BMW is withdrawing more than 61,000 cars due to a software error

The German car company BMW is withdrawing more than 61,000 cars worldwide due to a software error, DPA reported, quoted by BTA.

Affected customers will receive a message asking them to take their vehicles to a licensed service center, where the software will be reprogrammed, a company spokesman said.

Defective software can lead to loss of torque and failure of the car’s engine. However, so far no incidents of material damage or injuries have been registered.

The problem affects models X3, X4, and X5, produced between 2016 and 2022, according to the Federal Road Transport Administration of Germany (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt).

BMW: Without Russian gas, we stop production

German carmaker BMW is exploring new investments in solar, geothermal, and hydrogen energy to reduce its dependence on natural gas. This was stated by the director of the production of the car manufacturer Milan Nedelkovic, Reuters reported. He warned that an embargo on Russian gas would bring the industry to a standstill.

The carmaker, which relies on natural gas for 54% of its energy consumption in 2021, is exploring where it can add solar panels to its plants and developing plans with local authorities to transport hydrogen to its plant in Leipzig, Germany.

“Hydrogen is very suitable for reducing or even fully offsetting gas demand,” Nedelkovic said.

“Our industry accounts for about 37% of Germany’s natural gas consumption,” he said when asked what would happen to BMW’s plants if Russia cut off gas supplies. “Not only BMW, but the whole sector will stop.”

BMW’s plans reflect preparations underway throughout German industry to break free of its dependence on Russian gas

For its new plant in the Hungarian city of Debrecen, BMW has already announced that it will be the first car plant in the world to operate entirely without fossil fuels.

It will rely heavily on solar energy there, Nedelkjovic added. The head of BMW added that the carmaker is also looking to use geothermal energy.

Geothermal energy is more stable than time-dependent renewable energy but has not seen growth or investment comparable to wind or solar energy, in part due to high initial costs and complex drilling licensing processes.

Asked about the potential of nuclear energy, which accounts for about half of Hungary’s energy supplies but is being phased out in Germany, Nedelkovic said: “Nuclear energy can be a stabilizing factor, especially in these volatile times.

The Russians divided over the return of “Moskvich” to the market

With its attractive headlights, sleek front grille, and eye-catching steering wheel design, the legendary Soviet-era Moskvich was the pride of every Russian, according to Reuters.

Last produced two decades ago, the surprise return of Moskvich (which translates as “Muscovite”) is now back on the agenda following the withdrawal of Western carmakers from Russia.

When French carmaker Renault announced its departure, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin focused on nationalizing the plant in Moscow, which was once Moskvich’s manufacturing center.

Despite Moskvich’s long and glorious history and Sobyanin’s strong desire to revive production, Muscovites say they are divided over plans to restart production. For many, it must be left in the past forever.

“I heard that Moskvich is about to be brought back to life … and I’m really happy about that,” said Alexander Bondarenko, wearing a Moskvich T-shirt. “If they present a modern version of the 2140 model, I will buy it immediately,” the Muscovite added to Reuters.

But other Moskvich enthusiasts are skeptical of the plans, feeling politically motivated.

“The rebirth of Moskvich is a populist decision,” said Muscovite Sergei, adding: “It is not clear what we will gain from this.”

Amid widespread departures from Western companies, President Vladimir Putin said Russians should be proud of the country’s industrial heritage and wanted to strengthen Russia’s domestic production base.

Other fans of the car said the story of the much-loved Moskvich should be a thing of the past.

“The Muscovite should not be touched: he died, he was killed,” said Stanislav Tsibulsky, referring to the painful “demise” of the Moscow automobile car plant. According to him, the workers in the factory have not been paid for years and thousands have lost their jobs.

“The factory was demolished, there was no museum and now we plan to restore Moskvich,” he said. “It seems blasphemous to me.”

There are dozens of Moskvich models, which were first produced in 1946 and continue to be in use after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In the heyday of the car, people regularly waited for at least a decade to get one of the most popular models – “Moskvich 412”, which, according to fans of the brand, cost about 5,000 Soviet rubles in 1975, when the average monthly salary was 150 rubles.

Most Russians certainly have nostalgic feelings about the brand, but still say the country’s focus should still be on the production of modern cars.

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