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Narrow Escape As Big Rig(s) Fall Off Mountain (Video)

On: Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 1:56PM | By: Chris Salamone

Norwegian Truck Incident test 2

Sometimes, when the going gets rough, the tough get going. Unfortunately, in a case of man vs. mountain, only one of the two drivers in the following video narrowly escaped disaster. The other chose to remain in his rapidly descending semi-truck.

BBC Europe reports that the driver of the semi is in stable condition after having fallen at least 200 feet. The tow truck operator, on the other hand, did manage to abandon his vehicle in time…but just barely.

2012 Aston Martin DBS Volante Carbon Edition: What's In A Name?

On: Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 12:02PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Aston Martin DBS Volante Carbon Edition test 2

Although it is hard to argue with Shakespeare, when it comes to the automotive world, he may not have been quite right. While it is true that, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," when it comes to cars a name counts.  

By the numbers the 2012 Aston Martin DBS Volante Carbon Edition, aside from being a mouthful, is not an overwhelmingly impressive car. It is powered by a wicked 5.9-liter V12 that churns out an incredible 510-horsepower and equally awe-inspiring 420-lb.-ft. of torque, but for all that power it is essentially the quintessential Aston Martin corporate motor that we have seen in quite a few other models. A six-speed automatic transmission is no more than standard fare these days, and could even be considered to be behind the times at this stage of the game with automakers like BMW and Mercedes using seven and eight speed transmissions to back their seemingly lesser cars. All that for the most daunting number of all -- a base price of a whopping $302,576!

BMW Recalls 367,000 Cars

On: Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 10:19AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

BMW Recalls 367,000 Cars test 2

Although BMW may indeed be the Ultimate Driving Machine, as it turns out, even they are not built flawlessly. BMW has issued a recall of 367,682 vehicles consisting of 5-Series and 6-Series models built 2004-2010 as well as M5 models built from 2006-2010 and M6 models built from 2007-2010.

It seems that the positive battery cable may have been improperly connected to the trunk floor, which may cause the bolt connecting the cable to loosen. This loosening may then cause an increase in electrical resistance and as a result, the connection may overheat to the point of catching fire. The car does not even have to be running to be a potential fire risk, which is why BMW has advised owners to keep their cars parked outdoors until they have had the necessary repairs.

Read on for the full report ...

Honda's Hilarious April Fools' Anti-Theft System

On: Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 1:42PM | By: Chris Salamone

Honda's Terii test 2

Year after year, Honda consistently ranks highly in reliability and value. But another, less advertised, Honda attribute also tops some lists. Few automakers, in the history of cars, can attest to having a longer track record for attracting thievery. And even fewer still are the automakers which have mastered the art of April Fools’ advertising.

Honda usually spearheads the list of most stolen vehicles from the National Insurance Crime Bureau – but all that is about to change. Honda plans to address would-be criminals and nervous consumers in one fell swoop. In 2013, Honda vehicles will feature a new security technology which attempts to prevent theft with negotiations and psychoanalysis. Say hello to TERII, and what is perhaps the best April Fools’ joke in recent memory.

While TERII will offer some familiar features, like keyless entry and voice command, Honda’s latest anti-theft system is unlike anything currently available on the mass market. Meaning, buyers could pay top dollar to get a celebrity-like, aftermarket security unit, but Honda plans to make artificial intelligence security mainstream.


Study: Breathalyzer Systems Work In Fighting Drunk Driving

On: Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 10:43AM | By: Chris Weiss

Study: Breathalyzer Systems Work In Fighting Drunk Driving test 2

According to a new study, ignition interlock systems, which require drivers to blow into a breathalyzer before starting their cars, are effective at cutting the number of repeat offenders. Some jurisdictions require that those convicted of drunk driving install interlock systems in their cars, and the study took a look at the results in one such location.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted its research in relation to Washington state, where interlock systems are mandatory for anyone convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). It looked at DUI conviction records from January 1999 to June 2006. In 2004, Washington expanded its mandatory interlock law to include everyone convicted of DUI. The original 1999 law included only repeat offenders, high-BAC offenders, and those who refused an alcohol test. So the IIHS was able to study the law's effect on first-time simple offenders, noting a 12 percent decrease in repeat offenses in the second quarter of 2006 over what would have been expected without the interlock requirement.

Cadillac Seats To Vibrate As Crash Warning

On: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

Cadillac Seats To Vibrate As Crash Warning test 2

GM plans to launch a vibrating driver's seat in the upcoming 2013 Cadillac XTS. The seat isn't designed to relax or massage the driver, but rather to warn him of impending dangers.

The new system, which GM calls the Cadillac Safety Alert Seat, uses directional tactile sensation - a fancy way of saying a vibrating seat bottom. The seat vibrates on the left side or right side, depending upon which side the danger is on. When the danger is coming from the rear or front, the seat vibrates on both sides. For instance, if you begin to veer over into the right line, the right side of your seat will start to vibrate as a cue to straighten out.

A123 Systems To Replace Defective Fisker Karma Batteries

On: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 11:51AM | By: Chris Weiss

A123 Systems To Replace Defective Fisker Karma Batteries test 2

 Well it looks like non-recall performance upgrades -or whatever the manufacturer in question chooses to call them to avoid the hot-button term "recall" - will be a thing for the plug-in hybrid. GM is in the midst of performing what it calls a 'Customer Satisfaction Program,' relating to the Volt's battery, and now A123 Systems, the battery supplier for the Fisker Karma, is starting a 'field campaign' to replace battery packs.

Earlier this month, Consumer Reports detailed an issue that it had with a Fisker Karma during testing. The Karma broke down with less than 200 miles on its odometer. While CR was doing speedometer calibration, an error message flashed and the transmission subsequently locked up, requiring Fisker to come and tow the car away for repair.

Hyundai Reveals 2013 Santa Fe

On: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 10:21AM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe test 2

Hyundai likes to show up big for the New York Auto Show. The Korean automaker has a history of bringing a big model or concept debut to the show, and this year is no different. It will premiere the all-new 2013 Santa Fe at the show, and it's given us a glimpse a little early.

Hyundai released pictures of the Santa Fe on its blog Hyundai Like Sunday. Interestingly, the blog post spends as much time talking about competitor debuts like the Dodge SRT and Buick Enclave as it does about the Santa Fe. All it says is that the new version of the crossover will "break new ground just like the first generation did" - the kind of line that every automaker likes to give about every one of its new debuts.

Subaru Reveals 2013 Outback And Legacy

On: Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:26PM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Subaru Outback test 2

This year’s New York Auto Show looks to be a real humdinger. Among a field of exciting new offerings, Subaru would have already stood out with the incoming XV Crosstek. But, sensing and capitalizing on opportunistic market momentum, the automaker plans to renovate the 2013 Legacy and Outback models as well. And we’re not talking about minor updates, either.

Instead, Subaru aims to spruce up the vehicles’ engine offerings, suspension, structure, and overall design.

Lexus Teases New ES Sedan For New York

On: Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lexus Teases New ES Sedan For New York test 2

A day after Toyota teased its own New York Auto Show-bound sedan, luxury brand Lexus followed suit. Lexus will debut an updated ES sedan at the show, and has released the first teaser photo of the car.

Unlike Toyota's teaser sketch, Lexus' picture focuses on the front of the car. We see what is steadily become the defining feature of Lexus front fascias - the spindle grille. The current generation ES has a smaller, trapezoidal grille. The new ES also appears to have a more rounded set of headlamps and redesigned bumper.

BMW And Toyota Expand Alliance To Co-Develop Lithium Ion Technology

On: Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:42AM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW And Toyota Expand Alliance To Co-Develop Lithium Ion Technology test 2

BMW and Toyota announced this week that they've begun research first announced in December.  The two companies are researching next-generation lithium-ion battery technology for use in electric vehicles and hybrids.

On December 1, the two automakers announced that BMW would supply 1.6 and 2.0-liter diesel engines to Toyota. The parties also mentioned their plans to work on battery technology at that time.