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Nissan to introduce its advanced D-Step Shift logic this year in CVTs

Nissan will deploy this year its advanced D-Step Shift logic in the CVT versions of the 2015 Versa, Versa Note, Sentra, Altima V-6, Pathfinder and Quest. It was already made available for the 2013 four-cylinder Altima and the 2014 Rogue. More models will be equipped with the D-Step Shift in 2016.

The feature will make CVTs sound and feel less like one by creating a sensation a CVT is shifting gears like a traditional automatic gearbox.

Nissan is currently leading the auto industry in CVT use while responding to critics of the technology, remarked John Curl, Nissan North America regional product manager for small sedans, sports and electric vehicles.

Read the entire article Nissan to introduce its advanced D-Step Shift logic this year in CVTs

Nissan is pressuring Jatco to resolve glitches on supplied CVTs

Nissan is pressing Jatco Ltd. to end the glitches on the continuously variable transmissions it supplies to the Japanese carmaker. This comes as Jatco’s CVTs supplied to Nissan have been plagued with some glitches that led to quality and customer satisfaction problems for the carmaker.

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn earlier this year has pressed Jatco to explain how the affiliated transmission supplier could ensure customer satisfaction on any new technology it introduces. Ghosn remarked that his team will be watching Jatco more closely.

“Every time you launch a new CVT you always have some risks," Ghosn told Automotive News in an interview in Japan last month.

Read the entire article Nissan is pressuring Jatco to resolve glitches on supplied CVTs

2014 Honda Civic to have continuously variable transmissions (CVT)

Honda’s refreshed 2014 Civic lineup will be fitted with continuously variable transmissions or CVT. Any automatic Civic model will now be equipped with a CVT. It is estimated that around 90 percent of the total Civic model mix in the United States are fitted with automatic transmissions, which means that Honda dealers will have to convince around 300,000 Civic buyers annually that a CVT is a good buy.

Jay Guzowski, Honda product planning manager, remarked that the CVT “will not interrupt the usual experience of a car.” Since CVT does not have fixed gear ratios, it does not suffer “shift shock” during acceleration.  Guzowski said that a CVT allows for a wider “ratio range” and more linear acceleration feel than a transmission with fixed gears.

Likewise, a 2014 Civic with CVT will have 30/39 mpg fuel ratings compared to 28/39 mpg for a 2013 Civic with five-speed automatic gearbox. However, drivers may find the “rubber band” sensation of a CVT’s pulleys and cones disturbing like a slipping clutch.

Read the entire article 2014 Honda Civic to have continuously variable transmissions (CVT)

Audi agreed to reimburse customers for CVTs that failed

The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has given its final approval of the settlement of a class-action suit against Volkswagen Group of America over claims that thousands of Audi cars have defective continuously variable transmissions. Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell has approved this settlement on Sept. 25.

The final settlement, which covers around 64,000 vehicles, makes no mention of VW being guilty of any wrongdoing. The lawsuit, which was filed in January 2011, involves drivers who purchased or leased 2002-06 Audi A4s, which include Cabriolets, or A6s with factory-installed CVTs in the U.S. The original lawsuit, known as “Anna Sadowska, Yanick Godbout and Tonya DenDekker v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen AG and Audi AG,” asserted that owners had to spend to repair the transmissions that failed due to manufacturing and design problems.

In addition, the suit claimed that Audi had knowledge of these problems but chose to withhold them from the consumers. While Audi denies these claims, it agreed to reimburse customers for certain repairs and costs. As the case is still open to appeal, Audi has chosen not to make any comment. Under the terms of the amended settlement, a cash reimbursement will be given to Audi drivers with certain CVT repairs taking place within 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurred first, of the original sale or lease of the vehicle before June 19, 2013.

Read the entire article Audi agreed to reimburse customers for CVTs that failed

Honda Motor Co. will construct a $470 million plant in Celaya, Mexico, to build continuously variable transmissions. The Celaya site will operate alongside a still under-construction site that will produce the next-generation Fit hatchback and a Fit-based crossover. According to Honda, the new CVT plant will commence operations in the second half of 2015 with an initial capacity of 350,000 units, which will eventually increase to nearly 700,000 within several years.

At peak capacity, the Celaya plant will employ around 1,500 workers. On the other hand, the Fit assembly site is expected to start operating in spring 2014 with a planned capacity of 200,000 vehicles. The Celaya site will be Honda's third transmission plant in North America. When the site reaches full capacity, the carmaker’s transmission capacity in North America will exceed 2 million units. Honda is expected to equip the new Fit and Fit-based crossover with CTVs.

The only Honda models North America equipped with CVTs are the Accord four-cylinder, Civic Hybrid and Insight. Their combined sales are fewer than the Celaya site’s 700,000-unit capacity. Honda already builds CVTs for the Accord in Russells Point, Ohio. Honda, however, will shift the production of CVT pulleys from Japan to Anna, Ohio, in July 2013.

Read the entire article Honda to build $470 million CVT plant in Celaya, Mexico

Chrysler Group will no longer offer continuously variable transmissions for its re-engineered 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot compact crossovers, as part of the carmaker’s mid-cycle changes for the two vehicle models. Chrysler will instead install a new six-speed automatic gearbox in the crossovers. The Compass and Patriot have used CVTs since they were introduced in 2006.

According to Jeep engineers, the new six-speed automatic is quieter and enhances acceleration as well as highway fuel economy. Mike Manley, head of the Jeep brand, remarked that they are going to address the final customer points on the vehicles, which focus on the transmission.

The crossover will also sport styling changes in their exterior, but will be limited to new headlights and taillights and more chrome trim. For the interior, the crossovers will be available with new optional leather seats made of the same materials as the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Read the entire article Chrysler stops offering CVTs for 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot

Honda’s new Earth Dreams engine family will be making its debut in the refreshed Accord this fall before making its way to the rest of the carmaker’s vehicle line-up. The Earth Dreams engines boast of having direct injection and double-overhead cams and are 10 percent more fuel efficient than the Japanese carmaker’s current four-cylinders.

Honda will be adding Earth Dreams engines as each of its vehicles is redesigned, and in some situations will be available for mid-cycle revisions. Honda is also planning to endow its base four-cylinder engines with a twin-cam profile setup, variable valve timing and direct injection. There are speculations that the Japanese company may bring to the United States a 1.6-liter diesel capable of providing 220 pounds-feet of torque.

Honda is also placing much focus on continuously variable transmissions or CVTs. While performance models and off-road vehicles will still be fitted with geared transmissions, Honda’s mainstream cars will sport CVTs. The Japanese carmaker is also set to unveil its large-car hybrid powertrain system in 2013, which means more of its vehicles will have a hybrid option. 

Read the entire article Honda will reshape its lineup using new Earth Dreams engine family and CVTs

Honda Motor Co. will pour in $98 million into its Anna, Ohio, engine plant to produce pulley components for its continuously variable transmissions. The company aims to start production of the pulley components in 2013. "The production of this new CVT technology puts the Buckeye State right in the middle of Honda's global strategy," according to Hide Iwata, CEO of Honda of America Manufacturing.

The CVTs are part of Honda's next-generation powertrain technologies with the aim of boosting performance and fuel efficiency. The Anna outlay is aligned with Honda’s $120 million investment intended for modernization and expansion of its Russells Point, Ohio, plant, which will commence producing the CVT this summer. Both investments will create a combined 150 new jobs.

Since November 2010, the company has disclosed over $500 million in investments for advanced technologies and systems at its four Ohio plants. The company’s Acura brand will develop and produce the recently unveiled Acura NSX at a new manufacturing operation in central Ohio.

Read the entire article Honda to invest $98 million in Anna plant for CVT pulley parts

The new 2013 Honda Accord will have a continuously variable transmission as its only automatic transmission offered when it comes together with a four-cylinder engine. The launch of the CVT in the redesigned Accord is just the first among the Honda vehicles to have this transmission type, executives revealed.

According to Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito, the company has "a lot of expectations" for the CVT technology, adding that careful consideration must be made with regard to deciding which models can be "most effective" to have the technology.

In addition, the Accord four-cylinder is available with a five-speed manual transmission. However, the manual gearbox generally accounts for a small percentage of total sales, CEO of American Honda Tetsuo Iwamura revealed. Meanwhile, the V-6 Accord will be available in six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.

Read the entire article Redesigned 2013 Accord is first of many Hondas to have CVT

It appears that Nissan has big plans with its Altima mid-sized sedan as this model could seriously improve its fuel economy in the next year model due to an improved continuously variable transmission but also due to its first in-house front-wheel hybrid system for the United States. Nissan showed the powertrain developments yesterday during a test drive and advanced technologies event in Japan.

According to Autonews, the new hybrid system which will be seen on the Nissan vehicles in 2013, will be firm’s first in-house hybrid drivetrain for front-wheel-drive cars.

This means that the Toyota-based hybrid system used in the Altima will be replaced. Regarding its new hybrid drivetrain for front-wheel-drive cars, Nissan says that this system is based on the one used by the rear-wheel-drive Infiniti M hybrid.

Read the entire article Nissan working on a new hybrid model and new CVT for North America

In order to have an improved fuel economy across its vehicle lineup, Hyundai is taking a wider view of its powertrains. Hyundai is considering ways to improve engine efficiency in order to achieve a corporate fuel economy of 50 mpg by 2025.

But because of how it is transferred from crank to concrete, torque convertor automatics are out while dual-clutch and CVT transmissions are in.

Hyundai is aiming for a corporate average fuel economy of 50 mpg by 2025. Aside from offering more engines that use direct injection and turbocharging, Hyundai also wants to replace its current line of torque-converto- equipped automatics with dual-clutch units and continuously variable transmissions.

Read the entire article Hyundai will introduce dual-clutch and CVT transmissions to get more mpg

To give its cars an advantage from a sales point of view, General Motors Co. may present continuously variable transmissions to offer improved fuel economy. Mike Arcamone, CEO of GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, said that GM currently doesn't use CVTs but that within three years, they could be used on models such as the Chevrolet Spark, Aveo and Cruze.

In addition, GM is studying the use of turbochargers on smaller engines. GM thinks that to win over drivers in the US to its latest batch of small cars, superior mileage is key. Earlier this year, GM launched the Cruze and it is now preparing for the arrival of the four-seat Spark in the first half of 2012.

Sohn Dongyoun, vice president of engineering at GM's global small- and minicar development team at GM Daewoo, said that GM has to improve the mileage on these models by at least 10% by the next full-model change.

Read the entire article GM may offer fuel-economy-boosting CVTs within 3 years

Within two years, all the vehicles on Subaru's lineup might already carry continuously variable transmissions, or CVTs, to boost fuel efficiency. Earlier this year, the technology was inaugurated and fitted in the redesigned 2010 Legacy.

Masashi Uemura, a spokesman for Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru brand cars, said however, that the company is considering the plan but at the moment, there is no actual plan about which models.

There are speculations that next in line would be the Forrester and the Impreza. Since 1987, Subaru has used belt-type CVTs in its minicars for the Japan market. Installing it on the latest version of the Legacy, launched last spring, was momentous since it was Subaru's first big car to get a CVT.

Read the entire article Subaru considers more CVTs for its vehicles