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Episode 66 – Hot Seats and Diesel Cheats

Sorry to disappoint, but this is not the Autopodcast that and lets Gabe and Daryl prattle on about one dudes garage… this time.

On this episode of Throwin’ Wrenches…

  • More German emission woes
  • Flaming Hyundai’s: Oh my!
  • Two-way traffic is coming back to Peoria, Illinois

Our Sponsors

Fort’s Toyota of Pekin

Gabe Casey

 

Projects

Eric may be selling everything. If anyone needs a nice MkIII Supra or a 4Runner, hit him up.

Daryl is knee-deep in Caddy interior restoration and liking it. Once that’s done, it’s time to focus on the mechanicals for a change and get this old girl running again.

News

International News

Mercedes-Benz Starts Trial In Class Action Suit over Diesel Tests
Source: NADA

Mercedes-Benz went on trial on Tuesday in a class action-style lawsuit that alleges that the German carmaker knowingly manipulated diesel-emissions tests by installing defeat devices.

Germany’s largest consumer protection group, the VZBZ, accused the carmaker of installing devices in its GLK and GLC SUV models that in tests made it appear the vehicles produced lower pollutant levels than they actually did in traffic.

BMW is now charging $18 per month for heated seats in some countries
Source: Business Insider

Imagine for a moment you’re the proud owner of a brand-new BMW 5 Series. One chilly morning, you try to flip on your luxury sedan’s heated seats and… nothing. Your frigid rear end sees no relief.

This scenario isn’t out of the question. BMW is now selling heated seats — and some other basic features — as a monthly subscription in certain countries. Owners who don’t pay up won’t get access, even if their car came with all the necessary hardware from the factory.

The move comes as car companies push to make more money from the software in their vehicles. Through subscriptions and the like, automakers intend to generate a steady stream of revenue (tens of billions per year, some say) that continues long after a car is made and sold.

A handful of car websites noticed this week that heated seats and a heated steering wheel popped up as monthly subscriptions on BMW’s South Korea site. (It appears they’ve since been removed.) The Verge spotted the features on the menu for BMW owners in Germany, the UK, South Africa, and New Zealand.

The heated seats cost around $18 per month, with additional options for 1-year, 3-year, and unlimited terms. A heated steering wheel will run you roughly $10-$12 monthly. Some other subscriptions BMW has on offer and their approximate cost: automatic high-beam headlights ($12/month) and adaptive cruise control with lane centering ($42/month).

National News

Ford’s Mustang Mach-E electric crossover is a hit with industry insiders — that could help it take on Tesla
Source: CNBC

Ford’s first real attempt at an electric vehicle has been quite a hit with critics. The Mustang Mach-E replaced the Tesla Model 3 as Consumer Reports’ Top Pick in February 2022. It was named the Top Car in the Automobile Association of America (AAA) Car Guide in May. Car and Driver awarded it the magazine’s first EV of the Year award in June 2021. It was named the Utility of the Year at the 2021 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards — one of the most prestigious awards in the automotive industry.

Local News

Photo: http://peoriadowntowndevelopment.com/

Taking a closer look at Peoria’s plans to bring two-way traffic to two major downtown streets
Source: WCBU

Adams Street and Jefferson Avenue have been one-way roads in downtown Peoria for more than 70 years, but the city wants to revert to two-way traffic as a way to bring vibrancy back to the area.

It’s a project that will take about three years and cost more than $12 million, but the hope is the benefits for both businesses and pedestrians make that time and money worthwhile.

Peoria city engineer Andrea Klopfenstein said the idea to change the downtown traffic pattern originated out of a need to replace the current pedestal-mounted traffic signals overhead mast arm stoplights.

“That was the real start of the project, but we’re also changing to two-way traffic to keep people in downtown or wanting to be downtown,” said Klopfenstein. “When it’s one-way and you’re going fast, you’re just really directing people through downtown. We want to make downtown a destination that people can come and shop, eat, work, just hang out and be in the downtown area.”

REPORT: Rivian planning layoffs, loss of at least 700 jobs
Source: CI Proud

A new report said Rivian is planning hundreds of layoffs, but it is yet undetermined if that will affect the manufacturing plant in Normal.

Bloomberg reported Monday that Rivian could set a target total reduction of about 5% of its more than 14,000 employees. This would result in at least 700 job losses across the company.

Rivian is the second-largest employer in McLean County, with more than 6,000 workers at its Normal plant.

Since nearly doubling its workforce within the past year, the electric automaker seems to be pulling back production as a result of global supply-chain issues and material shortages, the Bloomberg report noted.

Since the beginning of 2022, Rivian’s shares have fallen roughly 69%.

Bloomberg’s stated that this decision mirrors that of other corporations who may fear a recession. Tesla, for example, is reducing its salaried workforce by 10% in order to protect its manufacturing lines if the economy were to tumble.

Rivian declined to comment on the situation. The corporation is set to release its second-quarter financial results on Aug. 11.

Moment of Musk

Elon Musk says he hasn’t had sex in ages, no time for ‘shenanigans’
Source: Business Today

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claimed in a recent tweet that he has not had sex in ages. Musk was responding to news reports accusing him of having an affair with Nicola Shanahan, wife of Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin.

While responding to a user, Musk tweeted, “Haven’t even had sex in ages (sigh).”


Musk said in an earlier tweet that these reports are not true and that he and Sergey are just good friends. He said, “This is total bs. Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night! I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic.”

Grinding the Gears

Do people stop when they don’t have stop signs? In Memphis, Tennessee they do.

Eric has a theory on why that’s the case.

Cars of the Weak

Daryl:

1955 Packard 400 Hardtop – $14,000
Source: Club Member/Friend

My neighbor informed me of a woman in Peoria that wants to sell her father’s 1955 Packard 400 two-door hardtop car. It was in storage since 1976 in a garage in Peoria and was brought out in 2021.  It is now driveable but still needs minor repairs to be a show car.  The original owner bought the car new from the dealer in Peoria.  The original owner died in 2021 at 92 years of age.  The car has 51,000 miles, all new whitewall tires, a new fuel pump, a new 12 volt battery, the first year Packard V8 engine, automatic trans, power steering, and brakes.  She is asking $14,000 but wants to sell the car.

The owner wants the mechanic to handle the selling.  He can be contacted by phone or email as follows:  barnes.scott1@comcast.net  Email is the preferred way as he won’t answer unknown calls.


Eric

Thor Motorcoach/Ram Promaster RV

Source: Facebook Marketplace

  • 13,000 miles
  • generator
  • solar panel
  • Wet Bath
  • Pull Out Bed
  • Keyless Entry System
  • Large Skylight

Start traveling the right way with this motorhome! It features a rear 72″ x 66″ pull-out bed with under-bed storage for extra blankets or other necessities, plus there are large opening side windows at the head and foot of the bed to let in more natural lighting and fresh air. Freshen up each morning in the manual-enclosed wet bath with a cassette toilet and a closet next to it to store your towels. Once you have prepared your best home-cooked meal with the gas two-burner cooktop, you can head to the collapsible dinette table to enjoy them there comfortably and then watch your favorite movie on the 24″ TV!

Each one of these Thor Motor Coach Sequence Class B gas motorhomes are built with a RAM Promaster 3500 XT window van chassis and powered by a fuel-efficient V-6 engine for an easy drive, economical explorer van! Their internal storage capacity is increased by the driveshaft not running to the rear making it possible for the holding tanks, electrical components, and LP systems hidden underneath. They are Thule equipped with a roof ladder to view your destination in a different perspective, a bike rack for two adult bikes, and a lateral arm patio awning with integrated LED lighting. Modern living and convenience is what you will find throughout the interiors with a premium 7-inch touchscreen dash radio, Apple Car Play and Android Auto that connects your favorite music and podcasts through USB or Bluetooth, and TecnoForm S.P.A. Euro-style cabinetry. Plus, there is residential vinyl flooring so you can bring your furry friend along and not worry about messes becoming stains!

Thanks for listening, and please share this episode with someone cool.

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