Tesla wants Aussies to install new update amid airbag safety issue; Caltex forecasts profit drop

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A Tesla Model X car (front) and Model S (2nd L) are photographed at a Tesla electric car dealership in Sydney, Australia, May 31, 2017. Reuters/Jason Reed

Nearly 500 Aussie Tesla owners were urgently required to download an update to their car's firmware after it was found that passenger front airbags do not set up in crashes. The problem can be solved by downloading and installing the update. Meanwhile, Caltex Australia has forecast a drop in its first-half earnings.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission confirmed on Thursday that Tesla has issued an urgent update to 469 Model X cars. The affected cars were sold this year.

The ACCC has also confirmed that the system deploying the airbag does not work. The commission explained the airbags are not activated because the car does not correctly recognise the passenger as being in the seat. In an online statement, the ACCC said Tesla strongly recommends accepting the software update immediately. The car company is yet to comment about the latest update following the issue.

Tesla's vice president of Autopilot software Chris Lattner reportedly left the company on Wednesday. "Chris just wasn't the right fit for Tesla, and we've decided to make a change," a Tesla spokesperson wrote in a statement, adding the company wishes him the best, Business Insider reports. Sterling Anderson served as director of Autopilot for one year before he left the car company last year.

Caltex Australia warns of slip

In other news, Caltex Australia has forecast a drop in earnings after getting caught with the cost of setting up an assistance fund and dealing with a product and crude-oil inventory loss. The company declared that earnings for the six months through June is anticipated to fall between $250 million and $270 million.

The estimated figure is a drop compared to the $318 million profit in the previous year. Caltex Australia further revealed that replacement cost-of-sales operating profit may rise to between $290 million and $310 million compared to $254 million last year.

Furthermore, profit before interest and tax at Caltex’s marketing and supply operations are expected to surge by at least 4 percent, the company said, according to The Australian. The company’s Lytton refinery is expected to contribute EBIT of about $150 million.

Caltex manufactures and supplies fuel, oil and greases with more than 1,800 petrol stations across the nation. The company assured a strong balance sheet is maintained, with net debt forecast to be about $700 million by the end of the half-year period. That includes the $95 million acquisition of 46 service stations in Victoria.

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