Leap year bug causes sat nav failure
11 April 2012
TomTom has blamed a ‘leap year’ bug for causing some of its devices to fail and has released a new software update in an effort to solve the problem.
The firm said that a problem with its global positioning system firmware - code embedded into the devices - had caused models worldwide to fail to identify their location. Users affected with the bug have been presented with a grey screen and a message saying the machine lacked a GPS signal. The issue first emerged on March 31.
A TomTom spokesman said: “Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. We are fully focused on getting our impacted customers back on the road.” Several models are affected including both new and discontinued products.
TomTom suggests that owners of the following devices should install the new code:
Start 20/25, Via 110/120/125, Via LIVE 120/125, VIA 1400/1405/1430/1435, VIA 1500/1505/1530/1535, GO LIVE 820/825, GO 1000/1005/1005 World, GO 1535, GO 2405/2505, GO 2435/2535, GO 2535 LIVE, GO 2535 WTE (World Traveler Edition) Blue & Me TomTom 2, TomTom Connect.
Instructions on how to update devices can be found at www.tomtom.com/386.
Motorists question proposed fine increase
11 April 2012
Half of motorists disagree with a Government proposal to increase fixed penalty notices from £60 to £90, according to research by the IAM.
Mini tackles commerical vehicles with new Clubvan
08 March 2012
Designed to appeal to small business, the Mini Clubvan is the latest commercial vehicle concept from the Mini brand. The design is based on the successful Mini Clubman, with the front two seats taking on the trademark interior. The loading compartment is separated by a fixed partition grille with two side-hinged rear doors.
Inspiration for the Clubvan comes from the 1960 Morris Mini Van with all the benefits of a Classic Mini with increased functionality and storage space plus 12-volt plug sockets in the load compartment.
The Mini Clubvan will go into series production and will be launched in the second half of this year.
Ampera and Volt voted Car of the Year
08 March 2012
The Vauxhall Ampera (pictured) and Chevrolet Volt have won the ‘Car of the Year’ award, with the highest score of 47 points.
The Vauxhall Ampera / Chevrolet Volt were the undisputed winners with 330 points against VW Up (281) and Ford Focus (256).
For the first time in the history of the prize, the final selection was made in the context of the Geneva international motor show. The Opel/Vauxhall CEO, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, and Chevrolet’s president and managing director for Europe, Susan Docherty, were both handed the “Car of the Year 2012” award by the President of the COTY judging panel, Hakan Matson. Initially, 35 recently launched vehicles entered the contest. The selection criteria applied by the judges were based on attributes such as design, comfort, performance and especially innovative technologies as well as efficiency.
"It is a proud moment for us and an honor to receive this award from Europe’s leading jury of automotive journalists," said Susan Docherty, president and managing director, Chevrolet Europe. "Our car demonstrates that electric driving can be fun and reliable without ever compromising the owners’ lifestyle."
“We are extremely pleased that our revolutionary electric vehicle has emerged as the winner in such a tough field of competitors. And we are very proud of this accolade,” says the Opel/Vauxhall CEO, Karl-Friedrich Stracke. “This encourages us further to continue our leadership role in the area of e-mobility.”
New A-Class hatchback to hunt Audi and BMW drivers
08 March 2012
Geneva set the stage for the world premiere of the A-Class, Mercedes new compact car, with hopes of introducing a new customer base to the luxury car maker.
It has taken Mercedes close to five years from idea to launch of the new A-Class, with a strong focus on safety and sporty appeal, the manufacturer has set ambitious growth targets for the new compact segment car.
“I really believe this is going to be one of our strongest assets,” said Nathanael Sijanta, head of product development at Mercedes. “We really want to extend our brand to a new level, we are looking to double our customers with the A-Class.”
Safety has been at the forefront of the A-Class design with an array of assistance systems which have been adopted from the larger model range including collision prevention assist and hill-start assist fitted as standard. “For fleets, safety is a key issue, all of the Mercedes safety technology will be included in the A-Class, for businesses, I think this will be really important,” said Sijanta.
With emissions starting at 99g/km for the entry model, a first for the manufacturer, Mercedes believe they found the right combination of driver performance and emissions which will set them apart from their rivals. “We are focussing on the environment without compromising the performance. The key for us is offering our customers a complete car with full options while still achieving 99g/km.” Available in manual and auto engines, the new A-Class will also feature ECOstart/stop as standard.
One of the highlights to the new A-Class is the option to have Apple I-phone technology integrated into the car which will enable drivers to use the full functionality of the iPhone including social media platforms and the Seri technology. “You could say the new A-Class is a smart phone on wheels,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz cars. The prospects of premium compact cars has never been better, we are expecting growth of 4 million units. The A-Class will play an important part of Mercedes 2020 growth strategy,” said Zetsche.
Mercedes has big plans for the compact segment with three more models in the pipeline for the near future.