Hyundai And Kia Are Quite Literally Aiming For The Moon

Morning Dump Hyundai Moon

Hyundai and Kia head to the moon, a Senate deal puts EV tax credit extension back on the table, four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel announces his retirement. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Hyundai And Kia Are Going To Space

Hyundai Kia Moon Agreement
Photo credit: Hyundai

In case the new Kia Sportage didn’t look extraterrestrial enough, Hyundai and Kia are seeking to develop “mobility solutions” to use on the moon. Hey, it’s a lot more realistic than Mars. In a statement issued on Thursday, Hyundai Motor Group elaborated on their plans to team up with a bunch of research institutes to do moon stuff.

“We have taken the first step towards transforming our vision for robotics and the concept of Metamobility into reality,” said Yong Wha Kim, Executive Vice President, and Head of R&D Planning & Coordination Center of Hyundai Motor and Kia. “We will expand the scope of human movement experience beyond traditional means of transport and beyond the bounds of Earth to further contribute to the progress of humankind and help create a better future.”

The signing ceremony held in Korea was attended by Chung Kook Park, President and Head of R&D Division of Hyundai Motor and Kia as well as top officials from the six research institutes: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI); Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI); Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI); Korea Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH); Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT); and Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI).

With collaboration expected to start as early as August, the consultative body will define the concept of lunar exploration mobility and major core technologies while developing and reviewing specific strategies and implementation measures to operate on the moon. Hyundai Motor and Kia will support the consultative body with their smart mobility technologies.

So is this some sort of moon domination play? Well, not quite. Hyundai Motor Group intends on taking what it learns from building moon stuff and applying it to “mobility solutions” here on Earth. It’s certainly a bold strategy, so I’m curious to see what the eventual results look like.

Federal EV Tax Credits Get A Possible Extension

Electrify America Charging Stations
Photo credit: Electrify America

Well, I don’t think we saw this one coming. In a surprise moment of productivity, the U.S. Senate has pulled together a deal on a massive legislative package that, among other things, extends federal EV tax credits. Truthfully, I was shocked when Reuters reported this news because I thought tax credit extensions were as good as dead.

A Senate Democratic deal includes a new $4,000 tax credit for used electric vehicles and other new tax credits and grants for automakers to retool factories to build greener cars.

The deal struck between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin also includes an expansion of the existing $7,500 EV tax credit as well as a new $10 billion investment tax credit to build clean-technology manufacturing facilities, according to a summary from Schumer’s office.

The bill that Schumer and Manchin agreed to also includes $2 billion in cash grants to retool existing auto manufacturing facilities “to manufacture clean vehicles, ensuring that auto manufacturing jobs stay in the communities that depend on them.”

Aside from those being two names I never want to see on this site again, this bill seems pretty important. Not only does it avoid hanging USMCA partners out to dry like a prior proposal’s additional incentive for EVs made in unionized American plants did, a proposed $4,000 credit on used EVs seems like a pretty big deal. Now it’s just up to the House of Representatives to pass this bill before it may head for Presidential signing. Fingers crossed.

Bentley Pushes Back Its First EV

Continental Gt And Gtc S 1
Photo credit: Bentley Motors

Bad news out of Crewe, Bentley’s first electric vehicle has been delayed from a 2025 start of production back to 2026. Automotive News Europe has some information from Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark regarding the delay, although no confirmation was given as to the delay’s cause.

Hallmark denied reports that software delays were responsible for the slip in timing for the car, which is part of Audi’s Artemis project.

The car – expected to be a coupe – will still be revealed in 2025 as planned, Hallmark said. The delay is a “matter of months,” he told Automotive News Europe.

While delaying important new product isn’t great news, there is a kernel of good news here. The development of Bentley’s electric vehicle is only the start of an ambitious plan to go all-electric by 2030.

Bentley plans to spend 2.5 billion pounds (3 billion euros) to electrify its range and overhaul its production facility in Crewe, England.

Hallmark said the money to pay for the transformation came from Bentley itself after the brand reversed years of weak financial results to post record profits of 389 million euros in 2021 on deliveries of 14,659 cars. He confirmed the 2030 target for an electric-only lineup.

If the 2030 target still seems to be on track, I reckon most things should be alright in Crewe. Electric powertrains’ low noise characteristics and incredible smoothness make them ideal for luxury vehicles, so I can’t wait to see how Bentley harnesses the smoothness and performance of electricity.

Sebastian Vettel Announces Retirement


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A post shared by Sebastian Vettel (@sebastianvettel)

It’s always a bit sad when a champion retires, but everyone must hang up their hat at some point. Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement plans on Thursday through his newly-created Instagram account. According to the BBC, Vettel will bow out of Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season.

The 35-year-old said the decision had been “difficult” and that he had “spent a lot of time thinking about it”.

The German said he would “take more time to reflect on what I will focus on next” at the end of the year. He said spending more time with his family was a priority.

It’s safe to say that Vettel is a bit of a legend. Only three F1 drivers in history have more world driver’s championship titles than him, and only Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher have won more races. While I’m a bit sad to see Vettel leave Formula 1, I can’t wait to see what he focuses on next. Spending more time with family is often a wonderful pursuit, [Editor’s Note: I’m going to qualify that this depends heavily on the specific family. Sebastian never met my uncle Morris. – JT]  and Vettel deserves to relax after 14 years of full-time racing.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Thursday, everyone! The weekend is just around the corner. With time off work comes time for wrenching, and while I usually ask about your wrenching exploits on Fridays and Mondays, I’m putting a twist on things today. There are some cars that scare even experienced wrenchers, so I’d love to know what cars you wouldn’t touch with a 50-foot pole. Personally, most Audis are firmly in a no-go zone for me. I’ve seen timing guide replacement on a V8 S4 happen in real time and that’s definitely not something I’d like to do on my driveway. Add in all sorts of triple-square hardware on models like the B8 A4, and you can probably understand why I’m leery of most quattro-equipped wonders. Still, I’d do awful things to get my hands on a V10-equipped Audi S8 or megaspec A7 3.0T, so I guess you just can’t shake the crazy from car enthusiasts. How about you? What are your red flag cars?

Lead photo courtesy of Hyundai

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40 Responses

  1. Hyundai and Kia should totally send some Ioniqs and stuff to the moon for a moon spec racing series. They’re electric, they don’t need an atmosphere to run, they would require minimal modifications to be suitable for moon use. It would be the ultimate publicity stunt for any car company! Heck, get Tesla involved and make it a competition, then you can use Spacex transports to get the lunar race cars to the moon. This could be the most interesting rally race in history, I want to see moon racing!

  2. For me, the Red Flag is out for any car built after the mid-1970s. I’ve dealt with timing chains, carburetors, points ignition systems and even power-assisted brakes, but anything connected to any kind of electronic system — especially computerized — makes me put my tools back in the box and look for a mechanic who is (supposedly) trained for that stuff.

    Started wrenching with my very first car — a ’59 Hillman Minx, if you must know — and continued through just about every piece I’ve ever owned. Rebuilt maybe a dozen engines, did all kind of suspension work, electrical system repairs and more brake jobs than I care to think about. But my current Toyota might as well have a sealed hood. I check the oil and, if hard-pressed for time and/or money, might change the air filter.

    Yeah, I’m a wimp. But I sure do miss the cars I could work on….

    1. Please please please stop propagating the idea that “modern cars are impossible to work on.” It’s not just misleading. It also artificially scares laypeople from starting down the path to working on their own cars and creates the kind of learned helplessness among consumers that indulges anti-Right-to-Repair behavior by automakers (“So what if this is all proprietary? You weren’t going to work on it anyway.”).

      As a millennial, I look at my computer-controlled fleet of two cars and wonder how anyone kept their cars on the road before before the era of electronic control (and diagnostics). Every electronically-controlled system is conceptually simpler to understand (to me) than its strictly mechanical forebears. Take a look at Alfa Romeo’s mechanical fuel injection and then tell me EFI is more complex.

      You can wrench on modern cars, you can teach your friends to wrench on modern cars, and we can all advocate for a future free of OEMs’ gatekeeping walled garden bullshit.

      1. 100% this.
        Most cars can get anything engine related read by a 50-100 dollar scan tool. Transmission and ABS will need a fancier model, maybe 200-400 bucks. If you know what the sensors are doing, diagnostics gets way easier and the actual physical with isn’t really any different; just less room.

  3. Hyundai Motor Group intends on taking what it learns from building moon stuff and applying it to “mobility solutions” here on Earth. –

    Yeeaah…..let’s spend billions to travel to and practice in an environment completely unlike Earth, but use those lessons to better our ability to provide solutions for mobility ….on that effing rock we already exist on and could literally go outside and practice on right now.

    I cannot even fathom the potential range of ulterior motives present in this effort…

  4. So asking for a friend, what stops someone from buying a new EV, cashing a $7500 tax credit, selling it to a friend who cashes a $4000 tax credit, who then resells it to the first someone so they can cash another $4000 next year? Etc etc etc

    1. Dunno what the paperwork looks like on the federal credit, but the eligibility language says you’re allowed to claim three credits per ten years in NJ for the state rebate that was just extended

  5. Well, since you asked about red flags, it’s been a rough car week and I don’t really have anywhere else to talk about it, so I hope y’all don’t mind me dropping it here. Just got the final eval in from my shop and I managed to completely fuck the motor on my 105k mile 2012 Accent. Absolutely no idea how it happened, but somehow I managed to run the motor completely dry on Monday.

    Thing is, although I don’t do most of my own maintenance due to that Seattle apartment lifestyle, I try to keep on my end of things–I’m the only person I know who checks their tire pressures monthly and prior to every trip more than 150 miles, for example. Same story with oil, coolant, etc.–I don’t change the fluids, but I make sure they’re in good shape on a regular basis. I took a trip down to Portland two weeks ago to see family, and like usual, checked fluids and everything before heading down, specifically because I knew I was gonna push the mileage on my usual 5000 mile change by about 700 miles. Oil was fine, maybe 1/8″ lower than completely full, but well within spec and I was only going to run it another 500 miles at that point.

    Well, fast forward two weeks, and on Monday night I’m dropping some folks off when I hear the engine start to knock. Was off the road and in a parking lot less than 30 seconds later, thankfully was off the highway. I popped the hood and it was HOT. Pulled the dipstick, absolutely zero oil. Coolant was fine, but hot as well. I got it towed in to my mechanic on Tuesday and they’ve confirmed it’s fucked–no leaks, no idea what happened. No codes were thrown, not a single flash of the low oil light (except maybe by the time I got into the parking lot, wasn’t gonna restart it to find out).

    It sucks. I don’t know where I went wrong. Although the folks at the shop have always been solid in the past, I still feel like I’m getting the “this idiot drove it without oil and is confused at what happened” vibe, like they don’t believe I actually kept up on the stuff if it failed that catastrophically. Or maybe I’m just projecting.

    So yeah. I’m out at least 4k for the motor swap if I did it myself with an old ebay motor, which would be a giant pain in the ass with renting tools and shop time and all that, or I’m out closer to 9k all in to have the folks at the shop do it for me. Even with my amazing fiance helping out, I make under $40k living in Seattle, so this hurts a lot. Just did a $1.5k brake job earlier in the year, too.

    Trying to decide if it’s going to get sold for scrap or if there’s someone out there who wants a well maintained shell of a 2012 Accent. And I get to feel like a dumbass who loves cars so much they let theirs just…run out of oil. Fuck.

    1. Had that happen to me/gf on the way home from a trip weekend before last. Same thing, but we still had oil. It is a known issue with certain engines. Please check your stuff and get it to a dealership. They got ours in to examine in a couple days and they said yes to a fix. The only problem is the 6-8 weeks on parts, but they fully cover a rental. I feel your pain, but hopefully it’s covered.

      1. I will call into the dealership to see if we have options–I got it through a private seller with no extended warranty, and it’s just past the 100k powertrain mileage, so I’m not too hopeful. If I could get it fixed that would honestly be great, even if just to resell it.

      1. I didn’t realize there’s apparently a whole thing with their 1.6 engines right now? Lots of oil issues apparently. I have full service records, including oil changes, so maybe the dealership will be able to give me some more options than my usual mechanic. Will check it out~

        1. They extended their warranty on some engines to 120K/12y. If the dealer doesn’t help you, call Hyundai directly and plead your case. A lot of people have got help that way. Mine died at 70K miles, and then my trans died at 77K miles (I think the dealer damaged the input shaft while installing the new engine). I now check my oil every other fill-up. My son has 120K on his Kia and I told him to check his oil every fill-up.

    2. Oh man I’m sorry to hear this. I had an 06 Tucson that was bulletproof for 200,000 miles. Kept on top of it and made sure it was well maintained. Topped up fluids, checked pressures. If I heard a funny sound I’d immediately get it checked out. It went from bulletproof to a disaster in under 10,000 miles.

      For all I know one more repair would’ve been the ticket to getting her reliable again but by that point I’d spent way too much trying to keep it running in such a short amount of time. I still sometimes think what did I do to the poor car but sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason unfortunately.

      From what you wrote I don’t see anything that you did that would have cause it. Try not to beat yourself up about it.

    3. That sucks, and I have no explanation, but how do you spend $1.5k on brakes for a Hyundai Accent? The most I’ve ever spent on brakes was $500 for new pads and rotors and that was buying expensive racing pads. Add in labor and maybe that could get close to $1k, but $1.5k for an Accent? That’s not even highway robbery, that’s straight up no-lube grab your ankles rape.

  6. I’m the sort of masochist who after owning a Lotus for years decided to buy a 15-year-old Aston Martin, so not much puts me off even when it probably should.

    While I do think electronics are mostly easier to deal with than analog, especially the later carbureted systems with vacuum mazes or mechanical fuel injection, some are pretty bad about requiring proprietary computer systems for maintenance. Sometimes there’s aftermarket options, but they seem really hit or miss on features and it’s hard to get specifics without shelling out and testing.

  7. The bill actually also has to pass the Senate via the reconciliation process, which means all 50 Democratic Senators have to get on board, and they have to jump through all the weird-ass hoops, do a vote-a-rama, etc. I’m not even sure if there is actually a final text of this bill yet. So far, the big news is just that Joe Manchin has stopped being obstinate and (for now—he could always change his mind at the last minute, like he’s done before) is now backing this legislation. Schumer still has 48 other cats to herd, which should be no problem for someone as politically competent as Senator Chuck, especially since Senators are famously easy to corral and definitely never go out of their way to cause a problem just to make some weird point that regular voters don’t even understand.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big step toward a bill. Let’s not count our chickens before they’re hatched though, eh?

  8. My neighbors had an old Prius that kept giving them problems. They know I wrench on my cars, so they asked me to look at it, but I had no desire to play around with it. Same goes for any EV. I don’t fuck with electricity.

  9. I usually stay away from anything crusty. Just not worth my time dealing with rusty crap. Was working on an originally from Canada a former friend owned. We were replacing rear struts, and one of the rear bolts broke due to corrosion. After trying to drill it out, I said screw it, and told him to go buy some used uprights from the local southern junkyard. Totally worth the $50-75 he paid.

    1. Yeah, I’m getting too old for rusty stuff. I ended up with a West Texas Jeepster and it was amazing to work on something 50 years old that you could easily get the brake drums off. This thing is beat and worn out, but it ain’t rusty. Even my 2017 has more rust on the brake and suspension components than I care for and I hope I don’t own it when it needs service. Please ban salt…the cost of snow tires is worth it 100x over. If you have worn-out bald tires, I don’t think there should be an expectation that you can use the roads in bad weather.
      Modern stuff I won’t touch…Probably anything made by JLR. I was not impressed with my last Jag and all the “filled for life” components that were not serviceable. Lots of thermoplastics in/on the engine that just fall apart over time. The electrical system was flakey. The wiring was cheap, the insulation too thin, the wire gauges too small, the connectors were cheap and not very weatherproof. I don’t have a datapoint post Ford, but it really turned me off to the brand.

      1. Unless they’re in Ferraris.

        If you can afford, say, a Dino 246 or 308 GT4, you can pay some guy named Luigi to drop the engine and do whatever it needs. And you’ll have a lot of fun in the times in between!

        Any front-engine car, I agree 100%. I’d even extend that to inline-transverse installations if they are turbocharged.

  10. I’ve owned Audis non-stop since the late 70’s, every one of them save one have been exceptional and reliable cars, and yes, I do my own work. The one “bad” one was my own fault for buying a cheap, salvage title car, it went to the crusher a few years later but even it was a delight while it ran. Yes, I do all my own work – I even rebuilt the automatic transmission on my 83 5000S after I killed it towing my boat – first automatic I ever tore down, and it worked when done. Amazed myself on that one! 🙂

    My newest (2014) Audi Allroad has only required oil changes and brake pads in the 70K I’ve had it so far.

    Modern electronics don’t scare me, you need a few diagnostic tools and the correct information, but they’re not voodoo. Mostly they just work……

  11. Upon hearing that KIA/Hyundai is going to the moon, I got to thinking. Without an atmosphere with oxygen, is Hyundai going to equip their engines with O2 tanks to facilitate engine fires?

        1. “Spend more time with family” has become a bit of a standard response for leaving any job. Have you noticed that when politicians get in trouble they resign “to spend more time with family”. I think it has become the phrase to use when you don’t want to say the real reason out loud. It certainly sounds better than resigning because “the weiner pics sent to a staffer leaked”. Not that I am accusing Sebastian of that.

  12. Red flag is anything Daimler-Chrysler until the latest Stellantis years. Chrysler electrical has been Lucas’s American cousin. But Daimler gutting Chrysler and then Cerebus cost-cutting what was left made that worse. Add in the only good transmissions were Mercedes 5 speed or the ZF 8-speed and that solidified it for me.

    Right now I’m wrenching on my tow pig. The usual Northeast routine of soaking the offending nuts in Blaster, getting a cup of coffee to let the Blaster work, and then running out for more blue wrench fuel when that doesn’t work.

    1. “The usual Northeast routine of soaking the offending nuts in Blaster, getting a cup of coffee to let the Blaster work, and then running out for more blue wrench fuel when that doesn’t work.”

      In the Midwest we have the same routine, except it’s one beer while waiting for normal rust, two for extra crusty.

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