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Archived Auto News and Events for March 2011

Honda Curtailing U.S. Production Due to Parts Shortage
Beginning Wednesday, March 30, 2011, Honda Motor Co. will cut daily output at its assembly plants in the United States by as much as 50 percent due to dwindling supplies from Japan, where manufacturers continue to reel in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Aftershocks and Electrical Disruptions Complicate Industrial Recovery in Japan
The effects of the March 11 Japanese earthquake and tsunami are continuing to grow in magnitude for the automotive industry both in the island nation itself and in North America.
Ford Feels Paint Pinch from Japanese Earthquake
Ford Motor Co. has asked its dealers not to place orders for full-sized pick-ups or SUVs in "Tuxedo Black" because the company is experiencing difficulty obtaining a key ingredient of the paint mixture from a supplier in Japan.
Toyota Delays Launch of Prius Wagon in Japan
As the Japanese auto industry continues to struggle with the aftermath of the nation's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, Toyota Motor Corp. has delayed the Japan launch of the new Prius wagon, which had been scheduled to go on sale at the end of April.
Japanese Automakers Struggle to Bring Their Operations Back Online
The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan have disrupted the industrial output of the island nation for more than a week, with auto manufacturers grappling with rolling power outages, frequent aftershocks, and badly disrupted supply chains.
Hyundai Removes On-Off Switch on Virtual Engine Sound System
On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed a law mandating sound-emitting devices in EVs and hybrids. As federal regulators work out the rules to enforce that statute, on-off buttons for the noise-makers may be banned.
Some Japanese Auto Firms Coming Back Online Slowly
Toyota's 12 main assembly plants in Japan have been closed since Monday due to the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami and will remain closed through next Tuesday.
North American Auto Plants Brace for Parts Shortages
The aftermath of the crisis and destruction in Japan will translate to a shortage of parts for automakers in North America. Currently assembly plants owned by Japanese carmakers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are operating normally, but teams are evaluating the condition of global supply lines to develop contingency plans to handle the coming shortfalls.
Japanese Automakers Suspend Production After Earthquake
Production at plants making a variety of vehicles for Toyota, Honda, and Nissan were suspended on Friday, March 11, 2011 to evaluate damage sustained from the 8.9 and 6.2 magnitude earthquakes that hit the island nation of Japan Thursday and Friday.
GM Making First Moves to Increase Volt Production
News reports indicate that General Motors will be adding a second shift to its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to increase production of the all-electric Chevrolet Volt early in 2012.
Next Mustang to be a Product of Global Ford Design
The next generation Ford Mustang , likely to appear for the 2014 or 2015 model year, will be the result of collaborative design ideas from the company's design studios around the world, a marked departure for a car that has a reputation as an iconic American vehicles.
Spiders Prompt Recall of Mazda6
In one of the more unusual causes for a recall in automotive history, Mazda announced on Friday, March 4, 2011 the company is recalling 65,000 cars in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico for a problem that causes fuel hoses to leak and potentially to catch on fire.
Auto Industry Sales Numbers Strong for February
Although the rising price of gasoline threatens to derail the recovery of the American auto industry, February numbers were strong, with sales of light vehicles making an impressive 27 percent jump.
NHTSA Delays Backup Camera Ruling
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was expected to issue its ruling on the proposed requirement for backup cameras on all vehicles by September 2014, but the agency has now announced a delay of the decision with no timeframe stipulated.
Toyota Complies with NHTSA Request for Additional Recalls
Toyota has recalled another 2.17 million Toyota and Lexus cars in the United States for a potential flaw in the accelerator pedal that can allow it to become entrapped in the carpeting or floor mat.
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