Auto News for July 12 – Tesla Saga Continues

Tesla’s Elon Musk is hinting that the company will release a “secret master plan” for the automaker later this week. This as Tesla has come under scrutiny following two crashes involving its vehicles that may or may not be related to its Auto Pilot feature, and as Tesla makes plans to acquire solar panel maker SolarCity. Further, the Wall St. Journal said the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Tesla should have disclosed a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, before it sold 1.4 million shares of stock last May. Tesla said it has not received any communication from the SEC regarding this issue. At issue is whether an investor would consider this an important manner before buying the shares.

GM is expanding its short term rental program with Lyft drivers to San Francisco this summer and to L.A. by the fall. Denver will also get the program at that time, the automaker said. The upcoming Chevy Bolt electric will be part of that effort. It will go into production later this year with a claimed range of 200 miles.

Most small Sport Utility vehicles do not have very good headlights, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It said none of the 21 small SUV’s tested earned a good rating and only four received an “acceptable” score. Among the 21 vehicles, there are 47 different headlight combinations available. More than two-thirds of them are rated poor, making this group of vehicles even more deficient when it comes to lighting than the midsize cars that were the first to be rated earlier this year, the IIHS said. It added that a vehicle’s price tag doesn’t necessarily correspond to the quality of headlights and that “manufacturers aren’t paying enough attention to the actual on-road performance of this basic equipment.”

The best performing lights were on the Mazda CX-3 with the Grand Touring trim level. It said the low beams perform well, but they provide inadequate light on a gradual left curve turn. The high beams were said to “perform well” on most approaches.

The worst headlights among the small SUVs belong to the Honda HR-V. The illumination provided by the HR-V’s halogen low beams and high beams is inadequate on all of four curves in the test and on the straightaway, IIHS said.

 

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