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By on July 27, 2016

2013-Tesla-Model-S-Rear

The National Transportation Safety Board didn’t assign any blame in its initial report into the fatal May 7 crash of a Tesla Model S, but did confirm new details.

The agency claims Joshua Brown’s vehicle was in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash, and was travelling above the 65 mile per hour speed limit before colliding with a tractor-trailer, according to Reuters. Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

high_macan_gts_2015_porsche_ag-4

This must be getting boring for the guys and gals in Stuttgart.

For the 12th year in a row, Porsche ranked first in J.D. Power’s new vehicle appeal study, but other automakers are closing in on its crown.

This year’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study found that driver-assist safety features cause drivers to fall in love with their vehicles. They also bore friends and co-workers by talking about it all the time. Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

AirbagMain

Automakers are busy recalling tens of millions of vehicles to fix potentially deadly Takata airbags, but the fix won’t solve the problem, a former Takata employee says.

The scandal-plagued airbag manufacturer is using the same ammonium nitrate propellant in its replacement inflators, said Mark Ellie, Takata’s former engineering manager, in a report by WGME. Because of this, he claims the danger isn’t gone — it’s just delayed. Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Exterior Front 3/4. Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

As recently as March 1, 2016 — on behalf of February 2016’s sales results — Fiat Chrysler US LLC touted a 71-month streak of year-over-year U.S. new vehicle sales improvements. Although FCA US stopped communicating the length of that streak by the beginning of the second-quarter, the company’s sales reports suggested that the streak through the end of June 2016 measured 75 months.

Figures released by FCA yesterday reveal that the streak of year-over-year improvements actually ended at 40 months in September 2013, when an originally reported 1-percent increase, it turns out, was actually a 3-percent decrease. On two other occasions during this 75-month span, FCA claimed sales had improved, year-over-year. August 2015’s 2-percent increase was actually a 1-percent decrease. Then, only two months ago, while FCA originally claimed a 1-percent increase, sales actually fell 7 percent.

The abbreviated streak, however, is only one side of the equation. (And it increasingly appears to be the least of FCA’s worries, as a grand jury has now been empaneled.) FCA’s sales reporting methods, highly questionable on both the retail and fleet side, frequently resulted in significant overstatements and, FCA claims, understatements, as well. Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

1998 Ford Ranger silver

In every hobby, there is a phenomenon where acquisition or consumption of everything is the essence of the passion. Car nuts certainly can relate, as there are those who must collect, install, and promote every possible tuner part on their cars. The well-off car enthusiast may collect every iteration of a particular classic car. For golfers, there are those (known as “club whores”) who obsess over every detail of every golf club, and buy every possible one the day they are released. They may sell off the pieces that don’t fit their game to fund their habits.

Photographers are no different. The drive to buy yet another lens, tripod, body, flash, or whatever is all-consuming. Here, we have an example of an obviously talented shooter using his skills to sell off a well-used truck, likely to fund his glass habit.

Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles knows what models bring home the bacon, so there won’t be many corporate tears shed over its decision to axe the Chrysler 200.

Yesterday, the automaker announced $1.48 billion in funding to retool its Sterling Heights, Michigan assembly plant, paving the way for the next generation of Ram trucks. To free up space for lucrative pickup production, FCA just sent the 200 on the long walk to the gallows. Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

Skoda Octavia VRS

Czech vehicle names and badging are piling up at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, adding fuel to the rumors of a stateside Škoda launch.

On July 14, Škoda Auto filed a trademark application for VRS, which is the performance variant of the brand’s Octavia lineup. If the Czechs do invade the American marketplace, they might bring something fun with them.  Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

Ford Transit Courier, Image: Ford of Europe

Have you ever sat in a Ford Transit Connect and said to yourself, “Gosh, I like this, but it’s just so darn big!“? Well, if Ford’s latest trademark filings are any indication, the Blue Oval might soon have exactly what you’re looking for.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Ford filed trademark applications for two names — “Transit Courier” and “Courier” — on July 22, 2016, hinting at possible Fiesta-based, B-segment vans for North America.

Read More >

By on July 26, 2016

2016 Ford Focus RS

Customers are having their 2016 Ford Focus RS orders cancelled, and the automaker is giving differing reasons as to why, depending on who you ask.

Ford is telling dealers and buyers who placed orders for Ford’s hottest hatch that they’ll receive 2017 models instead. This, for a model Ford said it could build as many as customers wanted. Read More >

By on July 26, 2016

2016 Dodge Charger R/T, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

In response to media reports, a lawsuit, and federal investigations into potential sales figure tampering, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is changing the way it records sales.

This means that the automaker’s much-touted 75-month sales streak is dead. FCA admits that under the new method, its year-over-year monthly sales gains ended in September 2013. Ad copy is likely being rewritten as you read this. Read More >

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