Niagara Gazette

Features

January 23, 2014

TOM'S CORNER: From the automotive news desk at America's Car Show

Niagara Gazette — Well this week is full of news from our news desk here at America’s Car Show. From Steer-By-Wire recalls to Hellcat Dodges roaring to see the light of day! So without further delay, here’s this week’s automotive news!

 

Infiniti steer-by-wire recall

A problem with Infiniti’s industry-first steer-by-wire system has forced a recall. Known as Direct Adaptive Steering, the steer-by-wire setup actually features no direct connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels in normal driving situations. Instead, it uses a sensor to measure steering inputs and convert them into front wheel movement, while a conventional mechanical steering system stands ready to take over if the electronics fail.

According to a notice posted to the National Highway Traffic Safety administration’s website, the issue stems from a particular version of the steering software that, when confronted with weather cold enough to drive engine bay temperatures below freezing, is liable to disable the steer-by-wire. Even worse, it can delay the engagement of the backup mechanical steering system, leaving the driver without any means to steer the vehicle.

 

Jeepster ready to debut

A report coming out of Australia indicates the compact Jeep crossover that will replace both the Compass and Patriot will revive the Jeepster nameplate when it is introduced at March’s Geneva Motor Show. Riding on a modified Fiat 500L platform, the Jeepster will borrow design cues from the iconic Willy’s that was used widely in World War II. Pictures are not available yet but rumors indicate the crossover will get round headlights and Jeep’s seven-slat grille that will be taller than the one found on the newly introduced Cherokee. 

The Jeep will be powered by a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter gas-burning four-cylinder. A 1.3-liter turbodiesel four cylinder rated at 105 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque will be offered to buyers in Europe, and Jeep might sell it in the US if diesel sales continue to rise.

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