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January 30, 2010

Honda recalls fire risk cars

Honda recalls fire risk cars – Wikinews, the free news source

Honda recalls fire risk cars

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The recall affects Honda Jazz models.

Honda have issued a recall for 646,000 cars around the world due to a potential fault that could cause a fire. The recall involves the ‘Jazz’ range of cars, which is known by its alternative name, Fit, in some countries.

Cquote1.svg water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit Cquote2.svg

—Honda

Three incidents involving the problem, caused by a defective master switch, have been reported worldwide, two in the US and one in South Africa. In September 2009, Vanilla Nurse, a two-year old girl, was sleeping in one of the models, when the hatchback in Cape Town caught fire. Following the accident, Honda “launched an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the incident,” according to a statement issued today. Although they could not isolate the cause of the fire, “the investigation has shown that water intrusion into the power window switch housing may in some instances cause a short circuit, which in exceptional circumstances may lead to potential damages”.

Just 10% of cars are expected to need new switches. The remainder will need a waterproof skirt in order to keep water out.

Rival Toyota was forced to recall vehicles on Thursday, citing floor mats that may stick accelerator pedals to the floor. There are fears that Toyota may have to widen their recall to cover up to eight million cars.



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April 1, 2009

Honda demonstrates mind-reading robotic technology

Honda demonstrates mind-reading robotic technology

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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File:Robot asimo cropped.jpg

Honda’s Robot ASIMO
Image: xcaballe.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

At its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, Honda Motor Company demonstrated on Tuesday technology which links a person’s thoughts with robots.

The operator wears a helmet which scans for electric currents stimulated by brain activity, but also uses infrared sensors to detect changes in blood flows in the head. The information is sent to a computer, which can then execute robotic movements such as opening the trunk of the vehicle or turning on the car’s air conditioning. The commands usually take just seconds to reach the robot.

Honda also released a video where a humanoid robot named Asimo was operated by a person wearing the helmet. The employee was stated to be thinking about raising his right hand, after which Asimo moved its right arm.

Honda states that it could be quite some time before the technology is ready to go live due to difficulties such as the human brain’s liability to become distracted, creating mixed thought patterns. A related problem is the amount of focus required by the operator.

“Practical uses are still way into the future.” said Honda Research Institute Japan Co executive, Yasuhisa Arai. “I’m [just] talking about dreams today.”



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December 12, 2008

US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate

US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate

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Friday, December 12, 2008

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A US$14 billion bailout package deal for the “Big Three” United States automakers — Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors — has been rejected in the United States Senate after failing a procedural vote.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. Image: U.S. Senate.

The bill was rejected after bipartisan discussions on the bailout broke down when Republican Party leaders insisted that the United Auto Workers (UAW) union agree to increase wage cuts by next year in order to bring their pay into line with those of Japanese automobile companies in the United States. The UAW refused to meet the demands.

The final vote count in the Senate was 52-35, eight short of the 60 needed to pass. Only ten Republicans joined forty Democrats and two independents in voting for the bill. Three Democrats voted with thirty-one Republicans against it.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said that he was “terribly disappointed” by the failure of the bill to pass. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight,” Reid said. “Millions of Americans, not only the auto workers but people who sell cars, car dealerships, people who work on cars are going to be directly impacted and affected.”

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Republican Senator Bob Corker was also unhappy about the rejection. “We were about three words away from a deal. We solved everything substantively and about three words keep us from reaching a conclusion,” he said.

Some Democrats now want U.S. President Bush to reserve a portion of the $700 billion bailout package earmarked for Wall Street to assist the flagging car industry.

Stock markets worldwide fell dramatically on the news, with Japan’s Nikkei average losing 484.68 points, or 5.6 percent, reaching a level of 8253.87 points. Shares in the auto companies Toyota, Nissan and Honda all dropped by no less than 10 percent apiece. European stocks, such as those in the United Kingdom and Germany, also lost ground, with the FTSE-100 index of leading shares falling 176.3 points to a level of 4,211 at midday.



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  • “White House considering auto rescue plan” — Wikinews, December 13, 2008

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December 8, 2008

Details emerge of Honda\’s withdrawal from Formula One

Details emerge of Honda’s withdrawal from Formula One

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Jensen Button driving one of the two 2008 Honda F1 cars at the Malaysian Grand Prix
Image: flickr user kuda2001.

More details have emerged over the weekend after the surprise announcement last week of Honda’s intention to sell its Formula One racing team, Honda Racing F1. The team management, Nick Fry and Ross Brawn, have already announced confidence in their ability not only to find a buyer for the team but also to deliver the performance expected of Honda’s 2009 car. Prices as low as £1 have been put forward as possible prices tags for the Northampton based team, with Honda CEO Takeo Fukui stating that “Just to make the team possible to exist, a small price tag is acceptable”.

On Saturday the Japanese car giant said that before selling the team it was going to offer British driver Jensen Button, who had given the Honda team its only victory, a way out of his recently signed multi-million pound contract with the team so he could try to get a drive with other teams. However, Ross Brawn appears eager to retain the Briton and either retain Brazilian Rubens Barrichello or sign GP2 driver Bruno Senna, nephew of legendary racer Ayrton Senna. At an industry awards dinner, Button indicated his desire for a buyer to be found for Honda, saying any buyer would get “… a great team with excellent facilities. And with the leadership of Ross Brawn, and the whole team as they are, we can come through this and be on the grid in 2009”. Button has also spoken of his shock and pain at Honda’s decision.

Honda Racing F1 logo

Ross Brawn, who was brought into the Honda team with much fan fare before the 2008 season, has spoken of his shock at finding out about the sale of the team. Brawn, who is credited with helping Michael Schumacher and Ferrari dominate Formula One for much of the last decade, indicated he was expected funding cuts and had prepared a reduced budget but hadn’t expected the full withdrawal of support that Honda announced. Brawn has also indicated understanding of Honda’s reasoning, with their sales down 40% in some markets and Honda F1’s £200m+ budget a cost they were unwilling to bear.

Though Honda has committed to providing a budget for the team until March, the budget is lower than that which had been expected and so the team has had to pull out of the crucial winter tests at Jerez. This has denied Formula One hopeful Bruno Senna another test with the team and has combined with the engine implications of Honda’s withdrawal to push the new car’s final testing from January to March, just weeks before the first Grand Prix in Australia. Ross Brawn however remains confident of competing with new Formula One frontrunners BMW Sauber and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has tipped the team as a great buy, saying “I’ve no doubt Honda would have been in top four next year without any problems. They’ve spent a lot of money to put themselves in that position so if anyone does want to be in F1 this is a team they should look to buy. It’s a big opportunity for any company that’s run efficiently to benefit”.



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  • “Honda quits Formula One racing” — Wikinews, December 6, 2008

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December 6, 2008

Honda quits Formula One racing

Filed under: 2008 financial crisis,Archived,Formula One,Honda,Japan,Sports — admin @ 5:00 am

Honda quits Formula One racing – Wikinews, the free news source

Honda quits Formula One racing

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Honda stojan.JPG

Takeo Fukui, the President and CEO of Honda made a statement on Friday that the company will leave Formula One before the 2009 season.

Among the causes of this decision were the problems in the global auto industry, and the general economic crisis. It is estimated that Honda had an annual budget of US$500m for the team in 2008.

The team Honda Racing led by Nick Fry (CEO) and Ross Brawn (Team principal) will have three months to find a new owner. It may still be using Honda’s engines, as, previously, the BAR-Honda team. Nick Fry said three potential bidders had already emerged.

Rubens Barrichello driving for Honda F1 at the 2006 Canadian GP

Honda’s 2008 race drivers, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, still are not confirmed for 2009, nor is the GP2 star Bruno Senna, the nephew of Ayrton Senna, his prospects to enter the Formula One now faded but still exist.

The pullout has raised fears that another major Japanese automotive giant, Toyota, may also quit its team Toyota F1.

Earlier Dietrich Mateschitz’s Red Bull became the sole proprietor over Toro Rosso after Gerhard Berger sold his shares of the team. It was said to be done to make selling the team easier.

The 2009 Formula One season will begin on March 29, with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.



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May 29, 2008

First live advert in UK shown on British TV

First live advert in UK shown on British TV

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

The letter ‘o’ being formed in the advert
Image: Honda.

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The first ever live advert to be shown on British television was Broadcast today on Channel 4 at 19:10 UTC. The advert, created by car manufacturer Honda, showed people jumping from the sky and forming the individual letters of the word HONDA as a group while falling. The image on the left shows the letter ‘O’ being formed in this way.

The sales director at Channel Four commented on the advert: “This concept breaks the boundaries of the ‘perceived’ confines of TV advertising, which is something Channel 4 is striving to do.”

Before being shown, the advert was promoted on Channel 4. Directly before it, an announcer explained the event, saying why Channel 4 believed it to be a groundbreaking innovation.

Honda aimed to link the new advert with its new slogan, “If it’s difficult it’s worth doing.”

The advert was broadcast from Spain, where it was 21:10 at the time of filming.


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Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter’s notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.
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November 22, 2006

Honda Civic tops Canada\’s list of most stolen cars

Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

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A 1996 Honda Civic

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

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No immobilizer

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.

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January 9, 2006

Honda wins car, truck of the year, unveils Fit

Honda wins car, truck of the year, unveils Fit

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Monday, January 9, 2006

Honda Civic, 1998

Honda’s Civic and Ridgeline truck won the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards at the International Auto Show in Detroit. This is the first time a company has won both awards in the same year. The finalists were the Ridgeline, the Ford Explorer SUV and the Nissan Xterra. The awards are intended to recognize vehicles for their innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value.

File:Ford Explorer.jpg
The Ford Explorer was one of the finalists

Honda also unveiled its latest model the Fit, a US version of the Honda Jazz sold in nonUS markets. The Fit comes with a 109 horsepower engine, antilock brakes, six air bags, fold flat seats, full iPod connectivity, 90.1 cubic feet of passenger and cargo space, and 33 mpg for the city 38 mpg for the highway. A sport package will also include Honda’s first steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The car will go against another two new Japanese subcompacts, the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa and will have to wrestle away sales from the category’s current top seller Chevrolet’s Aveo.

The car will start selling in April for around $13,000 to $14,000 as a 2007 model. The company plans to sell 33,000 units of the hatchback in 2006.

Many automakers expect industry wide sales in the US to be between 16 and 17 million units. Honda, which is Japan’s third largest automaker, hopes to gain US market share with the redesigned Civic and the Fit. Honda hopes that the company’s auto sales will rise 4% this year. The fuel-efficient Civic helped increase US market share to 8.6 percent last year, some of those sales were taken from Ford as gas prices rocketed to $3 a gallon. The US market is extremely important for Honda as it receives 64% of its operating profit from the US.

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April 15, 2005

Last British volume car manufacturer closes down

Last British volume car manufacturer closes down

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Friday, April 15, 2005

The last British-owned volume car manufacturer, MG Rover, has closed down, with the loss of 5,000 jobs.

International accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCooper was brought in last week to put the company into administration. Today PwC announced that MG Rover’s only hope, the Chinese car company SAIC, had no interest in buying the ailing firm. With no further source of revenue, PwC has closed the company’s factory in Longbridge, Birmingham and has laid off 5,000 workers.

Some 1,000 workers will continue for a while to complete the remaining cars left on the production line.

The BBC reported PwC joint administrator Tony Lomas as saying “We’ll explore what we would describe as the break-up of the business, we will carry on with the interested parties who want to talk about pieces of the business.”. PwC said around 70 offers for various parts of the company had been made but no serious offers of money made.

Recent efforts to save the company had been centered on convincing SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.) to buy the company as a going concern, but the Chinese company stated it would only buy the company if it’s financial position could be guaranteed to be secure for at least two years. The British government could not make such a commitment due to European Union trade and competition rules.

The SAIC company did buy the designs for the 75 and 25 models and for the K-Series engines for £67m.

The Rover car company has a long but troubled history. It was formed in 1968 after a series of mergers of existing car manufacturers, and was nationalized in 1975 after it ran into financial difficulties. In 1979 a long-running deal to collaborate on developing new vehicles was established with the Japanese company Honda. In 1988 the company was privatized and was bought by British Aerospace. In 1994 British Aerospace sold the business to BMW, who then sold the Land Rover brand to Ford and finally sold the company in 2000 for just £10, retaining the well-known Mini brand for themselves. The MG Rover company was run by a private group until its collapse.

MG Rover has not launched a new model since the 75 was introduced in 1998 during the period of ownership by BMW. Their next newest model was the 25, originally launched as the 200 series some ten years ago. Rover also produced the 45, which dates from 1990, and the ZF sports car first launched in 1995. Sales of Rover cars accounted for just 3% of the UK car market in 2004.

Tony Blair announced a £150 million support package for the recently unemployed workers of the MG Rover plants, though it has been claimed that his generous offer may be more as a result of the nearby marginal seats in the upcoming elections than compassion on his part.

Sources

  • MG Rover Group – Wikipedia
  • Rover 25 – Wikipedia
  • Rover 45 – Wikipedia
  • Rover 75 – Wikipedia
  • MG – Wikipedia
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