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With memories of the 2008 financial meltdown still fresh, American consumers aren’t borrowing wildly anymore — except when it comes to cars and credit card purchases.
As of the end of June, car buyers racked up the highest auto loan debt in U.S. history — $1.1 trillion, according to a quarterly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Also on the rise? Credit risk. Read More >
New Jersey Democrats are pushing a wide-ranging distracted driving bill that would lead to harsh penalties for motorists, but does it mean cupholders will soon be outlawed in the Garden State?
The answer: probably not, but the bill would give law enforcement the blanket regulation they need to lay a charge for anything from eating behind the wheel to fixing your hair. Read More >
Three unapproved software programs were found on Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche models outfitted with 3.0-liter diesel engines, a German newspaper reports.
The publication Bild am Sonntag said that U.S. authorities discovered the software, though it didn’t reveal a source for the information, according to Reuters (via Automotive News). Read More >
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expanded its investigation into airbags manufactured by ARC Automotive following the July 8 death of a Hyundai driver in Canada.
According to Reuters, an airbag inflator in the vehicle ruptured, fatally injuring the driver. The death is similar to those caused by faulty Takata airbags, and the investigation could add millions of vehicles to an already massive airbag recall list. Read More >
A headlamp supplier wants U.S. regulators to approve its new design, which eliminates the need for drivers to switch their high beams on or off.
Varroc Lighting Systems, Inc., the U.S. division of the India-based company, developed a headlamp that automatically dims by shutting off individual LEDs, according to Crain’s Detroit Business (via Automotive News). Read More >
A roadside drug-testing pilot program signed into law at the end of June is unconstitutional and runs the risk of destroying lives, a motorist’s advocacy group says.
Michigan’s “Barbara J. and Thomas J. Swift Law” will see five counties selected for roadside saliva swab tests designed to identify drivers impaired by drugs. The one-year pilot, which became law on June 24, raised the ire of the National Motorists Association, which claims the law oversteps boundaries and could prove inaccurate. Read More >
There might be some light at the end of the assembly line for Oshawa — but it will come with a price.
According to the Windsor Star, the plant’s Consolidated Line, which produces the Chevrolet Equinox in an overflow capacity using bodies shuttled from CAMI, won’t get another stay of execution and will certainly close in 2017.
However, a General Motors Canada executive familiar with the negotiations says that closing the Flex Line is not a “foregone conclusion.”
Read More >
There’s few feelings more stomach-churning than looking up from your mirror (or radio) and seeing an amber light looming ahead. Do you go for it, or hit the brakes? If the intersection boats red light cameras, the potential fines make a good argument for mashing the pedal on the left.
That’s how the cameras are supposed to work, and a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds they do just that. The paper, funded by auto insurers, says removing red light cameras at intersections leads to more collisions.
So, why are some cities scrapping their red light camera programs? Read More >
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 >
Volkswagen’s Korean sales slump just became a sales cliff leading to the Challenger Deep.
The embattled automaker suspended sales of most of its models in the Asian country ahead of a environmental review that could lead to a sales ban, Reuters reports. Read More >