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Suit: Tesla, other automakers used illegal foreign workers to build plants

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Widening earlier claims of immigration fraud at a Tesla factory, a recently unsealed whistleblower suit says several other major automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen, illegally used foreign construction workers to build their U.S. factories.

The charges expand on an investigation by The Mercury News last ...Read more

General Motors workers on strike at assembly plant in Ontario

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Workers at a General Motors plant in Ontario where the popular Chevrolet Equinox compact SUV is made went on strike late Sunday as negotiators failed to reach agreement on a new contract.

The union, Unifor Local 88, posted an announcement on its website about the strike:

"Your master bargaining committee has not been successful in ...Read more

Mark Phelan: Ford Ranger Raptor breaks cover in Australian desert tests

Automotive / Automotive News /

Can you say "Ford Ranger Raptor?"

Now try it with an Australian accent: "No worries, mate. I'll pick you up for the barbie in me Ranger Raptor. G'day."

That's as close as Ford's legions of American truck fans may to get to the Blue Oval's latest road warrior for the foreseeable future. Ford has announced it will sell a high-performance Raptor ...Read more

Should utilities build charging stations for electric cars?

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- Faced with deadlines to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road, states are being asked to decide whether utility companies can build electric vehicle charging stations -- and pass on the cost to their customers.

Building more charging stations could help alleviate "range anxiety," the fear of running out of charge ...Read more

Driverless-car rules loosen: US regulator stops demanding safety assessments

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Go for it! In essence, that's the Trump administration's new directive on driverless-car development.

Under that directive, automakers and technology companies will be asked to voluntarily submit safety assessments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, but they don't have to do it.

And states are being advised to use a ...Read more

Tesla should let drivers use Autopilot only on some roads, federal panel indicates

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- The driver of a Tesla sedan who died in a 2016 crash while using Autopilot relied too much on the car's technology, and sensing a driver's hands on the wheel is not an effective way to tell whether the driver is paying attention, a federal safety panel indicated Tuesday.

Also, makers of semiautonomous vehicles could prevent the ...Read more

Global executive picks LA as world center for urban mobility

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- John Rossant is founder and chairman of the nonprofit NewCities foundation and creator of LA CoMotion, a big urban mobility conference and festival that's attracting an international crowd to the city Nov. 15-19.

A former journalist who has organized and produced conferences around the world, including the World Economic Forum in...Read more

People are still wary of self-driving cars, but reluctance drops after they try driver-assist features, study says

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Most people still say they wouldn't buy a self-driving vehicle, but they become far more open to the idea after they try cars with automatic driver-assist features.

That's according to a survey conducted by global consulting firm AlixPartners.

Only 18 percent of those surveyed reported personal experience with driver-assist ...Read more

Under the Hood: Lots to consider with frequently stalling truck

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I hope you can solve my problem. I have a 1994 Dodge Dakota with 190,000 miles on it. The engine has never given me a problem until recently.

It starts great and, at the beginning of each drive, runs nice and smooth. But, for some reason, after driving about 10-15 miles, it stalls. It usually happens when I stop at a stop sign or when I let ...Read more

Auto review: Chevy's Colorado ZR2 is a big boy truck toy

Automotive / Automotive News /

In the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet has fielded a purpose-built pickup truck that boasts a number of exclusives.

It's the only midsize truck available with a diesel engine, the only one to come standard with true "off-road" suspension and the only one with locking front and rear differentials.

So, who cares?

Chevrolet engineers made a splash at ...Read more

Auto review: Honda's CRF250 Rally: Bigger, better than it looks

Automotive / Automotive News /

The last couple of years have seen interesting developments in the "adventure riding" motorcycle segment. It's the fastest-growing niche and seems to be attracting increasing numbers of older riders.

But both beginners and older riders may have issues with the size, weight and power of the class-leading adventure bikes, which often have 1000cc ...Read more

Trump self-driving car policy is said to alter course from Obama's

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration will alter the course set by the Obama administration on autonomous vehicle policy after industry raised concerns about elements of that initial proposal.

The revised guidance -- to be unveiled Tuesday in Michigan by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao -- drops a proposal issued under President Barack ...Read more

Motorcycle maker Royal Enfield gearing up for North American sales from Milwaukee

Automotive / Automotive News /

MILWAUKEE -- Its North American sales are still minuscule, not even a blip on the radar screen of Harley-Davidson Inc., but motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield is settling into the U.S. marketplace via Milwaukee, Harley's hometown.

A year after opening its flagship North American dealership in the city, India-based Royal Enfield says it's ...Read more

Mark Phelan: Automakers relieved that millennials are finally dreaming of big SUVS

Automotive / Automotive News /

Get ready for a surge in family-SUV sales as millennials start snapping up the practical vehicles like they used to buy glow sticks before a rave.

The prospect makes automakers ecstatic. For years, the conventional wisdom held that millennials -- at 80 million, the biggest generational group in the U.S. population -- didn't care about cars, ...Read more

Public dumps on Trump plan to reconsider automobile fuel economy standards

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hurricanes. Wildfires. Heat waves.

Asthma. Bronchitis. Emphysema. Lung cancer. War.

Those specters and more were raised Wednesday at a public hearing in Washington by opponents of a Trump administration plan to consider cutbacks in pollution and fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks.

Dozens of people -- ...Read more

Nissan reveals a new Leaf, putting pressure on electric car rivals

Automotive / Automotive News /

The battle for control of the small but increasingly competitive electric vehicle market got a little hotter Tuesday night, as Japanese car company Nissan unveiled a new Leaf with a stronger battery and longer range -- at a price well below rival electric cars.

At a glitzy ceremony in Tokyo, broadcast live on the internet, Nissan executives ...Read more

Under the Hood: Dash light turns on during day's second drive

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 1996 Acura TL 2.5 with about 89,000 miles on it. At the beginning of the first drive of the day, all of the dash lights glow and then disappear. After driving any distance -- 5, 25, 100 miles -- and then shutting the engine off and then starting it again for the trip home, all the dash lights come on, per usual, but the anti-lock ...Read more

Auto review: 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid clears the way for electrification

Automotive / Automotive News /

Being first to innovate the market does not mean best. Honda launched the first hybrid in the U.S. in 1999 with the two-seat, three-door, odd-pod Insight. Toyota followed with the more practical Prius. The Insight was discontinued in 2016, and the Prius is the best-selling hybrid in the world.

Honda is now the first automaker to offer a ...Read more

Auto review: 2018 Toyota Camry is anything but boring

Automotive / Automotive News /

Neighbors flagged it down in the middle of the street. Friends asked for a ride. The teenager in the parking lot stopped and gaped. "Is that the 2018?" It was not the latest Porsche turning heads, nor was it some high-revving supercar or ultra-luxe land yacht -- it was the 2018 Toyota Camry.

It's not the typical head turner, yet America's best-...Read more

Auto review: Jaguar adds pep to entry-level F-Type

Automotive / Automotive News /

Jaguar Land Rover, taking a page from the European luxury car playbook, is offering increasingly attractive performance versions of its entry-level sports cars.

One of those was on display at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the recent Monterey Car Week in California, an event that culminates at Pebble Beach with the famed Concours D'Elegance. ...Read more