Report: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV production restarts after five-month delay

Filed under: Hybrid, Government/Legal, Japan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Mitsubishi, Electric

Back in March, production of both the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid and the all-electric i-MiEV ground to a halt over a pair of incidents where overheated lithium-ion batteries caused vehicle fires. Following the rocky start, The Japan Times is reporting that production of the Outlander PHEV has recommenced following the five-month stoppage.

The battery fires were tracked down to a supplier issue before more than 4,300 vehicles were recalled in June, but Mitsubishi received heavy criticism from the Japanese government for the delayed recall. According to the report, though, that hasn’t slow down enthusiasm for the plug-in crossover – Mitsubishi has received close to 18,000 for the Outlander PHEV. To keep up with demand, the automaker is planning to double production to 4,000 units a month.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV production restarts after five-month delay originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 15:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Court ruling to delay Fiat’s Chrysler buyout?

Filed under: Government/Legal, Fiat

Fiat logo

We’ve already reported on the attempts of Fiat to purchase the remaining 41.5-percent stake in Chrysler, currently owned by the United Auto Workers’ VEBA healthcare trust. And while the issues still aren’t resolved, Fiat has received both a bit of good news and a bit of bad news from a Delaware judge.

The good news is that the court ruled in favor on two key arguments of Fiat’s, relating to what is a fair price for the Chrysler shares. The rulings essentially slash half a billion dollars off the price of the 54,000 shares owned by VEBA, according to a report from Reuters.

The bad news is that this makes the UAW an even more difficult opponent in negotiations. Its VEBA fund is meant to cover ever escalating retiree healthcare costs, so naturally, the UAW wants to get as much money as possible. Losing a big chunk of cash isn’t likely to make the union more cooperative.

In the end, it looks like it’s going to come down to one of two options. The rulings could encourage the two to settle matters out of court, which would likely be the fastest and most beneficial for all parties involved. The alternative is a 12- to 18-month trial, in which Fiat needs to prove that its offering for the VEBA shares is fair, while the UAW needs to convince the court that it requires a certain degree of funds to cover its healthcare obligations. We’ll keep you updated.

Court ruling to delay Fiat’s Chrysler buyout? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Quake fallout may delay Toyota Prius V sales by up to a year

Filed under: Hybrid, Minivan/Van, Japan, Hatchback, Toyota

prius v wagon

2012 Toyota Prius V – Click above for the high-res image gallery

In March, we heard that, because of production delays as a result of the March 11 earthquake in Japan, Toyota was looking at delays for the new Prius V and Prius + models set to go on sale in North America and Europe, respectively. The Detroit News is reporting that those delays could last as long as a year for some buyers due to battery pack shortages.

Despite the production problems, Toyota still launched the the larger Prius variant in Tokyo. But the lack of batteries means that the automaker can only build 1,000 of the three-row models with the lithium ion battery pack per month, and another 2,000 models with the nickel-metal hydride battery pack. That doesn’t quite jive with the automaker’s 18,000 orders for the nickel-metal hydride-equipped five-seater or the 7,000 orders for the pricier three-row model. And that’s just the orders for the up-sized Prius in Japan. The automaker intends to sell about 2,000 units per month each in North America and Europe as well.

In the big picture, Toyota has at least launched the new Prius, and new models should begin trickling in over the next few months. The Prius + won’t be offered in Europe until mid-2012, and it won’t be available in the U.S. at all.

Quake fallout may delay Toyota Prius V sales by up to a year originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 May 2011 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delay due to modifications of virtual engine sound

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Government/Legal, Hyundai

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

In mid-October, Hyundai announced that its 2011 Sonata Hybrid would be eligible for a $1,300 tax credit. The electrified midsize sedan was scheduled to hit dealerships in late 2010 and the first 60,000 buyers in line to plop down some cash for the Sonata Hybrid would’ve pocketed that credit. However, there was a hitch: the Sonata Hybrid was delayed, dashing any chance of snagging the $1,300 credit.

What caused the delay? Well, according to Hyundai chief executive officer John Krafcik, a last-minute modification to the vehicle’s “virtual engine sound” system, made “amazingly late in the process” was the culprit. The automaker initially developed the Sonata Hybrid with a feature that would allow drivers to disable the vehicle’s pedestrian warning system, but after the Senate and House voted to approve a measure requiring hybrids and plug-in vehicles to automatically emit audible sounds at low speeds, Hyundai’s manual disable functionality had to be axed.

According to Green Car Reports, that modification required changes to the vehicle’s wiring harnesses, user-interface software and owner’s manual, which caused the lengthy delay. Hyundai delivered the first 2011 Sonata Hybrid in January.

Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Second Drive

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Photos copyright (C)2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Green Car Reports]

Report: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delay due to modifications of virtual engine sound originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Feb 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delay means no $1,300 tax credit?

Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Sedan, Government/Legal, Hyundai, Earnings/Financials

2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

In mid-October, Hyundai announced that its 2011 Sonata Hybrid would be eligible for a $1,300 tax credit. The electrified mid-size sedan was to officially hit the market before the end of the year and the first 60,000 buyers who plopped down some coin for the Sonata Hybrid would’ve walked away with that juicy credit in their pockets. However, there’s a hitch: the Sonata Hybrid has been delayed and its release date pushed back until January, and GreenCarReports.com indicates that that will dash any hopes of receiving the credit, which expires on December 31.

Even so, the Sonata Hybrid still remains one of only a few mid-size hybrid sedans capable of achieving great fuel economy – 36 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway – and many of its competitors like the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid either no longer qualify for the tax credits or aren’t available for purchase. The Sonata Hybrid is a capable car and one of the most compelling new vehicles in the mid-size segment, so missing out on the credit probably won’t affect sales dramatically, but its delay will mean that early adopters won’t have an extra $1,300 in their couch cushions next year.

Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

[Source: GreenCarReports]

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delay means no $1,300 tax credit? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Dec 2010 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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