Big kids will holler if you forget them; Nissans new gadget might save pets, babies and toddlers from heatstroke or death - over 700 children in the US alone since 1998

Big kids will holler if you forget them; Nissan's new gadget might save pets, babies and toddlers from heatstroke or death - over 700 children in the US alone since 1998

Sometimes automakers tip-toe around a delicate subject so I was intrigued to see Nissan's North American unit say a spoiled tray of lasagna was the motivation behind its new Rear Door Alert system when, just the night before, NBC Nightly News had broadcast yet another clip, as many parts of the US experience a three digit Farenheit heat wave, showing law enforcement smashing their way into various cars to release overheated children (this also applies to pets). This website claims 729 children have died of heatstroke in vehicles in the US since 1998 so it's clearly a problem there (I can also envisage many other warm climate areas) and I have seen enough horror news clips from the US alone to applaud any effort to mitigate. The worst, which led to either manslaughter or murder charges, was a father 'forgetting' to drop off a baby at childcare and leaving the poor wee tot to die over eight hours in a sun-baked company car park. So, good on ya, Nissan engineers and mums, and may never again your car be stunk out by an 'off' tray of cartoon cat Garfield's favourite pasta.

The general opinion seems to be the German automakers have got 'off' lightly following an 'emergency' summit in Berlin this week, to discuss the future of diesel. Although BMW chief Harald Kruger reportedly tried to distance himself a bit from his rival big cheeses at the post event press conference and photo call, all three have since made broadly similar announcements - voluntary software updates to knock the NOx emissions down a bit, trade-in incentives and a market share-proportionate contribution to the joint EUR250m 'sustainability fund for cities' the government will match. No hardware updates have been ordered which is where the 'got off light' muttering starts. Kruger insisted future mobility would definitely depend on diesels because they ensure lower CO2 emissions. When it comes to many unwanted emissions, diesels are just as clean or even cleaner than petrol engines, he claimed. Particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions are contained, meaning that three of the four major diesel pollutant issues have been resolved and no longer have any adverse effect on air quality. This is why the BMW group is "calling for objective discussions based on facts and scientific evidence". Fair point, I think.

As usual at this time post each quarter, we have been buried under an electronic barrage of 'results', latest being Toyota, just today. We also heard from BMW (all hail the new 5), Conti (thank you, new tech) and ZF (ditto) while Tesla, just launching that long-awaited Model 3, chimed in with the expected loss but less than some had predicted. Big money, starting up a car company from scratch.

Having started my long involvement in the auto industry 'down in parts', I was intrigued at Daimler knocking out thermostat covers on a 3D printer. In metal. For rare or long-obsolete models, being able to do this, locally on a machine programmed from the automaker's base, would have been a dream in my days of hand written everything and huge parts books. It would also have been a handy way under all the import restrictions we also faced. Clever.

PSA completed its buy of Opel and Vauxhall this week and we, with many of you in mind, took a look at what would happen to the supply chain. Among other things, this has led to a bit of a personnel shuffle, too.

And so, another week, another half dollar (inflation). We learn today of some cross-share swapping between Toyota and Mazda and plans for yet another new Toyota factory in the US that'll also build Mazdas. There will now be an undignified rush of politicians to secure that, and the jobs, and the boost to the economy for their states, cities and towns. Good luck.

Finally, wanna join us? We're looking for a junior business intelligence analyst for our data product QUBE. We reckon this will appeal either to journalists or editorial professionals looking to move to a more analytical role or business related or engineering graduates. Follow the links in the ad for a chat with Cat. You'll need to be documented already for UK employment and live a commutable distance from our offices in the English West Midlands.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,