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Less Than Half of Potentially Deadly Takata Airbags Replaced

Just 43% of the dangerous airbag units changed.

by on Nov.20, 2017

As many as 19 people are known to have died due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.

Despite a variety of efforts to inform owners of vehicles equipped with deadly Takata airbags to replace the defective components, only 43% of cars and trucks have been repaired.

According to a new report on the progress of the repairs, less than half of the more than 42 million vehicles and 69 million airbags subject to recalls have been fixed. The recalls began more than 15 years ago, but the most significant push began three years ago.

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On average, 75% of vehicles with recalls are repaired within 18 months of the action being issued.  (more…)

Honda Recalling 900K Odysseys Due to Seat Latches

Maker says 46 people injured due to seat issue.

by on Nov.20, 2017

Honda is recalling 900,000 Odyssey minivans due to issues with second-row seat latches.

Honda is recalling 900,000 Odyssey minivans, with about 800,000 of those in the United States, due to problems with the second-row seats.

According to the Japanese automaker the recall covers 2011–17 models. The second row seats can tip forward if they are not latched properly. The company doesn’t have a fix ready for the vehicles so it is advising owners on how to ensure the seats are properly latched.

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In fact, it has posted a detailed instruction sheet for how to make certain the seats are latched correctly and plans to add a video to supplement the instruction sheet.  (more…)

Volkswagen Bolstering Product Line-up in Brazil

Carmaker readying for emergence from economic doldrums.

by on Nov.20, 2017

Volkswagen officials unveiled the new Virtus sedan for the Brazilian market.

Brazil has been something of a conundrum for automakers.

It is one of the world’s largest automotive markets, but the country’s economy was in the doldrums until this year. So as carmakers waited for the country’s economy to come back to life, they settled for a long game that has pushed the return on investment out into the future.

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General Motors elected to hold on to its Brazilian business despite losses that would have seemed to have put the operations on the chopping block just like Opel. (more…)

Aston Aims for the Ragged Edge With Valkyrie AMR Pro

Only 25 track-ready hypercars to be produced.

by on Nov.17, 2017

Aston Martin's rapid pace of new models keeps going with the new track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro.

For a brand that often took years to simply update old models, Aston Martin has been extraordinarily busy lately, launching new products like the DB11 and its first-ever electric vehicle, the RapidE. It’s also working up a new hypercar, the Valkyrie, announced at the Geneva Motor Show last winter.

Now, the British marque revealed plans to produce a track-only version, the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, of which just 25 copies will be produced.

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“Valkyrie has always been about pushing the limits and redefining the possible,” said Aston CEO Andy Palmer. “The road car will set new benchmarks for performance, engineering and technology – a hypercar in the truest sense – and with the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro those limits will be pushed further still.” (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Toyota Corolla iM

Reliability and functionality hallmarks of new iM.

by on Nov.17, 2017

The Toyota Corolla iM is another of more than 800,000 hatchbacks sold last year.

The Toyota Corolla was one of the key building blocks of the auto giant’s great success during the past 50 years.

The fact remains the Corolla, even after half a century, is a best seller around the world and one of the most popular vehicles ever built. Millions of Corollas are still on the road and its dependability and durability have reinforced its value over the years for all kinds of buyers.

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But Toyota also has made the Corolla the model of its philosophy of continuous improvement, helping to keep it attractive for new customers. For example, one of the latest iterations of the Corolla is as a sporty hatchback – the Corolla iM.  (more…)

Tesla’s New Semi Truck Meets the Hype

Truck travels 500 miles fully loaded on a single charge.

by on Nov.17, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk shows off two version of the company's new semi truck.

Elon Musk’s mind-blowing, if oft-delayed semi-truck finally took center stage and if the numbers Tesla’s CEO tossed out are true, it’s a game changer.

“It blows my mind and I think it’ll blow yours,” he said after two models arrived as adoring Tesla fans screamed and shouted in delight.

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The new truck, which features a dramatically designed cab that puts the driver in the center, will travel 500 miles on a single charge. This range comes with the truck fully loaded at 80,000 pounds, driving highway speeds, Musk noted. It also comes with a 1-million mile guarantee.  (more…)

Mazda Gives Sneak Peek at Mazda6 Before LA Auto Show

Japanese maker gives flagship sedan a makeover.

by on Nov.16, 2017

Mazda provided a sneak peek of the new Mazda6 debuting at the LA Auto Show later this month.

Although crossovers, sport-utes and trucks are all the rage, Mazda is looking to ensure its sedan loyalists are having their needs met with a restyled Mazda6 hitting the stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

The company provided a peek at the exterior and interior of the company’s flagship sedan, which is also known as the Mazda Atenza in Japan.

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The development team’s goal for this round of updates, the third since the model was fully redesigned in 2012, was to enhance the daily lives of people who love cars, incorporating premium details and new engineering concepts and technologies based on Mazda’s human-centered design philosophy, Mazda noted.  (more…)

VW Spending $11.8B to Meet China’s EV Mandates

German maker playing catch up with other companies.

by on Nov.16, 2017

VW plans to have two dozen fully electric vehicles, like this I.D. Crozz concept, in production.

To satisfy tough demands of China’s political leaders, Volkswagen AG has announced plans to spend $11.8 billion by 2025 to develop and build all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for Chinese customers.

China is by far Volkswagen’s largest single market and Volkswagen AG and Audi AG, intends to launch 15 of the so-called new energy vehicles models during the next two to three years as it rushes to meet the demands of the Chinese government, which is moving to address the discontent about pollution in China’s cities.

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General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG have all bowed to the pressure from Chinese authorities in one form or another to build more electric vehicles for the Chinese market. In addition, Tesla is negotiating to build a plant in China.  (more…)

BYD Opening New Truck Plant in Canada

EV maker owned, in part, by legendary Warren Buffett.

by on Nov.16, 2017

BYD is building a second facility in North America to go with its U.S. headquarters building in Los Angeles: a truck plant in Ontario, Canada.

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co. is preparing to launch its second venture in North America — a factory building electric trucks in Ontario, Canada.

The Chinese electric vehicle maker has already opened a small factory in Lancaster, California, just outside of Los Angeles to build electric buses for the American market. The plans for the plant in Canada anticipate a surge in demand for electric trucks from municipalities and businesses, BYD Canada officials said.

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The goal is for BYD to open the plant and hire about 40 people to start, BYD Canada spokesman Ted Dowling told Bloomberg.  (more…)

Auto Loan Delinquencies Rose Last Quarter

Auto financiers loading up on subprime loans to keep boom going.

by on Nov.16, 2017

Auto loan delinquencies rose slightly during the third quarter as finance companies continue loading up subprime loans.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported this week that auto loan delinquencies increased during the third quarter and noted that auto finance companies continued to load up subprime loans as they labored to keep the boom in car sales afloat again this year.

The increase in auto-loan delinquencies was a rather modest 2.4% in the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with 2.3% in the second quarter ending June 30, according to the Center for Microeconomic Data’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit.

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The report also said that total consumer debt increased by $116 billion or 0.9% to $12.96 trillion in the third quarter of 2017.  (more…)