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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Kia Reviews Soul Manufacturing Processes Relating To Steering Failure

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:41PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Kia Reviews Soul Manufacturing Processes Relating To Steering Failure test 1-1

Kia Motors in America is reviewing their manufacturing processes in an attempt to discover the cause of the loss of all steering capability in a two-month-old 2010 Kia Soul.

According to Auto News: “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary investigation into the issue after it received one complaint from an owner of an almost-new Kia Soul who said the steering shaft decoupled from the steering wheel and then fell onto the driver's side floor in a way that interfered with the brake pedal.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the investigation could possibly affect over 50,000 Kia Souls.

Kia’s VP, John Crowe, stated: “Kia Motors America has been actively cooperating with NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation since being advised by the Acting Director late last week that an investigation was being opened regarding the 2010 Kia Soul. Although the investigation is based on a single incident that did not result in an accident or injury, the entire Kia Motors organization—including our supplier base—is reviewing manufacturing processes with the goal of quickly determining if there is a manufacturing cause and preventing the issue from reoccurring,” Crowe also said.

GM Recalls Over 200,000 Crossovers

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:35PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM Recalls Over 200,000 Crossovers test 1-1

 The latest company to hop on the automotive recall band wagon is General Motors.  The company announced today that it is recalling 243,000 crossovers including the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Arcadia, and Saturn Outlook, for a problem that interferes with the latch mechanism of the safety belts in the rear seats.

The recall involves 2009 and 2010 model years and most of the vehicles were sold in the United States.  Several thousand exported vehicles were recalled in Canada, Mexico, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

According to a recent statement by a GM spokesperson, the seat belts will be checked “for damage that in rare cases could make an occupant think the belt is properly latched when it isn’t.”  The seatbelts that are affected are in the 2nd row of vehicles designed with three rows of seats, occurring when the seats are returned to an upright position after being folded down.

Jeff Boyer, GM executive director of safety commented; “Because of the potential for a false-latch condition, we want customers to return their vehicles to have the recall repair performed as soon as possible.”

Ford Gives $50 Gift Card to Customers For Late Fiesta Deliveries

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:35AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan test 2

Ford Customers who reserved a Ford Fiesta, and are still waiting for delivery, will be receiving a $50 gift card from Ford Motor Co.  Ford decided to be proactive in the situation, taking responsibility by issuing letters to consumers with an apology for delayed delivery of vehicles.

Angie Kozleski, Ford spokeswoman, stated that the company was, in fact, issuing MasterCard gift cards to those who had pre-ordered their new Fiestas, explaining that it was “a token of our appreciation for their patience.”  The number of cards distributed was not revealed by Ford, but it was relayed that each customer who ordered a Fiesta (which was late in arriving) could expect to receive a gift card.

The primary reason that Fiestas are late being shipped to dealerships is due to the after effects of a hurricane in Mexico where the Fiestas were manufactured at Ford’s Cuautitlan plant located close to Mexico City. Hurricane Alex hit northern Mexico in late June, and Tropical Storm Bonnie hit the country shortly thereafter. The storms disabled critical rail lines that Ford typically uses to transport cars north of the border into the U.S., causing many delayed shipments.

First Glimpse of the 2011 Toyota Highlander

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:29AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

First Glimpse of the 2011 Toyota Highlander test 1-1

If you are interested in getting a preview of the 2011 Toyota Highlander SUV, keep an eye opened for this year’s Moscow Motor Show scheduled on the 30th of August. Toyota will unveil, for the Russian and Ukrainian markets, a Euro-spec version of the Toyota Highlander, which could hold a great deal of similarity to the redesigned model soon to be launched in the U.S.

The 2011 seven-passenger Toyota Highlander gets styling revisions as well as some equipment rearrangement.  It’s part of a mid-cycle upgrade for a vehicle last fully redesigned in model-year 2008. The 2011 Highlander’s basic form doesn’t change. This Toyota Highlander has three versatile seating rows; it is the only electric hybrid, seven-seat crossover for sale in the U.S.

The 2011 Highlander model targeted for the Eastern European markets is updated with a dynamic redesigned front fascia with sharper looking triangular headlights and fog lights that are set into a contrasting section of the bumper. The lower section of the bumper is completely redesigned, which offers a more sophisticated look that, at the same time, gives the crossover a more rugged appearance.

Toyota has not released any official specs for the Highlander SUV, but unidentified sources claim that the vehicle will come with a 3.5 liter V6 engine delivering 273 hp. The unit will be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.  The North American market may see a 2.7 liter four-cylinder product. The 2011 Toyota Highlander is also expected to receive a hybrid version, in keeping with the trend of providing more fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S. market.


Koenigsegg Agera: Another Potential World-Record-Breaker?

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:10AM | By: Chris Weiss

Koenigsegg Agera: Another Potential World-Record-Breaker? test 1-1

Koeniggsegg is developing its Agera supercar, which it's expected to put into production this year. A successor to the CCR--a previous world fastest production car record holder--may be challenging the current world's fastest car--the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport--and the next-generation Shelby Supercars Ultimate Aero TT for the coveted title. According to Top Gear, the company's leader, Christian von Koenigsegg expressed some interest in vying for the title.

Last month, over July 4 weekend, Bugatti driver Pierre Henri Raphanel drove the 1,200-hp Veyron Super Sport to a blistering, record-shattering 267 mph. Unlike the unofficial 253 mph mark Bugatti had set in 2006, Bugatti made this one stick, with the Guiness Book of World Record staff on hand to put the run in the books.

While achieving the world speed record is a huge accomplishment, it puts a pretty big target on the back end of the Bugatti. Days after the feat, Shelby Supercars teased its own upcoming Ultimate Aero TT, indicating that it plans to give Bugatti a run for its money.

GM Completes IPO Paperwork

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 8:58AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 GM Completes IPO Paperwork  test 1-1

In automotive news, General Motors Co. has completed the long-awaited paperwork for its initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The paperwork will be complete after filing with the SEC in a matter of days, according to an unidentified source who asked not to be named because the arrangements are private.

The S-1 filing is only the first stage of the process of getting GM’s IPO initiated. It could be several months before the stock is re-listed on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq.

According to Automotive News; “GM updated its several-hundred page S-1 document to add a management risk factor after Chief Executive Ed Whitacre announced on Thursday he would step down and be succeeded by Dan Akerson effective September, the source said.” “The surprise announcement last week was a factor that delayed GM's IPO filing by several days, several people close to the process have said.”

Per Reuters; GM anticipates generating between $15 billion to $20 billion, which will be one of the largest IPO’s in history.  The company plans to use the proceeds to go toward the debt from the bailout last year, in which General Motors currently has $45 billion outstanding. GM will have its line of credit increased by $5 billion, according to a few sources the banks that have agreed to provide the line of credit are as follows; Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Royal Bank of Canada. The ten banks will also act as underwriters for the stock offering. GM will add more banks while keeping the line of credit at $5 billion in order to reduce each bank’s liability.

The most recent quarterly filing by GM listed Akerson’s appointment as CEO, as well as Chris Liddell as CFO.  "Within the past year we have substantially changed our executive management team," GM said in Monday's filing. "We have elected a new chief executive officer ... and a new chief financial officer ... both of whom have no outside automotive industry experience."

Toyota Gets Political, Stops Exports To Iran

On: Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 9:21AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Toyota Land Cruiser test 2

In 2010, there are few entities that have a worse reputation than Toyota. One of those select few is Iran. The Middle Eastern nation is allegedly developing nuclear weapons, much to the displeasure of an international group that includes the U.S., Europe and the United Nations. The nation vehemently denies these allegations, stating that it's nuclear program is for peaceful, energy-related purposes only. It contends that it has a sovereign right to pursue a nuclear energy program without interference from the international community.

Well, the world ain't buyin' that line, and neither is Toyota. A CNN report last week indicates that it has ceased exports to Iran, a move that analysts say is largely symbolic and meant to strengthen the message to the nation.

Tower Automotive To Be Featured in TheTransformers 3

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 5:26PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tower Automotive To Be Featured in TheTransformers 3 test 1-1

According to the Business Journal of Milwaukee, the movie Transformers 3 was filmed, in part, in the city of Milwaukee at the site of Tower Automotive earlier this year.

The Milwaukee visitors bureau, Visit Milwaukee, announced that the Tower site, on the north side of the city, along with the Milwaukee Art Museum, will be featured in scenes from the upcoming movie Transformers 3.

A cast and crew of about 150 traveled to Milwaukee the week of July 12 to film what Visit Milwaukee calls "a pivotal scene" at the museum.

Why Tower Automotive? It has been predicted that the scene will be focused on automotive design, perhaps, of the new combat robots featured in the movie. Tower is one of the largest suppliers of metal structural components in the United States, and they offer a broad range of metal structures including stampings and complex body and frame assemblies for literally every major automotive vehicle manufacturer—a setting realistic enough for a movie about a plant that makes combat robots!

Low Cost Infiniti G25 Slides In Beneath G37

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 5:12PM | By: John Welch

Infinit G25 Sedan test 2

This is one product unveiling that could be a great success, or a monumental failure. Infiniti plans to sell the G25 in the United States, beginning in September. The G25 will become the base model for the G-Series, expanding the newly redesigned G lineup. Stickering for $31,825, the G25 represents a $2,300 dollar saving versus the G37.

Is that money enough to overcome the 110 bhp defecit? The G37 generates 328 ponies, while the new 2.5 liter V6 (built on the same VQ architecture as the 3.7 liter engine) can muster only 218. It is likely that the G25 will get better mileage than the G37, but it lacks options such as the Sport suspension upgrades and a Navigation system. You can't order them, don't even think about it.

All Wheel Drive is another option suffering strange circumstances. Though it is available, AWD comes only with the Journey option package, a geroup of conviences that includes rearview monitor, automatic temperature control, automatic headlights, heated front seats, and heated outside mirrors. Infinit's rear view camera and interface is one of the best on the market.

Is this car going to be worth it the loss in power? There is a school of thought that says older drivers might shy away from a car possesing 328 horsepower, that it might be dangerous or difficult to control. Large Nissan V6s are infamous for sucking down gasoline like Liza Manelli sucks down martinis. Though no fuel usage statistics have been released, it is conceivable that the G25 could achieve 30 mpg, a huge selling point during our country's current Eco-Buzz.

We will reserve judgement until the G25, on sale in September, is seen on our roads . . .

Chrysler and GM Offer Settlements to Terminated Dealerships

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 4:07PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Chrysler and GM Offer Settlements to Terminated Dealerships test 1-1

Chrysler Corporation has settled with the terminated dealerships after arbitration cases were resolved.  The company was said to have cut expenses by offering less than $100,000 to the dealerships that had filed claims in an attempt to stay opened after Chrysler attempted to force close thousands of dealerships across the country.

Chrysler spokesman, Michael Palese, in an attempt to set the record straight emailed a statement to the press reporting that average settlements were actually around $500,000.  According to Automotive News.com, in the email Palese cited; “people with direct knowledge of the terms.”  Palese reiterated that Chrysler settled 151 out of 418 arbitration cases that had been filed by dealerships that were closed as a direct result of the company’s bankruptcy last year.  Palese stated that many of the settlements involved cash payments.

“It makes good business sense anytime we can settle a case for an amount significantly below the cost of litigation,” he said in his email. “This enables Chrysler to focus more resources into what’s truly important -- developing outstanding products.”


Porsche Production 918 Spyder Hybrid To Get Even More Power

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 12:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Production 918 Spyder Hybrid To Get Even More Power test 1-1

After much buzz and speculation, Porsche announced two weeks ago that it will produce the 918 Spyder Hybrid. In the hybrid's first appearance since becoming an official Porsche model, Porsche has given a glimpse of what to expect from the production model and it may include a larger engine, stronger body and more technology. The new information comes from a private event that Porsche held at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California.