Honda Recalls 2.7 Million Vehicles For New Air Bag Inflator Defect

Honda recalls 2.7 million vehicles for new air bag inflator defect

WASHINGTON — Honda said on Tuesday it will recall 2.7 million older U.S. vehicles in North America for potentially defective air bag inflators. The defect involves a different type of Takata inflator than those that have prompted the largest-ever auto safety recalls worldwide covering more than 42 million U.S. vehicles by 19 automakers with Takata air bag inflators. The new recall covers Honda and Acura automobiles from the 1996 through 2003 model years. Honda said it is aware of one field rupture of an inflator in the new recall campaign — a 2012 crash in Texas that resulted in an injury — and two in junkyards in Japan. The campaign covers 2.4 million U.S. vehicles and 300,000 in Canada, Honda said, adding that it has not determined recall numbers for other countries. Takata issued a new defect notice in November for inflators from four automakers, including Honda. Honda said all three vehicles "potentially were exposed to unusually high amounts of moisture prior to the rupture events." Honda said the recalls cover driver front airbag inflators manufactured with non-azide propellant and said "all inspections and repairs will begin in approximately one year, as replacement parts from alternative suppliers are not yet available." Honda said it "regrets any inconvenience or distress that this situation may cause to our customers as we seek to resolve this situation. Honda believes that the risk of improper airbag deployment in its vehicles remains very low at this time, but we cannot absolutely guarantee the performance of any recalled part."

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Toyota Recalls 3.4 Million Vehicles For Air Bags That May Not Deploy

Toyota recalls 3.4 million vehicles for air bags that may not deploy

WASHINGTON — Toyota said on Tuesday it will recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide because of an electronic defect that can result in air bags not deploying in crashes. The recall, which includes 2.9 million U.S. vehicles, covers 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles and is tied to a report of one fatal crash. The vehicles may have an electronic control unit that does not have adequate protection against electrical noise that can occur in crashes, which could lead to incomplete or non-deployment of the air bags. It could also impede the operation of seat-belt pretensioners. In April, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded a probe into 12.3 million potentially defective air bags covering a number of automakers, including the vehicles Toyota is recalling. NHTSA said in April it had identified two frontal crash events, including one fatal crash "involving Toyota products where (electrical overstress) is suspected as the likely cause" of air bags not deploying. Both involved newer Corolla cars. NHTSA said the air bags under investigation were installed in more than 12 million vehicles from 2010 through 2019 sold by Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi. They were equipped with an air bag control unit initially produced by TRW Automotive Holdings Corp, which is now owned by ZF Friedrichshafen. In total, NHTSA said as many as eight deaths could be tied to the issue. Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler previously issued recalls for more than 2.5 million vehicles with the TRW air bag control units in question that might not deploy in crashes. When it recalled nearly 2 million vehicles for air bag non-deployments in 2016, Fiat Chrysler said it had reports of three deaths and five injuries that might be related to the defect. Hyundai and Kia ultimately recalled more than 1 million vehicles for air bag non-deployment concerns in 2018. Hyundai and Kia in 2018 said they had reports of four deaths and six injuries in North America tied to the issue. Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the air bag control module and its wire harness if needed. Toyota declined to say how many deaths or injuries have been tied to the defect. Toyota will notify vehicle owners of the recall by mid-March.

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Toyota Is Offering Free Limited - Edition Supra Posters Right Now

Toyota is offering free limited-edition Supra posters right now

Regardless of how well it sells, the second-generation Supra is a future classic, and Toyota knows it. Thanks to its storied history, its unusual development genes, and its tuner-friendly nature, it's one of the most interesting consumer vehicles on sale today, and it has all the credibility it needs to become collector fodder. To proudly celebrate its creation, Toyota announced it is giving away limited-edition posters, as well as a few other free goodies. Despite having other ultimate driving machines such as the Avalon TRD and Camry TRD, Toyota chose the GR Supra to immortalize on the all-important free poster. Typically, these types of giveaways are seen at auto shows, but this freebie will be delivered right to the front door. Toyota posted the announcement to Twitter on Monday, January 20, 2020, saying, "Get your FREE limited edition 2020 GR Supra poster – a soon-to-be collector's item – to mark the rebirth of an iconic sport car." The sign-up is still open today, and we hope Toyota will keep it open while you get your orders in. After inputting full name, email, and address, the prompt alerts users the poster will be shipped in six to eight weeks.   The design, which is shown in the tweet below, uses a blueprint layout. Over a grid, front, rear, and side views display the car's dimensions, and a full-color image pops in Renaissance Red 2.0. The GR Supra logo is seen in the lower left corner, and a spec sheet fills out the rest of the space. The Supra on the poster is a Launch Edition, which has 19-inch matte black wheels, Brembo brakes, and gloss-red mirror caps.  There is no mention of how many copies of these things are available, but for those who don't get one, the image is available for download, as are ringtones and wallpapers on 2020grsupra.com/poster.

Get your FREE limited edition 2020 GR Supra poster – a soon-to-be collector's item – to mark the rebirth of an iconic sport car. https://t.co/LCridKSeBU pic.twitter.com/T3RNISFi23 — Toyota USA (@Toyota) January 20, 2020

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Mazda's Hesitating Over Skyactiv - X For U.s. Market

Mazda's hesitating over Skyactiv-X for U.S. market

We've been watching Mazda roll out the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-X engine in Japan and Europe, waiting our turn. When European authorities released fuel economy information for the high-tech motor last June, we wrote, "Mazda has yet to make an official decision on timing for the U.S market's launch of the engine." Automotive News spoke to Mazda engineers in charge of the powertrain, and based on the answers AN got, the question might not be when we get the Skyactiv-X, but if. Seems that the automaker now isn't certain whether the cost/benefit analysis for the U.S. market favors the engine, and there's concern the 2.0-liter might not be powerful enough for us with its current output of 178 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. At the moment, our Mazda3 is served only with a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine producing 186 hp and 186 lb-ft., not too far ahead of the Skyactiv-X. The Skyactiv-X would return better fuel economy, but requires a noteworthy price premium over the Skyactiv-G. The Truth About Cars says the Skyactiv-X has become the top-seller in the Japanese-market Mazda3, even though it costs 27% more than the base, 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G for a 9% improvement in fuel economy. Mazda's not sure U.S. customers would care much for that kind of math. Engineer Yoshiaki Yamane told AN, "Maybe U.S. customers require more power, because fuel economy is not the top requirement." There isn't much Mazda can do about the tech-heavy engine's cost, since pricey equipment like the high-pressure fuel injection and combustion systems, supercharger, three-way catalyst, and 24-volt mild-hybrid system provide the mileage gains that are the engine's reason for being. Instead, engineers are researching the system's effects with larger displacements. If it works as desired, a larger and more powerful Skyactiv-X could come to the U.S. on the large-vehicle architecture Mazda's developing for new sedans to arrive in a couple of years. That's the hope, at least. Remember, Mazda's Skyactiv-D was meant to go into the 2014 Mazda6, but didn't because Mazda said it needed more time to find "the right balance between fuel economy and Mazda-appropriate driving performance." After five years of "Soon," the engine showed up on the 2019 CX-5 that starts at $42,045. Based on that template, it could be awhile before we know how the U.S.-market Skyactiv-X story ends.

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2021 Nissan Pathfinder Three - Row Crossover Spied For The First Time

2021 Nissan Pathfinder three-row crossover spied for the first time

With an introduction for the 2013 model year and only mild updates since, the Nissan Pathfinder is overdue for a new generation. Fortunately, it seems that new generation is coming based on these spy photos. They show what looks to be the 2021 Pathfinder wearing thoroughly updated sheet metal that follows in the footsteps of other recent Nissans. The new Pathfinder's exterior still fits the mold of the old one, with a more aerodynamic, car-like shape as opposed to a traditionally boxy SUV design. The nose looks like it will have a giant chrome "V" grille like the latest Altima, and the headlights are tall and swept back. The sides feature large, crisp shoulder lines over the wheel arches, seemingly inspired by the new Juke. The roofline is still similar to the old one, but it looks a little lower. The window treatment looks different with the rear windows seemingly wrapping around the D-pillar, rather than being interrupted by it. The C-pillar may now divide the side windows from the rear portion. At the back, the taillights are thinner and wider. They blend right into the rear shoulder lines. The hatch glass lacks the bevels of the current one, further suggesting the wrap-around look. Not much is known about the new Pathfinder. It will likely continue to be a unibody crossover with a transverse-mounted engine and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. We'll be curious if the aging 3.5-liter V6 continues to be offered, or if it will be supplanted by a version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter variable-compression four-cylinder available as an option on the Nissan Altima. Since this prototype looks close to production ready, we expect to see the Pathfinder revealed sometime in the next year as a 2021 model.

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Grab This 1971 Datsun 240z With 21k Miles On Bring A Trailer

Grab this 1971 Datsun 240Z with 21k miles on Bring a Trailer

This jaw-dropping 1971 Datsun 240Z has just rolled onto the proverbial block at Bring a Trailer, and it's hard to imagine that it won't end up setting a record price for a first-generation Z. First of all, we have to take a moment to appreciate the rare Racing Green over brown color combo. And the factory rocker-panel stripe. Oh, man. The story is that an Indiana Datsun dealer gave this car to his son as a dental-school graduation present. The owner drove it sparingly, and the car was kept at the dealership and later at his home. A mechanic from the dealership continued to maintain the car for the owner until the owner passed away last year. The car has traveled less than 22,000 miles, none of which — it's claimed — were in inclement weather. This 240Z is said to be unrestored, and the condition certainly lends credence to the claim. Commenters are nerding out over details like the original (green) distributor, original radiator cap, and original hoses. Note also the factory AM radio, and the plastic still covering some of the interior bits. One knock against it: The wheel covers are from a later 240Z. Somehow, that seems unlikely to dampen the bidding, which at this writing is at $30k on the car's first day. One suspects it has a long way to go.

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2021 Infiniti Qx55 Crossover Delayed Until November 2020

2021 Infiniti QX55 crossover delayed until November 2020

Infiniti confirmed it has delayed QX55 production by about five months. The as-yet-unveiled crossover is a swoopier, more stylish evolution of the QX50 with a fastback-like roof line inspired by some of the company's past models. The Nissan-owned company informed its suppliers production will start in November 2020, not in June as previously announced. It explained it needs to "ensure production capability" at the Aguascalientes, Mexico, facility that will manufacture the model. It didn't provide additional details, though a spokesperson confirmed the new timeline to Automotive News. The factory — a joint-venture between Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and Nissan — also makes the QX50, the A-Class, the Kicks, and the Sentra, among other models. "Production schedules are internal and due to various operation priorities can move — sometimes forward, sometimes backward — as a normal course of business," a spokesperson told Autoblog.  The QX55 is based on the aforementioned QX50, and spy shots confirm the two models share several design cues when viewed from the front. Minor nameplate-specific details will set the 55 apart from the 50. It's a different story out back, where the 55 ditches the 50's family-friendly silhouette for a fast-sloping roofline penned with an eye on the first-generation FX released for the 2003 model year, five years before the original BMW X6.  Infiniti is not yet revealing technical specifications, but we expect the variable-compression VC-Turbo engine will be one of the available powertrains. The turbocharged, 2.0-liter unit makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque in the QX50. It also returns 26 mpg in combined driving, according to the EPA. What remains to be seen is whether the delay also affects the car's unveiling date, which hasn't been publicly announced yet. An Infiniti spokesperson told Autoblog the QX55 is scheduled to make its debut "in the next few months," and pointed out it's one of five new models due out in the next three years. When it does arrive, the Infiniti QX55 will compete in the same segment as the BMW X4 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.

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Subaru To Go Electric - Only By The Mid 2030s

Subaru to go electric-only by the mid 2030s

Nipping infinite rumors in the bud, Subaru confirmed the Outback, the Forester, the BRZ, the WRX STI, and every other car it makes will go electric or disappear by the middle of the 2030s. The Japanese automaker announced it plans to kick gasoline-powered cars out of its global portfolio in about 15 years' time. The announcement comes in the wake of ever-stricter emissions regulations around the globe, notably in China and in the European Union. The firm isn't going to turn the tap off overnight, though. Toyota owns an 8.7% stake in Subaru, and the two partners are jointly developing a pair of electric cars due out during the 2020s. Others will inevitably follow. By 2030, hybrid and electric models will represent at least 40% of Subaru's annual global output. In the meantime, Subaru is funneling an immense amount of money into adapting Toyota's hybrid technology to its vehicles. The gasoline-electric variant of the Crosstrek introduced in 2018 a product of this collaboration. Executives outlined plans to release a "strong hybrid" again built with Toyota parts, though they stopped short of providing more details. They also stressed their goal isn't to achieve mere badge-engineering. "Although we're using Toyota technology, we want to make hybrids that are distinctly Subaru. It's not only about reducing CO2 emissions. We need to further improve vehicle safety and the performance of our all-wheel drive," affirmed Tetsuo Onuki, Subaru's chief technology officer, during a briefing Reuters attended. His comments suggest all-wheel drive will continue to define the members of Subaru's range in the electric-only era. The configuration has been one of the brand's strongest selling points for decades, and it helped it grow from a niche brand peddling obscure cars to a major mainstream automaker in the United States, so giving it up would be marketing suicide. The horizontally-opposed engine is Subaru's second signature, it's what the C-shaped daytime running lights seen on its cars are inspired by, but Onuki confirmed its rumbling days will come to an end.

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Lexus Designers Create Lunar Rover Concepts

Lexus designers create lunar rover concepts

NASA is working to put human back on the moon by 2024, the idea being to use it as a way station for the eventual colonization of Mars. Since those humans won't want to moonwalk everywhere, they'll need new transportation — the battery-electric Lunar Rover the Apollo astronauts left up there probably won't start. Designers at the European Advanced Design Studio for Toyota and Lexus created a few potential, and yes, fanciful, craft for getting around our satellite for Document Journal magazine's The Lunar Design Portfolio. The artwork joins a collection of articles by culture critics, philosophers, architects, and more about the issues confronting humanity's return to the mistress of tides. Out of the seven concepts, the Lexus creation chosen to appear in the issue is Karl Dujardin's Zero Gravity, which turns the automaker's spindle grille into a single-seater moto-like hovercraft capable of doing 310 mph. The Bouncing Moon Roller by Julien Marie attaches a wheel-like stabilizer to a gyroscope cell protected by a flexible graphene nanotube bubble meant for hopping over the terrain, whereas the Lexus Lunar Cruiser by Keisuke Matsuno serves land and sky by having wheels that can flip out 90 degrees to serve as ducted fans powering a drone capsule. Jean-Baptiste Henry's Lexus Cosmos isn't for the surface at all, with a Lexus mothership and Moon Explorator capable of solar system travel. The glass construction of the observatory in the Moon Explorator allows "group experience contemplation [of] Zero G," and there's even a "space swimming pool." The Mothership awaits a role in the next installment of A Space Odyssey, a glossy habitat for whatever life forms succeed humans. Astronauts might be able to launch from the mothership in the Lexus Lunar Mission craft designed by Yung Presciutti, using wings shaped like spindle grilles. Because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy even in space, the Lexus Lunar is a 6x6 "massive transport vehicle designed to explore and discover the moon safely," meaning it can haul a few Moon Racers — both of which are also Presciutti's work —  a different kind of single-seater craft made to "jump, climb, race, and discover" the light and dark sides of the moon.

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1978 Datsun 200sx Rusts In Peace

1978 Datsun 200SX rusts in peace

Nissan had a couple of smash enthusiast hits in the 1990s with the S13 and S14 Silvia, known as the 200SX and 240SX on these shores. Before those cars came here, though, the groundwork for affordable, sporty rear-wheel-drive Nissan coupes was laid by the S10 Silvia, sold with 200SX badging here from the 1977 through 1979 model years. These cars didn't sell in huge quantities in North America, and the handful that did sell tended to rust in a hurry, so you won't see many today. I keep my eyes open for such historic machines while making my appointed junkyard rounds, though, and so this well-worn '78 200SX appeared before my camera lens in a Denver-area self-service yard a few months back. It's rusty, oh yes, and it's crusty as well; the combination of harsh sun and snowy winter here in Colorado has been rough for this corrosion-susceptible little Datsun. I think this car has been sitting for quite a while, but the United Airlines bumper sticker and Denver International Airport parking pass indicate that it was running as recently as 1995, when the Home of Blucifier opened for business. Before that, this car's owner may have used it to commute to the old Stapleton Airport. In Japan, this car got the 1.8-liter L18 engine, but the North American 200SX received the 2.0-liter L20 engine made famous by the Datsun 510 on these shores. In 1978, this engine was rated at 97 horsepower, which was pretty good for a 2,323-pound car in the darkest years of the Malaise Era. For comparison's sake, know that the 1978 Chevy Camaro Z28 had a 20.5:1 lbs/hp ratio, while the 200SX had a not-so-far-off 24:1 ratio. The 1978 BMW 320i, meanwhile, had a 24.1:1 lbs/hp ratio... and it cost $9,315, while the 200SX sold for just $4,399 (or $18,100 in 2020 dollars). The body on this car has been corroded well past usefulness, and S10 200SXs really aren't worth any serious restoration investment nowadays. Junkyard shoppers stripped most of the dash and interior components before I got here. Still, an interesting piece of Nissan history, and it's sad to see another S10 headed to the crusher. With a standard 5-speed manual transmission (reasonably exotic in 1978) and AM/FM stereo radio (a pricey option in most cars in 1978), the 200SX was a steal.

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