DETROIT – A man who died this month in a traffic crash near Sydney likely is the 18th person killed by a faulty Takata air bag inflator, Australian authorities said Friday. The 58-year-old man was struck in the neck by a small fragment and died at the scene of the July 13 crash in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, according to a statement from New South Wales police. He was driving a 2007 Honda CR-V when it collided with a Toyota Celica at an intersection. A police investigation found that his death "is likely due to a fault in the air bag." If that conclusion is confirmed, the man's death would be the first outside of the U.S. or Malaysia attributed to Takata.
The European Union isn't happy some of its member countries still haven't punished Volkswagen for cheating on emission tests. According to several sources, it has began taking legal action against seven nations, starting with the UK, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain for approving the carmaker's vehicles to be sold in their countries but failing to haul it to court like the US did. Further, UK and Germany refused to share what they discovered from their own investigations. The EU is also suing the Czech Republic, Greece and Lithuania for not even having laws that can penalize the company. To recap: researchers found something amiss with Volkswagen cars in 2014 and tipped off the US Environmental Protection Agency.
NEW YORK – Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. has drafted a contingency plan to focus on its Sunderland plant in the U.K. and cut European production if a hard Brexit leads to tariffs on car imports from the continent, the Financial Times reported, citing two people involved in the discussions. The plan, which was drawn up before Makoto Uchida was named as the new chief executive officer in December, also foresees the closing of Nissan's plants in Barcelona, Spain, and in France. The automaker denied the existence of the contingency plans, according to a spokesman for Nissan Europe quoted by the Financial Times. "We've modeled every possible ramification of Brexit and the fact remains that our entire business both in the U.K. and in Europe is not sustainable in the event of WTO tariffs," he said. In a speech on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to say he is prepared to quit talks over the U.K.'s future trade relationship with the European Union if he doesn't get what he wants, according to a U.K. official.
The Mercedes-Benz luxury car business, the mainstay of the company's profitability, saw a 12 percent increase in earnings before interest and taxes, to 23.3 billion euros. Favorable exchange rate developments boosted earnings there, in addition to stronger sales. Mercedes sold 20 percent more cars in China and had double-digit increases in the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
A souped-up motorised shed has broken its own land speed record on a Welsh beach as it hit 100mph. The Fastest Shed smashed its previous 80mph (129km/h) record for the fastest shed at a land speed event at Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire on Saturday. Owner Kevin Nicks said it was "marvellous" to hit 101mph (160 km/h) in what he said was the only road legal motorised shed in the world. "It couldn't have gone better, I'm so happy," said the 53-year-old gardener. Mr Nicks, from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, spent more than £13,000 creating his bespoke shed on wheels, which now boasts a turbo-charged 400 brake horsepower engine that is more powerful than many sports cars.