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By on October 24, 2016

2016 Fiat 500L, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Consumer Reports released its new car reliability ratings today, and one company should take a long hard look at itself in the Italian-American mirror.

The annual report covers brand reliability and includes a list of the 10 best, and worst, vehicles in terms of reliability. While there are some predicable favorites, Buick managed to hit an unexpected home run and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla surprised everyone with reports of mechanical issues stemming from — get this — the electronics.  Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

Ford F-450 exhaust (Facebook)

If the dome light in Shelley Shields’ Ford F-450 Super Duty stopped working, she could easily have read a book by the hellish glow emanating from underneath her pickup.

The Cochrane, Alberta driver returned the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel-powered vehicle shortly after purchase after noticing flames shooting from the tailpipe and the exhaust glowing like a certain part of Amsterdam, Truck Trend reports. Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

CarMax in Raleigh, Image: Ildar Sagdejev [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0]/Wikimedia Commons

When is a completed inspection report not a completed inspection report? When it’s issued by CarMax, a California appeals court has ruled.

The court found the country’s largest used vehicle retailer in violation of a state law requiring detailed inspection checklists for certified used vehicles, Automotive News reports. The ruling, which stems from a lawsuit filed by a customer who claimed CarMax sold him a “certified” lemon, shines light on the retailer’s dodgy vehicle inspection practices. Read More >

By on October 24, 2016


It was called The Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958 and it was sponsored by Almer Stillwell Monroney, the Senator from Oklahoma who preferred the colloquial nickname “Mike” and whose other legislative priority in 1958 was to create the FAA.

We owe Mike Monroney a lot. He was from that long-discredited and long-forgotten breed of old privileged men who believed there was such a thing as the public interest and that they had a genuine duty to act in that public interest. As with Rudolf Diesel, history has paid him the supreme compliment of omitting capitalization — it’s common for “monroney” to be used in correspondence or business as a mere noun denoting the window sticker in a new car.

We take the monroney for granted nowadays. There are few of us left alive who can remember the days when a car did not have its price and equipment fully and forthrightly glued to the inside of its rear passenger window. In fact, very few of us take the window sticker at all seriously. Everybody knows that in the modern car market the dealer invoice is the “real” sticker, unless you’re talking about a Ferrari or something where the MSRP is just a starting point for further discussions based on one’s history with the marque, the dealership, and/or Goldman Sachs. But the protection and information offered by that label in the window is real, it is meaningful, and it is absolutely critical to any remotely ethical business transaction between the dealer and the consumer. Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

Vision Future Luxury BMW 2014

BMW is resurrecting a lengthy and luxurious V12-powered monster to take revenge on Mercedes-Benz for having the audacity to make an opulent flagship like the S-Class Coupe.

Germany’s Automobilwoche — Automobile Week if you don’t speak Deutsche — is verifying rumors that BMW will be returning with a new 8 Series. Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

road rage (zlady/Flickr)

Duck. And. Cover.

In these politically correct times, where microaggressions and mansplaining — perhaps even manspreading — can ruin a career faster than you can say “culturally appropriated Halloween costume,” Hyundai has done the unthinkable. The automaker conducted a study to find out which gender fares better when it comes to anger behind the wheel, and the fairer sex lost.

Divisive? Perhaps, but the study also reveals the many things that unite us all. Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

ford logo

Public disdain for small cars means Ford is going to take U.S. production behind the barn and shoot it.

That, Toyota practices good corporate citizenry, Honda worries it can’t build enough CR-Vs, and BMW Films returns with a new action-drenched short starring Clive Owen and the new 5 Series… after the break! Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

Freightliner Crew Cab Ambulance Nova Scotia EHS“I Drove My Newborn Son Home From The Hospital In A Minivan Like A Real Father Ought To,” the headline was supposed to read. But deliveries, whether of the UPS or child variety, do not always go as expected. As a result, the all-important first drive does not always occur as planned, either.

Nine days ago, with Mrs. Cain one week past due to deliver a new baby boy, she asked her mother about driving over from Prince Edward Island to our Nova Scotia home before, rather than after, the baby was to be born. With Grammie quickly installed in the spare room, Mrs. Cain texted me from elsewhere in GCBC Towers at 2:15 p.m. the next day to say we had to leave for the hospital in her mom’s Hyundai Elantra, leaving our Odyssey with the house’s remaining occupants for child seat and canine purposes.

But that Elantra journey to the local hospital had nothing to do with the vehicle in which the new baby boy would experience his first vehicular experience. We didn’t make it to the local children’s and maternity hospital. But at 3:20, we had a new baby boy whose first drive took place in a Freightliner. No word of a lie. Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

After banishing Volkswagen Group diesels from the American marketplace, the Environmental Protection Agency is taking its sweet time approving oil burners from other automakers.

So slow is the EPA in providing regulatory thumbs-ups to 2017 model year diesel vehicles, one automaker is re-thinking its plans for the U.S., Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

1979 Audi 500 in Colorado junkyard, RH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Before the Audi 5000 (the 100 or 200 outside of the US market) became notorious for playing the lead role in the first unintended acceleration fiasco (technically, the Ford “park-to-reverse” fiasco involved unintended shifting, not acceleration), it was known as an expensive, luxurious German car purchased by a handful of car-savvy California orthodontists. Sales of the first-generation 5000 began in the 1978 model year, so this high-mileage ’79 is a rare one. I spotted this lil’ beige devil in a Denver-area self-service yard last week. Read More >

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