This Just In
•Toyota has launched a massive recall-affecting nearly 4 million vehicles-because of floor mats. That's right, floor mats. In certain models, including '05-'10 Tacomas and '07-'10 Tundras, an "unsecured or incompatible" floor mat could cause the accelerator pedal to stick down. The recall comes in the wake of a much publicized crash last summer in which four people were killed in a Lexus the owner couldn't stop. It's not clear that a floor mat was the cause of the accident, but it prodded Toyota to look into reports of other, similar incidents and led to the recall.
•SCORE has announced its 2010 racing season, which includes two events in southern Nevada and three in Mexico. The 2010 Baja 1000, scheduled for November 17-21, will be a peninsula race run between the Ensenada area and Baja California Sur. We'll put race dates in our calendar, or visit www.score-international.com for more info.
•BFGoodrich and the BlueRibbon Coalition have joined forces to raise money for trail preservation. BFG will donate $5 to BlueRibbon for each of its 10 new sizes of Mud Terrain T/A KM2 tires sold through December 2009. "This generous donation will help the BlueRibbon Coalition continue working to keep public land open, whether you recreate on a mountain bike, snowmobile, motorcycle, personal watercraft, ATV, four-wheel drive, or horse, or in your hiking boots," said Greg Mumm, BlueRibbon Coalition's executive director. You can find out more about the tires that qualify by going to www.bfgoodrichtires.com.
•According to SEMA, the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) will include light- and medium-duty, on-road diesel vehicles in its smog-check program beginning January 2010. Under the program, manufacturers of performance and specialty aftermarket parts for diesel applications will need to meet certain requirements. Specifically, the test will include a visual inspection for uncertified/non-OEM parts, an OBD-II readiness check, and a snap-idle tailpipe test for particulate matter. The bureau has developed a list of non-OEM replacement parts that will be identified during the visual portion of the smog check. Any parts that don't qualify as replacement parts (which are exempt from certification) will require compliance coverage with a California Air Resources Board (CARB) executive order. Uncertified parts will cause a vehicle to fail the visual portion of the test. A similar program is being proposed in Nevada.
•In other news from SEMA, the trade organization has created an online guide for off-road enthusiasts to learn about land use issues and how federal laws like wilderness and endangered species acts can close roads and trails. Visit www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62625 to read all about it. While you're there, check out the SEMA Action Network (SAN), an organization that's very helpful in keeping us informed about laws that could affect our hobby. SAN is easy to join and it's free.
Hummer Deal Signed
General Motors is getting closer to finalizing its sale of Hummer to the Chinese Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company, Ltd. In October the two companies entered into a "definitive agreement" allowing Tengzhong to buy the Hummer brand, trademark, trade names, and the rights to manufacture Hummer vehicles. Tengzhong will also assume existing Hummer dealer agreements. Tengzhong will acquire Hummer through an investment entity and will hold an 80 percent stake in the company. A private investor, an entrepreneur named Suolang Duoji, will hold the other 20 percent. No official numbers were offered by GM, but news outlets put the purchase price at $150 million. At one time GM expected the brand to bring $500 million.
Once the deal goes through, Tengzhong will ink a contract for GM to continue to build H3s and H3Ts, and AM General to build H2s, at least through June 2011 and possibly until June 2012. It's not clear what will happen to Hummer manufacturing after that.