Auto News for Oct. 9

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Toyota may be ready to take on the Mazda MX-5 Miata! The company will display a two seat sports car at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show called the S-FR, not to be confused with the existing FR-S. It will be pitched as an entry level car, it will be a light weight, and with a front engine/rear drive configuration. A six speed manual transmission is in the cards, thank heavens, and that is about all we know about the car at this time.

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The FCV that runs on compressed hydrogen will also make its debut at the show. It certainly is a “wild child” design that places the fuel cell stack between the front tires with the hydrogen tank behind the rear seat. The fuel cell stack can be reused as an electricity generating device at home.

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One show car that will probably never be seen on your street is the Kikai, a concept vehicle that Toyota said “takes the machinery, normally hidden beneath the vehicle body, and makes an open display of its beauty.” A window at the driver’s feet allows one to view the suspension at work and “the rush of speed along the road surface.” The driver sits in the middle and two passengers can be accommodated in a three person triangular pattern. Toyota said the Kikai “reminds us of the appeal of the physical and tactile in a digital age.” It sure looks like it would a lot of fun to drive.

GM is recalling 31,685 model year 2016 Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave SUVs and is urging owners not to use their front windshield wipers. The wiper motor can overheat and catch fire. GM said if owners can’t make it to a dealer to get a new motor because of rainy weather they will pick up for the vehicle for serving. If parts are not available, the company will provide a rental at no cost to the consumer. If you own one of these vehicles, check out recalls.gm.com

Question of the morning. Given the choice would you rather be the head of Volkswagen or Speaker of the House of Representatives?

Union officials will meet today with local leaders to go over terms of the new proposed contract reached with Fiat Chrysler. Some reports say it will eventually eliminate the two tier wage system, a goal of union members.

On the VW front:

The head of VW in the U.S. said the software that allowed cheating on emissions tests was the work for a few individuals, and was not ordered from above. Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee were skeptical. Michael Horn also said many of the older diesels will require a major fix, and repairs may not begin until next year.

The Detroit News reported that the Justice Department, at least 45 states and regulators around the world are investigating.

The head of the National Automobile Dealers Association told a gathering in Detroit he believes VW’s sales will “fall off the end of the world” until they solve the pollution problem. But Bill Fox added that he hoped the sales fall off will not happen.

 

 

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