Home / Toyota / TTAC News Roundup: BMW Hunts a Tinderbox, Mercedes-Benz Wants to Stop Possibly Microwaving Cats, Toyota Taps Texans, and Hondas Are on a Roll

TTAC News Roundup: BMW Hunts a Tinderbox, Mercedes-Benz Wants to Stop Possibly Microwaving Cats, Toyota Taps Texans, and Hondas Are on a Roll

Burning Car by NathanWert

There’s a single BMW X3 out there that could burst into flames at any moment.

That, Mercedes-Benz offers EV charging with no wires or plugs, Toyota pours staff into Texas, and Honda wants its Civics to stand still … after the break!

By OSX (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

BMW recalls one X3 to prevent a fire

Apparently, there is a 2017 BMW X3 xDrive 28i that left the factory with a defective electronic power steering control unit. The supplier seems to have neglected to make the necessary welds on the contact pins and the resistance could eventually create enough heat to cause a fire.

This “thermal incident” can occur even when the vehicle is parked with the ignition off.

The supplier notified BMW and the company has enacted a voluntary recall of the vehicle in question. How the supplier discovered the problem and why this only affects a single vehicle is a bit of a mystery. Let’s hope the owner is notified before they find a smoldering heap in their driveway or their garage burns down.

Mercedes benz S CLASS SEDAN

2017 Mercedes-Benz S550E is the first EV to offer wireless charging

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550E is expected to add wireless charging to its long list of options when it receives a mid-cycle facelift next year. This technically makes the S550E the first plug-in hybrid that you don’t actually have to plug-in.

According to Motor Trend, the technology is sourced from Qualcomm and functions similarly to the wireless charging devices used for smartphones and laptops.

Owners will be able to install a pad on their parking spot that will align with a pad on the bottom of the vehicle when parked. The parking pad contains multiple coils capable of generating a magnetic field that recharges the vehicle over time.

However, the field also generates heat in a similar way to a microwave. Anything that comes between the charging pad and the vehicle would suffer the same fate as a gas station burrito, minus being eaten. To sidestep people barbecuing their pets, vehicles will be equipped with sensors to detect if something is positioned within the charging field and shut the system down if need be.

Toyota Texas HQ

Toyota hiring an extra 1,000 employees in Texas

Yesterday, Toyota announced that it will hire 1,000 staff members for its new U.S. base, still under construction, near Dallas.

“We will be hiring more than 1,000 new team members across numerous functions, and our hope is that they will help us in Toyota’s mission to address mobility challenges for everyone, now and in the future,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota’s North America Chief Executive.

The new HQ will occupy 100 acres of land and require more than 1,200 tons of limestone, twelve acres of glass, and seventeen thousand tons of steel to complete.

2016 Honda Civic white

Honda recalls 350,000 Civics due to parking brake glitch

American Honda is recalling approximately 350,000 Civics from the 2016 model year to fix an issue with the vehicles’ electronic parking brake. This news comes one day after the very similar brake-related recall of 2016 and 2017 Prius models.

The automaker explained the software controlling the vehicle stability control unit could prevent the parking brake from functioning when it is applied immediately after turning the vehicle ignition off. While no accidents or injuries have been reported, the EPB malfunction may cause a parked Civic to roll away and into whatever might be downhill from it.

Honda will start notifying affected Civic owners in November and dealers will install a software update free of charge.

[Images: Nathan Wert/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0); OSX/Wikimedia Commons; Mercedes Benz; Toyota; American Honda]

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