IAG executes perfect ten back flip and somersault on genuine parts…Matt gets Nismo stamp of approval for debut delivery…Airbag supplier faces extinction after pleading guilt to fraud…Peugeot 3008 adds to its list of trophies…

Talk about poacher turning gamekeeper. After decades of insisting that repairers use parallel, or non-genuine parts, insurance giant IAG (NRMA) has executed a perfect 10 backward flip, followed by a forward somersault. Believe it or not, the repair industries nemesis is now urging repairers to use new genuine parts in vehicle repairs, a move that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries claim is a result of its ‘Genuine is Best’ campaign.

As you’d expect the industry’s peak trade union – sorry, industry association – is now calling on all insurance companies to follow IAG’s example. According to FCAI’s Tony Weber, this move by IAG sends a strong signal to consumers and to the insurance and motoring industries. “Today, we are a step closer to safer roads, safer cars, better repairs and the best in quality parts for Australian drivers. IAG is the first insurer to commit to encouraging smash repairers to use genuine parts, which is a massive step forward for the safety of Australian consumers.”

The policy change comes as engineering tests undertaken by the FCAI’s Genuine is Best initiative continue to show the dangerous inferiority of non-genuine and counterfeit parts. (Some, but not all) –  “The writing is on the wall for Australian insurers. The evidence shows non-genuine is a risk, and as an industry we applaud IAG for pursuing this change in policy. Every Australian insurer should do the same. New genuine parts sourced from an automotive brand’s authorised dealer are the safest, highest quality, most readily available, most efficient and easiest-to-use option for vehicle repairs.” (And by far the most expensive).

Tony also reckons the change is a wake-up call to car owners, and a reminder for them to review their insurance policies to ensure that only genuine parts are fitted in repairs. (Even at the cost of higher premiums?) The FCAI is calling on car owners to review their product disclosure statements and find out exactly what their insurer’s policy is on genuine parts.

“The only way to ensure you are protecting yourself and your loved ones is to ensure genuine parts, acquired through the vehicle maker’s authorised supply chain, are the only parts fitted to your car. Anything else is a risk. Genuine is always best,” he said.

 

Matt gets Nismo stamp of approval for debut delivery

It’s one hell of a step up from delivering letters on a Honda CT110 postie bike to delivering results in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. But that’s exactly what Nissan GT Academy international winner Matt Simmons did last year. And he’s all set to put the GT3 through its paces again this coming season when he returns to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup for his second season as a professional racer.

Less than two years ago, he was chuffing around the streets of Melbourne delivering letters before his life was turned upside down when he won the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition. The big prize was a full season as a professional racer at which Matt enjoyed an impressive debut season in Europe, including a solid seventh place class finish at Silverstone.

Not surpisingly, Nissan has again handed him the keys to the #22 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, prepared by RJN Motorsports, along with a step up in the Pro Class and new team mates in Brits Matt Parry and Struan Moore. The #22 will share a garage with the #23 official Nismo factory-backed entry to be driven by Lucas Ordonez, Alex Buncombe and Bathurst 12-hour winner Katsumasa Chiyo.

Matt has already left his home base in Queensland and is being thrust straight into a pre-season driver fitness camp with his Nissan team mates ahead of the official pre-season test at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France on March 13-14. Round 1 of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will be held at Monza, Italy on April 22-23.

ausauto.com caught up with Matt before he left and asked him some dumb PR questions such as:

What are you thoughts now as you head back from your second season in GT3 competition?  I am so excited about my racing journey continuing into 2017. This off-season was a little different to last year as I wasn’t sure what I would be doing and was happy to race anything with Nissan. To be confirmed now, to have another crack at Blancpain in the GT-R NISMO GT3 is the best possible outcome. I can’t thank Nissan Australia and RJN Motorsport enough for making this all possible.

It’s a very similar program to last year, but how do you feel about being in the Pro Class? I feel extremely privileged to go to racetracks that I have raced at before. It will definitely be an advantage for me. That doesn’t mean it will be easier though, as we are stepping up to the Pro Class so I am going to have my work cut out for me. I am looking forward to the challenge that this year will bring.

What do you think of your new co-drivers? Well, we have two Matts in the team now, so I might have to get used to people calling me ‘Simmo’ a bit more! Both Struan and Matt have a heap of racing experience across a whole array of professional championships so I am excited to team up with them and learn as much as I can. I can’t wait for the pre-season testing to get under way and get their thoughts on taming the GT-R Nismo GT3 beast.

What are your expectations for the season?  I really just want to try and improve at each round we race at and continue my development. Last year, I found it was the little things that caught me out. With the experience that I gained, I will be working hard to iron those kinks out with the team and aim for the best result each race weekend.

Does your Mum like motorsport? …Only joking!!!

 

Airbag supplier faces extinction after pleading guilty to fraud whilst OEMs turned a blind eye?

What is it with the motor industry that tempts companies to cheat on their customers? Hot on the heals of the VW scandal comes news that Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corporation has pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to pay a massive $US1 billion ($1.3 billion) penalty for concealing a deadly defect in millions of its air bags.

The company’s inflators are estimated to have contributed to at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide. No injuries or deaths have been reported in Australia in relation to the inflators, although hundreds of thousands of vehicles have been recalled. The problem sparked the biggest recall in US automotive history, involving 19 automakers, 42 million vehicles and up to 69 million inflators worldwide.

The company’s chief financial officer, Yoichiro Nomura, entered the guilty plea on Takata’s behalf in federal court in Detroit. He also agreed that Takata would be sold or merged with another company. The penalties include $US850 million ($1.1 billion) in restitution to automakers, $US125 million ($162 million) for victims and families and a $25 million ($32 million) criminal fine.

Three former executives based in Japan have been charged with falsifying test reports. Takata’s inflators use ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates air bags in a crash. But when exposed to prolonged high temperatures and humidity, the chemical can deteriorate and burn too fast with the force to blow apart a metal canister.

Meanwhile, plaintiffs in dozens of lawsuits have claimed that Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and BMW had independent knowledge that Takata’s air bags were unsafe dangerous, yet continued to use them for years to save money. “The automotive defendants were aware that rupture after rupture, both during testing and in the field, confirmed how dangerous and defective Takata’s air bags were,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys said.

The auto companies have asserted that they were deceived by Takata and should not be held liable. Takata’s penalty is small compared with the one imposed on Volkswagen, which must buy back cars and pay up to $US21 billion ($27 billion) in penalties and compensation to owners over its emissions-cheating scandal.

 

Peugeot 3008 adds to its list of trophies

In one of the many events leading up to the Geneva Motor Show, the ‘all-new’ Peugeot 3008 has added the 2017 European Car of the Year award to around twenty other prizes the SUV has already in its trophy cabinet. According to the judging panel comprising 58 journalists from 23 countries, vehicle the offers a unique blend of style, comfort and road handling.

The company’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato reckons that this latest trophy represents the culmination of five years of incredible work by the brand’s teams and our group. “Nearly 100,000 customers have already placed orders in Europe, with 84% of sales made up of highly specified Allure, GT Line or GT grades.”

The vehicle, which will go on sale in Australia towards the end of the year, features Peugeot’s i-Cockpit with compact steering wheel, 12.3” head-up, central capacitive touch screen console with ergonomic piano keys and seamless connectivity.

 

The vast increase in the sales of much heavier 4WD, SUV and commercial vehicles is placing greater demands on workshop vehicle hoists leading to early signs of wear and tear. Says who? Burson Equipment that’s who! As a seller of replacement products is does have something of a vested interest, but the company does have a point, if alarming figures from Worksafe are anything to go on.

Following a recent blitz on 325 automotive workshops, the safety organisation issued notices for the repair, or replacement, of 472 vehicle hoists, or in other words, almost every hoist inspected. So, is really worth chucking good money after bad to bring these products up to scratch? A lot would depend on the age of the hoist, but when it’s possible to get a new one, such as the Burson Equipment’s Summit ST4500M, for just over four grand then maybe that’s the way to go.

“If your workshop vehicle hoists are showing signs of wear or are not operating to their peak efficiency, the only way to ensure complete vehicle hoist safety is with a new replacement. This coupled with the taxation advantages that come with replacing workshop equipment, makes affordable hoist replacement a key consideration,” said a Burson Equipment spokesperson.

“The national Burson Equipment team can provide you with high quality hoist replacement options led by the Summit ST45000M clear floor, two post vehicle hoist with a generous 4500 kilogram lift that is versatile enough to lift smaller passenger vehicles, 4WDs and light commercials.”

Other features include full compliance with stringent Australian safety standards, low profile three stage load arms with solid automatic arm locks, electric up lift and manual lowering, asymmetric design, two stage load pads, pick up extensions, dual hydraulic rams, twin balance cables and a quality powder coat finish.

There’s also a padded roof bar with an automatic limit switch to prevent damage to high vehicles and an extra wide post design that enables easy entering and exiting of the vehicle when it is in the correct lifting position. 1300 287 766 is the number to call for more details.

Burson Equipment also has a range of Autel Maxi remote tyre pressure monitoring service products that operate by activating all magnetic frequency and tyre deflation triggered sensors. According to the company, this means that it is possible to work on any vehicles sold worldwide without compatibility issues. Both the Autel Maxi TS401 and 501 models receive both 315 MHz and 433 MHz signals, while also reading data including sensor ID, tyre pressure, temperature, battery condition, OE part number and re-learn information.

Both of these hand-held products graph the vehicle on-screen to simplify the diagnostic process, while the built in pre-selection process offers fast activation and diagnostic reporting. Both units can also check remote keyless entry (Key FOB) for transmissions, while also providing visual and audible responses to confirm that all sensors are working properly.

Step by step on-screen instructions ensure that the units are very easy to use with an automatic power-off function ensuring long battery life, programming of an ECU to learn sensor ID’s and positions and the ability to read and clear TPMS codes and reset malfunction indicator lights.

 

Emergency services, first response vehicles and tradespeople who conduct 24-hour emergency repairs are often required to attend to faults or breakdowns at night, so quality scene lighting is a must to provide workers with a safe and well-lit work zone.

New to Narva’s large work lamp range is the 9-32v, 72468 LED Scene Lamp, designed to be fitted at vehicle exit points and towards work zones, providing a clear pool of light in these areas.

Positioned on a 9° downward angle, the lamp is equipped with three ultra-powerful Cree LEDs that cast a broad flood of crisp white light (2100 Lumens) over thirty-five metres forward and across a diameter of almost 20 metres.

A ‘bubble’ optic lens efficiently captures the throws light from the LEDs, resulting no shadows or darks spots in the work area. The Scene Lamp is fully sealed to IP67 standards and features a tough moulded housing and virtually unbreakable polycarbonate lens. A low current draw of only 2.3amps at 12v and 1.2amps at 24v, ensures minimal effect on vehicle batteries.

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