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BMW under fire over electrical fault
The UK’s vehicle safety agency said BMW failed to tell it about an electrical fault in one of its cars that was involved in a fatal collision. On Christmas Day 2016, Narayan Gurung and his wife swerved their Ford Fiesta into a tree to avoid a BMW saloon. The BMW had suffered an electrical fault, causing its brake lights to fail and resulting in the vehicle stalling on a dark A-road. BMW said it was “deeply saddened” but could not comment further. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said: “BMW did not make DVSA aware of electrical failure in its cars between 2011 and 2014, as it is required to do. “It then provided us with incorrect information about the faults, so we were not able to make an informed decision. However, after examining the growing evidence, DVSA contacted BMW in December 2016 to ask it to conduct a full safety recall of the affected vehicles.” Mr Gurung died at the scene and his wife was seriously injured.
Tesla remains optimistic despite another record loss
Tesla said it will be profitable in the second half of 2018 – but only if it can make 5,000 Model 3 cars every week. Reaching that goal is in doubt given the electric car maker produced just 2,270 in the last week of April. Tesla is striving to produce more cars as questions mount about its financial situation. The company posted a record quarterly loss of almost $710m (£523m) for the three months to March – more than double the same period last year. Revenues jumped 26% to $3.4bn, but it continued to burn through cash. Tesla said it would cut capital spending this year to less than $3bn as it focuses on “near-term needs”.
Vauxhall Zafira fires face criminal investigation
A criminal investigation has been launched into Vauxhall Zafira fires, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed. A Transport Committee report last year said the carmaker was too slow to begin a full investigation into fires affecting Zafira B models. The DVSA has teamed up with Luton Borough Council’s trading standards officers to investigate Vauxhall. Vauxhall is understood to be complying with the investigation.
The carmaker – which has its headquarters in Luton – says 92% of the affected models have been recalled.
Advisers ISS, Glass Lewis and Hermes call on investors to act on governance concerns
Volkswagen is set for a tetchy annual meeting on Thursday after influential advisers called on shareholders to reject board candidates including Wolfgang Porsche, as the carmaker grapples with legal proceedings and regulatory investigations worldwide. Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and Hermes EOS, advisers whose recommendations are widely followed by investors at AGMs, urged shareholders to vote against the re-election of the chairman of VW’s controlling parent Porsche AG, as well as the election of Marianne Heiss to the board. ISS said the rejections were “warranted due to the completely non-independent board as well as Wolfgang Porsche’s handling of the emissions scandal” — the controversy over VW’s rigging of pollution tests discovered by US authorities in 2015.
New cameras will catch drivers using mobile phones on NSW roads
New South Wales will allow the use of world-leading camera technology to detect drivers using their phones. Several Australian jurisdictions, including Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, have considered using automated camera technology to stamp out phone use behind the wheel. But NSW is the first to take concrete steps to legislate, passing new powers as part of a broader suite of road safety reforms this week. The legislation allows new, specialised cameras to be used to detect phone use, but will also allow the use from existing infrastructure – speed cameras, for example.
Motorists are warned over scam texts pretending to be from the DVLA promising a road tax refund to get personal information
British motorists are being warned about a new DVLA car text message scam. The fraudulent messages promise drivers a £50 refund on online purchases if they click on a link and enter their personal details. But the DVLA has urged motorists to delete the text, via an post on Twitter, telling drivers that it does not send text or emails about refunds on vehicle excise duty. The fake message reads: ‘We have recalculated your vehicle tax. You are owed £48.84 due to overpayment.’ Several baffled users have posted on social media after receiving the message. But many were unconvinced by the attempts – with some not even owning a car. Motorists have been warned it is a ‘phishing’ scam and not from the DVLA’s HQ in Swansea.
2 in 3 motorists ‘feel awkward about asking passengers for petrol money’
Nearly two-thirds of motorists feel awkward about asking passengers for petrol money in return for a lift, a survey has revealed. Some 63% of people feel this way – with men more likely than women to ask their passengers to stump up some cash – insurer Admiral found. Siblings, parents of children’s friends, colleagues, friends and neighbours are the least likely to offer money for a lift, drivers said. Some 72% of drivers giving lifts claimed that even their closest friends do not offer any petrol money in return. Over a quarter of drivers (27%) said they had fallen out with somebody who did not pay their way, the survey of more than 2,000 people across the UK found.