BMW to recall 7 Series for transmission flaw

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Mon Oct 29, 2012 – Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW of North America affiliate said it will recall 45,500 of its 7 Series luxury sedans from model years 2005-2008 to correct a flaw that could cause a parked vehicle to roll away.

BMW said automatic transmissions may not remain in “park” position due to a software problem on cars equipped with keyless ignition and the Comfort Access option.

The cars are designed to automatically shift the transmission to park when the driver presses the Stop/Start button to shut off the engine. In some cases, if the driver presses the button two or three times in succession, the system may shift the transmission to neutral rather than park.

“If the driver exits the vehicle with the transmission in Neutral and the parking brake is not applied, the vehicle may roll away,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its official recall notice posted late Friday on its website.

BMW said it would begin notifying owners of the problem in November, but dealers will not be able to correct the software until March.

BMW last week recalled many of the same 7 Series sedans, saying the doors may not latch due to a software problem on cars equipped with both Comfort Access and Soft Close Automatic options.

A model stands next to a BMW 7 series car during preparations for the Moscow International Automobile Salon August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:33am EDT

(Reuters) – Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW of North America affiliate said it will recall 45,500 of its 7 Series luxury sedans from model years 2005-2008 to correct a flaw that could cause a parked vehicle to roll away.

BMW said automatic transmissions may not remain in “park” position due to a software problem on cars equipped with keyless ignition and the Comfort Access option.

The cars are designed to automatically shift the transmission to park when the driver presses the Stop/Start button to shut off the engine. In some cases, if the driver presses the button two or three times in succession, the system may shift the transmission to neutral rather than park.

“If the driver exits the vehicle with the transmission in Neutral and the parking brake is not applied, the vehicle may roll away,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its official recall notice posted late Friday on its website.

BMW said it would begin notifying owners of the problem in November, but dealers will not be able to correct the software until March.

BMW last week recalled many of the same 7 Series sedans, saying the doors may not latch due to a software problem on cars equipped with both Comfort Access and Soft Close Automatic options

Allison Transmission IPO demand stronger than expected

INDIANAPOLIS, Wed Mar 14, 2012 – Allison Transmission Holdings sold more shares than expected in a $600.3 million initial public offering that priced within range on Wednesday, according to an underwriter.

The Indianapolis-based maker of automatic transmissions for trucks, buses and military vehicles sold 26.1 million shares at $23 apiece, versus estimates for 21.7 million shares at a range of $22 to $24.

Allison closed its books a day ahead of schedule due to strong demand, according to two underwriters.

Allison was sold by General Motors to private equity firms Carlyle and Onex in 2007 for $5.6 billion. It holds a 62 percent market share of the global market for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles.

In 2011, Allison’s earnings topped $103 million, compared with a profit of $30 million in the prior year. Net sales grew 12 percent to $2.2 billion.

It will pay a dividend of 6 cents a share beginning in the second quarter.

Both Carlyle and Onex sold all of the shares in the IPO, and Allison did not receive any proceeds. They will each hold a 43 percent stake in Allison after the offering.

Allison’s offering could pave the way for other auto parts manufacturers to go public. Electric motor maker Remy International filed for an IPO of up to $100 million in March 2011, while Affinia filed for a $230 million offering in June 2010.

Much of Allison’s growth has come from an industry-wide rebound in truck sales.

North American truck production last year increased by 54 percent from a low in 2009, Allison said in its S-1, citing ACT Research.

But this growth could drop to 3.1 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to ACT.

“I’m a little less optimistic about truck sales for the next few years,” said Basili Alukos, an analyst with Morningstar. “The industry has already improved so substantially.”

Allison’s offering comes as private equity firms seek ways to sell their portfolio companies after being unable to exit their investments in 2011 due to economic concerns.

Last year, 30 private equity-backed companies went public, compared to 40 in the prior year, according to PitchBook. Many large PE-backed companies are still in the IPO pipeline, including Toys R Us, telecom equipment company Avaya and theater operator AMC Entertainment.