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Found 831 results

  1. Tesla's 'production hell' is continuing on and is causing the automaker to shut down the Model 3 assembly line for almost a week. Reuters has learned from two sources that Tesla will stop production of the Model 3 from May 26th to 31st in an effort to fix the various bottlenecks on the line. A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment. Tesla warned that there would be 10 days of temporary shutdowns this quarter in an effort to try and get Model 3 production back up and running smoothly. CEO Elon Musk said the shutdowns would be used to make upgrades to reach a goal of building 6,000 Model 3s by the end of June. Already, Tesla stopped production for a few days last month, and also in February. The key problem is Tesla's over-reliance on robots for production, something Musk acknowledges. Source: Reuters View full article
  2. Tesla's 'production hell' is continuing on and is causing the automaker to shut down the Model 3 assembly line for almost a week. Reuters has learned from two sources that Tesla will stop production of the Model 3 from May 26th to 31st in an effort to fix the various bottlenecks on the line. A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment. Tesla warned that there would be 10 days of temporary shutdowns this quarter in an effort to try and get Model 3 production back up and running smoothly. CEO Elon Musk said the shutdowns would be used to make upgrades to reach a goal of building 6,000 Model 3s by the end of June. Already, Tesla stopped production for a few days last month, and also in February. The key problem is Tesla's over-reliance on robots for production, something Musk acknowledges. Source: Reuters
  3. Next month could be bringing some big news for Alfa Romeo. Autocar is reporting that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne will be announcing a new large SUV and Giulia coupe at the company's Balocco test track in Italy. The large SUV, which we first reported on back in December, will use a stretched version of the Stelvio's platform. It will be the first Alfa model to come equipped with a mild hybrid system, along with an electric turbo using a 48V electrical system. The Giulia Coupe (first brought to light last month), will be offered with the same engines found in the Giulia sedan, along with two hybrid powertrains featuring an energy recovery system (ERS). The turbo 2.0L version is expected to produce 345 horsepower combined, while the 2.9L biturbo V6 will produce 641 horsepower. Autocar also reports that a five-door variant (see Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe) is a possibility. Both models are expected to go on sale next year. Source: Autocar View full article
  4. A new report from the Wall Street Journal reports that engineers at Tesla wanted to put more safeguards for Autopilot to keep drivers attentive to the road, but were rejected by executives. This has been concern within Tesla since the launch of Autopilot and only intensified in 2016 when a Model S crashed into a trailer in Florida. The driver was killed and an investigation revealed that Autopilot was on at the time. After the crash, Tesla brought in suppliers to talk about possible ways to keep a driver's attention on the road. Two ideas mentioned in the report included, Tracking the eyes of a driver to make sure they are watching the road. This would use a camera and infrared sensors. Cadillac uses something similar with their SuperCruise system. Incorporating sensors into the steering wheel to monitor whether a driver's hands were on the wheel. Autopilot already has a sensor to monitor small movements of the wheel and will issue a warning to the driver if it doesn't detect any movement. The downside is that the driver can quickly touch the wheel to stop the warnings for a few moments. However, the ideas were thrown out by Tesla executives (including CEO Elon Musk) due to costs and concerns that the technologies would be ineffective or annoy drivers. “It came down to cost, and Elon was confident we wouldn’t need it,” a source told the Wall Street Journal. A key issue with Autopilot is the false sense of confidence that drivers give to it - see the number of near-miss videos on Youtube as evidence. Tesla says in their owner manuals Autopilot has limitations and drivers must agree to a screen when Autopilot has engaged, "that it is their responsibility to stay alert and maintain control." Musk admitted during Tesla's recent earnings call that complacency with Autopilot was an issue. “When there is a serious accident, it is almost always, in fact, maybe always the case, that it is an experienced user,” said Musk. “And the issue is...more one of complacency, like we get too used to it.” Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  5. Next month could be bringing some big news for Alfa Romeo. Autocar is reporting that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne will be announcing a new large SUV and Giulia coupe at the company's Balocco test track in Italy. The large SUV, which we first reported on back in December, will use a stretched version of the Stelvio's platform. It will be the first Alfa model to come equipped with a mild hybrid system, along with an electric turbo using a 48V electrical system. The Giulia Coupe (first brought to light last month), will be offered with the same engines found in the Giulia sedan, along with two hybrid powertrains featuring an energy recovery system (ERS). The turbo 2.0L version is expected to produce 345 horsepower combined, while the 2.9L biturbo V6 will produce 641 horsepower. Autocar also reports that a five-door variant (see Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe) is a possibility. Both models are expected to go on sale next year. Source: Autocar
  6. A new report from the Wall Street Journal reports that engineers at Tesla wanted to put more safeguards for Autopilot to keep drivers attentive to the road, but were rejected by executives. This has been concern within Tesla since the launch of Autopilot and only intensified in 2016 when a Model S crashed into a trailer in Florida. The driver was killed and an investigation revealed that Autopilot was on at the time. After the crash, Tesla brought in suppliers to talk about possible ways to keep a driver's attention on the road. Two ideas mentioned in the report included, Tracking the eyes of a driver to make sure they are watching the road. This would use a camera and infrared sensors. Cadillac uses something similar with their SuperCruise system. Incorporating sensors into the steering wheel to monitor whether a driver's hands were on the wheel. Autopilot already has a sensor to monitor small movements of the wheel and will issue a warning to the driver if it doesn't detect any movement. The downside is that the driver can quickly touch the wheel to stop the warnings for a few moments. However, the ideas were thrown out by Tesla executives (including CEO Elon Musk) due to costs and concerns that the technologies would be ineffective or annoy drivers. “It came down to cost, and Elon was confident we wouldn’t need it,” a source told the Wall Street Journal. A key issue with Autopilot is the false sense of confidence that drivers give to it - see the number of near-miss videos on Youtube as evidence. Tesla says in their owner manuals Autopilot has limitations and drivers must agree to a screen when Autopilot has engaged, "that it is their responsibility to stay alert and maintain control." Musk admitted during Tesla's recent earnings call that complacency with Autopilot was an issue. “When there is a serious accident, it is almost always, in fact, maybe always the case, that it is an experienced user,” said Musk. “And the issue is...more one of complacency, like we get too used to it.” Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  7. Yesterday, we reported that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess got a safe-passage deal from the U.S. Justice Department. This type of deal is very unusual and it was speculated that U.S. wasn't planning to charge Diess over the diesel emission scandal, or that he provided some sort of testimony. We might have an answer to how Diess got this deal. German tabloid Bild reports that Diess traveled to the U.S. last week to testify about the diesel emission scandal. Representatives from the FBI and Justice Department were present, as was Larry Thompson, the U.S. monitor appointed last year to oversee reforms at the company. Unfortunately, Bild doesn't mention any sources. Reuters did some investigating and got conflicting stories. One source told the news service that Diess and Thompson recently traveled to the U.S. recently with "relevant authorities", without going into further detail. Another source denied that a meeting took place last week, saying Diess met with spoke with authorities a few months ago. Volkswagen declined to comment. Our guess is that Diess was given a safe-passage deal from the U.S. Justice Department if he would provide testimony on the diesel emission scandal. We'll keep you posted if anything breaks on this story. Source: Bild (Subscription Required), Reuters
  8. Yesterday, we reported that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess got a safe-passage deal from the U.S. Justice Department. This type of deal is very unusual and it was speculated that U.S. wasn't planning to charge Diess over the diesel emission scandal, or that he provided some sort of testimony. We might have an answer to how Diess got this deal. German tabloid Bild reports that Diess traveled to the U.S. last week to testify about the diesel emission scandal. Representatives from the FBI and Justice Department were present, as was Larry Thompson, the U.S. monitor appointed last year to oversee reforms at the company. Unfortunately, Bild doesn't mention any sources. Reuters did some investigating and got conflicting stories. One source told the news service that Diess and Thompson recently traveled to the U.S. recently with "relevant authorities", without going into further detail. Another source denied that a meeting took place last week, saying Diess met with spoke with authorities a few months ago. Volkswagen declined to comment. Our guess is that Diess was given a safe-passage deal from the U.S. Justice Department if he would provide testimony on the diesel emission scandal. We'll keep you posted if anything breaks on this story. Source: Bild (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  9. Back in March, prosecutors in the U.S. filed sealed charges against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. But during that same time, Volkswagen's current CEO got a rare safe-passage deal from the U.S. Bloomberg has learned from a couple of sources that the Justice Department has given Herbert Diess a safe-passage deal - basically allows him to travel without the worry of being arrested in connection to the diesel emission scandal. Diess also got a spoken assurance that he would be notified if prosecutors seek to charge him in the diesel emission mess. Being the CEO of a major automaker, Diess needs to travel to various events around the world. By giving him this deal, Diess will be able to travel without the fear of being detained. According to former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers, the safe-passage deal for Diess is very unusual. They could only think of two reasons as to why Diess was given this deal - U.S. doesn't believe it will charge Diess or he is proving key information into the investigation. That doesn't mean Diess is free from the scandal. He is still under investigation in Germany for possible market manipulation. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)
  10. Back in March, prosecutors in the U.S. filed sealed charges against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. But during that same time, Volkswagen's current CEO got a rare safe-passage deal from the U.S. Bloomberg has learned from a couple of sources that the Justice Department has given Herbert Diess a safe-passage deal - basically allows him to travel without the worry of being arrested in connection to the diesel emission scandal. Diess also got a spoken assurance that he would be notified if prosecutors seek to charge him in the diesel emission mess. Being the CEO of a major automaker, Diess needs to travel to various events around the world. By giving him this deal, Diess will be able to travel without the fear of being detained. According to former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers, the safe-passage deal for Diess is very unusual. They could only think of two reasons as to why Diess was given this deal - U.S. doesn't believe it will charge Diess or he is proving key information into the investigation. That doesn't mean Diess is free from the scandal. He is still under investigation in Germany for possible market manipulation. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required) View full article
  11. William Maley

    Rumorpile: Land Rover's Entry-Level Plan

    Land Rover is planning an onslaught of new models. The company has already revealed the limited-run Range Rover SV Coupe and is expected to debut the next-generation Defender in the near future, which could include a pickup. There is talk about three new entry-level models joining the lineup. Autocar reports that plans for these entry-level model came to light in 2014, but have been shelved and revived within the past few years due to concerns about making a profit. The concerns are still there, but Land Rover is reportedly moving forward with the plans as growth is continuing in the segment. Plans still need to be signed off by the top executives, however. If approved, the first of this trio is expected to arrive in 2021. But it is unclear which model lineup - leisure, luxury, or utility it will appear in. Leisure: Expected to sit below the Discovery Sport. Could wear the Freelander nameplate which was last used in 2014. Luxury: Expected to sit under the Evoque. The Range Rover family has been the one where Land Rover introduces the brand into a new segment. Utility: Entry-level model for the Defender family. Out of the three, the leisure model has the greatest appeal as it would fill in "an obvious gap" in Land Rover's lineup. The compact Defender has some supporters with Land Rover's executives to be first as the company is wanting to build out a family of Defender variants. Whether Land Rover decides to go with one or all three, the platform will be a re-engineered version of the D8 platform known as D10. D8 underpins a number of models including the Discovery Sport and Evoque. Source: Autocar
  12. Land Rover is planning an onslaught of new models. The company has already revealed the limited-run Range Rover SV Coupe and is expected to debut the next-generation Defender in the near future, which could include a pickup. There is talk about three new entry-level models joining the lineup. Autocar reports that plans for these entry-level model came to light in 2014, but have been shelved and revived within the past few years due to concerns about making a profit. The concerns are still there, but Land Rover is reportedly moving forward with the plans as growth is continuing in the segment. Plans still need to be signed off by the top executives, however. If approved, the first of this trio is expected to arrive in 2021. But it is unclear which model lineup - leisure, luxury, or utility it will appear in. Leisure: Expected to sit below the Discovery Sport. Could wear the Freelander nameplate which was last used in 2014. Luxury: Expected to sit under the Evoque. The Range Rover family has been the one where Land Rover introduces the brand into a new segment. Utility: Entry-level model for the Defender family. Out of the three, the leisure model has the greatest appeal as it would fill in "an obvious gap" in Land Rover's lineup. The compact Defender has some supporters with Land Rover's executives to be first as the company is wanting to build out a family of Defender variants. Whether Land Rover decides to go with one or all three, the platform will be a re-engineered version of the D8 platform known as D10. D8 underpins a number of models including the Discovery Sport and Evoque. Source: Autocar View full article
  13. Land Rover is expected to finally show off the new Defender sometime this year as part of the brand's 70th anniversary celebration. But there is already talk about adding more variants, one of those being a pickup. Autocar reports that Land Rover will launch this model in 2020 to go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Toyota HiLux, and others. Unlike most trucks that offer a range of cab styles, the Defender pickup will only be offered as a regular cab. This is due to the Defender's unibody structure as it is easier to adapt a regular cab layout then a crew cab. Engines are expected to be 2.0L gas and diesel engines from Jaguar Land Rover's Ingenium family. Land Rover is expected to offer a wide range of specifications from a spartan work truck to a very luxurious to take on the X-Class. The model is expected to be sold in Europe, Africa, South America, and the U.S. The last one is interesting as the majority of pickups sold in the U.S. tend to be extended or crew cabs, which could hurt the Defender pickup if it arrives. Source: Autocar
  14. Land Rover is expected to finally show off the new Defender sometime this year as part of the brand's 70th anniversary celebration. But there is already talk about adding more variants, one of those being a pickup. Autocar reports that Land Rover will launch this model in 2020 to go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Toyota HiLux, and others. Unlike most trucks that offer a range of cab styles, the Defender pickup will only be offered as a regular cab. This is due to the Defender's unibody structure as it is easier to adapt a regular cab layout then a crew cab. Engines are expected to be 2.0L gas and diesel engines from Jaguar Land Rover's Ingenium family. Land Rover is expected to offer a wide range of specifications from a spartan work truck to a very luxurious to take on the X-Class. The model is expected to be sold in Europe, Africa, South America, and the U.S. The last one is interesting as the majority of pickups sold in the U.S. tend to be extended or crew cabs, which could hurt the Defender pickup if it arrives. Source: Autocar View full article
  15. Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there. According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022. “Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment. Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap. “As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce. Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon. Source: Reuters
  16. Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there. According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022. “Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment. Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap. “As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce. Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon. Source: Reuters View full article
  17. Last year at the SEMA Show, Chevrolet teamed up with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to produce the Colorado ZR2 AEV concept. This truck was fully kitted out for overlanding duties with a revamped suspension, new bumpers and skid plates, a snorkel, Warn winch, bed rack, and an air compressor. It seems Chevrolet is planning to make this into a production model. Off-Road.com learned from a Chevrolet dealer that GM at their annual dealer meeting showed off a model called the Colorado ZR2 Bison. “The AEV truck they revealed looked nearly identical to the concept vehicle with some minor differences,” the unnamed dealer said in email. The differences are most likely the absence of the bed rack and air compressor from the concept. What would likely carry over are the larger fenders, meaty off-road tires, upgraded suspension, and underbody protection. The dealer also said that the Bison will be available at dealers soon according to Chevrolet officials at the meeting. Source: Off-Road.com
  18. Last year at the SEMA Show, Chevrolet teamed up with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to produce the Colorado ZR2 AEV concept. This truck was fully kitted out for overlanding duties with a revamped suspension, new bumpers and skid plates, a snorkel, Warn winch, bed rack, and an air compressor. It seems Chevrolet is planning to make this into a production model. Off-Road.com learned from a Chevrolet dealer that GM at their annual dealer meeting showed off a model called the Colorado ZR2 Bison. “The AEV truck they revealed looked nearly identical to the concept vehicle with some minor differences,” the unnamed dealer said in email. The differences are most likely the absence of the bed rack and air compressor from the concept. What would likely carry over are the larger fenders, meaty off-road tires, upgraded suspension, and underbody protection. The dealer also said that the Bison will be available at dealers soon according to Chevrolet officials at the meeting. Source: Off-Road.com View full article
  19. William Maley

    Rumorpile: Jaguar Readies A Larger Crossover

    Jaguar is possibly working on another crossover, one to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5. Autocar reports that Jaguar is planning a flagship crossover to not only build on the massive success of their current crossovers (F-Pace and E-Pace), but also to attract wealthy customers, especially in China. Reportedly named J-Pace, the crossover will debut a new design language that is currently being worked on by design director Ian Callum. Underpinning the model will be the aluminum architecture used in the Range Rover. For the J-Pace, the architecture will be made slightly longer and wider. It will also sit lower for better on-road behavior. Also coming from the Range Rover will be a number of powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid. The model is expected to launch in 2021. Source: Autocar
  20. Jaguar is possibly working on another crossover, one to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5. Autocar reports that Jaguar is planning a flagship crossover to not only build on the massive success of their current crossovers (F-Pace and E-Pace), but also to attract wealthy customers, especially in China. Reportedly named J-Pace, the crossover will debut a new design language that is currently being worked on by design director Ian Callum. Underpinning the model will be the aluminum architecture used in the Range Rover. For the J-Pace, the architecture will be made slightly longer and wider. It will also sit lower for better on-road behavior. Also coming from the Range Rover will be a number of powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid. The model is expected to launch in 2021. Source: Autocar View full article
  21. Last month, we reported in the rumorpile that the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata could be packing more power - 181 to be exact. A new report from Road & Track has a couple more details on the engine of the 2019 MX-5 Miata, along with some other tidbits. A leaked document from a Mazda dealer in Canada made its way on to the Miata.net forum (which has been taken down at the time of this writing). According to R&T, the document confirms that the 2019 MX-5 Miata will produce 181 horsepower from a 2.0L four-cylinder. We also learned that torque sees a small bump from 152 to 155 pound-feet. The 2.0L in question will come with a number of new parts including “ultra-light” pistons, lighter connecting rods, intake manifold, throttle body, and high-flow exhaust system. Other details for the 2019 Miata, Will get Mazda's Smart City Braking system and backup camera Finally will have a telescoping steering wheel Source: Road & Track
  22. Last month, we reported in the rumorpile that the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata could be packing more power - 181 to be exact. A new report from Road & Track has a couple more details on the engine of the 2019 MX-5 Miata, along with some other tidbits. A leaked document from a Mazda dealer in Canada made its way on to the Miata.net forum (which has been taken down at the time of this writing). According to R&T, the document confirms that the 2019 MX-5 Miata will produce 181 horsepower from a 2.0L four-cylinder. We also learned that torque sees a small bump from 152 to 155 pound-feet. The 2.0L in question will come with a number of new parts including “ultra-light” pistons, lighter connecting rods, intake manifold, throttle body, and high-flow exhaust system. Other details for the 2019 Miata, Will get Mazda's Smart City Braking system and backup camera Finally will have a telescoping steering wheel Source: Road & Track View full article
  23. William Maley

    Rumorpile: Good-Bye Sonic

    A new report from the Wall Street Journal says the Chevrolet Sonic could be no more as early as of the end of this year. According to sources, the decision comes down to consumers veering more towards trucks and utility vehicles, and declining sales. So far in 2018, sales of the Sonic have dropped 21.5 percent. Overall volume has dropped by over two-thirds when compared to the Sonic's best sales of 93,518 units in 2014. This could be more bad news for GM's Orion plant, home to the Chevrolet Sonic and Bolt. The plant already lost production of the Buick Verano in late 2016. The report also notes that Ford will be axing both the Taurus and Fiesta according to sources close to discussions. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  24. William Maley

    Chevrolet News:Rumorpile: Good-Bye Sonic

    A new report from the Wall Street Journal says the Chevrolet Sonic could be no more as early as of the end of this year. According to sources, the decision comes down to consumers veering more towards trucks and utility vehicles, and declining sales. So far in 2018, sales of the Sonic have dropped 21.5 percent. Overall volume has dropped by over two-thirds when compared to the Sonic's best sales of 93,518 units in 2014. This could be more bad news for GM's Orion plant, home to the Chevrolet Sonic and Bolt. The plant already lost production of the Buick Verano in late 2016. The report also notes that Ford will be axing both the Taurus and Fiesta according to sources close to discussions. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  25. Alfa Romeo is reportedly working on Giulia-based coupe that could go on sale as early as next year. Autocar reports the new coupe will share most of the front panels found on the Giulia sedan, although a different grille is likely. The rest of the model will feature all new panels including a lower roof and rear-quarter panels. Engines are expected to be the same as the sedan - two versions of the 2.0L turbo-four (197 and 276 hp) and the twin-turbo 2.9L V6. There is also an Formula 1-style energy recovery system (ERS) that is being worked on for this model. ERS basically harvests kinetic energy from braking as electricity and stores in a battery. A driver can use this electricity to add a bit more boost. According to sources, Alfa is working on two powertrains featuring this system - the higher-output version of the 2.0L turbo and the twin-turbo 2.9L V6. Outputs are said to be 345 hp for the 2.0L and 641 hp for the 2.9L. Source: Autocar

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