Car notes from around the world

By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine

—  As northern Japan continues to recover from the March earthquake and flood, disposing of tons of debris is becoming another problem in itself. The nation has always been a world leader in re-use and recycling almost everything but the sheer volume of material is overwhelming processing facilities.

Officials estimate nearly 25 million tons of material need to be handled. One government official described it as “a century’s worth of waste all at once.”  Some materials can be burned for power or converted to chipboard for re-construction. Stone and concrete can be crushed and used for roads and fill. Metal of course must be shredded, then melted.

Additionally, each material must be inspected and sorted for hidden hazards such as trapped pockets of flammables, excessive salt saturation from immersion in seawater, and radiation contamination as well.  All these slow the processing and government agencies say handling the debris will take “at least many months.”

—  In the U.S., R. L. Polk has turned up an interesting statistic: in America, luxury car buyers often don’t actually buy their cars, choosing to lease them instead. The OEMs can still count the car as a sale because it is sold to the dealer or leasing agency.
Polk’s data said: “Industry-wide, leases comprise about a fifth of all new vehicle registrations, but within the luxury market, lease penetration is more than twice as high at 45%. Three premium makes,  BMW, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz, actually have national lease rates at or above 50 percent.”

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing recently cranked out the one millionth U.S.-built Sonata (a silver limited edition 2.0L turbo) from its plant in Montgomery, Alabama. The company celebrated with a short internal ceremony. Mass production of the Sonata began at the site on April 5, 2005.

Portugal, a country roughly the size of the state of Indiana, is embracing the electric car infrastructure. A news item recently revealed that more than 260 Level-2 public charging stations are now installed and available in the country, with around another thousand charging installations planned within a year.  When completed, officials say that no electric vehicle will be more than approximately 80 miles from a plug-in charging point.

China’s Xinhua News Agcy recently reported a parking dispute that ended badly. Near the city of Longnan, a rail tunnel project is being constructed adjacent to a separate highway project. Workers from the different construction crews got into an argument and then a fight over who could park in a nearby location. According to reports, the railway crew left the scene briefly and then returned with dynamite which they detonated for revenge in the parking area. Four workers were killed and sixteen injured.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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