News Round-Up

Dec 14: Tesla recalls millions; Drakeford steps down; Bank expected to hold interest rates

  • Here are the headlines on Thursday, December 14

Time 6:50 am, December 14, 2023

Tesla recalls millions of vehicles to fix system that monitors Autopilot

Tesla is recalling nearly all vehicles sold in the US, totalling more than two million, to update software and fix a defective system that is supposed to ensure that drivers are paying attention when using Autopilot.

Documents posted by US safety regulators say the update will increase warnings and alerts to drivers and even limit the areas where basic versions of Autopilot can operate.

The recall comes after a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into a series of collisions that happened while the Autopilot partially automated driving system was in use. Some were deadly.

Drakeford triggers contest to replace him as Welsh First Minister

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced he is standing down as Labour leader, triggering the contest to find his successor.

The 69-year-old Labour politician, who has been Wales’ leader since December 2018, said he hoped his replacement could be in place before Easter 2024.

At a news conference in Cardiff, he said: ‘In the meantime, I will remain as First Minister in the full sense of that job.’

No Clean Air Zone charges for Greater Manchester drivers

Drivers in Greater Manchester will not have to pay for a Clean Air Zone but the region will still achieve its air pollution targets under a new plan, Mayor Andy Burnham has said.

The authority is obliged to reduce nitrogen dioxide to acceptable levels by 2026.

It says it can do this a year earlier by investing £51.2m in zero-emission electric buses for the Bee Network, with £30.5 million in grants for cleaner taxis and £5 million to manage traffic flows in the city centre.

Bank of England expected to hold interest rates at 15-year high

The Bank of England is expected to hold interest rates for the third time in a row, as fresh data has pointed towards potential cracks in the economy.

On Thursday, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will meet for the final time this year to vote on interest rates – which help dictate mortgage rates set by banks.

The central bank had hiked interest rate in 14 consecutive meeting until they peaked at a 15-year high of 5.25 per cent.

UK will miss 2030 emissions targets without ‘immediate step change’ – analysts

The UK Government is going to miss its 2030 decarbonisation targets without ‘an immediate step change’ in policy, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has said.

A lack of consistent messaging, U-turns and watered down targets mean the Government has to ‘close the gap’ within the next five years.

The UK is committed under the Paris Agreement to lower its emissions by 68 per cent compared to 1990 levels by the end of this decade, on the road to becoming net zero by 2050.

Wednesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

One-in-20 admit to drink driving – survey

One-in-20 drivers would get behind the wheel despite knowing they were at or above the legal alcohol limit, according to a new study.

With the Christmas party season in full swing, a survey has found that 11 per cent of motorists would drive knowing they were close to the legal limit, but ‘just about ok’.

In addition, 18 per cent of drivers reckon they would still get behind the wheel knowing they had alcohol in their system but ‘feeling sure’ they were under the limit.

Cop28 delegates agree to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels

Delegates have agreed to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels for the first time at the Cop28 climate talks in Dubai.

Language in the agreement was strengthened after widespread anger at a draft in which it suggested that countries ‘could’ reduce fossil fuels but left too many holes for many nations to live with.

Sultan al-Jaber, the Cop28 President, said the delegates had gone down ‘a long road in a short amount of time’.

Ex-BP boss Bernard Looney denied £32.4m over relationships with colleagues

The former boss of oil giant BP has been denied a £32.4 million payout after the firm found he committed ‘serious misconduct’.

Bernard Looney resigned from the company in September after failing to be \fully transparent’ in disclosures about past relationships with colleagues.

BP said on Wednesday the company sought assurances from Mr Looney in 2022 about these relationships but has now concluded these were ‘inaccurate and incomplete’.

London shares close higher despite caution ahead of rate decisions

Stocks made modest gains in London on Wednesday as a buoyant start to trading became increasingly cautious throughout the session.

The FTSE 100 moved 0.08 per cent, or 5.67 points, lower to finish at 7,548.44.

The German Dax index was 0.15 per cent lower for the day at the close and Paris’s Cac 40 closed down 0.16 per cent.

Parts of UK set to enjoy unseasonable warm spell

Parts of the UK are set to enjoy a reprieve from current temperatures as a bout of unseasonably warm weather is expected over the next few days and through the weekend, the Met Office has said.

There is a chance Scotland could experience its warmest December night on record, with temperatures in the east of the country potentially rising to around the current record of 12.5C on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, temperatures could reach 10C during the night in some areas of central England, compared with an average night-time temperature of 1.4C in December in the UK.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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