Portugal Prime Minister Socrates first world leader to take delivery of Nissan Leaf

PORTUGUESE CONSORTIUM MOBI.E RECEIVES 100% ELECTRIC NISSAN LEAF FLEET

–First commercial user of car in Europe before individual deliveries start in early 2011–

LISBON, Portugal (Dec. 22, 2010) – Portuguese electric mobility consortium MOBI.E took delivery of nine Nissan LEAFs today, becoming the first commercial customer in Europe of the world’s first mass-market 100% electric vehicle.

The keys to the cars were handed over to the CEO’s of the nine companies belonging to the consortium by Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice-president Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Pierre Loing, Vice President Product Strategy Planning Nissan International SA and Diogo Jardim, Country Director Nissan Iberia SA – Portugal, at a ceremony in Lisbon.

“Companies such as EDP, Efacec, Critical Software, Martifer and Siemens, which, together, have developed MOBI.E’s charging solution, want to set an example by being the first entities to acquire electric vehicles for their fleets. The existence of a charging network constitutes the most crucial element in the affirmation of the electric vehicle. With MOBI.E – the most advanced and intelligent solution for charging worldwide – the incentives and legal frame as defined by the Government, Portugal brings together all the essential conditions to become the first Living Lab for electric vehicles”, said João Dias, on behalf of MOBI.E.

At the ceremony, Tavares also handed over a set of keys to the Portuguese government who receives one Nissan LEAF on loan for test-drive purposes.

Prime Minister José Sócrates, who accepted the keys on behalf of the government, said:

“We are extremely pleased to be introducing the electric vehicle in Portugal. After 3 years of collaborative work between the Government, public entities, the corporate consortium which developed the MOBI.E solution and Nissan, we have achieved the first smart, built-in charging network on a national scope, therefore we are the first country to welcome electric vehicles. By combining in a pioneer manner our commitment to renewable energies, the implementation of the smart charging network and the introduction of electric vehicles, Portugal will be in the lead of the transition to a more sustainable future.”

Portugal was the first country in Europe to establish a direct electric vehicle partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance in November 2008, signing an agreement to build a widespread recharging network at Portugal and to promote the benefits of zero emission mobility. MOBI.E, which is installing the network, has already set up charging points in 25 cities across the country Another 1,300 normal chargers and 50 fast chargers will be set up by Summer 2011.

“Today marks the start of a zero-emission mobility era in Portugal, one of the first countries in the world to adopt a nationwide electric mobility policy. We are honoured to be part of this new chapter in Portugal’s history with the 100% electric Nissan LEAF. Portugal’s commitment to environmental progress will inspire many other countries”, said Tavares.

Nissan LEAF, which was recently awarded European Car of the Year 2011, is powered by a compact electric motor, which drives the front wheels. The AC motor develops a power output of 109PS and 280Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. The electric motor is powered by a Nissan-developed laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90kW. The car has a range of 175 km (New European Driving Cycle) between charges, making it a practical proposition for many urban drivers.

Deliveries to customers have already begun in Japan and the United States while in Europe, deliveries to Portugal, Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands will start in the first quarter of 2011. Production of the car, which is currently being manufactured in Japan, is due to start in Sunderland, in the UK, from early 2013.

Nissan’s innovative thinking extends beyond zero-emission mobility. Under the PURE DRIVE label, Nissan manufactures an extended line-up of environmentally friendly, internal combustion engine vehicles offering class-leading fuel efficiency supported by advanced green technologies. Next year will see the arrival of the fourth generation Nissan Micra powered by a supercharged version of an all-new 1.2-litre three cylinder direct injection petrol engine with an Idling Stop system to offer spirited performance and CO2 emissions of just 95g/km.

Nissan Zero Emission Website
http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com

Report: Honda owners' accounts hacked, millions of customers at risk

The Internet has indeed revolutionized the way people do business, but this doesn’t come without some faults. Hackers pose a threat to not only individual people’s computers, but to the databases of large corporations, and a recent attack on American Honda now means that 2.2 million owners have had their personal information stolen.

Thankfully, Honda has reassured its customers that no financial information was stolen during the major hack, but names, e-mail addresses and VINs are among the data that was compromised. In addition to the 2.2 million Honda owners affected by this information, 2.7 million Acura owners were also subject to this hack, though Honda reports that only e-mail addresses were stolen from owners of the automaker’s luxury brand.

American Honda has contacted these customers, apologizing for the situation at hand and reminding them that false e-mails could come through to their accounts asking for private information. Honda has also set up a FAQ page where owners can easily see what’s at stake with this issue.

[Sources: Honda, Inside Line | Image: Drew Phillips/Autoblog/AOL]

Dodge recalls 65,000 Journey CUVs and 56,000 Ram 1500 pickups in separate actions

Vehicle Make / Model:

Model Year(s):
DODGE / RAM 1500 2011

Manufacturer: CHRYSLER GROUP LLC

Mfr’s Report Date: DEC 24, 2010

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V656000
N/A

NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component:
SUSPENSION:REAR:AXLE:SPINDLE

Potential Number of Units Affected:
56,611

Summary:
CHRYSLER IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 RAM 1500 TRUCKS MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 2009 THROUGH DECEMBER 2010. SOME VEHICLES MAY HAVE EXPERIENCE A NOISE (GROWL, GRIND) COMING FROM THE REAR AXLE BEARING WHICH COULD EVENTUALLY SEIZE.

Consequence:
A FAILURE OF THE BEARING COULD CAUSE THE VEHICLE TO STALL INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:
CHRYSLER WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPAIR AS NECESSARY FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING FEBRUARY 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CHRYSLER AT 1-800-853-1403.

Notes:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .


Vehicle Make / Model:

Model Year(s):
DODGE / JOURNEY 2009

Manufacturer: CHRYSLER GROUP LLC

Mfr’s Report Date: DEC 23, 2010

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V658000

N/A
NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING

Potential Number of Units Affected:
65,180

Summary:
CHRYSLER IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009 DODGE JOURNEY VEHICLES MANUFACTURER FROM NOVEMBER 1, 2007, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 7, 2008. THE WIRES WITHIN THE FRONT DOOR WIRE HARNESSES MAY FATIGUE AND BREAK, WHICH CAN INTERRUPT THE CIRCUITS FOR THE SIDE IMPACT SENSOR(S), RESULTING IN AN AIRBAG WARNING LAMP ILLUMINATION AND LOSS OF SIDE CRASH SENSING CAPABILITY.

Consequence:
IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH, THE SIDE AIRBAG MAY NOT DEPLOY, REDUCING THE PROTECTION INTENDED FOR THE OCCUPANT AND INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURIES.

Remedy:
CHRYSLER WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPLACE THE LEFT AND RIGHT DOOR WIRING HARNESSES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING FEBRUARY 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CHRYSLER AT 1-800-853-1403.

Notes:
CHRYSLER SAFETY RECALL NO. K07. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .

AP: Seven insurance companies sue Toyota over unintended acceleration-related claims

Can’t say we didn’t see this one coming… According to the Associated Press, seven insurance companies* are suing Toyota in California court for damages in excess of $230,000. We suspect that figure could rise, as it’s derived from just 14 of the alleged 725 total accidents the insurers claim Toyota is at least partially at fault for.

The suit reportedly alleges that Toyota is at fault for accidents blamed on unintended acceleration because the Japanese automaker failed to equip its vehicles with a brake override system that would electronically force the engine to return to idle if both the accelerator and brake pedals were pressed at the same time. After the recall hubbub first began, Toyota announced that all of its future models will come with this technology.

For its part, a Toyota spokesperson unsurprisingly responded that “any allegation that a vehicle-based defect is the cause of unintended acceleration in this or any other complaint is completely unfounded and has no basis.” In December of 2010, Toyota agreed to settle a high-profile case in California regarding unintended acceleration in a Toyota Camry for $10 million, though it never admitted any wrongdoing. Four people were killed in that accident.

In October of 2010, Allstate filed suit against Toyota seeking $3 million in compensation as a result of 270 claims of sudden acceleration.

*The seven insurance companies bringing forth this suit are: American Automobile Insurance Co., Fireman’s Fund Insurance, National Surety Corp., Ameriprise Insurance, IDS Property Casualty Insurance, Motorists Mutual Insurance and American Hardware Mutual Insurance.

Auto manufacturers asked by Rep. Issa to help cut red tape


California Representative Darrell Issa (R) has assumed the chairmanship of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and he wants to cut through the layers of government oversight and foster business growth. Issa’s asked companies and trade associations, including Toyota, Ford, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers to suggest which regulations make it difficult to turn a profit and, more importantly, add jobs.

The current debate over government regulation is mainly targeting efforts undertaken by the Obama administration, including new fuel economy standards that are phasing in between 2012 and 2016, are singularly expensive to implement and will cost jobs and profits – even as the boost in fuel efficiency to a fleet average of 34.1 mpg by 2016 sets the stage to save $152 billion in fuel, offsetting the nearly $1,000 of extra cost the regulations are expected to add to the price of automobiles.

In seeking the input of automakers and other business groups, Issa is looking for ways to streamline innovation and spur job growth. With its large labor pool and long reach, the automotive industry is both deeply interested and integral to the effort Representative Issa is spearheading.

[Source: The Detroit News]