Auto News for Oct. 28 (take two) Fiat & VW post losses

A surprise this morning from Fiat Chrysler when the automaker reported a third quarter loss of $330-million due to the cost of vehicle recalls and damaged vehicles in the Tianjin, China port explosion two months ago. Remove those one-time items, and the company reported earnings of 20 cents a share and that would be in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Volkswagen has reported its first quarterly loss in more than a decade after setting aside $7.4 billion to cover the initial estimated costs of the diesel engine emissions case. VW’s third quarter loss came to $1.9 billion dollars and it issued a full year profit warning. The full cost of the emissions case is not yet known.

GM is calling back 1.4 million vehicles for the third time in seven years to fix an oil leak that could lead to a vehicle fire. Previous dealer repairs did not cure the problem as more than 1,300 cars caught fire after a visit to the service department. The latest recall involves 1997-04 Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal models, and the 2000-04 Chevy Impala, 98-99 Chevy Lumina and Olds Intrigue, and the 98-04 Chevy Monte Carlo, all with the 3.8-liter V6 engines.

Ford is recalling 129,000 Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles for a potential fuel tank issue. It wants to check for possible corrosion under the brackets where the fuel tank is mounted. This condition could result in a fuel odor, fuel leak, check engine light, as well as a possible fire. The recalled vehicles are in states where road salt is used to melt ice on wintertime highways. Ford said it is not aware of any accidents, injuries or fires related to this condition.

And Mini is recalling 86,000 Cooper and Cooper S models from model years 2004 to 2005 because the power steering could fail. Mimi has been pressured by the NHTSA to recall the cars.

We should soon learn more details of that tentative contract agreement between GM and the United Auto Workers Union. At least one local will vote on the measure Friday.

With all the emphasis on fuel cell and electric powered cars at the Tokyo show and other venues, one wonders if the day will come when the only gas stations left will be in a museum somewhere. Incidentally, the only station in my hometown where an attendant would pump gas for you recently went out of business.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau said motorcycle thefts nationwide decreased six percent in 2014. A total of 42,856 bikes were stolen with California, Florida and Texas leading the list. Among cities, Las Vegas had the most stolen motorcycles while most stolen brand was Honda.



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