The week's top news stories: August 5, 2018

VFACTS, Mazda warranty and Tesla earnings are among this week's top stories.
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The automotive news wheel is always turning. If you’re not constantly checking CarAdvice – which you should be doing, by the way – it can be easy for some headlines to slip through the cracks.

To make sure you haven’t missed anything important, we’ve gathered what we reckon are the hottest news stories from this week, right here. Check them out, and let us know what caught your eye.

Toyota HiLux, Landcruiser Prado gain diesel particulate filter regeneration switch

Toyota will shortly announce the addition of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration switch for the Landcruiser Prado and HiLux, as part of a rolling technical change on both models.

CarAdvice can exclusively reveal the change, which comes after a surge in complaints about particulate filter issues from Prado and HiLux owners who primarily drive short distances.

Toyota is yet to provide comment regarding the complaints, or provide a specific reason for the change

NSW: 40km/h limit past emergency services to be trialled

New South Wales motorists will need to slow to 40km/h as they pass emergency services on the side of the road, as part of a road rule trial kicking off on September 1.

Drivers moving in both directions on undivided roads are impacted by the rule, and face a $448 fine and three demerit points if they don't comply.

Only once they're a 'safe distance' past the emergency vehicles can motorists accelerate back to the speed limit

Mazda moves to five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty

Mazda has joined the likes of Holden and Ford, extending its three-year warranty to a five-year, unlimited-kilometre program.

The longer term applies to all vehicles sold from August 1, and brings the company into line with the majority of its rivals. The industry is still led by Kia and its seven-year, unlimited-kilometre coverage period, however.

The Mazda warranty is transferrable, and applies to all customers – including commercial BT-50 owners

Mercedes-Benz X350d pricing and specs

Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed the X350d ute will arrive in local showrooms in December, with pricing to kick off at $73,270 before on-road costs.

That's a little more than the top-spec Amarok V6 Ultimate's current $68,490 ticket price, while the recently-launched Ford Ranger Raptor kicks off at $74,990.

Two equipment lines will be offered – Progressive and Power

Takata: FCAI campaign pushes owners to get their airbags fixed

Industry body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), is calling on drivers to check if their vehicle is fitted with a potentially deadly Takata airbag inflator with a new scare campaign.

According to the body, more than 19,500 of the worst 'alpha' inflators are still out on Australian roads, while more than 1.6 million vehicle owners are impacted by the compulsory recall.

The risk of airbags mis-deploying could arise within just six years of purchase, depending on the conditions in which it's kept

Tesla Q2 earnings: $717.5 million loss, Model 3 production expected to ramp next quarter

Tesla has released its second-quarter earnings for 2018, revealing a US$717.5 million ($969 million) loss, but there's a bit to suggest things are looking up in Silicon Valley.

That loss is close to double the $336.4 million ($454.4 million) it lost during the first quarter of 2018, although total revenue rose from US$2.79 to US$4.0 billion.

Tesla says it built 53,339 cars in the second quarter, of which 18,449 were Model 3s

VFACTS: July 2018 new vehicle sales

New vehicles in Australia fell 7.8 per cent in July over the same month last year, to 85,551 units. Every state and territory dipped, with the sole exception of Tasmania (up 5.9 per cent).

The poor showing in July — generally a hangover month after June’s end-of-financial-year promotional campaigns — means the annual tally for 2018 is now 0.2 per cent lower than 2017’s.

Figures show 691,073 new vehicles have been sold this year (692,306)