Auto News for March 30 – Ford Recalls, VW To Sell Diesels Again

 Ford has issued a recall for approximately 230,000 vehicles. They are the 2014 Escape, 2014-15 Fiesta ST, 2013-14 Fusion and 2013-15 Transit Connect vehicles equipped with 1.6-liter GTDI engines. Ford’s investigation of these vehicles has identified a risk of under-hood fires.

 In the affected vehicles, a lack of coolant circulation could cause an engine to overheat, resulting in a crack in the cylinder head. A cracked cylinder head can result in a pressurized oil leak. Oil that comes into contact with a hot engine surface increases the risk of a fire in the engine compartment.

 Ford is aware of 29 reports of fire associated with this issue in the United States and Canada. No injuries have been reported.

 Volkswagen said it has received EPA approval to sell 2015 diesels after they have been updated with new emission software. Repairs are not likely to begin until next year. The software update is a requirement of the EPA and the California Air Resources Board and more details on the sale will be released in the future. VW said the sale will involve about 67,000 diesels.

 So how is the industry doing? Here is one take from an expert:

 “If you only look at the sales numbers, it could be tempting to say that the industry is just as strong as it was a year ago,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. “But there are several areas of concern this year lurking just below the surface. Inventories have reached levels not seen in more than a decade, and incentives are rising. We’re also seeing an increase in loan duration and indications of an increase in subprime lending, both of which demonstrate sales aren’t coming as easily as they used to.”

 Edmunds predicts that March new vehicle sales will increase 2 percent compared to March of 2016 and first quarter sales will be essentially flat from the first quarter of last year.

 On the brighter side, it expects a 21 percent sales gain compared to February of this year.

 Auto makers will release sales figures next week.

 The Automotive Hall of Fame will induct four new members in July. They are Alberto Bombassei, president of Brembo; August Fruehauf (1868-1930), inventor of the semi-trailer and founder of the Fruehauf Trailer Company; Jack Roush, founder, CEO, and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and Chairman of Roush Enterprises; and Edward Welburn, retired General Motors VP of Global Design. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Automotive Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.






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