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Starting in 2019 Volvo will produce only hybrids and electric cars

Posted on 08/11/2017

Starting in 2019 Volvo will produce only hybrids and electric cars

 

Volvo announced that starting in 2019 all new Volvos will either be electric or hybrid models.  Volvo management wants to open a new chapter in auto history – after over 100 years of the internal combustion engine ruling the world. Actually, it’s a return to the early days of automobile industry – at the beginning of the 20th century, internal combustion engine was just one of the three contenders – the other two were steam engines and electric engines.

With the modern technology increasing efficiency and improving power management, the electric engines are coming back strong. Volvo promises three Volvo models, and two high performance electric cars from Polestar, Volvo’s performance car division. They plan to sell over 1 million electric cars by 2025.

At Berkeley Bob’s we are electric and hybrid specialists, so you can bring your new Volvo hybrids to us, knowing that your car is in good hands.

Are You Ready for the Era of the Driver-less Car?

Posted on 10/07/2015

Currently it’s against the law to have a self driving vehicle on the road. However, four US states—California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan and District of Columbia have all passed laws allowing driverless cars to operate on public highways and roads.

Just one short step from completely driverless cars, Google currently has 23 Lexus RX450h hybrid SUV vehicles equipped with the company's self driving technology roaming the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area. These cars are racking up approximately 10,000 miles per month, and in June of this year Google claimed to have logged just over million miles.

And now that there has already been a fair amount of test driving in place, Google has decided to move into car manufacturing. Over the last few years the company has been housing its self propelling technology in cars made by Toyota (Prius), VW (Beetle) and Lexus (RX450h), but now Google is developing its own vehicle.

Photo Courtesy of Google

Google has wisely chosen to partner with Roush Enterprises, the company started by racing mogul Jack Roush who began at Ford Motor Company who then went on to build an engineering empire by designing performance parts for sport, stock and drag racing cars. Called the “Google Auto” for lack of a better name, the vehicle will be made in Plymouth Township, Michigan with electronic components from Silicon Valley. Photos of the prototype show a fun little capsule that looks similar to an amusement park ride—how fun is that?

Google is not the only company on the horizon of manufacturing autonomous vehicles. In fact there is a bit of a race between companies. QNX from Canada is devising an operating platform that will control everything in a car including movies, games, phone and favorite apps. According to Sergey Brin the Google car will be coming to a showroom near you as early as 2017.

Are you ready?

Volkswagen Scandal Gets Bigger

Posted on 09/29/2015

Recently Volkswagen admitted to using special software to change diesel cars emissions during tests – for over 500,000 Volkswagen diesel cars sold in the United States. Worldwide, the number may be as high as 11 million cars. Thanks to special software supplied by Bosch, when tested, cars would show legal emission levels, but during regular driving, they would have much higher emissions, in some cases as much as 40 times the permissible level. Bosch says it warned Volkswagen not to use the software in production cars – that it was only meant for factory testing.

 

United States Justice Department started a criminal investigation, and Environmental Protection Agency has threatened to impose fines up to $18 billion – this was all BEFORE Volkswagen admitted to the shenanigans. Volkswagen initially denied it was trying to game the inspections, and claimed higher emissions where due to "various technical issues and unexpected in-use conditions” – or so say sources within EPA that spoke to Reuters.

 

It was only after EPA threatened to withhold certification for its 2016 models that Volkswagen admitted they had special software that altered car performance during tests. Since then the management said it was "deeply sorry" for the breach of trust, and the Volkswagen CEO resigned.

 

EPA said they would test cars made by other automakers, Volkswagen Italy suspended sale of cars, and the worldwide repercussions are just starting.

 

On the positive side for the US Volkswagen diesel owners there will not be any changes in part availability since the OEM manufacturers are not affected by the scandal.

 

We will keep you posted as the story unfolds.

 

Takata Airbag Recall

Posted on 09/02/2015

You might have heard about the Takata airbag recall - if you drive a Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru or a Toyota,  there is a good chance you received a notice from the your dealer.  As of summer 2015, recall of Takata airbags exceeds 34 million vehicles  just in the US.

Many dealers still have pretty long wait times, but if you got a recall notice, give them a call. Many have worked down their backlog, and may be able to schedule replacement within a few days, often less than a week. Given the severity of potential injuries, scheduling an airbag replacement sooner than later is a good idea.

The problem with Takata airbags is that they sometimes deploy with too much force, sending shrapnel into the interior of the vehicle. Both deaths and injuries have occurred.  Apparently, the culprit is moisture.  Once it gets into the inflator, it destabilizes the chemical compound responsible for the explosion that inflates the airbags – due to moisture, the compound becomes more explosive than intended.

So if you got a recall notice, call your dealer to get a replacement. Dealers will replace your airbags free of charge.  If you have not received a notice, or are not sure if your airbags should be replaced  - you can check your VIN here - this is a site provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to check if your car has had incomplete recall work done within the last 15 years.  

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