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Briefs: Recalls, Fuel Updates

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Chrysler Recalls Minivans, Durango

A new campaign by Chrysler seeks to recall faulty wiper motors in
268,800 vehicles that have wiper motor shafts that could break, leading
to a loss of wipers and reduced visibility. The models include the
2005-2006 Dodge Durango, Caravan and Grand Caravan, and the Chrysler
Town & Country. No accidents or injuries have been reported.


Ethanol Shortage Seems Likely

The U.S. Energy Department says the ethanol industry may not be
able to fulfill expected summer demand. Ethanol will replace methyl
tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which is being phased out by law.
Approximately 10 percent of every gallon of gasoline has consisted of
MTBE, and analysts are unsure that ethanol producers can make and
distribute enough as refiners phase out MTBE. This could result in a
jump in gasoline pump prices at the start of the summer season.

HCE Files Patent to Store Hydrogen

A firm named HCE has announced it has filed for a patent on a new
method of hydrogen storage. The invention is expected to permit the
storage of gaseous hydrogen at room temperature in quasi-liquid form.
The device creates nanometer-scale water bubbles filled with hydrogen
gas. The fluid is then able to be stored, distributed and handled like
gasoline, making the use of hydrogen for vehicle fuel more practical.
The process is also expected to work with other gases such as natural
gas and propane.

Oil Prices Drop Slightly

As of late March, oil had dipped after the Italian oil company
Agip repaired its pipeline in Nigeria that was blown up by attackers
recently. This allowed resumed oil production and U.S. light crude oil
dropped 40 cents to $66.75 a barrel. Oil prices are about $4 below the
record $70.85 hit last year when hurricanes affected U.S. energy

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