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  • Volkswagen Malaysia – all DSG issues resolved

    Volkswagen Armin Keller

    Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM) MD Armin Keller has said to members of the media at a press briefing today that all DSG-related issues have been resolved, for new cars as well as existing ones.

    Customer cars that have been reported to have DSG issues have had their mechatronic units replaced with a new version. Additionally, mineral gearbox oil is now used instead of synthetic oil, and according to Keller, as a result of these updates, no issues have been reported thus far.

    Also, all new Volkswagen cars in showrooms now have received these counter-measures, and based on the latest after-sales update, tech solutions have already been found for all issues. Reported engine issues have also been fixed, he said, although he did not elaborate on the technical measures taken.

    Bold claims indeed – as such, we’d really like to hear from Volkswagen owners – has your car undergone the said updates, and if so, how does your car perform now? Please share with us in the comments below.

     
     
  • BYD K9 e-bus at IGEM – AMDAC set for first deliveries

    Ebas

    Some other news from the just-concluded IGEM 2014, related to public transport. Parked outside the event at KLCC was a BYD K9 electric bus from AMDAC – the first e-bus in the country has been running trials since last year, and field evaluation has been completed.

    Deployment is now set to begin with two customers, Sunway BRT – which has ordered 15 units – and Panorama Melaka, which has placed an order for 40 examples of the e-bus. The latter is involved in tourism-related activities for the state. and the buses will serve as part of its transport fleet.

    Some quick notes about the BYD K9 – the 29-seater costs around RM1.4 million per unit, and it will be assembled locally, AMDAC said. A full charge takes about five hours, and the e-bus has an operating range of around 250-300 km on a single charge. The lithium iron phosphate batteries are good for about 6,000 charges, which translates to about 16 years of operating service, charged on a daily basis.

    The event also saw AMDAC, a player in the heavy-duty and special purpose vehicle sector, signing a MoU with GreenTech Malaysia, a non-profit organisation operating under the ambit of KeTTHA. The organisation has been tasked with catalysing green tech deployment, and the drive to develop electric mobility solutions isn’t just limited to passenger-based EV projects such as FEN or COMOS.

     
     
  • Renault Zoe and Fluence ZE prices listed in CarBase.my’s ISM car market value database

    As you’d know from the car research section found at the bottom of every story on this site, we have a companion website called CarBase.my where you can research specs and equipment for every car on sale in Malaysia. We hope you’ve found this website useful in your car buying process so far.

    Another feature of CarBase.my is the Car Market Value Guide, which you can use to check the current market value as well as original brand new price for cars sold in Malaysia dating back to the ’90s. You can use the values as a rough guide to sell your car or to decide what insured value to use when you renew your insurance. It’s powered by data from ISM Insurance Services Malaysia.

    Sometimes the database has little gems of information, such as this – the new prices for two electric cars that were never launched to the public in Malaysia – the Renault Fluence ZE and the Renault Zoe.

    RENAULT-EV-PRICES

    There is a Fluence ZE at the TC Euro Cars showroom at Jalan Kemajuan, PJ. The full electric version of the C-segment Fluence sedan was registered when the government still had tax exemptions for CBU electric cars, so the RM144,917 price tag listed should be tax free. It’s quite a bit cheaper than the Nissan Leaf‘s tax-free price of just under RM170k.

    The B-segment Renault Zoe is listed with a RM177,459 price tag, which is likely inclusive of tax, as it was introduced after the discontinuation of tax exemptions for CBU electric cars.

    The Zoe is probably listed in the ISM database because a few units have been registered and insured by COMOS, the electric car sharing service run by ex-Proton MD Datuk Seri Syed Zainal. COMOS will lease companies a Zoe for RM4,500 a month, and the leasing fee is supposed to be eligible for double tax deduction.

    You can play around with the CarBase.my car market value database. If you find any other interesting cars listed, do drop us a note in the comments.

     
     
  • Volkswagen Malaysia recalls Beetle – 2,134 affected

    volkswagen-beetle-12-tsi-review-7

    A recall has been issued by Volkswagen Malaysia, advising all owners of the Beetle to bring their cars in to official service centres nationwide. A total of 2,134 units will be affected by what the company calls an issue on the trailing arm of the rear torsion crank axle.

    In the event of a rear-end collision, it may result in a form of pre-damage to the rear torsion crank axle. Should it go undetected and not repaired, it may lead to a sudden break of the trailing arm and loss of control of the vehicle. In the context of the recall, metal inlays are being mounted on the trailing arm.

    The inlays are said prevent a “direct loss of control over the vehicle in the event a pre-damaged trailing arm breaks.” Customers who own the Beetle will be notified by Volkswagen Malaysia, with the operation scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2015.

    Customers with questions over the recall are advised to contact their respective Volkswagen dealers or the customer care hotline at 1800-88-8947 for a free axle inspection.

     
     
  • Direct injection and turbo direct injection among the Petronas engine technologies acquired by Proton

    petronas e01e

    You may recall that in 2012, Proton acquired all of Petronas’ engine technologies and the associated patents at a cost of RM63 million, with the deal comprising seven engine technologies and 117 technology patents.

    Well, Proton chief technical officer Abdul Rashid Musa revealed to us at the Proton Iriz press drive event that direct injection and turbo direct injection are among the Petronas-acquired technologies, and that they “can be applied to all engines.”

    He did not however divulge which engines, or which Proton model, would first receive the treatments and when. Direct injection and turbo direct injection would aid Proton’s charge into overseas markets, particularly Europe with its ever-tightening emissions regulations.

    In the case of the Proton Iriz, direct-injected versions of the 1.3 and 1.6 VVT motors (designed to Euro 5 standards, detuned to Euro 4 for Malaysia due to our lower fuel quality) would certainly go hand-in-hand with its borrowed diesel engine towards meeting the upcoming Euro 6 standards. Could other Proton models follow suit in the future?

     
     
  • Revolo hybrid kit at IGEM 2014 – PDRM evaluation showed 23% less fuel used, 14% less CO2 emissions

    We were snooping around the 5th International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition (IGEM 2014) in KLCC when we found a small stand tucked behind the COMOS stand. This stand belonged to none other than DFRAN Research Technologies, which markets the Revolo bolt-on plug-in hybrid kit that was designed and engineered in India by KPIT Technologies.

    You may remember that earlier in the year, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) was planning to conduct a two-month, 10,000 km evaluation of the retrofit system on a Proton Inspira patrol car. Well, the evaluation has been completed – they actually covered 13,000 km, a little further than previously intended – and the results were shown on a bunting at the stand.

    Fitted with the Revolo kit, the Inspira was said to have used 23% less fuel than before while producing 14% less carbon dioxide emissions. The company also claimed that the battery could be fast-charged to 80% capacity in around an hour, and that acceleration has also improved.

    Earlier, PDRM had stated that it would consider equipping more of its vehicles with the Revolo kit if the test was successful. According to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, PDRM currently has about 3,000 patrol cars in its fleet, with an annual fuel cost that currently stands at about RM28 million.

    According to DFRAN Research Tecnologies’ executive chairman, former Proton boss Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin (who holds the same position at COMOS), the Revolo system’s electric motor has a maximum torque of 35 Nm, and can provide motor assist of between 80 km to 100 km on a single charge.

     
     
  • Perodua Axia E – deliveries to driving schools begin

    Perodua made its first fleet delivery of the Axia to a driving school last week. Eleven units of the new hatchback were handed over to Arinah Holdings, a Terengganu-based driving school which ordered 22 Axias.

    “The delivery marks the first in such fleet sale delivery to an organisation and we are committed to deliver our vehicles per delivery plan – bearing any unforeseen circumstances,” said Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh, Perodua’s president and CEO. He added that Perodua has received “overwhelming interest” from driving schools to acquire the Perodua Axia Standard E variant.

    The Axia, launched last month, is Malaysia’s most affordable car with prices starting at RM24,600. Cheap and no frills, the Axia Standard E is the perfect car to replace the basic Viva/Kancil that is the current staple of driving schools across the country. Older drivers might remember taking driving lessons in the original Kancil, Nissan Sunny or a Datsun.

    As of last week, the Axia has received more than 33,000 bookings, with nearly 7,000 units delivered since launch day. Perodua aims to sell 30,000 Axias by the end of the year.

    Dive into our Perodua Axia infohub for a wealth of information, videos (by both P2 and paultan.org) and pictures – including galleries of the various specs and one side-by-side with the Viva – that will aid your shopping process.

     
     
  • Honda Civic facelift listed on oto.my – Nov launch?

    Honda Civic Facelift Thailand-1

    An ad for the Honda Civic facelift has been sighted on car classifieds website oto.my, with a tentative November 2014 launch date mentioned in the ad copy. That’s very soon, next month in fact.

    The ad for the 1.8 S variant carries a price tag of RM115,980, which is about the same as the price of the current Civic 1.8 S, if both figures are presumed to be OTR with insurance.

    The ad further details some changes in specs in the Civic line-up. According to the ad, the 1.8 S will gain a push start button, auto headlamps and cruise control, while the 2.0 S will be upgraded to six airbags (side and curtain airbags mentioned in the ad) and have the auto headlamps feature added as well.

    The top of the line Civic 2.0 Navi will get Honda’s new navigation head unit with HDMI connectivity, similiar to the head units found in the newer Jazz, City and Odyssey.

    There’s also going to be a new colour – Twilight Blue. This is the same blue as the Honda CR-V ‘hero’ blue colour. The Civic is currently limited to white, black, silver and grey. The new colour will mean the Civic facelift will have the exact same colour choices as the CR-V.

    Honda Civic facelift at the 2014 Bangkok Motor Show

    2014 Honda Civic facelift (Thai-spec)

    civic-oto

     
     
  • DRIVEN: Proton Iriz 1.3 MT and 1.6 CVT full review

    Proton_Iriz_Review_ 003

    Reviews of new Proton models within the last half-decade or so typically revolve around the ideas of “best effort to date”, “turn-around car for the company”, “make or break” and “this is a car it absolutely has to get right if it wants to move forward.”

    For the new Proton Iriz, these clichés just couldn’t ring truer, and while I won’t give the game away so early on, suffice to say, our national carmaker is fully aware that indigenously researching and developing cars only for our own people is simply not enough, and the Iriz represents the brightest and most credible beacon of hope in that respect so far.

    But at the same time, we’re talking about the Malaysian B-segment. Fiercely-competitive. High-volume. Price-sensitive. Numbers-driven. No-nonsense. And the baby Proton couldn’t be assigned a more formidable opponent even if it tried – why, only the best-selling set of wheels and default first car in Malaysia for the last nine years, the Perodua Myvi.

    Yes, Proton has been talking about upping its game and going global since time immemorial – how is the Iriz any different? Well, we’ve just returned from Penang, having spent the best part of two days getting to know the new car, as well as the men and women behind it. So here we set about dealing with that question – the answer to which isn’t all that straightforward.

    Read the full review.

     
     
  • MINI Gold Jack add-ons on display at Road Show-Off

    MINI is currently holding a roadshow across the Klang Valley – called the MINI Road Show-Off – and taking centre stage is an F56 MINI Cooper S fitted with the company’s Gold Jack range of accessories.

    These add-ons – which can be applied onto all F56 MINI Hatch models – consist of wing mirror caps (RM862.76), side scuttle appliqués (RM690.64) and roof decal (RM786.42) which are adorned with a gold Union Jack motif over a black background. This particular car is also equipped with Liquid Black 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels (RM16,599 for a set of four, complete with run-flat tyres).

    These parts aren’t new – in fact, they were made available when the F56 was launched earlier in the year, but this is the first time the company is displaying them. Like others in the Original MINI Accessories range, the Gold Jack products can be retrofitted to an existing car or ordered with a new MINI through a dealer.

    The MINI Road Show-Off is currently at Paradigm Mall for the weekend, and will head to Great Eastern Mall next. Apart from checking out the Gold Leaf MINI, prospective customers can also take the company’s range of cars for a test drive. Visit mini.my/roadshowoff for more details and the complete venue list.

     
     
 

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