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California vehicle sales exceed 2 million for third straight year

Automotive / Automotive News /

For the third straight year, sales for new cars and trucks in California exceeded 2 million and the forecast for 2018 anticipates the number to top 2 million again -- but just barely, as the rate of growth is slowing.

New vehicle registrations reached 2.047 million units in 2017, down from 2.088 million in 2015, which was one of the strongest ...Read more

Under the Hood: Car mysteriously stalls, then starts 10 minutes later

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have 2001 Ford Taurus with a 3.0 Liter V6 engine. This car will suddenly quit running when I'm driving it. Trying to start it is fruitless for about 10 minutes, and then it will start right up and run until it repeats this same failure, after I've driven it! I took it to my go-to shop. They couldn't find any trouble codes in this car's ...Read more

Motormouth: Father knows best? Engineers know better

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: My elderly father thinks it is better to drive without a radiator pressure cap. He is worried the pressure can pop a coolant hose. He has been driving his 2004 Chevy Venture like this for years and has been trying to get me to do the same. So far, he has not blown a hose nor has he overheated. But I think he is taking a risk of boiling over, ...Read more

Auto review: What's in a $63,000 Ford F-150?

Automotive / Automotive News /

The 2018 Ford F-150 has just the right balance of capability, comfort and convenience to make you feel that what you want is what you need. That is the success story of America's best-selling vehicle for nearly four decades: to convince the market that want and need are the same.

I know I'm not alone in this not-need. "Daddy, I want a truck," ...Read more

Is U.S. auto market, with its F-150, Chevy Silverado, diesel's safe haven?

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- It's been a bad few years for the image of diesel engines.

Ever since the Volkswagen emissions scandal erupted in 2015, the idea of so-called clean diesel has taken a pounding, with a steady diet of new allegations accusing more automakers of trying to cheat emissions testing. Now, VW, which paid billions to settle civil and criminal...Read more

Distraction, drinking among causes for high traffic death toll

Automotive / Automotive News /

CHICAGO -- The traffic death toll in Chicago is growing, and the national count remains at historic highs, despite new car safety technology.

That means it's past time to slow down, stay sober and stop trying to multitask while you drive, according to traffic safety experts.

"We're really treading water in terms of roadway safety, which is ...Read more

Some early owners of Tesla's Model 3 are reporting quality problems. Do buyers care?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Mark Schey of Morristown, N.J., stepped into his garage a few mornings ago eager to hop inside his shiny new car -- the much desired and currently rare Tesla Model 3 electric sedan. The one with the 15-inch touchscreen on the bare-bones dash.

He flashed his electronic key card to unlatch the door, but nothing happened. He tried the iPhone app, ...Read more

Prius fix blamed for gas mileage plunge

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES--When Robert Enger took his Toyota Prius into a dealership for a safety recall, he didn't expect that his fuel economy would drop.

Just six months after buying the new 2013 Prius, Enger learned that the company was recalling it to fix the car's hybrid electrical system, which was overheating and frying itself. A technician plugged ...Read more

Auto review: How'd they make it street legal?

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- McLaren doesn't make a lot of cars -- about 3,300 in 2017 -- or a lot of models. But what it makes is magic.

Starting with the Sports Series, rising through the Super Series, and culminating in the Ultimate Series, the McLaren machines are highly intentional, purpose-built vehicles.

They are designed to do one thing well -- to ...Read more

How these Bay Area cities are paving the way for our autonomous car future

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Within two to three years, bicyclists in Emeryville and Los Gatos will be able to download an app to get more green lights at intersections. Patients at the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Medical Center will be hopping on an autonomous shuttle for appointments. And, within a few more years, BART riders in Dublin will have a ...Read more

Under the Hood: Dealer can't solve Equinox' low-speed problem

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q. The speed limit in our retirement area is 25 mph. With the cruise control set or not, my new 2018 Equinox surges back and forth like it's trying to shift to a lower speed. I took it back to the dealer, and they could not find any thing wrong with it. I went for a ride with their tech rep, and he was able to duplicate it the problem. They told...Read more

2018 Smart ForTwo Electric: The world's cutest convertible

Automotive / Automotive News /

In past reviews, I've written about the sublime pleasure of driving around Los Angeles in a convertible on a warm, balmy night.

Now I've found a way to make it even more sublime: Add silence.

The Smart ForTwo -- which you'll see in great numbers in any major European capital, but in small numbers in the United States -- is a suitcase-sized two...Read more

Review: Golf SportWagen offers a sportier alternative to some small crossovers

Automotive / Automotive News /

Since its introduction in 2015 replacing the Jetta wagon, the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, billed as a "sportier alternative to compact SUVs," has been a top choice for buyers who want a nimble, fun-to-drive vehicle with lots of space, versatility, comfort, and performance.

The Golf SportWagen is also beautifully designed. The appearance is ...Read more

A star is born: Volvo's Polestar1 pioneers electric-luxury brand; U.S. sales begin in 2019

Automotive / Automotive News /

Volvo's new Polestar brand for high-performance electric vehicles is racing toward the start of public sales, with its first car -- a 600-horsepower plug-in hybrid -- debuting shortly and two more all-electric vehicles in the works.

The brand expects to be selling the luxury coupe at standalone dealerships in major cities around the world in ...Read more

Larry Printz: Meet Jaguar's future bestseller: the 2018 E-Pace

Automotive / Automotive News /

Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons famously insisted that his products possess grace, pace and space, qualities that have long defined the brand, including its midsize luxury crossover, the F-Pace, which debuted in 2016. Since then it's become the brand's bestseller with sales up 89 percent in 2017. Now comes the F-Pace's compact companion, the E-...Read more

Why we fall in love and stay in love with certain car models

Automotive / Automotive News /

Car love.

For some, it's an obsession. One that rivals first love. Something that you never forget. And compare everything else to.

"I have learned that there is no known cure for this affliction other than death," said Burt Richmond, managing partner of Chicago's Collectors Car Garage. He gave his loyalty to a 1954 Commander Starlight after ...Read more

Known more for comedy and cars, Jay Leno gives a glimpse of his vast motorcycle collection

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- Jay Leno is as famous for his vintage cars as he is for his comedy, thanks to his long-running "Jay Leno's Garage" TV show.

But the former late-night host is just as passionate about motorcycles as he is about cars, and just as knowledgeable. Leno has one of the most interesting collections of two-wheeled machines, and recently ...Read more

Mark Phelan: Fiat Chrysler's Mopar parts brand cranks up global sales muscle

Automotive / Automotive News /

CHICAGO -- As demand grows for flashy customization of profitable vehicles including Jeeps and Ram trucks, Fiat Chrysler's Mopar parts business has morphed from its roots in the company's muscle-car past to a pillar of the automaker's global operation.

"Fiat Chrysler has established Mopar as a brand and a service outlet around the world," said ...Read more

Safety gains from heavier cars may be cited to cut MPG rules

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration is said to be reviewing the safety advantages of heavier cars -- a point of controversy among researchers -- as it considers lowering future automotive fuel economy targets by as much as 23 percent.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is evaluating the implications of weaker targets as the ...Read more

Why investors like Detroit automaker-UAW profit-sharing checks

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Factory workers at the Detroit Three auto plants pay close attention to annual earnings reports, perhaps as much as the big institutional investors and financial analysts.

Why? Because hourly employees whose contracts were negotiated by the UAW share the profits when companies do well and share the pain when profits dip.

Every ...Read more