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Auto review: '23 Santa Cruz competes in small truck market

Automotive / Automotive News /

As small trucks are becoming more popular, manufacturers are on their tippy toes trying to conquer every last consumer while packing their pickups with lots of bang for the buck.

In Grasso’s Garage this week, Hyundai delivers its new-to-market Santa Cruz. Our Limited AWD Hampton Gray tester was really an enjoyable experience. It sits low to ...Read more

Nathan Leach-Proffer/Lexus/TNS/TNS

Auto review: The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is good, but is it good enough?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Naysayers have criticized Toyota and Lexus for not getting into the electric vehicle space as quickly as some of its rivals. Yes, EV market share in the U.S. nearly doubled last year to 5.6 percent from 3.1 percent. But that still leaves nearly 95% of U.S. consumers choosing cars powered by gasoline. So, it seems that Toyota does have time to ...Read more

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Tesla turns Twitter into $44 billion communications apparatus

Automotive / Automotive News /

Before Elon Musk was cutting deep at Twitter, inspiring legions of Silicon Valley bosses to take more unsparing approaches to running their companies, the chief executive officer of Tesla swung the axe on the car company’s small public relations team.

It was late 2019, and Tesla had just steered through a rough patch of production hell, ...Read more

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Are you irked by slow drivers in the left lane of the highway? This Florida bill is for you

Automotive / Automotive News /

We’ve all seen them: the drivers who cruise in the left lane on the highway, too often driving below the speed limit.

Now a Florida lawmaker wants to alleviate this nuisance by making it easier for police to ticket errant drivers.

Currently, state law says motorists in the left lane on a highway have to move over if they know, or reasonably ...Read more

Henry Payne/The Detroit News/TNS

Auto review: The N-spired Hyundai Elantra N is a tattooed terror

Automotive / Automotive News /

HELL, Michigan — Hell has frozen over, but the roads are clear.

So I took my 2023 Hyundai Elantra N tester out for exercise on my favorite Michigan curves. On summer tires. In the middle of February. Hyundai’s hellion is more proof that pocket rockets are the best all-around cars in autodom. Though I may, ahem, put all-seasons on the N were...Read more

Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post/TNS

Thefts of Kias, Hyundais in Colorado chase away auto insurance companies

Automotive / Automotive News /

With car thefts spiking in Colorado the past few years, three auto insurance carriers are now declining to cover certain vehicles, leaving at-risk owners with fewer options.

Allstate, State Farm and Progressive are passing over new owners of some Kia and Hyundai vehicles, as thieves steal those cars at higher rates. In 2021, Colorado held the ...Read more


Motormouth: Repair bill sticker shock

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I took my 2007 Lexus LS 460 to the dealer when the "check engine" light came on. They diagnosed it as a misfire on cylinder No. 4. After investigating, they attributed the misfire to a wire that had been chewed by a mouse. I was told a new wiring harness would cost $1,200 but they could repair the wire for $400. I authorized the repair. Their...Read more

Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images North America/TNS

Tesla accused in consumer suit of monopolizing repairs, parts

Automotive / Automotive News /

Tesla Inc. was sued by customers who claim they’ve been forced to pay exorbitant prices and endure long waits to repair their cars due to the company’s monopolization of replacement parts and maintenance and repair services.

The antitrust class action was filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court on behalf of Virginia M. Lambrix, who ...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Deaths, burns, brain injuries, broken limbs: The human cost of distracted driving is mounting

Automotive / Automotive News /

Highway fatalities are on the rise again — 46,000 in the U.S. in 2022, up 22%, according to numbers released last week. How many of those deaths involved distracted driving?

"It's much bigger than the data show," said Bruce Landsberg, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Data collection methods are so riddled with ...Read more


Jury rejects lawsuit over alleged Toyota Camry design defect, stinky bacteria growth in AC system

Automotive / Automotive News /

A Miami jury on Friday cleared Toyota Motor Corp. of charges that design flaws in 2012-14 Camrys caused mold to grow in the cars’ air conditioning systems that could potentially sicken drivers.

Toyota was absolved of all counts in the class action lawsuit that was initiated in July 2018. Class action status was granted in the case in December...Read more

Ford Motor Co./TNS

Ford recalls 18 F-150 Lightnings over battery issue

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford Motor Co. said Friday that it is recalling 18 F-150 Lightning pickup trucks due to a battery cell manufacturing defect.

The recall follows a five-week production shutdown at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn where the electric truck is made. The automaker said Friday that production is slated to resume Monday as previously ...Read more

Autos service satisfaction drops for first time in 28 years from EVs

Automotive / Automotive News /

Customer satisfaction in vehicle service dropped year-over-year for the first time in nearly three decades from the growing number of all-electric vehicles on the roads, according to J.D. Power's 2023 U.S. Customer Service Index.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus topped the list for luxury brands in the study of more than 64,000 owners of 2020-22 ...Read more

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What's happening to the color of LA cars? Inside the obsession with muted earth tones

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES — Flat. Muddy. Neutral. Desaturated.

Even wet putty.

There are many descriptions for a new style of car paint that has become popular in recent years, but none quite captures the essence of the know-it-when-you-see-it look.

The hues are muted earth tones — grays, tans, browns and others — that lack the light-reflecting ...Read more

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS

Carmakers can kiss pre-pandemic combustion car sales goodbye

Automotive / Automotive News /

There are growing signs that global auto sales will continue their comeback from the pandemic, chip shortage and other supply chain snarls. As the recovery takes shape, it’s becoming clearer that sales of internal combustion vehicles are unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic levels.

Calling peaks is generally a no-win endeavor. The call ...Read more

Eric Perry/Ford Motor Co./Ford Motor Co./TNS

US electric cars set record with almost 300-mile average range

Automotive / Automotive News /

American drivers like everything supersized: spacious SUVs, hulking pickup trucks, the wide open road. It only makes sense, now that everything is going electric, that they also demand the world’s biggest batteries.

The average electric car sold in the U.S. is fast approaching 300 miles between charges, according to a Bloomberg analysis of ...Read more


Auto review: Flying low around Thermal Raceway in the winged Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Automotive / Automotive News /

PALM SPRINGS, California — The quiet desert around this small, California resort town would seem an unlikely place to showcase the ferocious cutting edge of automotive performance. In early February, I was an hour north of Palm Springs at the King of the Hammers off-road festival testing something entirely novel: a competition-focused, sand-...Read more

Clarence Tabb Jr./The Detroit News/TNS

Meet the chief engineer behind BrightDrop, GM's newest brand

Automotive / Automotive News /

WARREN, Michigan — From the moment she started her career at General Motors Co., Kathy Gillespie never feared the unknown.

Instead, she sought it out. She wanted the difficult engineering jobs on systems covering the vehicle. She wanted to lead whatever programs came as an opportunity, from performance to electric vehicles. And top on her ...Read more


Larry Printz: After decades of teasing, Volkswagen's ID.Buzz hits the streets

Automotive / Automotive News /

Volkswagen has been teasing us with a new version of their iconic Type 2 Microbus for 22 years. The first concept debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2001 and was powered by a gas engine. Then, in 2011, the company trotted out another Microbus concept vehicle named the Bulli, followed by the Budd-E in 2016. The ...Read more

Marc Grasso/Boston Herald/TNS

Auto review: Volvo S60 keeps getting better and better

Automotive / Automotive News /

As our favorite carmaker steps into the spotlight today looking for another fantastic review, it has an uphill battle on its hands: It's not easy to exceed the high standard it's already set. But Volvo is up to the challenge.

This week in Grasso’s Garage, it’s the S60, Volvo's entry-level sedan. Although it's on the smaller side, and supply...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Column: Making art -- and still making the mortgage -- at a Hollywood auto body shop

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES — The first thing I noticed about the art piece near the corner of Fountain and Western avenues south of Hollywood was the color.

It was a collage of painted planks representing every shade of Southern California weather, cloudy white and misty blue next to rainy-day slate gray and the deep cerulean of midsummer. It reminded me of...Read more