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19 die, 34 injured in Kaduna-Abuja road crash

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Nineteen people have died in a trailer accident on the Kaduna-Abuja road, with 34 others sustaining injuries ranging from head wound to bruises, cuts and dislocations of other parts of the body.

Security reports on Monday indicated that the accident occurred on Sunday at the Kateri axis of the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the crash involving a DAF trailer was caused by excessive speeding and tyre burst.

The commissioner said, “Security agencies have reported that 19 people died in a ghastly road traffic crash at the Kateri axis of the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday.

“According to the report, the crash, which occurred late on Sunday evening involved a commercial DAF trailer and was caused by a combination of speeding, and an exploding tyre, leading to a loss of control, which caused the vehicle to veer into the bush.

“A total of fifty-three (53) people were involved in the crash; 16 of them died on the spot, with three others later confirmed dead. Thirty-four (34) sustained injuries which ranged from bruises and cuts to dislocations and head injuries. They were evacuated from the scene by personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps.

“The survivors are receiving treatment in hospital.”

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Hyundai working on new high-performance car

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Hyundai is planning a new version of the Ioniq 5 that will raise the performance of the electric model, according to a new report from the Korean automaker.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a Pony-styled electric hatchback that is already rear-drive as standard and offers 300 horsepower in top all-wheel drive guise.

That leaves plenty of performance for Hyundai N to unlock on the enthusiast side of the new E-GMP architecture underpinning the automaker’s new EVS, the report says.

Hyundai is also said to be working with hypercar maker Rimac to build a new top-of-range EV performance car, so it would not be much of a stretch to seek out some of that company’s assistance on the rest of its electric vehicles as well.

Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motors, Thomas Schemera, confirmed the development, saying, “Everybody knows that our electric global modular platform (E-GMP) has a lot of potential and shows a lot of flexibility. One thing is for sure, eco-friendly models are on our priority list – at the top.

“We never stop thinking about extending our product portfolio and strategically, we are moving full speed ahead with eco-friendly offerings.

“We are moving ahead with our battery electric concept and our fuel-cell electric concepts.” So does that mean an Ioniq? “I guess it seems to be realistic,” he said.

Popular auto reviewer, Top Gear, thinks the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the Tesla rival many will want to own.

It says, “The automotive industry has been waiting for a legitimate and affordable Tesla Model 3/Y alternative for quite some time and with the Ioniq 5, it appears Hyundai has delivered just that.”

The Ioniq 5 is an all-new electric mid-size crossover and the first model to be branded under the new ‘Ioniq’ electric sub-brand.

According to carscoops.com, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 rides on the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which blends the traditional skateboard design with an elongated wheelbase for attractively styled and practical EVs?

It also features both 400- and 800-volt charging, thanks to the new platform.

When plugged into a 350kW charger, the Ioniq 5 can recharge from 10 to 80 perbcent in just 18 minutes, with the carmaker claiming that five minutes of charging is enough to get 62 miles of range on the WLTP cycle.

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Scarcity of vital auto parts forces more automakers to shut down

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  • Ford suspends Mustang production May 3

Ford will be shutting down production of its Mustang on May 3-7 with a plan to resume assembling the pony car at a later date yet to be determined.

This is coming after many automobile manufacturers had announced the suspension of production of a number of models, especially the premium vehicles.

The reason for the production shutdowns is that there are not enough semiconductor chips to power all that flashy technology in new cars.

The outlook for the Mustang and other Ford models as well as other auto brands does not look exactly rosy.

Analysts say they have seen this problem for months now, with the GM having to cease production of different vehicles, notably the Chevy Camaro.

Fiat Chrysler (now part of Stellantis) has had to shut down the assembly lines for the Dodge Charger and Challenger as well as the Chrysler 300.

This problem has affected many other automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Daimler and Porsche.

Industry analysts predict the chip shortages will limit the production of cars in the near term, but thankfully the problem will go away after a while.

In the meantime, this means you can expect to have a harder time finding and paying for certain new car models. It’s the simple economic rule of supply and demand.

Although with rough economic times, more people are holding onto older cars, so while supply is constrained, demand for some models is also lagging.

The shortages have caused automakers to drop some technological features from different models. For example, Stellantis announced it would be scrapping the digital speedometers on at least one Peugeot line.

Ford has been selling the F-150 without the fuel management module as a way to cut back on how many semiconductor chips it uses. Porsche is axing features like an 18-way-adjustable seat for the Macan SUV as a way to conserve its chip supply.

Another strategy to deal with the shortages has been for automakers to shut down production lines for vehicles with thinner profit margins. This means many cars, like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, will see constrained supply.

Another example is Daimler shutting down its compact car plant in Germany where 18,500 workers are employed. Instead of pumping out more Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles, the company is looking to put what semiconductor chips it has into more expensive model lines so profits don’t take as big of a hit.

The creation of this problem is complex and there’s some contradicting information. Some say production shutdowns at semiconductor plants because of COVID-19 have fuelled the shortage. Others think it has been the overwhelming demand for computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, smart televisions, among others as people are spending most of their time trapped at home.

Another conjecture is that suppliers did not foresee automakers ramping up demand for chips so quickly after plant shutdowns and assembly line reductions last year. So they’re scrambling to ramp up production and that takes time.

This comes after demand for at least some new cars has almost exploded, something few saw coming so early, after all not many people were looking to buy vehicles because of the pandemic last year.

Whatever the cause, this shortage isn’t making the situation of rising car prices any better. Not only are some new vehicles selling for more as a result, demand for used vehicles continues to stay strong. Hopefully by this time next year this problem will be in the rearview mirror.

Sources: CNBC, New York Times, Automotive News Europe and Reuters

 

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FRSC suspends sale, use of faulty Opel Ampera e-vehicles in Nigeria

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The Federal Road Safety Corps has banned the sale and use of Opel Ampera-e vehicles manufactured between June 27, 2016 and September 5, 2019 due to battery problems said to pose a safety risk to drivers.

It stated this following a recall announcement by Frankfurt-Opel, maker of Ampera-E-EVs vehicles, of an estimated 10,000 of the Ampera-e vehicles built during the period.

A statement by the FRSC Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, said the notice was issued as part of its statutory responsibility of enlightening the public on safe road use and in furthering the realisation of the United Nations resolution on Safe System approach, with particular emphasis on safe vehicles.

“This information is conveyed in compliance with the directive issued by the Federal Government, mandating FRSC and other key agencies to activate as a matter of urgency, speedy processes for robust public sensitisation on the inherent danger that could arise from continued use of the vehicles.”

It quoted the directive as saying, “I wish to draw your attention to a report which indicated that the European Union Rapid Alert System (RAPEX), for dangerous non-food products on 10th March, 2021, recalled Opel’s Ampera E motor vehicles manufactured between 27 June, 2016 and 5 September, 2019, due to the high voltage of battery which may fail at full charging capacity and thereby, increase risk of fire incidence.

“Considering the prevalence of Opel motor vehicles in Nigeria, it is advisable that you draw the attention of the motoring public and dealers to this development.”

It stated that based on the imminent danger this manufacturing error could cause to both the users of this vehicles and other road users,

Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, asked “dealers and users of these vehicles to desist from further sale or usage of such vehicles on Nigerian roads and contact the manufacturers for correction of the unravelled defect.”

The FRSC boss directed all corps commanding Officers to ensure that patrol operatives stop such vehicles from continuing their trips anywhere they are sighted on the nation’s highways.

“This is to ensure that the impending danger the continued use of the vehicle could cause is swiftly avoided to make room for safe travels,” the statement added.

Members of the motoring public were also urged to report any of such vehicles to the FRSC office or via their contact numbers.

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