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  • Toyota, Lexus most reliable brands in the USA – CR

    So it’s that time of the year again, it seems. Consumer Reports (CR) has just released its survey findings on car reliability in the United States for the year 2017, and it’s not surprising to see Toyota and Lexus dominate the top two spots once again.

    The biggest movers this time around are BMW and Subaru, both up four and five rungs (fifth and sixth place, behind fourth-placed Audi) respectively. Mercedes-Benz also climbed up three spots, but settles for 14th placing behind 13th-place Porsche and eighth-placed Buick.

    If you disagree with the rankings, fret not, because CR said its “brand-level rankings are based on the average Predicted Reliability Score (based on a 0 to 100 point scale) for each brand’s model line-up.” Also, the survey is limited to the US market, so it may not necessarily be relevant (or accurate) to other markets.

    Interestingly, CR also revealed each brand’s most reliable and least reliable car, with the 86 Coupe being Toyota’s best (a sports car!). Funnily though, Honda’s least reliable vehicle is the Ridgeline, drawing a stark contrast after being listed as one of CR’s top 10 best cars of 2017.


    Click to enlarge

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • SPAD background checks on Uber and Grab drivers

    Background checks are being conducted by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) on drivers of e-hailing services Uber and Grab. The checks are being conducted with the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and police to ensure drivers do not have a criminal record and have safe driving records.

    SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah said this during the Land Public Transport Symposium 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. “Once we are done then we will register them with the commission,” Azharuddin said in a The Sun Daily report, adding that the e-hailing operators had been cooperative in submitting drivers details to SPAD.

    Regarding a question on the oBike bicycle sharing platform, Azharuddin said SPAD is supportive of the idea but pointed out that the commission is not a regulatory body. “The regulator would be the respective local authorities it operates in, and we are open to assist the local authorities in establishing a consistant regulatory scheme that clearly states how the system should be managed and regulated,” he said.

    This was in response to the recent incident where the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) seized over 250 bicycles belonging to bike-sharing platform. The bicycles were seized because they were causing obstruction but the matter has since been resolved.

     
  • Singapore to cut car and motorcycle growth to zero

    Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced that the growth rate for cars and motorcycles in categories A, B and D will be zero from February 2018, down from the current 0.25%. According to Todayonline, the previous cut was in February 2015, when it was halved from 0.5 to 0.25%. The vehicle growth rate will be reviewed again in 2020.

    The cut, according to the LTA, is primarily driven by land constraints and ongoing improvements to the public transport system. Currently, 12% of the country’s total land area is occupied by roads, but rail network has grown in length by 30% over the past six years. There are new upcoming projects as well, such as adding new buses to serve new routes.

    However, the growth rate for Category C vehicles (commercial vehicles and buses) remains unchanged at 0.25% until 2021. This is so that businesses will have more time in upping the efficiency of logistics operations, which includes cutting back on the number of commercial vehicles needed.

    The LTA expects this move will not significantly affect the supply of Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which is predominantly determined by the number of vehicle de-registrations. The move just means that the supply of new COEs will now match the number of vehicle de-registrations, with a zero growth rate factored in. It does not mean that new car sales in Singapore will stop.


    The Mazda CX-5 falls under Category B – big cars above 1,600 cc

    As for the issuance of COE, it was revealed that quota for November 2017 to January 2018 will shrink 5.3% from the current quarter (August to October ’17) to 25,913, and this is for all categories combined. That’s 8,635 COEs on average per month, which continues the downtrend that started last quarter.

    Certificate supplies for categories A (small cars up to 1,600 cc), C and Open Category (Cat E) have all taken a hit, but Category B (big cars above 1,600 cc) sees a seven percent increment to 8,246, while Category D (motorbikes) will go up from 2,862 to 3,053 (up 6.67%).

    While owning a car remains an aspiration for some, it’s worth noting that the tightening supply of vehicles may lead to higher car prices. This could ultimately force people to take the more economical route that is public transportation.

    “Raising the reliability and quality of public transport would also help a car-lite society to take shape here,” said urban transport expert Park Byung Joon from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

     
  • 2027 sees more rail projects, 3,000 km of track – Najib

    More infrastructure projects in the rail sector will come online by 2027 to boost the rail network capacity across the nation. These key projects include the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (350 km), the Johor Baru-Woodlands (North) Rapid Transit System (4 km), the East Coast Rail Link (700 km) and other rail lines in urban areas, bringing the total rail mileage in Malaysia close to 3,000 km, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

    Taking a long-term view, a reliable, integrated and modern land public transport network would accelerate socio-economic growth and improve the quality of the environment, all of which was crucial for the sustainable development of Malaysia, said Najib at the Land Public Transport Symposium 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. In a The Sun Daily report, Najib emphasised that “improving the first-and-last mile connectivity to make travel seamless for commuters, remains a priority for the government as well as the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).”

    “Driverless vehicles, predictive maintenance for trains, electric cars – who knows what else the future will entail,” he said. “However, what is clear is that people and cities are on the cusp of changing rapidly and dramatically as advancements in mobility technology converge in the marketplace.”

    Giving an assurance that land transport was not just about mega infrastructure projects, Najib said work to further transform the sector would not stop despite advances made in the last few years and remains a priority for the government. He also said transformation plans for cities in the future is being driven by new technologies, disruptive business models and commuters’ demand for higher levels of service.

     
  • Toyota JPN Taxi – LPG hybrid, Toyota Safety Sense C

    Toyota certainly took its time with this one. The JPN Taxi concept debuted four years ago at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, but the cat is finally out of the bag now, with hardly any changes done to the design.

    It’s officially on sale in Japan starting today, with two variants – Nagomi and Takumi – forming the line-up. Both share the same LPG-hybrid (liquified petroleum gas) system, comprised of a 1.5 litre 1NZ-FXP four-cylinder engine from the Toyota Hybrid System II family. No key figures have been released so far, but Toyota says the front-drive car is capable of driving 19.4 km per litre of fuel with extremely low levels of CO2 emissions.

    The Japanese company also claimed superior maintainability of the engine, thanks to use of a no-maintenance power water pump (this is driven by an auxiliary belt system), thus contributes to lower repair costs. Suspension choice is MacPherson struts for the front and multi-link type for the rear, both of which have been designed for maximum durability.

    In terms of design, Toyota said the JPN Taxi was “designed to be recognisable by customers at a glance and to last for decades, transcending trends.” Up front, it gets the company’s famous horizontal lattice motif grille, a hallmark feature that stretches back through generations from the Crown Sedan and Crown Comfort. The side mirrors rest atop the bonnet instead of the A-pillars.

    The entry-level Nagomi gets halogen reflector headlights while the Takumi benefits from bi-LED projector headlamps. Round the side, the duo gets differentiated by wheel design and chrome door handles. Completing the exterior is a pair of LED combination lamps with a protruding three-dimensional design, but only the Takumi gets vertical rear lights on the D-pillars, painted rear bumper and a chrome trim on the tailgate.

    Inside, the dispatch system, air conditioning controls (the front air vents feature Nanoe6 air purifier; the Takumi gets rear air vents and ceiling air circulators) and other driver-specific features are placed on the right, while the GPS navigation system, taxi meter, and other instruments are placed in direct view of the passengers. Interestingly, the hazard lights switch is built into the right side of the steering wheel, because Toyota said the feature is very frequently used among cabbies.

    Some clever design features include a low, flat floor, making it easy for customers to ingress and egress. Comfort is prioritised – the rear bench, which also has heating function, is positioned closer to the floor, giving ample headroom (230 mm) and the flat design makes it easier for passengers to move sideways. The seat belts are lit by LED and are intuitively located for ease of reach.

    The rear-left door features power sliding and a ramp for the benefit of wheelchair users. When not in use, the wheelchair can be stowed away in the boot, which measures at 401 litres. That’s large enough to swallow two large suitcases or four golf bags.

    The JPN Taxi can be had in three colours, including the newly developed koiai deep indigo. The colour is created with reference to the country’s ancient roots, where Japanese people used to wear indigo-dyed clothing. Outside of Japan, deep indigo is referred to as Japanese indigo.

    Lastly, safety. The Toyota Safety Sense C (TSS-C) system and six airbags are standard for both variants, but the Intelligent Clearance Sonar, which actively detects obstacles and helps prevent collisions caused by sudden acceleration, remains as an option.

    The Toyota JPN Taxi will make its grand debut at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show that’s happening this week. It will go on to greet visitors from around the world in 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Pricing starts from 3,277,800 yen (RM122k) for the Nagomi and 3,499,200 yen (RM130k) for the Takumi. Toyota plans to sell at least 1,000 units of the JPN Taxi monthly, and it will be produced at the company’s Higashi-Fuji Plant.

     
  • Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept heralds new chapter – fresh global strategy to be announced at Tokyo show

    Mitsubishi will be unveiling the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept at this week’s 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The showcar brings back the “Evolution” name, but in a different form, and with new technology for the future. The concept crossover will feature a triple electric motor 4WD system and the company’s artificial intelligence system. It couldn’t be further away from everybody’s favourite (or second favourite) rally replica.

    But Mitsubishi says that there’s more to the car, design and technology at TMS, as the concept machine ushers in a new beginning for the company, the start of a new chapter.

    The e-Evolution Concept is described as “the embodiment of Mitsubishi Motors’ renewed global strategy”, “a demonstration of Mitsubishi Motors’ ambition to explore a new future – inside and outside of the company”, and “the return of Mitsubishi’s inner brand essence”.

    The said brand essence consists of MMC’s pedigree, the company’s stance on technology and design, its approach to global business, and Mitsubishi’s connection with its customers/drivers.

    This is the first home motor show for Mitsubishi after it was rescued by Nissan last year following a fuel economy test manipulation scandal. It’s now part of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, and Carlos Ghosn – the man who turned Nissan around – is heading the company.

    Last week, it was reported that MMC plans to spend over 600 billion yen ($5.35 billion) in capital expenditure and R&D over the next three years through fiscal year 2019, as part of a bid to turn around its business.

    Last month, the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance revealed its Alliance 2022 six-year plan with eye-popping numbers. With MMC joining the party, objectives have grown – they include the doubling of annual synergies to €10 billion by the end of the plan, with more than nine million vehicles to share four common platforms. The use of common powertrains will cover 75% of total sales.

    “To achieve this target, on one side Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi will accelerate collaboration on common platforms, powertrains and next-generation electric, autonomous and connected technologies. From the other side, synergies will be enhanced by our growing scale. Our total annual sales are forecast to exceed 14 million units, generating revenues expected at $240 billion by the end of the plan,” said Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Alliance.

    Full story on the Alliance 2022 plan here.

     
  • DUKE Sri Damansara Link opens, toll free until Nov 22

    The newly-completed Sri Damansara Link (SDL) on the Duta-Ulu Kelang (DUKE) highway will be officially open from midnight today, and motorists are being given a one month toll free period with which to familiarise themselves with the route. Serving highway users in the Kepong, Segambut and Sungai Buloh areas, the SDL connects the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) at the Bandar Manjalara interchange and the DUKE at Jalan Segambut, reported The Star.

    This provides an alternate route for users heading towards high traffic areas such as Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Sri Damansara, Rawang, Kepong and Sungai Buloh. It is estimated that 30,000 motorists will use the new link, reducing travel time by 10 minutes, with the toll free section being available from the Segambut Toll Plaza, said Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

    Also part of the SDL is a rest and services area at Segambut that connects to a KTM Komuter station that is currently under construction. The rest area has 300 parking bays, with plans to increase the number to 4,000 bays once the station is in operation.

    As the final phase for the Duke 2 highway, the SDL also includes the Tun Razak link, opened to road users on September 28. The existing Duke 1 is a 19 km highway along the East-West route of northern KL, connecting the NKVE in west KL to the KL-Karak Highway in the north and the MRR2 in the east.

     
  • Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) to debut Drift Gonzo series at season finale – December 2-3 at Sepang

    Malaysia’s biggest local car racing event, Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF), will be launching its first ever drift challenge at its finale event happening from December 2-3 at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC).

    The drift series, called the MSF Drift Gonzo, is part of a two-day motorsport festival featuring the introduction of the MSF Superbike track day and a Mcclubz car show, as well as the re-introduction of the MSF MegaLap time attack. The event will also showcase the usual track day for cars and the MSF Racing Series, as well as F&B outlets and a kids play zone.

    What’s the MSF Drift Gonzo all about? Not your usual tandem drift event, it will feature single runs, where the competitor has to hit certain physical targets on the course in order to score points. The course, which will be set at SIC’s P2 & P6 parking lots, will feature a wet setup. Targets will include a rear wall entry “flipper”, a donut box, a “tightrope” section and more.

    There will be three categories – Super 1600, Street Limited and Pro Comp. Super 1600 will see the participation of naturally-aspirated cars up to 1,600 cc. Street Limited is targeted at daily driven rear-wheel drive street cars that can take part without any modifications. These two categories are a good base for newbie drifters. The Pro Comp category is aimed at professional drifters, and cars must have a welded-in roll cage with non-glass windows.

    MSF Drift Gonzo, which will take place on December 2 (Saturday), will preview a full season event in 2018. Those who are interested to participate can register and pay online at the MSF website. Early bird registrations start from RM220 per driver.

    Car fans, bring your family and friends along as there will be F&B stations, a kids zone, merchandise booth and more over the weekend. Tickets for Saturday will be from RM10 per adult, and from RM20 per adult for Sunday, for early purchasers. Tickets can also be bought on-site at the SIC. Free entry for children up to 15 years old.

    For more information, visit the official MSF Racing website or its Facebook page.

     
  • Petronas confirms petrol pump not under-dispensing

    A video currently going viral on Facebook alleging that a petrol pump at a Petronas station was under-dispensing petrol has been confirmed as unfounded. According to the video, a customer alleged that the pump did not dispense the correct amount of fuel as paid for.

    To prove it, the customer asked station staff to pour RM10 worth of fuel into a bucket, and alleged that the volume of petrol was not equal to the amount paid. In a statement on Facebook, Petronas stated customer feedback was taken seriously and to protect the consumer, welcomes inspection from the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPNDKK) and Metrology Corporation Malaysia, the authorities overseeing calibration of all weight and measuring equipment used commercially under the Weights and Measures Act, 1972.

    After testing by the KPNDKK and Metrology Corporation, the pump alleged to have been faulty was found to be in full working order and confirmed as dispensing product accurately. In its statement Petronas said, “we take customer feedback seriously, especially unfounded complaints such as the incident involving the Petronas station at Simpang Pulai South Bound that went viral on social media and Whatsapp.”

    The statement continued, “to protect consumers, we welcomed KPNDKK and Metrology Corporation to conduct tests at the Petronas station concerned. It is with pleasure we announce enforcement authorities confirmed there is no discrepancy in the quantity of fuel dispensed as has been alleged.”

    Petronas considers the incident to have been satisfactorily explained, and has asked for public co-operation to not spread false allegations. Petronas customers needing further information or wishing to lodge a complaint are welcome to call its hotline at 1-300-88-8181 or email mesralink@petronas.com.my.

     
  • 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto champion Malaysian Gabit Saleh in hospital after racing accident in Terengganu

    Reigning 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto champion Muhd Habibullah Mohd Saleh (26) from Rawang, Selangor, and popularly known as Gabit, is currently warded in Kemaman hospital after sustaining injuries whilst racing in the Kemaman International Motorcross Challenge in Terengganu on the weekend. He was said to have fractured several ribs and a collapsed lung after crashing his KTM 250 SX-F while attempting a double jump.

    Photos circulating on Facebook show an x-ray allegedly belonging to Gabit showing several fractured ribs. A Twitter from Gabit’s wife said that he signed the hospital consent form before being put under anaesthesia for an operation on the collapsed lung.

    There have been no official statements regarding Gabit’s current condition, but a photo on his Facebook page shows him conscious and sitting up, giving the peace sign. We wish Gabit a speedy recovery and swift return to motorcycle racing.

     
 

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Last Updated 19 Oct 2017


 

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