Home & Leisure



Ford to recall 433,000 cars for software update

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford is recalling about 433,000 of its 2015 Focus, C-MAX and Escape vehicles for a problem with the body control module.

The software glitch could allow the engine to continue to run after the ignition is turned off and the key removed or the after pressing the Engine Stop button.

The automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries...Read more

Car sales sizzle, but higher interest rates loom

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- U.S. consumers are buying new cars and trucks at the strongest rate since 2001 and spending more on pickups, SUVs and luxury models.

But there are warning signs.

"We're entering into uncharted territory," said John Humphrey of J.D. Power and Associates. "There will likely be an increase in interest rates. Even a 50 basis point move...Read more

Larry Printz: Much of the newest car technology is nothing new

Automotive / Automotive News /

You climb into your brand new car. After fastening your seat belt and hitting the starter button, you push another button to put into gear. You adjust the automatic climate control using the screen at the center of the instrument panel. The gas-electric hybrid driveline powers you down the road as traction control ensures that you have maximum ...Read more

2016 Mercedes AMG GT S is built for speed

Automotive / Automotive News /

The 2016 Mercedes AMG GT S is a hot rod.

More muscle car than luxury car, more American than German, it's a wolf in wolf's clothing.

Sleek, low and lean, it looks fast and it is fast -- zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 193 miles per hour.

Climb inside the two-door, two-seater -- because you do have to climb inside -- fire it up,...Read more

Under the Hood: Air control issues have drive hot under the collar

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 1999 Corvette with dual-zone air controls. On three different occasions the controls have gotten stuck on a certain setting, and I've then been unable to get them to move. I bought two new units. They seemed to work for awhile and then the same thing happened. I had the car totally checked out, which cost $1,000. They couldn't find ...Read more

Ground-breaking design shakes up motorcycle helmet industry

Automotive / Automotive News /

BREA, Calif. -- Bob Weber had a small but simple plan. He wanted to design a safer helmet for dirt bike riders.

The entrepreneur, based here, about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles, ended up disrupting the $250-million-a-year motorcycle helmet industry and igniting a debate over head injuries that could have much broader impact.

Weber's ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: I can't get out of park

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: Our 2007 Buick Rendezvous at times will not shift from park. It seems frozen there. If we turn on the ignition and put it in neutral, then it will let us shift. Help!

A: I'm confused! You seem to be describing correct operation of the shift interlock system. Here's how the system is designed to operate: With the ignition switch in the on ...Read more

Personalities, newcomers are shaping UAW talks

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Personalities and experience are likely to play major roles in contract talks between the UAW union and the Detroit-based automakers.

Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, could again be the wild card. He has shown himself in the past to be a hands-on CEO not afraid to take drastic steps or interrupt the flow of talks...Read more

Auto review: 2015 VW Golf SportWagen is the perfect antidote for crossover-clogged cul-de-sacs

Automotive / Automotive News /

Americans have become obsessed with compact and subcompact crossover utility vehicles. These are vehicles that look like SUVs but are little more than humdrum cars fitted with a hatchback body and a few more inches of ground clearance. Originally bought as an outdoorsy antidote to the minivan and station wagon, the CUV now clogs the nation's ...Read more

Mark Phelan: New book details US Highway 12, from its mastodon trail past to today

Automotive / Automotive News /

A fascinating new book traces U.S. Highway 12 -- Michigan Avenue, if you're a resident of metro Detroit or Chicago -- from its days as an Indian trail to when it became the second U.S. federal highway in 1825 and its current status as a scenic and leisurely alternative to the sameness of interstate highways.

The book is packed with facts and ...Read more

2015 US auto sales on track to hit a record

Automotive / Automotive News /

Through half of 2015, auto sales are on track to hit record levels not seen in 15 years -- which has many observers convinced the industry will see sales fall soon.

After climbing more than 4 percent through July, after several years of post-recession growth, annual sales could approach the previous annual record of 17.4 million.

The robust ...Read more

Consumers spending big on new cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Consumers are not just buying new vehicles -- they are truly spending as evidenced by the increasing average transaction prices the industry witnessed in the month of June.

"Transaction prices continue to climb, increasing 2.5 percent in June from last year, bringing the average up to $33,340," said Kelley Blue Book analyst Mark ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler sales up 8 percent, Ford up 2 percent, GM down 3 percent in June

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Sales of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles cars and trucks rose 8 percent in June; Ford was up almost 2 percent, and General Motors fell 3 percent, but the industry remains on track for its best year since 2005.

Nissan's sales jumped 13 percent, led by a 54 percent sales surge for its small crossover, the Rogue. Toyota's sales increased 4 ...Read more

Auto Word: Two Personalities for 500X Crossover

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Fiat's third family member from Italy, the 500X, is destined to become the brand's most-popular model and biggest seller. It has the right size, the right looks and the right features with the right pricing.

The 500X shares the bones of the 500L wagon, but is a much different execution. The X concept was started from scratch (though it shares ...Read more

FCA makes unusual move amid SUV recall

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is telling the owners of 65 new 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos to immediately stop driving the vehicles and is recalling a total of 7,690 SUVs.

The automaker said it is taking the unusual step of telling owners to stop driving the vehicles because suspension components were installed that were ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Volvo V60

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Have you noticed? Acura has quietly dropped the TSX sportwagon. The Caddy CTS wagon is gone, too. Audi no longer sells wagon versions of the A4 or the A6, either. The Benz C-Class wagon disappeared years ago. Look around - the room's pretty empty. Well, except for this Volvo V60. It's not only a wagon, it's the only luxury-brand sportwagon you ...Read more

Eric's Autos: If Distracted Driving is Bad

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

We're told it's not safe to text while drive because that's a distraction. But how about all these buzzers and flashing lights and (yes, it's true) suddenly vibrating seats and steering wheels? Many new cars comes equipped with some - or all - of the following:

Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Cross Traffic ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Get An Old Bike While You Can Still Afford One

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

As new bikes become more and more like new cars - that is, complicated and expensive, both to buy and maintain - the remaining supply of old bikes is going to get pricier as a result of increasing demand. After all, they're not making any more of them.

The situation with bikes today is a lot like it was with cars - especially now-classic muscle...Read more

Google, Delphi deny self-driving cars nearly collided

Automotive / Automotive News /

Google and Delphi Automotive are denying a news report that their self-driving cars nearly collided on the streets of Palo Alto, Calif., earlier this week.

"It was not a close call," Delphi spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said in an email. "The vehicles did not come within a lane width of each other."

According to Reuters, a Delphi prototype Audi ...Read more

Auto review: Maserati Quattroporte GTS is part luxury sedan and part race car

Automotive / Automotive News /

Maserati, one of Italian auto racing's most storied brands, celebrated its centennial last year. The Bologna company founded by brothers Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore and Ernesto is now owned by the massive Fiat Chrysler conglomerate, along with its Italian brothers Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.

That makes Maserati an in-between marque, far more ...Read more