Posts By: Jeff Puthuff
Currently, there are numerous bills in Congress that relate to cars. So many, in fact, that it’s near impossible to keep track of them all. The fine folks at govtrack.us have developed some tools that are enabling TTAC to stay informed on just what’s happening on the Hill. We thought you’d want to know, too. We’re mainly concerned with the scrappage schemes proffered by our representatives, but we’re tracking any bill that has to do with cars or driving.
The list is long. Really long. And growing. But, just because a bill has been introduced doesn’t mean that it will become law. Most bills never make it out of committee and die at the end of session. As we reported earlier, regarding the cash-for-clunkers bill, “Assistant to the Speaker Van Hollen suggested a vote might not take place this year.”
In California, weary road warriors who need a place to temporarily rest have few options if they’re traveling outside the reaches of its sprawling cities. The drive between the capital and L.A. is especially dreary: miles and miles of industrial farms, oleander and eucalyptus trees. Worse, rest stops are barely-maintained, glorified pit toilets. You’ll never forget the stench of an I-5 rest stop toilet hut.
In a follow up to E. Niedermeyer’s previous post, details have emerged about the scheme to give rebates to buyers who trade “clunkers” for new, fuel-efficient vehicles. FT.com (Financial Times) reports that the program will cost taxpayers about $4 billion and will spur, according Brian Johnson, an analyst at Barclays Capital, the sale of 3 million units in the “near term” (whatever that means). With the US’ SAAR projected at approximately 9 million, this is a very optimistic prediction.
Dave: “The Volt has a range of forty miles. That’ll get you down the driveway and back.”
Late last Friday, GM revealed in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its employee stock fund manager, State Street Bank and Trust Co., has unloaded all company shares. According to the Associated Press (AP), “The plan’s financial manager said it began selling off shares of the Detroit automaker in late March ‘due to the economic climate and the circumstances surrounding GM’s business.'” This may help to explain the dead cat bounce GM’s stock experienced today.
Two recent developments have tarnished whatever green reputation ethanol has left. First, the news that corn-derived ethanol requires up to three times more water to produce than previously thought has cast a spotlight on the industry, especially in the dry west and southwest. A new study published by the American Chemical Society reports that previous estimates of water used to produce ethanol are inaccurate. The article’s abstract:
A year ago, TTAC published a story about out-of-control Toyota Tacomas. Since then, reports continue to surface of “unintended acceleration” events in Lexus ES and IS and Toyota Camry and Camry Solara vehicles. Toyota insists that all-weather floor mats are causing the problem; the accelerator becomes stuck under the rubber. Autocoverup.com alleges, well, you know. “This is a known problem with over 432 complaints,” the site’s author insists. According to NHTSA’s Defect Investigation’s database, reports of unintended acceleration in Lexus ES models first surfaced around 2004 and continued until late 2008. One report (ODI-NHTSA Complaint Number 10252860) describes the problem:
Cube Mobile Device (higher quality mpg)
My friend, DrDeco, just got rid of traded his ’06 300C SRT8 for an ’08 Mazdaspeed3. (Who says we have no influence?) He loves it for the most part but is being driven batty by numerous squeaks that seem to come from the dash down near the pedals and up around the defrost vent. Do any of you who have a Speed3 suffer from this problem or have suggestions as to what he can do to lessen the noise? Perhaps there is a TSB out that you know of that addresses this?