Automotive Purchasing Weekly 19 February 2015 - page 24

Anewday, anew lawsuit
11 February 2015 | Tier Suppliers
The Automotive Recyclers Association has
filed a class-action lawsuit against Takata
Corp and several other carmakers for failing
to inform automotive recyclers about the
defect in Takata airbags.
The Automotive Recyclers Association
(ARA) announces that it has filed a class
action lawsuit against Japanese supplier
Takata Corporation, its subsidiaries TK
Holding and Highland Industries, and
relating to the massive recall of vehicles
containing defective airbags manufactured
by Takata.
The ARA brought the class action on
behalf of all persons and entities who operate
professional automotive recycling facilities
in the United States who have purchased
for resale any of the vehicles containing
undeployed and allegedly defective airbags
manufactured by Takata.
The complaint alleges that Takata and
the involved OEMs withheld and/or misled
automotive recyclers about the safety and
reliability of the allegedly defective airbags,
which led recyclers to over pay for now
worthless airbags.
According to the complaint, Takata was
aware of the airbag defect as far back as
2004 when it conducted secret tests on
several airbags.
The complaint further alleges that
following the disclosure of the airbag defect,
the automotive recyclers are not able to sell
or trade these airbags because they are
valueless. The ARA alleges that it had an
expectation that Takata and the carmakers
would disclose known defects in a timely
manner pursuant to federal, state and
common law. The failure to properly disclose
the defect caused the automotive recyclers
to purchase vehicles containing the Takata
airbags for amounts greater than their worth.
The ARA is represented by Kessler Topaz
Meltzer and Check, LLP. The complaint was
filed in the United State District Court for the
Southern District of Florida.
Schaeffler lays foundationstone for
newThailand facility
11 February 2015 | Tier Suppliers
Leading suppliers to the automotive
industry, Schaeffler, has laid the foundation
stone for a new production facility in Chon
Buri, Thailand.
With the new plant in Hemaraj Chon Buri
Industrial Zone II, the technology company is
expanding its production capacity in the Asia
/ Pacific region, particularly in Southeast Asia
with the relocation of other product lines.
The company recognises it as an
important milestone in the strategic
expansion of manufacturing presence and
the research and development capacity in
the region.
“The expansion of our production
capacity in Southeast Asia underlines our
commitment to the region and provides
even better supply to our customers
with innovative products and tailor-made
solutions. The automotive industry in
Thailand and Southeast Asia will continue
to grow in the coming years,” said Andreas
Schick, CEO Asia / Pacific at Schaeffler.
The new facility being built on a 55,000
square meter site in the province of
Chon Buri on the east coast of Thailand.
Construction has started on schedule and
the start of production is planned for the first
quarter of 2016.
Product lines that are to be manufactured
at this facility in the first phase include clutch
discs, clutch pressure plates, mechanical
and hydraulic tensioner, synchroniser rings
and clutch release bearing.
“Thailand is one of the most important
centers of automobile production worldwide
with the highest concentration of production
and research sites of OEMs in the automotive
industry. For several years, the country
has recorded a stable industrial growth.
Moreover, the Thai government attaches
great importance to the development of the
automotive and supplier industries. Thailand
has excellent skilled workers and labor costs
are at a competitive level, “said Masafumi
Yoshida, President Automotive at Schaeffler
Southeast Asia.
“The opening of our new plant in
Thailand will strengthen the proximity to
our customers throughout the Southeast
Asian region. By expanding our operational
base and competence development in
the region, we can react to changes in
the market. The integration in the ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 will
bring additional benefits to the automotive
industry. In this context, the so-called local
sourcing - the purchasing of components in
the region - improving the competitiveness
of our customers because they can benefit in
production planning of tax incentives, faster
delivery times and flexibility, “concluded
‘TechnologyPartner’ status
11 February 2015 | Tier Suppliers
Porsche has awarded GKN Driveline
“Technology Partner” status for its
development of a high-performance eAxle
for the 918 Spyder, an advanced plug-in
hybrid supercar.
GKN Driveline’s eAxle module supports
full-electric mode, all-wheel drive and
provides a boost function in the 918 Spyder.
Porsche Powertrain Manager Christian
Hauck said: “Realising our vision for a super
sports car capable of setting a record lap
time of the Nurburgring and of achieving
fuel efficiency of three litres per 100km
placed huge demands on our engineers
and suppliers. GKN Driveline’s role in the
development programme and its innovative
eAxle module has earned the company
Porsche Technology Partner status.”
GKN Driveline’s President of Engineering
Peter Moelgg added: “Being selected
as Porsche’s Technology Partner on the
918 Spyder programme was the perfect
opportunity for our global e-drive team
to demonstrate how putting the right
technology on board can improve both fuel
efficiency and dynamic performance. The
award cements GKN Driveline’s position as
the industry leader in e-drive systems. Our
eAxle technology continues to evolve and
we expect many more high-performance
vehicles to adopt similar driveline concepts
in the coming years.”
The eAxle that supplements the 918
Spyder’s hybridised 4.6-litre V8 is an
evolution of the company’s innovative eAxle
drive. The module has maximum power
of 95kW and can deliver up to 1500Nm
of torque to the front wheels via a fixed
gear ratio. A specially developed compact
differential engages the torque seamlessly,
giving the 918 Spyder optimum power
distribution at all times. The differential also
disengages the module to minimise drag
losses and maximise efficiency. At speeds
above 265km/h (164mph), a clutch isolates
the electric motor to prevent it from over-
A key target for the 918 Spyder was to
have the lowest possible centre of gravity
and ground clearance. To achieve this
required an original engineering solution:
GKN Driveline positioned the output
overhead, using an innovative lubrication
concept to manage the oil flow.
The oil reservoir is positioned above,
not below, the geartrain. Oil is gravity-fed
down onto the bearings and gears until it
reaches the high-speed input at the bottom
where it is then circulated back to the oil
reservoir at the top. This design minimises
the amount of oil on the input shaft, keeping
churning losses to a minimum. To ensure
the critical areas remain lubricated even in
disconnect mode, the motor is driven for
brief, intermittent intervals to maintain a
constant flow of oil.
The Porsche 918 Spyder’s tight packaging
also means there is almost no air flow around
the transmission and so water cooling was
needed to manage the heat generated by the
module’s high power density. “To meet the
918 Spyder’s challenging targets for weight,
power density, NVH and durability, we used
state-of-the-art simulation and analysis
tools developed in-house to optimise the
geartrain,” said Moelgg. “An eAxle that
meets both Porsche’s requirements and the
demands of the Nurburgring can deliver in
any situation.”
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