Ford Fuel Leaks Prompt Stunning Recall of 634,000 Vehicles

By Durant Sloan, Thornical Press Contributor

November 24, 2022

Ford Motor Company announced the recall of over 634,000 SUVs worldwide due to a cracked fuel injector that can spill fuel or leak vapors onto a hot engine and cause fires.  The stunning recall covers the Escape SUVs and the newly revived Bronco Sport built between the 2020 to 2023 model year with the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine.

Photo: MercurySable99 via Wikimedia

Ford has not cautioned owners to stop driving their vehicles or parking them in doors since fires are rare and “generally” do not occur when the engine is cold.  However, Ford reported 20 customer complaints of fires, three of which set nearby structures on fire.  Other fires started less than five minutes after the engines were turned off.

Unfortunately, Ford has not announced a “fix” to the fuel leak, but urged customers to bring their vehicles to a preferred dealer once one is available.  According to Jim Azzouz, Ford will officially notify customers by December 19 and that dealers will check for cracked fuel injectors and will replace them free of charge.  Warranties will be extended up to 15 years for cracked fuel injectors.  Ford also directed dealers to update engine-control software to detect leaks from cracked fuel injectors.  Dealers will also install a tube to drain fuel from the cylinder head and away from hot surfaces.

Ford Exits Russia As War Continues

By The Thornical Press Staff

October 27, 2022

Ford Motor Company announced Wednesday that it is leaving Russia, following the likes of auto giants Renault and Mercedes.  Ford representatives announced a deal to sell its 49% stake in the Russian based joint venture, Sollers Ford, for an undisclosed price.  However, Ford will retain an option to repurchase the shares within a five year period.  The sale is no surprise given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Ford’s continued retreat from the passenger vehicle market.  In 2019, Ford ceded control of the joint venture to Sollers Ford and shuttered two assembly plants and an engine factory.

Return Of The Moskvitch

By The Thornical Press Staff

October 21, 2022

A throwback from the Soviet era is making a comeback on Russian roads in the near future.  The Moskvitch is expected to be back in production by December after nearly two decades off the production line.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin made the announcement on Thursday that Moskvitch models will roll off the former Renault assembly line in the next two months.  Six months ago Renault sold the factory to the Russian state for one ruble with an option to repurchase the factory within six years.  The new plant will be named the Moscow Automobile Factory.  Moskvitch representatives expect to manufacture 600 cars in December with the hope of 50,000 cars in 2023.

Moskvitch-M400, Photo: Sergey Rodovnichenko

The Moskvitch model was produced by Soviet automobile manufacturer AZLK (Avtomobilny Zavod imeni Leninskogo Komsomola), nee MZMA,  from 1946 to 1991 and by the private venture OAO Moskvitch from 1991 to 2001.

Moskvitch M412, 1967-1982. Photo: Sergey Korovkin 84

After the Second World War the Soviet Union “acquired” an Opel manufacturing line from Brandenburg, Germany, then under Soviet occupation and started production of a modified Opel Kadett rebranded as the Moskvitch M400 in December 1946.  Succeeding model generations, designed by Soviet engineers, included the Moskvitch M402, M407, M410, M412, and M2142.

Opel Kadett Cabrio, 1937-1940. Photo: חזרתי

Although AZLK was one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the Soviet Union, it would face a steep decline after the communist collapse in 1991.  A privatized version of the company known as OAO Moskvitch would extend production into the Russian Federation era from 1991 to 2002, but would later file for bankruptcy in 2002.  

Moskovitch M2142, 1991-2002. Photo: Artem Svetlov

Feature Photo: Petrenkoas83

Tesla To Remove Vehicle Autopilot Sensors

By The Thornical Press Staff

October 4, 2022

Tesla Inc announced on Tuesday that it will remove ultrasonic sensors from its vehicles as it switches to using cameras in its safety and driver-assistant system.  Currently, Tesla vehicles have 12 ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers along with short-range sound sensors that detect close objects, especially in parking situations.  According to Tesla, they will begin removing ultrasonic sensors from the Model 3 and Model Y platforms.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, claims that the company can achieve driverless cars operating only with camera safety sensors.  However, a series of “autopilot” system crashes have cast a dark shadow over the whole driverless car concept.

Toyota Lowers October Output Target

By The Thornical Press Staff

October 3, 2022

Toyota announced Friday that it has lowered their October production target by 6.3% to about 750,000 vehicles due to a semiconductor shortage.  However, Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, vowed to uphold their yearly production target of 9.7 million vehicles.  Toyota also confirmed that global output increased by 44.3% year on year in August.

General Motors Heritage Center Is On The Move

By The Thornical Press Staff

September 30, 2022

For General Motors devotees and car lovers all around, it was announced by GM that their collection of 600 antique vehicles and trucks is moving.

GM announced that the famed and sought after collection will move from the Heritage Center to the former Customer Care and After Sales headquarters in Grand Blanc Township, MI, which will become the showcase for GM heritage.  It is a noteworthy move since it is near Flint, MI, the historic birthplace of GM under the maverick titan of the industry William Durant.

William C. Durant, co-founder of General Motors

“As General Motors transforms the future of the automobile, we also celebrate and commemorate our storied past and rich history with our fantastic GM Heritage Center.  Placing it near our company’s birthplace only makes sense and, much like our investment in Factory One and in our current operations in the area, aligns perfectly with our strong commitment to Flint, where it all began for us,” said GM President Mark Reuss.

Buick Y-Job Concept car by Harley Earl. Photo: Wikipedia.

GM’s historic collection includes 600 cars and trucks, including famous concept cars like the Buick Y-Job designed by the great Harley Earl.  The collection also includes 8 million still photos and 250,000 videos available to researchers.

Feature Photo: Wikipedia