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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Left in the wake of Hyundai’s debunked fuel economy claims, brands that vowed to catch up are unexpectedly well-positioned.
As gas mileage lurches to the forefront of many driver’s minds, car buyers are considering which product will be the least thirsty. It’s an issue that easily put Hyundai atop many lists until recently when the EPA found Hyundai to have exaggerated its mileage claims. Of course, that revelation is expected to hurt Hyundai’s sales, but a recent report fro Bloomberg suggests it will also be particularly good for Honda, which was formerly the U.S. fuel economy leader.
Hyundai’s efficiency claims were a face-full of cold water for several automakers not the least of which was Honda. It, along with many others including Ford, Nissan and Toyota, worked vigorously to improve fuel consumption figures. Much like a student pouring over a term paper without knowing the deadline has been pushed back, those brands find themselves ahead of Hyundai.
“We’ve been conservative in our EPA estimates,” said Mike Accavitti, Honda’s head of U.S. marketing, to Bloomberg. “We triple check everything so customers are satisfied with the mileage they get in the real world.”
In 2012, Honda’s generally-popular civic took a beating with negative reviews. Quick to turn around, the brand will already offer a refreshed version for 2013 which could be timed perfectly to steal business away from Hyundai and Kia as customers shaken trust in the brand shoos value-minded buyers in other directions.
An investigation by NASA has cleared Toyota‘s electronics systems of causing the unintended acceleration phenomenon that was widely reported in 2010.
The Department of Transportation, who oversaw the investigation, released a statement claiming “NASA engineers found no electronic flaws in Toyota vehicles capable of producing the large throttle openings required to create dangerous high-speed unintended acceleration incidents.”
Although the report effectively vindicates Toyota’s claims that they were not at fault, the damage to the brand has been done, and is undoubtedly severe. Toyota recalled 8 million vehicles due to the scandal and paid nearly $50 million in regulatory fines.
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]
Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, Germany has been raided by German officials as part of an investigation into a kickback scandal by the German prosecutors office.
While Ford itself is supposedly not the target of the investigation, employees at Ford have been implicated in the scandal, and Ford, as well as the German government are working to target these individuals.
Employees allegedly favored companies looking for contracts in exchange for “material advantages”.
[Source: Auto Observer]
Toyota has officially spoken out against allegations that it planted a story in the Wall Street Journal that absolved the company of an responsibility in their unintended acceleration scandal.
The mess began after The Wall Street Journal published a story citing “people familiar with” the investigation who claimed that the evidence pointed to driver error rather than mechanical or electronic failure on the part of Toyota cars.
Just-Auto, a UK based website, then delivered reports from unnamed NHTSA sources saying that the original story was planed by Toyota. Toyota denies any involvement in this incident, but says that independent research appears to exonerate them of any wrong doing. Us mere mortals will have to wait until the official report and its release in Late 2010 if we want to make heads or tails of this without clouding our minds with bias.
[Source: Just Auto]