General Motors Recalls 2015 Equinox, Camaro, Malibu Due to Issues with Takata Air Bags

General Motors Recall; Takata Air Bags

General Motors is calling back more cars including the 2015 Equinox, Camaro and Malibu models owing to reported issues with the Takata side air bags.

An additional 400 cars to be recalled due to Takata air bag problems is reflective of an escalating issue with no short-term solution in sight.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that the front-seat mounted side impact air bags have the potential to rupture when inflated. Moreover, the failure of the air bags to inflate could enhance the risk of injury to the passengers.

The reported problem with the air bags is that the inflators could rupture throwing shrapnel into passengers and drivers. This recall expansion is indicative of the fact that this air bag problem is growing, newer models are also being affected and side air bags are also being affected. General Motors is expected to start calling its customers for the recall soon.

The defect in the air bag was brought to the fore during testing at a Takata factory in Mexico. This compelled GM to call back some 2015 Cadillac XTS, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Camaro, GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Malibu, as per records issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Some experts opine that the air bags alone cannot be blamed. Other factors that could cause this explosive defect include proper sealing of passenger sections against humidity. Hence, the recall presently is targeted on customers/car owners from those geographies which get high absolute humidity and persistent heat.

These regions include Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii, US Virgin Islands, and the Outlying US territories, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. Over 19 million cars across the territories of the US have been called backed because of defective Takata air bags.

Takata also issued a statement that it has enhanced the manufacture of replacement air bag kits to 1 million a month.

New Chevrolet Volt 2016 Offers Luxurious and Efficient Drive: Expected to Pull General Motors out of Doldrums

The new Chevrolet Volt 2016 offers a more luxurious and efficient drive than its predecessor and the promising vehicle is expected to pull General Motors out of doldrums.

The Chevy Volt is equipped with an electric motor as well as a backup internal combustion engine to which the power is automatically shifted when the battery drains out completely.

GM has been battling one of its primary rivals, Tesla, which has tasted great success with its all-electric Tesla Model S. Although GM’s battery power is not as great as that of Tesla, it does have the skill backing to build an efficient hybrid like the Chevy Volt 2016 which could serve as an image makeover for the company.

Chevy Volt 2016 has been engineered to correct the flaws in its predecessor, which was launched in 2010 and sadly did not perform as per GM’s expectations. The drawbacks were many, including the requirement of the finest fuel to run the combustion engine, a tight-fitting seating arrangement for only four and a hefty price tag of $41,000.

Despite the fact that the features included were sufficient for nearly 80% of Americans who travelled daily on short trips, the Chevy Volt 2010 was not able to create much flutter then, in the market, owing to tougher competition from other all-electric and hybrid vehicles from Nissan, BMW, Ford, Porsche and Toyota. Now the second generation Chevy Volt features many improvements such as more attractive looks and more luxurious and efficient driving experience, by which things could begin to look up for General Motors.

The new Volt promises over 53 miles on battery power and, in fact, in a test drive, the car recorded 54.9 miles before the battery completely drained out and this was despite being driven at a speed of 65mph on the highway. The new Volt is fitted with two electric motors and a single 1.5L direct-injection combustion engine and the latter takes over control when the 18.4kW battery is drained. Interestingly, the battery is then charged with the energy that is created from braking. For this purpose, a ‘regen on demand’ stick has been fitted on the steering wheel for use by drivers for braking as well as recharging the electric motor.

The electric motors are a lot lighter and over 12% more efficient than the ones used in the 2010 version. And unlike the 2010 version, the Chevy Volt 2016 can be powered with ordinary fuel leading to significant cost savings for the owners. The integrated engine can deliver up to 101 horsepower and yet does not emit too much of noise. The company claims that the new Volt 2016 delivers 42 mpg.

Although the second-gen Volt is quicker and can reach 30mph in 2.6 seconds, yet this is a far cry from the ‘60mph in 2.8 seconds’ of Tesla Model S backed by Tesla’s superb battery technology which is more in line with Lamborghini and McLaren all-gasoline vehicles. The interiors of the new Volt are more impressive and can seat 3 people in the rear. The seats feature comfortable cushions for a relaxed driving experience.

An inbuilt infotainment system in the center of the dashboard and stylish ambient lights add to the luxury of the car’s interiors. The safety features included in the Volt 2016 are sensors to alert drivers if the car is moving out of lane while on highways and reversing sensors to let the driver know of any obstacle while reversing. Although the second generation Volt has auto-parking options, the result is far from perfect especially in perpendicular angles.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler Gets Hacked by OwnStar Hack Tool

Smart, connected cars are increasing at a rapid pace. Be it BMW or Mercedes, everyone focuses on creating cars that could easily connect with a driver’s smartphone and other devices.

When these vehicles stay connected 24/7 and are readily accessible to the owner, it is obvious that it could also be accessed by a hacker if someone manages to hack into the system. OwnStar hack, a program designed by Samy Kamkar earlier displayed how it could be used to hack into OnStar computer on a GM’s vehicle.

The hacker, using his self-developed tool, demonstrated how he could gain access into a car’s infotainment system and remotely confirmed it. While most manufacturers opined that it is not possible with every system in the world, Kamkar proved one more time that he could gain access into the computers used by world’s top brands.

The newly hacked list of vehicles includes BMW, Mercedes Benz and Chrysler. The homemade OwnStar box is just $100 which can be used to intercept the communications of a smart car and send commands if the hacker decides to. Using his box, Kamkar hacked into Remote used by BMW, mbrace by Mercedes and Uconnect by Chrysler.

Earlier, he did the same with GM’s vehicle. Once access is granted, the person could remotely control all the features in the car, including its locking system, brakes and engine and maybe stop the car when it is travelling at a high speed. The only thing that a hacker can’t do is that they can’t drive the car remotely.

Kamkar confirmed that he managed to hack into all these systems by exploiting a vulnerability found on the infotainment system as well as the iOS app that is used to communicate with it. He added that the same vulnerability has been spotted in all the car apps which allowed him to hack them all at once, with minimal effort.

Even though, it’s bad news for car manufacturers, they didn’t budge at all. Instead, GM immediately released a patch for their RemoteLink mobile app, while Mercedes Benz and BMW confirmed that they use a security system that is same as the ones used by banking apps.

They added that it is virtually impossible to hack it as suggested by Kamkar, while Chrysler blamed him for exposing an exploit that could lead to criminals making use of it before a patch is released. Buyers should be aware of such hurdles when opting for a smart car.

General Motors Co. Planning to Invest $877 Million to Revamp Truck Plants

General Motors is busy in setting up some of their truck plants so that they are future proof and ready to manufacture the revamped editions of their trucks in 2018.

The company, in an official statement, confirmed that they are planning to invest a sum of $877 million. The investment will be split between two different manufacturing plants, one in Flint and the other in Michigan. A significant change in terms of body, design and features is expected to embrace the large pickup trucks and the sport utility vehicles in the next two years. GM wants to ensure that their plants are equipped so as to handle the production process and are capable of integrating the proposed new features in the vehicle models.

After the initial revamp in the Flint plant, the manufacturing unit will have improvised assembly lines, better paint job units and body welding equipments. The unit will be assigned with the task of manufacturing some of the most popular SUVs in the market, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and the Cadillac Escalade, besides the Silverado pickup trucks.

With changing times, it is mandatory to offer innovative products that create a lasting impression among the consumers. General Motors Co. is quite aware of this fact, which is why they are going to significantly decrease the weight of their pickup trucks so that they are more fuel efficient than the current models. The weight reduction will be made possible with the help of new variants of lightweight steel combined with aluminum material. An imminent change embraces the truck plants because the tools and machinery used at the moment are not designed to produce these new vehicles.

Conventionally, the company has a tradition of closing down its factory until the renovation is complete. However, Flint, in association with four other venues including Texas, produces 60,000 trucks every month and generates more than $10,000 in revenue. In order to avoid any losses, the renovation process will be split which will allow the unit to continue the production of old trucks while the other half of the plant will be modified.

General Motors Co. has considerably increased its investment in the United States to honor the labor agreements and provide more jobs. The company has invested about $5.4 billion till now and plans to expand its horizons to new plants where they can produce small cars. Once the new plants are ready, the units will be able to produce larger vehicles with more color choices and varied specifications.