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With record Fiat Chrysler fine, safety regulators get more aggressive

Automotive / Automotive News /

Federal safety regulators signaled Monday that they are taking a tougher stance on automakers that don't identify and quickly repair defects in their cars.

Their remarks came a day after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had admitted violating safety regulations, would pay record fines and agreed ...Read more

Will driverless cars 'eviscerate' insurance industry?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Safer cars, including driverless ones, are likely to "eviscerate" the car insurance industry, according to one auto insurance analyst. But until that day of reckoning comes, new technology also will make it easier and cheaper for carriers to sign up policyholders.

That's the take of Meyer Shields, managing director and analyst for investment ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler forced into biggest vehicle buyback ever

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it imposed the largest vehicle buyback program in its history on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles because the automaker has yet to come up with an adequate remedy to fix nearly 580,000 pickup trucks and SUVs it recalled in 2013.

The buyback program is one component of a 37-page ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Mercedes Sprinter van

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

I live just two miles away from one of the most popular recreational roads in America - the Blue Ridge Parkway. So I see a lot of recreational vehicles. And lately, I've been seeing a lot of Benz Sprinters.

Nominally, it's a commercial van - in the same class (and useful for the same purposes) as the Nissan NV van (and the new Ram ProMaster ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Why Punish People for Speeding?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Why should anyone be subject to punishment merely for driving "x" speed? Is it not of a piece with punishing someone for merely consuming alcohol? The justification usually given is that "speeding" might cause harm.

Well, sure. But that's something that can be said with equal validity about… well, pretty much anything. You might cause harm -...Read more

Eric's Autos: Oversold New Car Features

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

There isn't a new car on the market that hasn't already got all the basics covered. And then some. It's hard to find a new car - any new car - that isn't at least air conditioned. That doesn'thave - at least - a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, power windows and locks and an electric rear defroster.

"Basic" transportation is not what it ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4 million vehicles to block hacking

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, under pressure from federal regulators, said Friday it will recall 1.4 million cars and trucks to protect them from cybersecurity attacks just days after Wired magazine revealed that a Jeep Cherokee could be hacked remotely.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation so...Read more

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4 million vehicles after hack of Jeep Cherokee

Automotive / Automotive News /

Three days after a report that hackers took control of a Jeep Cherokee and drove it into a ditch, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 1.4 million vehicles for a software update.

The automaker said the hack appeared to be an isolated incident that could not be easily repeated. The coding for the hack required extensive technical knowledge of the ...Read more

Mitsubishi closing Illinois plant, ending US production

Automotive / Automotive News /

CHICAGO -- Mitsubishi Motors will stop making vehicles at its plant in the central Illinois city of Normal and will try to sell the facility after the state tried to rescue the plant from closing.

Mitsubishi is the sixth-biggest employer in the area, with 1,280 full-time employees, according to the website for the Bloomington-Normal Economic ...Read more

Under the Hood: Disengage overdrive on steep hills?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I drive a Mazda Miata that has an overdrive button on its shifter. Anytime I am going up a steep grade or coming down a hill, I disengage the overdrive to force the transmission into a lower gear. My friend says I am crazy and should just let the tranny do the work. But I don't like the constant shifting up and down when going up a hill. ...Read more

Auto review: Hyundai Tucson grows up

Automotive / Automotive News /

If you were asked to pick a distinguishing feature of the 2015 Hyundai Tucson, you might choose its reliability. After all, Hyundai surprised the industry with the vehicle by topping the recent J.D. Power study of initial quality.

Or, you might mention the vehicle's good value relative to its peers. But the second-generation crossover, launched...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Save money by rebuilding, not replacing control module

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2003 Chevrolet S-10 with 70,000 miles. A month ago the anti-lock braking system and brake warning lights came on. The next time I started the truck they were not on. This has been going on randomly since. The brakes were checked and continue to function perfectly. There has been no loss of brake fluid and the parking brake works fine...Read more

Jaguar revs up excitement with its F-Type R

Automotive / Automotive News /

Low-slung, sleek and sexy, this supercharged V-8 coupe looks like a designer's dream, handles like a track car and isn't made in Germany or Italy.

On the flats it goes from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds, producing intoxicating, full-throated muffler music. On the back roads it dashes through the curves and dives into the corners, hugging the apex ...Read more

What kind of car is the most green, fuel efficient and budget friendly?

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- A decade ago, drivers who wanted to go green had little choice beyond Toyota's Prius hybrid.

Today the selection of efficient, lower-pollution cars includes a bewildering array of technologies and models -- hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electrics, diesels and hydrogen fuel cells. Conventional gasoline cars, meanwhile, have ...Read more

High gas prices driving you crazy? Do these simple things to slash your gasoline bill

Automotive / Automotive News /

You can't control the price of gas, but you can minimize the damage to your wallet. Many drivers can improve their fuel economy by 10 percent or more with some easy steps.

"Motorists can significantly reduce fuel consumption and save money by simply adjusting their driving style," said Steve Mazor, chief automotive engineer for the Auto Club's ...Read more

Auto review: Design, tech, value make 2015 Murano AWD a contender

Automotive / Automotive News /

It is on. The battle for the best midsize five-passenger SUV has started, and it's gonna be a 12-round fight. The 2015 Nissan Murano Platinum all-wheel-drive midsize SUV (I give it four out of four stars) joins the Ford Edge atop this class of striking, advanced SUVs.

The Murano brings looks, value and efficiency to the match.

The new Murano ...Read more

Harley recalls 185,000 motorcycles over saddlebag issue

Automotive / Automotive News /

MILWAUKEE -- Harley-Davidson has recalled more than 185,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because the saddlebags can come loose and fall off, increasing the risk of a crash.

The recall covers certain 2014 and 2015 Road King, Street Glide, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Police Road King, Police Electra Glide and CVO Ultra Limited bikes. ...Read more

FTC probes GM's certified pre-owned sales

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether General Motors dealers promoted used vehicles as "certified pre-owned" despite failing to make repairs required under publicly announced recalls, the company disclosed Thursday.

"On June 3, 2015, we received notice of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission concerning ...Read more

Future of Focus plant looms over start of Ford-UAW talks

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The UAW's desire to keep automotive manufacturing jobs in the United States and win a new car or truck for a Ford plant outside Detroit took center stage Thursday as the union and the automaker formally opened contract negotiations.

The event, held in Detroit, occurred just 14 days after Ford said it would end production of the Ford ...Read more

Google car testing for weird situations

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Google is concentrating its autonomous car testing on the more difficult and unpredictable scenarios that crop up on surface streets more often than on freeways.

Speaking at the Automated Vehicle Symposium Wednesday in Ypsilanti, about 30 miles west of Detroit, Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving cars, showed a variety of...Read more