The biggest auto recall in U.S. history is going to get bigger, very much bigger. Reports say the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will announce a recall that would more than double the size of inflators that must be replaced to as much as 40 million. Globally, at least 11 people have died in accidents tied to the defective airbag inflators. The Wall St. Journal said the number of additional vehicles to be included in the expanded recall is not known, but is likely to be in the tens of millions worldwide.
Fiat Chrysler engineers will work alongside those from Google to integrate self-driving technology into the Pacifica Hybrid minivan. This marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker. The minivans will be used later this year in Google testing more than doubling its fleet of self-driving vehicles. “The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project.
Rapper Tupac Shakur’s tricked out 1966 Hummer will be auctioned off by a New Hampshire company that specializes in Pop Culture artifacts. It will be an online-only sale starting May 12 and lasting through the 19th, hosted by RR Auction. The Hummer may be worth $100,000 and has only 10,000 miles on it. Among other things, the Hummer sports a 12,000 pound winch, 12 disk Clarion sound system and a PA system with three sirens, according to the Detroit News.
A few further thoughts on April auto sales:
After a slowdown in March, April sales rose 3.5 percent for a yearly sales rate of 17.42 million. Sport Utility Vehicles and trucks were, again, the main reasons why.
Toyota sales rose 3.8 percent.
Audi rang up its 64th consecutive monthly sales record with a 5.8 percent sales gain. The Q3, Q5 and Q7 SUV’s were much in demand.
And we continue to love Subaru’s. The company saw a 6.6 percent sales gain for its 53rd consecutive month of growth.
Hyundai sales fell 8.5 percent compared to a record sales month a year earlier. The company said it is seeing “softness in car sales” with the exception of the Genesis sedan and the Tucson crossover. Kia reported a 6.1 percent sales increase with a record 56,508 vehicles sold.
BMW sales decreased 7.4 percent and are off 9.4 percent so far this year. It said April has always been a “volatile month” with model changeover taking place in some of its X models. Mini sales fell 12.4 percent.
Volkswagen sales fell almost 10 percent and are down 11.7 percent for the year due to the diesel engine emissions case.
Porsche reported a record sales month where demand for the Macan crossover rose 22 percent. Overall Porsche sales were up 3.7 percent with demand also strong for the 911 and the Cayman.