Archive for the ‘Jeep’ Category

FCA Continuing Diesel Settlement Talks with DOJ, CARB

Discussions centering on potential penalties for automaker.

by on Apr.11, 2018

The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is part of the group of vehicles that allegedly used a cheat device to beat emissions tests.

Despite repeatedly denying any wrongdoing, Fiat Chrysler is in talks with the U.S. Justice Department and California Air Resources Board to reach a settlement about accusations it used illegal used software to beat diesel emissions tests.

The discussions, which according to multiple reports, are very far along, address allegations that FCA used the software, in a manner similar to Volkswagen’s diesel testing cheat device, for 104,000 U.S. diesel vehicles – mostly light trucks – sold since 2014.

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According to Reuters, Ken Feinberg, an adviser in the process, at a federal court hearing in San Francisco revealed that government lawyers and Fiat Chrysler were swapping documents as part of the settlement process, which was moving “at a rather swift pace.” (more…)

Popular Ford Escape Flunks IIHS Crash Test

Five of Seven small SUVs earn good ratings.

by on Apr.04, 2018

The Ford Escape received the worst score yet among small SUVs in the IIHS small overlap test.

Ford Motor Co. is setting sales records with its broad SUV fleet, but a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety could lead potential buyers to question the benefits of one of the maker’s most popular ute offerings.

The compact Ford Escape was the only of seven small SUVs to receive a “Poor” rating in the latest IIHS test for occupant protection, though the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport managed an only slightly better “Marginal” rating in the small overlap front crash test – which is designed to simulate what happens when a vehicle clips a pole, a tree or the corner of an oncoming vehicle.

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Ford’s shortfall reflects a curious decision made with the update of the 2017 model-year, according to officials with the insurance trade group. The automaker upgraded the driver’s side of the Escape, which passed the small overlap test. But not the passenger side which was badly compromised and likely would have resulted in serious injuries if a human, rather than a crash dummy, was in the seat.

(more…)

Jeep, VW Poised to Launch New Pickups — Maybe in NYC

Could two new concepts debut this week in New York?

by on Mar.26, 2018

The Jeep Sandstorm concept is going to the annual Easter Safari — it's a truck.

Everyone knows pickup trucks are a big deal and a couple of new ones from Jeep and Volkswagen are apparently coming closer to reality.

First off is the Jeep pickup truck built off the new Jeep Wrangler platform. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. officials confirmed that the Jeep pick-up truck was under development a long time ago. In fact, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne predicted Jeep could sell as many as 100,000 annually once production gets rolling.

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But up until now FCA has been a little vague about when it might actually enter the showrooms. (more…)

FCA Settles Lawsuit Over Star Trek Star’s Death

Parents claimed carmaker negligence led to fatal Jeep rollaway.

by on Mar.26, 2018

Actor Anton Yelchin was best known for his role as a young Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek series of movies.

(This story has been updated to note an initial recall notice had been sent to Yelchin prior to the incident that cost his life. He had not yet had the vehicle repaired.)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reached a settlement with the parents of Anton Yelchin due to the unexpected death of the film star best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek film reboot.

The actor, then 27, died two years ago when his Jeep Grand Cherokee unexpectedly rolled away, crushing him against the gate on his suburban Los Angeles home. The carmaker was just beginning a recall of 1.1 million vehicles due to defective electronics shifters and an initial recall alert, evidence showed had reached Yelchin. But a final notice did not arrive until a week after his death.

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Specific details of the settlement with former Russian figure skaters Victor and Irina Yelchin were not released after the case was settled this week. The case was handled by Los Angeles Superior Court. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Hyundai Kona

Putting a little crossover through its paces on the Big Island.

by on Mar.26, 2018

The Hyundai Kona is one of the smallest of the small CUVs - but only on the outside.

So much for palm trees swaying in a sunny, South Pacific breeze. The wind is blowing, all right, but the normally desert-like Kona Coast is anything but warm and dry as we head out for a day’s drive across the Big Island of Hawaii.

Actually, we’re just fine with that, as it gives us a chance to put the new 2019 Hyundai Kona through its paces as we explore one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. By the time we wrap up we’ll experience just about every sort of weather one can imagine short of snow – and at the top of Saddle Road, which cuts between the currently dormant Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, even a blizzard is possible.

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We’ve spent nearly 12 hours in the air flying to, yes, Kona, Hawaii to see just how well the new Kona crossover lives up our expectations. Hyundai was slow to recognize one of the most dramatic shifts in the automotive market, the rapid shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and crossover-utility vehicles. As it rolls into dealer showrooms across the U.S. in the coming weeks, it becomes the Korean brand’s third utility vehicle, joining the compact Tucson and midsize Santa Fe – with an assortment of others, including the hydrogen-powered Nexo, to follow.

(more…)

Jeep Design, Mopar Letting It All Hang Out for Moab

Seven new concepts ready for Easter Safari.

by on Mar.20, 2018

The Jeep Sandstorm concept is one of seven that Jeep will be taking to the 52nd Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari.

Jeep is making its yearly trek out to Utah for the Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari with seven concept utes in tow that reveal what the brand and its Mopar aftermarket sibling can do with a Jeep.

The brand has been bringing out concept vehicles for nearly a decade, seeking to inspire and be inspired by the thousands of enthusiasts who flock to this event — this year is the 52nd annual edition — to show off the capability of their Jeeps and learn from others how to make what they’ve got even better.

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“Pushing the limit is something the Jeep brand is no stranger to and these seven new, exciting and capable concept vehicles are the latest example of that,” said Mike Manley, head of Jeep Brand, FCA. (more…)

Jeep’s Cult-Like Following Officially Rewarded

Brand honored for ability inspired loyalty.

by on Feb.27, 2018

The Jeep Wrangler's history and loyal fans helped the brand secure the 2017 Cult Brand honor.

Jeep has long had some of the most devoted fans in the auto business and their loyalty and attachment to the brand have earned the brand a designation that places it in unique company.

It has been recognized as a 2017 “Cult Brand” Honoree at the annual “The Gathering” by the Society of Cult Brands. Jeep is the first and only automotive brand ever recognized by the association.

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Besides Jeep, the other honorees include Beats by Dr. Dre, Gatorade, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Snickers, PlayStation, Vans and charity water.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Said to be Exiting Diesel Business on Car Side

Plan reportedly set to be announced in June.

by on Feb.26, 2018

FCA appears ready phase out diesels in all but pickups and Jeeps.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to end production of diesel-powered passenger cars by 2022, according to a newly published report, though it left open the possibility the automaker will continue offering the high-mileage technology in some of its trucks.

The plan is set to be announced in June as part of the broader five-year strategy the carmaker will unveil – about the same time it is expected to outline plans to replace the soon-to-retire CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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A phase-out of diesel production by FCA would not be entirely unexpected in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal sales of the technology has slumped in many markets, especially in Europe. And regulators in many places, including the city of Paris, are now considering diesel bans. Porsche last week announced its own plan to phase-out the technology. (more…)

New Backup Technology Takes Safety Several Steps Forward, Says IIHS Study

Rear autobraking can prevent a wide range of crashes.

by on Feb.22, 2018

IIHS said Subaru and Cadillac had the best rear autobraking systems of the versions tested.

Motorists risk getting into crashes anytime they move their vehicle, including backing into or out of a parking spot. While rear crashes are less likely to result in injuries or death, they can still generate significant repair costs.

That’s where an assortment of new rear crash prevention technologies are coming into play. These cover a range of alternatives, including rear-facing cameras, sonar parking sensors, radar-based cross-traffic alert, and rear auto-braking systems that can not only detect a potential obstacle but also prevent the car from hitting it, even if the driver doesn’t react quickly enough.

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“Let’s face it. Some days we all could use help backing up, whether that’s in a garage with pillars that obscure your view, in a crowded mall parking lot or on a busy downtown street,” said David Zuby, the chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which, for the first time, has evaluated and rated the most advanced of these systems, rear autobraking, on six 2017 models. (more…)

FCA Shuffling Top Execs as Marchionne’s Retirement Looms

Changes in top posts has some wondering who will take CEO's post.

by on Feb.06, 2018

Dodge passenger car boss Tim Kuniskis with the Dodge Demon during a background briefing.

With the choice of a new CEO to replace the soon-to-retire Sergio Marchionne looming ahead for the company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. made a series of executive changes aimed at filling key changes.

Tim Kuniskis was named Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands globally. Kuniskis, a 26-year veteran of FCA, most recently served as head of passenger car brands in North America, which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and SRT.

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Prior to that role, he held a series of positions in U.S. sales business centers as well as in the Dodge and Fiat brands.  (more…)

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