Ban on tyres over 10 years old to affect MOT testing stations

New legislation coming into force from February 2021 includes some MOT class 4 and 5 vehicles

New legislation to be introduced from 1 February 2021 which bans tyres over ten years old applies to some vehicles that fall into the MOT scheme, the DVSA has clarified.

The ban covers England, Scotland and Wales and will affect tyres fitted on the front axle of a goods vehicle with a maximum gross weight exceeding 3,500kg, a bus, coach or minibus.

However, it also applies to vehicles with more than eight passenger seats that are not used commercially and are tested in MOT classes 4 or 5.

The DVSA’s Chris Price said: “This means failures for tyres over 10 years old on the front axle of any vehicles with nine or more passenger seats, and any single wheels of a minibus – 9-16 passenger seats.

“These vehicles will also fail if they do not display a legible date code on in scope tyres.

“So, when testing you will need to check that each tyre displays a date of manufacture or re-treading date on the appropriate vehicle.”

An updated version of the MOT inspection manual, setting out the detail of what testers will need to look for, will go live in January.

The DVSA says the additional check will not add significant time to the test because tyre condition is already checked.

The Department for Transport first announced the ban in July 2020 following a consultation and extensive investigations which indicate ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.

DVSA’s chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “This new landmark legislation will help to protect all road users against unsafe vehicles.

“Drivers, owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their vehicles, so we advise them to start checking the age of their tyres to ensure they’ll meet the new requirements.”

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Monroe makes adaptive shock absorbers available for aftermarket

Monroe Intelligent Suspension RideSense boasts the same tech as original equipment electronic shocks

DRiVTM, a Tenneco Inc. (NYSE: TEN) business and leading global aftermarket and OE ride performance supplier, is expanding its range of replacement electronic shock absorbers, branding the line Monroe Intelligent Suspension RideSense.

Designed for direct-fit replacement of original equipment shocks on vehicles featuring electronic suspension technology.

Vehicle suspensions are becoming more and more sophisticated.

A leading trend is the adoption of highly advanced electronic suspensions.

Adaptive, or semi-active, suspensions feature electronic dampers that adjust a vehicle’s ride and handling characteristics based on driver preference and changes in the driving environment.

Many popular passenger vehicle brands – Audi, BMW, Ford, Infiniti, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo – offer models equipped with adaptive suspensions from the Monroe Intelligent Suspension product portfolio.

These factory-installed systems are often marketed under the vehicle manufacturer’s suspension brand, such as Audi’s Drive Select System, BMW’s Variable Damper Control and Adaptive M suspensions, Infiniti’s Digital DynamicSuspension, Seat’s Dynamic Chassis Control, and Volvo’s Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) – but they were designed and manufactured with the help of Monroe engineers.

What each of these models have in common is a Monroe Intelligent Suspension technology known as CVSAe (Continuously Variable Semi-Active).

This system enables drivers to switch on-demand between different driving modes ranging from comfortable and refined to sporty.

CVSAe technology and other Monroe Intelligent Suspension solutions have helped transform the driving experience for an entire generation of vehicle owners.

The benefits of adaptive suspension technology are obvious.

But what happens when replacement dampers are needed for these sophisticated electronic suspensions?

Do owners have to return to their dealerships for more extensive, and costly, repairs?

Monroe, the manufacturer of Monroe Intelligent Suspension products for the original equipment market, now offers a broad range of premium-quality adaptive shock absorbers for the replacement market.

These shocks – marketed under the Monroe Intelligent Suspension RideSense name – feature the same technology as the original equipment electronic shocks found on each of dozens of popular vehicle models.

The Monroe Intelligent Suspension RideSense products are engineered to meet each vehicle’s specific OE ride and handling profile and come with a five-year product quality and performance limited warranty.

Available through the same leading parts and service providers that carry and install Monroe OESpectrum, Monroe Original and Monroe Adventure passive shock absorbers, Monroe Intelligent Suspension RideSense electronic shocks provide seamless, “plug-and-play” integration with the corresponding vehicle’s Monroe Intelligent Suspension electronic control unit.

As with any shock replacement, Monroe Intelligent Suspension RideSense electronic shocks should always be installed in pairs to ensure original equipment (OE) style ride and handling performance.

For further information about Monroe, click here.

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Hyundai launches new fuel cell system brand

‘HTWO’ set to accelerate hydrogen development

Hyundai Motor Group has announced the launch of its new dedicated fuel cell system brand, ‘HTWO’.

Building upon Hyundai’s 20-plus years of experience in hydrogen fuel cell technology, the new brand will help facilitate Hyundai’s global fuel cell business and grow the hydrogen ecosystem.

Hyundai Motor Group is stepping up efforts for the development of a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that can be applied to various forms of mobility such as UAM, automobiles, vessels and trains.

Its next-generation fuel cell system will be available for many different mobility products and services and promises to deliver enhanced performance at an affordable price.

The group aims to offer a highly efficient and diversified lineup of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Group has expanded its fuel cell system business, accelerating development of a hydrogen society and laying the foundation for the company’s HTWO brand, with initial focus on major hub regions – Korea, the United States, Europe and China.

Since marketing the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicle ix35 in 2013, the group has been expanding its vehicle offerings powered by its fuel cell system such as Hyundai NEXO SUV, XCIENT Fuel Cell heavy-duty truck and a fuel cell electric bus, as zero-emission mobility solutions.

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Schaeffler’s FAG ‘complete hub’ offers complete CV wheel bearing repair solution

Proven original equipment quality ensures first-time hub repair

Schaeffler has extended its portfolio of truck and trailer wheel bearing repair solutions with the introduction of a range of complete hub units for a quick and simple repair.

The ready-to-fit FAG Complete Hub unit consists of a wheel hub and ABS encoder ring pre-installed with the correct type of Schaeffler wheel bearing repair solution: FAG Repair Insert Unit, FAG Truck Hub Unit or FAG SmartSET.

Depending on the application, required accessories such as wheel studs/half shaft studs and disc bolts are also included.

Wheel bearings are amongst the most heavily stressed components on a commercial vehicle, and their repair can be both cumbersome and time-consuming.

With a FAG Complete Hub, however, Schaeffler has created a ready-to-install complete unit which is pre-assembled, pre-positioned and lubricated for life.

This saves garages and fleet operators costs during the repair, as the vehicle spends less time in the workshop.

As the installation is a simple bolt-on process, the chances of premature failures caused by insufficient lubrication or dirt ingress can be eliminated. Workshops can carry out a safe repair, whilst minimising installation-related consequential damage and ensuring a long and reliable service life, resulting in reduced operating costs for fleet operators.

A complete hub also saves time and money in the event of any follow-on maintenance, for example, brake repairs.

As the FAG Complete Hub contains a pre-assembled wheel bearing unit from Schaeffler, the hub and wheel bearing remain as a complete unit during removal and reinstallation.

There is no need to re-install the inner ring or relubricate the bearing, once again reducing time off the road.

The FAG Complete Hub is exclusively pre-installed with FAG wheel bearings in proven OE quality.

Each product is subjected to strict quality control and continuous testing, ensuring a perfect bearing position and a smooth, balanced running of the bearing in the hub.

As a Schaeffler product, all components meet the quality standards of the genuine components as installed by the truck and trailer manufacturers. Every FAG Hub Unit in the initial range of 24 is a precise fitting complete repair solution, covering many popular European applications.

Further information on FAG branded products and the complete Schaeffler product range for the automotive aftermarket can be found on the Schaeffler workshop portal for professional technicians.

You can visit REPXPERT here.

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Drivers planning 13M Christmas journeys

Millions plan to visit friends and family during ‘Christmas travel window’ but a fifth won’t due to COVID-19

Drivers are collectively planning in the region of 13m separate trips by car to see family and friends during the coronavirus ‘travel window’ between 23 and 27 December.

The research, which was conducted by RAC Breakdown, predicts the greatest number of individual trips – some 3.1m – are look likely to take place on the first day travel restrictions are eased in England, Scotland and Wales (Wednesday 23 December).

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are predicted to see 2.8m and 2.5m trips respectively, around the same number as are traditionally planned for these days based on an analysis of RAC data over the last five years.

A further 2.1m expect to travel between 23 and 27 December but aren’t sure on which days yet.

The research, which was conducted after the UK Government announced that family and friends would be allowed to meet up in person over a limited number of days by forming a three-household bubble, also suggests that a fifth of drivers are not expecting to make any such journeys this year because of the virus.

The ‘coronavirus effect’ is most evident after Christmas Day when traffic is expected to tail off drastically – with drivers only planning an estimated 1.6m trips on Boxing Day, which is in stark contrast to previous years when there are usually 4.5m journeys.

On Sunday 27 December just 933,000 trips are planned.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The pandemic looks set to have a profound effect on drivers’ plans to see family and friends at Christmas time this year.

“Despite the loosening of restrictions to allow people to meet up as part of ‘festive bubbles’, our figures suggest many drivers aren’t keen – with a fifth saying the coronavirus is the reason why they’re not travelling.

“That’s not to say the roads will be empty over Christmas.

“Our research indicates millions of leisure journeys on major motorways and A-roads will still be taken, with 23 December being the focus of what will be a much less pronounced Christmas ‘getaway’ than we’ve grown to expect.

“An estimated 5.3m trips to see family and friends will take place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day combined, roughly in line with other years – and we expect many of these to be more local journeys.”

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Drug driver didn’t realise state of car, police report

Civic issued prohibition notice to prevent it being driven until fixed

The driver of a Honda Civic was found to have drugs in his system after police tested him when he didn’t realise his car was unroadworthy.

North Yorkshire Police officers also issued a prohibition notice to prevent it being driven on a road until fixed.

TC Mark Patterson tweeted: “Driver tested positive on DrugWipeUK, which may explain why he thought his vehicle was roadworthy.”

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REPXPERT ‘back on track packs’ earn Schaeffler IAAF Outstanding Supplier Award

Some 2,000 garages received COVID support pack and a further 3,000 received an OESAA follow-up pack

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has awarded Schaeffler (UK) with its 2020 Outstanding Supplier award for its efforts to stimulate the aftermarket at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigel Morgan, managing director at Schaeffler (UK) Ltd., accepted the award from IAAF chairman Terry Knox during the annual conference, held virtually on Thursday 3rd December.

During an extraordinary year, the IAAF decided to present the 2020 award to Schaeffler for its back-on-track initiative, which included the delivery of 2,000 high-value packs of PPE and POS materials designed to help garage owners make their workshops safe for both staff and customers.

Schaeffler also created an e-learning module to help garages become more COVID aware, with hundreds of technicians completing the course and downloading the certificate.

Related: 2,000 Schaeffler ‘back on track’ packs now with garages

Thanking the IAAF for the award, Nigel said: “I would like to also thank our fantastic warehouse staff, as well as the Schaeffler sales and marketing teams for physically packing all 2,000 boxes, as well as hand delivering many of them to garages all over country.

“I also have to thank our fellow OESAA members, who made it possible to provide a further 3,000 back-on-track supplementary packs to extremely grateful garage owners across the UK and Ireland.”

Schaeffler continues to find innovative ways of engaging with workshops, including announcing a program of online ‘tea-break training’ sessions starting in January 2021, after an overwhelmingly successful trial run in November.

Information on Schaeffler products and systems, fitting instructions, labour times and much more can be found on the REPXPERT workshop portal at or by using the REPXPERT app, which is a free download for all iOS and Android devices.

You can visit REPXPERT here.

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UK’s first Electric Forecourt opens in Essex

UK-wide network of over 100 Electric Forecourts powered by net zero carbon energy

The UK’s first Electric Forecourt has opened for business near Braintree, Essex, representing a major breakthrough for the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The site is the first of over 100 Electric Forecourts being built by GRIDSERVE over the next five years, providing people with the confidence that the UK will have the charging infrastructure required for mass EV adoption well ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.

The company’s £1bn UK-wide programme aims to make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience, while delivering net zero EV driving at a cost that’s lower than driving petrol or diesel vehicles.

Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of Gridserve, said: “It’s our collective responsibility to prevent greenhouse gas emissions rising further, and electric vehicles powered by clean energy represent a large part of the solution.

“However, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our Electric Forecourts entirely around the needs of drivers, updating the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today – a full decade ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars

“Together with our charging-included electric vehicle leasing business, that we are also launching today in partnership with Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, people now have the full confidence to make the transition to an electric vehicle, knowing that charging is in-hand, and it’s actually less expensive to use an electric car than a petrol or diesel alternative.”

The Braintree Electric Forecourt, adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, enables 36 electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously, with high power chargers that can deliver up to 350 kW of charging power, enabling people to add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes, and much faster in the future as electric vehicle battery technologies mature.

Together with Gridserve, the project has been funded by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, Innovate UK and OZEV.

Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, said: “As we accelerate towards cleaner and greener transport, I’m delighted to see the future of service stations being brought to life with the opening of the UK’s first all-electric forecourt.

“Government funding has helped make this dream a reality and with £2.8bn of support to encourage the uptake of zero emission vehicles, there has never been a better time to make the switch.”

The Electric Forecourt is part of Gridserve’s wider ‘sun-to-wheel’ infrastructure, built to deliver low cost, net zero carbon energy to every vehicle that uses one of it’s chargers.

Electricity is generated from both the solar power canopies above the chargers, and a network of hybrid solar farms, also operated by the firm.

The UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm in Clay Hill is paired with Braintree Electric Forecourt, providing 100 per cent renewable energy via the National Grid.

There is also a 6 MWh battery onsite which helps to balance the local energy grid and shift energy to periods when it is more valuable.

On windy winter nights the battery can store enough energy to drive 24,000 miles in electric vehicles the following day, helping to maximise the value of renewable energy resources, stabilise the grid, and keep prices low.

Drivers charging at the Electric Forecourt will initially pay just 24p per kWh of energy (including VAT), which is currently the lowest ultra-high power charging rates on the market today – meaning a typical charge from 20 to 80 per cent costs under £10 for an average-size electric vehicle on the market today.

To deliver additional flexibility Gridserve also have plans to introduce a tiered pricing structure in the future.

While vehicles charge, drivers can relax and shop in state-of-the-art facilities.

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Aston Martin to continue making combustion engines beyond 2030 ban

Pure ICE Aston Martins will continue to be made available after the UK’s ban on new petrol and diesel engines, brand’s chairman says

Aston Martin will continue to make cars powered solely by an internal combustion engine beyond 2030, its executive chairman Lawrence Stroll has said.

Speaking at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit, he said there were “always going to be enthusiasts” who would want cars powered solely by internal combustion engines (ICE).

He added: “By 2030, five per cent of business will still always be ICE.

“I never see it going down to zero.”

The ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 would mean that new ICE Aston Martins sold after this date could not be driven on UK roads.

Mercedes-Benz has taken a major stake in Aston Martin as part of plans for the British brand to double its sales by 2025.

The agreement expands the existing relationship between the two firms and will include Aston Martin gaining access to Mercedes technology – including electric and hybrid powertrains for use in “product launches through to 2027.”

The first Aston Martin cars to feature technology from the deal are expected to be launched late next year.

Lawrence said: “Our current AMG engines are just that – AMG engines in an Aston.

“With this new deal, we will have bespoke AMG engines for Aston with different outputs, torque characteristics etc.

“They’ll still be AMG components but bespoke manufactured in Germany.”

Aston currently uses its own V12 engines made in the UK and has its own turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 – codenamed TM01 – in the pipeline for its mid-engined Vanquish supercar, which was announced earlier this year.

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Get equipped for the cold season with the new MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus

MANN+HUMMEL urge drivers to change their cabin filter as weather turns colder

The current situation with COVID-19 and the fact that airborne transmission is one of the main ways the coronavirus spreads once more highlight the importance of clean ambient air.

“Replacing the cabin air filter for the cold season is very important, because it filters harmful particles and viruses from the outside air taken into the vehicle,” says Jens Weine, Cabin Air Filter Product Manager at MANN-FILTER.

“The cabin air filter needs to deliver peak performance for a clear view and good air quality in the vehicle.

The manufacturer believes changing the cabin filter should be considered an automatic part of sensible winter car maintenance.

The FreciousPlus cabin air filter improves the air quality thanks to its different layers. In addition to coarse particles like dust and tire dust, it also filters viruses and deleterious particulate matter.

It virtually completely adsorbs unpleasant odors and harmful gases like nitrogen oxide and ozone from the airflow. An innovative biofunctional special coating has both an anti-allergen and antimicrobial effect and verifiably reduces the growth of microorganisms like mold or bacteria on the filter.

Like wearing a face covering, a cabin air filter provides cleaner air in the vehicle cabin and thus could be regarded as an additional protective measure according to MANN-FILTER.

You can read more here.

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