friday.

The National Highway Site visitors Security Administration’s internet site for cars impacted by the Takata recall hasn’t yet been updated with the list of new automobiles, which isn’t quite valuable.

The additional recalled vehicles are yet another blow to the troubled automotive supplier which brings us to …


Takata will ask for automaker bailout, possible merger

Beleaguered airbag maker Takata may possibly ask Japanese automakers to bail out its troubled company and merge with Daciel to continue to make airbag inflators, Reuters reported.

Takata’s prime executives are planning to resign including CEO Shigehisa Takada, who has been criticized for not handling the crisis successfully, according to the report.

Final year, Takata was fined $ 70 million by U.S. regulators who mentioned the fine could develop to $ 200 million if the company didn’t comply with terms of the order. Automakers such as Toyota and Honda backed away from the huge automotive supplier final year following the announced fine.

A spokesman for Daciel didn’t confirm the report, but said they “are discussing techniques to perform with Takata to supply protected (airbag) inflators, despite the fact that we have not decided on any specifics,” according to Reuters.

The Truth About Automobiles » Car Reviews

Report: Honda Engineers Berated Takata Ahead of Scandal Erupted


Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported that engineers at Honda demanded to know why Takata airbags had been injuring drivers and passengers during a 2009 meeting held 4 months ahead of investigators started their inquiry.

“Why does it explode? I want to know the truth,” an engineer identified as “Otaka” asked Takata’s CEO at the meeting, according to Bloomberg.

Minutes from a July 2009 meeting amongst Honda executives and Takata officials have been produced public as element of a lawsuit against the airbag maker.

Federal regulators Wednesday identified the ninth fatality linked to the defective airbags, which could burst so violently that they could spray metal shards into the passenger cabin. National Highway Visitors Security Administration officials mentioned the victim was a minor driving a 2001 Honda Accord close to Pittsburgh in July, according to USA Nowadays.

The teen was hospitalized and died a number of days soon after the crash, according to investigators.

Honda was Takata’s largest customer and owned 1.2 percent of the auto supplier when investigators began examining the defective airbags, according to Bloomberg.

In 2009, when the companies met outside Los Angeles, engineers at Honda accused Takata officials of becoming too slow to act and not treating the predicament seriously.

The documents were unsealed as portion of a Florida woman’s lawsuit against Takata and show that, as far back as 2005, engineers at Takata notified the company of falsified data and the company’s illegal practices.

According to the report, a Takata engineer named Bob Schubert wrote that the business was “prettying up” information about its airbags and that the firm was lying about testing: “It has come to my focus that the practice has gone beyond all affordable bounds and likely constitutes fraud,” he wrote in 2005, according to Bloomberg.

Honda, along with 11 other automakers, are recalling much more than 19 million vehicles — with far more than 23 million faulty inflators — in a single of the biggest recalls in history. NHTSA officials in November fined Takata far more than $ 70 million, which could rise to $ 200 million if the organization can’t fulfill its obligations.

The Truth About Automobiles » Vehicle Critiques