The week’s automotive headlines – 8 January 2022

08 January 2022

The year has started with a flurry of automotive announcements. In this week’s Autovista24 roundup, Tesla models are recalled due to camera and latch issues, Renault’s Austral undergoes final testing, Volkswagen ID. Buzz gets a launch date, and Skoda sets up a software joint venture.

Nearly half a million Teslas recalled

Tesla is recalling a total of 475,318 vehicles in the US owing to two separate recalls. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documents reveal 356,309 Model 3s from 2017 to 2020 are being recalled because of a potential fault with the rear camera. Repeated opening of the trunk may cause the coaxial cable to wear away, cutting the feed from the rear-view camera. The estimated number of recalled cars affected is 1%. Another 119,009 Model S vehicles from between 2014 and 2021 are being called back because of a possible misalignment error with the latch in the front trunk. This could cause the hood to open without warning, obstructing the driver’s view. The estimated number of recalled vehicles with the defect is 14%. The documents confirm that as of 20 December 2021, Tesla was not aware of any incidents related to either condition.

Renault Austral undergoing final tests

Source: Renault

Renault’s new Austral model has entered the final stage of development. The car is about to undertake a round of tests known as ‘confirmation runs’, in which a fleet of around 100 vehicles will travel a total of two million kilometres. Renault’s new SUV will therefore cross France, Spain, Germany and Romania to confirm the results of previous checks. Nine hundred drivers will cover 600,000km of open roads in real-life conditions, while the remaining 1.4 million kilometres will take place on the track. These tests, together with other intensive checks carried out over many months, will confirm the reliability and longevity of the Austral, the new CMF-CD3 platform and the different drivetrain options. These tests will enable the teams to approve the adjustments made to the new CMF-CD3 platform and driver assistance systems, as well as sound-proofing and the comfort of the suspension system so that future customers can enjoy the best conditions possible.

ID.Buzz gets launch date

Fresh buzz has been sparked around the ID. Buzz, an electrified version of Volkswagen’s (VW’s) well-known campervan. Taking to Twitter, VW Group’s CEO Herbert Diess announced that the vehicle would return on 3 March 2022. The news comes almost a year after the company’s commercial vehicle arm confirmed the electric camper would drive autonomously as part of an advanced ride-hailing service. More recently, the German carmaker pointed to its Hanover site as taking the lead on autonomous developments, including its work on the ID. Buzz. Now that fresh news has broken on the latest iteration of the iconic vehicle, potential customers can begin speculating anew on suspected specs and potential price points.

Skoda team up with Etnetera Group in software venture

Source: Skoda

Skoda are working with IT holding Etnetera Group as part of a joint venture to develop automotive software. Labelled Green:Code, the project will see the two Czech companies come together to deliver next-generation software for the new era of automotive electromobility. As well as planning to recruit up to 200 IT experts in a variety of roles over the coming years, Skoda and Etnetera Group will work under the Green:Code umbrella to optimise the user experience for Skoda customers. ‘The foundation of Green:Code together with our partner Etnetera Group is a further step in the implementation of the Next Level – Skoda Strategy 2030,’ stated Christian Schenk, Skoda Auto board member for finance and IT. ‘Together with the strong software resources from the Volkswagen Group, Green:Code will help to create modern simply clever solutions and increase the speed of digitalisation.’