Tesla shares dive after Consumer Reports yanks recommendation for Model S

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Are Tesla’s Autopilot features legal on Australian roads?.

Average daily retail sales jumped 12 percent from a year earlier during Oct. 1 to Oct. 16, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. Credit Suisse Group AG will raise about 6.05 billion Swiss francs ($6.3 billion) of capital as part of a strategic overhaul that will also see the initial public offering of its Swiss banking unit.Detroit: Consumer Reports said it would no longer recommend Tesla’s Model S sedan due to reliability concerns, in a blow to the luxury electric-powered car initially awarded the highest-ever score in the US magazine’s performance ratings.Throwing a Tesla Model S, complete with the latest 7.0 software, into Auto Park is thrilling precisely because of the way it seems to toe the line of autonomous driving.

Sony Corp. agreed to pay as much as $8 million to settle claims from employees over the theft of their personal information in a computer hack linked to last year’s release of the movie “The Interview.” U.S. officials have blamed North Korean hackers angered over the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy for the attack, which was revealed in November. Deliveries in the second week of October was the highest for that period in five years, the industry group said in a statement released on Wednesday. “The effect of the tax reduction has been outstanding,” said Cui Dongshu, the auto association’s secretary general. “We expect the gains to be sustained for the rest of the month.” The pickup in demand follows the announcement of stimulus measure at the end of September, after lobbying by the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers amid weak economic expansion.

The Zurich-based bank said it will sell 1.35 billion francs of stock to select shareholders and offer 4.7 billion francs to existing investors in a rights offer, according to a statement on Wednesday. The decision, based on the influential publication’s annual survey of vehicle reliability, sent Tesla’s shares reeling and underscored the risk of introducing cutting-edge fuel-saving technology and digital multimedia systems in vehicles. The breach exposed Hollywood secrets, destroyed company data and caused the movie studio to initially cancel the release of “The Interview,” which was about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un.

China last unleashed steps to boost demand in the midst of the global financial crisis, when car-buying subsidies helped push the country past the U.S. in annual sales in 2009. Consumer Reports found “an emerging trend of increased troubles” with a broad range of vehicles that use new transmission technology to boost mileage.

With Australian states yet to comprehensively legislate and allow fully-automated cars on the road beyond preliminary trials, Tesla’s latest Autopilot features, including Auto Lane Change, Auto Park and Autosteer, feel as if they stray close to the legal line. Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Tokyo-based company’s U.S. movie studio, in June lost a bid to dismiss allegations that it was negligent in not maintaining adequate security to stop hackers from getting into the company’s computer systems and releasing employee salaries, worker health data, racially tinged e-mail banter and other sensitive information. Former employees alleged the company knew it had inadequate measures in place to protect its data and suffered breaches twice before last year’s attack. The directive also forbade local governments from restricting the purchase and operation of electric vehicles and reiterated support for promoting new-energy vehicles and battery development. Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam, brought in to rebuild investor confidence, is seeking to boost returns that are under pressure from tougher capital requirements and record-low interest rates.

Tesla says yes: “The Autopilot technology passes all regulations with the outline to all customers that hands are to remain on the steering wheel at all times,” a Tesla spokesperson told Mashable Australia. Model S drivers reported issues in several areas, including the drivetrain, charging equipment, and the large screen center console, along with leaky sunroofs. In the first eight months of this year, 68 percent of cars sold in China had engines smaller than 1.6 liters, according to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Groundbreaking technology comes with a heightened risk of malfunctions over the life of a vehicle, compromising the reliability car owners enjoy from more mature technology. Some ex-employees claimed in July that identity thieves had attempted to use their credit cards and were trying to sell their personal data on black market websites.

While owners reported problems, they also told the magazine that Tesla has been prompt in fixing issues and that 97 percent said they would buy their cars again. But production problems with the new car, which is built on the same platform as the Model S, recently forced Tesla to reduce its overall production target this year to 50,000 vehicles, down from 55,000.

Retail deliveries of cars, SUVs and multipurpose vehicles increased 5.8 percent to 14.4 million units in the January-September period, according to CPCA, the slowest pace in three years. Sony argued the case wasn’t suited to proceed as a class action and told the judge that none of the lead plaintiffs in the case had suffered financial loss as a result of the hacks. The ARRB follows the automation classification system of SAE International, which has five levels of automation, ranging up from no automation to full automation. “The best way to describe level two is your hands need to be on the wheel, but the car can still [perform some partial automated functions],” he said. “In level three, you can read or watch a video.

The group gives the car the highest marks in a wide array of tests of drivability and efficiency. (The Model S can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, and is “explosively quick,” the group said.) “On our test track, the car is second to none,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “But when we talk about reliability, we are talking about things that break. In instances when hardware needs to be fixed, we strive to make it painless.” Complaints about balky multimedia infotainment systems continue to plague several major automakers, including Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co , the magazine found.

Honda Motor Co’s Acura luxury brand fell seven places to No. 18 in the magazine’s ranking of 28 brands because of problems with transmissions and in-car entertainment systems. The report pointed out that most of the problems fell under the company’s 50,000-mile, four-year warranty and were corrected at no cost to the car owners. Brauer does not expect the report to affect sales in the short term, the issue of reliability is going to be critical to Tesla’s ability to expand into the mass market, where buyers will be less willing to gloss over such issues.

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