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Chevy Is Rushing To Redesign The Malibu

On: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 1:41PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Is Rushing To Redesign The Malibu test 1-1

The 2012 Chevy Malibu performed well in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study earlier this year, but reviews haven't been so favorable for the redesigned 2013 Malibu. Despite having just given the model a full refresh, Chevy is already talking about a redesign.

Ford Recalls Another 80,000 New Cars

On: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 10:32AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Ford Recalls Another 80,000 New Cars test 1-1

From what it seems like, Ford has not put their best effort into the production of their entry-level SUV, the Escape -- ever.  Ford has issued a multitude of recalls for the Escape for just about every year the Blue Oval has produced them.  This most recent recall not only brings back 2013 model Ford Escapes built between October 5, 2011 - November 26, 2012 but also includes new Ford Fusion models built between February 3, 2012 and November 29, 2012. 

Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force Concept

On: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 10:17AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force Concept test 1-1

Mercedes didn't take home the trophy at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, but it did have arguably the most interesting entry. And unlike competitors that created only renderings, Mercedes built a life-sized model. Mercedes tackled the assignment of creating a highway patrol vehicle for the year 2025 by building a mean, green off-roader. The Ener-G-Force is essentially the G-Class of the future outfitted for all-terrain dominance.

116 Mpg-E Fiat 500e Electric Car Debuts In LA

On: Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

116 Mpg-E Fiat 500e Electric Car Debuts In LA test 2

Fiat has already told journalists that it did not want to build the 500e electric car and expects to lose money on every model sold. So it must have been with begrudging chagrin that it debuted the new electrified mini car at the 2012 LA Auto Show.

The reason that Fiat bothered with the 500e at all is simple: meeting California's requirements for zero emissions vehicles. As such, the car will only be available in California when it launches next spring. Because electric cars remain a niche market and the 500 itself has struggled in the United States, we don't anticipate that many non-Californians will be heartbroken about the decision.


New Lexus IS Sedan Coming To Detroit Next Month

On: Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 5:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

New Lexus IS Sedan Coming To Detroit Next Month test 2

Lexus announced this week that it will be debuting the new IS at the 2013 North American International Auto Show on Tuesday, January 15. For those that don't follow auto shows, the NAIAS is known more simply as the Detroit Auto Show.

In a brief, three-lined press release, Lexus describes the new IS: "Inspired by the acclaimed LF-CC concept and with design cues of the LFA, the new IS has been completely redesigned, inside and out."

Hyundai Presents A New Type Of Convertible In C3 Roll Top Concept

On: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 5:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Presents A New Type Of Convertible In C3 Roll Top Concept test 2

Convertibles are among the most fun but least practical cars on the road. Often offering only two seats and limited trunk space, convertibles aren't necessarily the most comfortable, practical daily commuters. But what's more fun to drive down a scenic country road on a sunny day? In the all-new C3 Roll Top concept, Hyundai shows us that convertibles can be practical, roomy and fun to drive.

Hyundai presented the C3 Roll Top at the recent L.A. Auto Show, using the sprawling, oceanside metropolis as the inspiration for the innovative convertible.

No Encore For The Acura ZDX

On: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 2:58PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

No Encore For The Acura ZDX test 2

George Carlin once said, "Too many choices America, it's not healthy."  And while it may not be appropriate to explain Carlin's preamble to that statement on a public forum, one thing we can extrapolate from the famous comedian is that those words may not be truer than in the automotive realm.  

Hopefully the folks over at Acura have a sense of humor because if not, they may not be taking the exit of the ZDX after just three models years very well. Yup, that's right. The car-no-wait-truck-no-wait-SUV-no-wait-whatever ZDX has simply not sold well at all for Honda's luxury division. To throw out some basic numbers, since its debut in 2010, Acura has sold a paltry 5,465 ZDX models in two full model years. By comparison, BMW has sold almost four times that number of X6 models in that that same time period.

Ford Fusion Named 2013 'Green Car Of The Year'

On: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 4:20PM | By: David Walter

Ford Fusion Named 2013 'Green Car Of The Year' test 2

The Ford Fusion was awarded the title of ‘Green Car of the Year’ by Green Car Journal today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. I sense you are surprised. “The Ford Fusion? An American midsize sedan?” That’s right. Considering that previous winners include the Chevy Volt (a plug-in hybrid) and Honda Civic CNG (a natural gas-powered compact car), you’re probably not the only person left scratching their head. So what was it that made Ford’s new midsize sedan stand above other notable contenders (such as the all-electric Nissan LEAF)?

EPA Kicks Hyundai And Kia Out Of The 40 MPG Club

On: Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:18AM | By: Chris Weiss

EPA Kicks Hyundai And Kia Out Of The 40 MPG Club test 2

As is evident in competitive sports, where top athletes (we're looking at you Armstrong) are quietly but consistently breaking rules and ethics to get ahead, sometimes winning requires an edge. Hyundai may be the most fuel efficient brand in America, but it's been cutting a few corners to maintain that distinction. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently found that the Korean automaker overstated fuel economy claims. The agency found discrepancies between its own audit and the numbers given by the automaker. Hyundai and Kia will be busy taking the proverbial red marker to fuel economy stickers as a result.

End Of An Icon: VW Camper Soon To Be No More

On: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

End Of An Icon: VW Camper Soon To Be No More test 2

Many Americans probably think that the Volkswagen Transporter T2 - the VW Microbus, if you will - ended production sometime in the haze-filled days of the 1970s. Truth is, Volkswagen has been offering the T2 in South America for decades; it just traded it in for a more modernized (and less stylish) series of Transporters in markets like the United States and Europe. Unfortunately, Brazilian regulations are about to get too tough, and Volkswagen is planning the official global end of the Microbus after 63 years.

Toyota Recalls 669,000 Prius Models

On: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 11:14AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Toyota Recalls 669,000 Prius Models test 2

Toyota has issued a recall of its famous hybrid, and quite the recall it is. 669,705 models in all, encompassing five model years of production (2004-2009). It seems that these Prius models may have a steering shaft assembly that has been built with metal splines that have not been made with the appropriate amount of hardness. Due to that apparent manufacturing defect, these splines have the potential to simply fail after an indeterminate amount of time. If they fail, it could cause the driver to lose control of the car's steering.

Toyota has said it will begin contacting owners next month and will replace the splines for free if they deem the parts to be defective. Owners can contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 with any questions or to set up an appointment to have their Prius inspected.

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov.