The Truth About Cars » History http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:13:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » History http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/history-news-blog/ IIHS: US Driver Fatalities Fall One-Third In Three Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/iihs-us-driver-fatalities-fall-one-third-three-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/iihs-us-driver-fatalities-fall-one-third-three-years/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991274 Per a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, driver fatalities in the United States have fallen by a third over the past three years. Automotive News says the report’s findings come after the seemingly endless recall parade of 2014, which saw 60.5 million vehicles in the U.S. brought in for repair work, an […]

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Per a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, driver fatalities in the United States have fallen by a third over the past three years.

Automotive News says the report’s findings come after the seemingly endless recall parade of 2014, which saw 60.5 million vehicles in the U.S. brought in for repair work, an all-time industry record.

The IIHS added that nine vehicles made in 2011 or earlier had no fatalities recorded between 2009 and 2012: Audi A4 4WD, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sorento 2WD, Lexus RX 350 4WD, Mercedes-Benz GL-class 4WD, Subaru Legacy 4WD, Toyota Highlander hybrid 4WD, Toyota Sequoia 4WD and Volvo XC90 4WD. The list marks an improvement in safety according to the non-profit group, when only eight years ago, “there were no models with driver death rates of zero.”

However, while most of the vehicles with zero fatalities are SUVs and crossovers, most of the vehicles with the highest number of deaths over the same period are compacts like the Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa and Kia Rio. The report confirms this, proclaiming that “with some exceptions, death rates tend to go down as size goes up.” This is a change from a decade earlier, when SUVs and crossovers had higher numbers of deaths due to a lack of stability controls and other systems meant to prevent roll-over.

As far as total elimination of traffic fatalities in the U.S. goes, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer David Zuby says such a thing is decades away, and would require not only continued improvements in vehicle safety, but changes in road construction and public safety policy, as well. The report adds that the Great Recession helped to contribute toward the decline in deaths, warning that as the economy continues its recovery, and without said policy changes, the decline could reverse.

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NHTSA Seeking Whistleblowers In Takata Airbag Investigation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/nhtsa-seeking-whistleblowers-takata-airbag-investigation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/nhtsa-seeking-whistleblowers-takata-airbag-investigation/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991194 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking whistleblowers who have knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” about Takata. Reuters reports the NHTSA has set up a hotline for current and former employees of the airbag supplier as part of its ongoing investigation into a number of death and injury cases linked to defective […]

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking whistleblowers who have knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” about Takata.

Reuters reports the NHTSA has set up a hotline for current and former employees of the airbag supplier as part of its ongoing investigation into a number of death and injury cases linked to defective airbag inflators, with the promise of legal protection for those who call. Agency representative Gordon Trowbridge explains:

We encourage all individuals with information about the manufacture or testing of Takata air bag inflators, or who have knowledge of possible defects or any wrongdoing by the company, to make this information available to NHTSA.

The news organization itself received numerous reports from former Takata employees wishing to remain anonymous of hiding or altering data and other information linked to the airbags, as well as two from Mark Lillie and Michael Britton regarding the supplier’s introduction and use of ammonium nitrate at its facility in Moses Lake, Wash. Both expressed concerns about the lack of safety testing and validation for the chemical before Takata pressed forward with its use in the late 1990s.

Takata, for its part, claimed that it was “committed to working with NHTSA and [its] automotive customers to ensure the safety of the driving public,” opting not to comment specifically on the NHTSA’s call for whistleblowers, nor on Reuters‘ own findings.

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General Motors Sticking To Filing Deadline Despite Calls For Extension http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/general-motors-sticking-filing-deadline-despite-calls-extension/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/general-motors-sticking-filing-deadline-despite-calls-extension/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989986 Despite a request from two senators to extend the deadline for its compensation fund, General Motors will still close the filing window this Saturday. Automotive News reports Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra urging her to extend the deadline for filing claims linked […]

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Despite a request from two senators to extend the deadline for its compensation fund, General Motors will still close the filing window this Saturday.

Automotive News reports Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra urging her to extend the deadline for filing claims linked to the February 2014 ignition switch recall, citing a Justice Department investigation into whether or not the automaker broke any laws in handling the issue, as well as a pending federal court decision that could strip GM of its bankruptcy protections established in 2009.

The senators add that notification problems are also an issue, with some claimants never hearing about the fund until another source informs them, such as when the family of Jean Averill — one of the first 13 fatalities linked to the defective part — were notified by The New York Times while working on the story about her last November.

GM, however, says it “conducted extensive outreach about the program,” having contacted over 5 million past and present owners of vehicles affected by the recall, including the Saturn Ion, Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac Solstice:

Our goal is to be just and timely in compensating the families who lost loved ones and those who suffered physical injury. We previously extended the deadline until January 31, and we do not plan another extension.

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Carter To Musk: Hydrogen Just One Basket For Toyota’s Eggs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/carter-musk-hydrogen-just-one-basket-toyotas-eggs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/carter-musk-hydrogen-just-one-basket-toyotas-eggs/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989546 Remember when Tesla CEO Elon Musk declared that Toyota was a fool to invest in hydrogen? Twice? Toyota had a few words to say in return last week. Ecomento reports Toyota Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter took Musk to task regarding comments made during the latter’s annual Tesla shareholders meeting last June, […]

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2016 Toyota Mirai

Remember when Tesla CEO Elon Musk declared that Toyota was a fool to invest in hydrogen? Twice? Toyota had a few words to say in return last week.

Ecomento reports Toyota Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter took Musk to task regarding comments made during the latter’s annual Tesla shareholders meeting last June, as well as those made earlier this month at the Automotive News World Congress, when Musk suggested methane or propane as a better energy storage mechanism while declaring hydrogen “an incredibly dumb one to pick”:

I’m a little disappointed in Mr. Musk’s comments in Detroit last week. But I understand. If I was in a position that I had all of my eggs in one basket I would perhaps be making those same comments. When you take a look at the future, [FCVs are] not a 24- to 36-month play. When you start looking in the 2020s, anybody that would deny [the potential of] moving from an oil-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy [isn’t] looking at the future correctly.

Carter’s response, made last week during the J.D. Power Automotive Summit in San Francisco, come on the heels of Toyota’s unexpected response to its Mirai FCV. Though not due in U.S. showrooms until later this year, the automaker received over 16,000 requests for information on the car. Meanwhile, the FCV has 1,500 confirmed pre-orders in its home market of Japan, with Toyota likely to boost production as interest in the Mirai grows.

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General Motors Developing CVT In-House For Global Lineup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/general-motors-developing-cvt-house-global-lineup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/general-motors-developing-cvt-house-global-lineup/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987842 Not content with using CVTs from other manufacturers, General Motors is working on a CVT in-house for use in its global lineup. Per Ward’s Auto, details on the new transmission are scant at best, though the publication’s sources state the in-house unit will be installed in several “high-volume” models by 2019, paired up with the […]

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Not content with using CVTs from other manufacturers, General Motors is working on a CVT in-house for use in its global lineup.

Per Ward’s Auto, details on the new transmission are scant at best, though the publication’s sources state the in-house unit will be installed in several “high-volume” models by 2019, paired up with the automaker’s new line of three- and four-cylinder engines set to see production this year. The sources added that GM is taking bids from suppliers to build parts for the CVT.

Though the automaker uses CVTs already, including the 2015 Spark and Nissan NV-based City Express, it hasn’t had much luck with using units designed and assembled in-house. In the early 2000s, GM ran a program that saw such a product installed in the Saturn Vue and Ion, as well as the Opel Vectra, before production and drivability issues brought the program to a halt in 2004.

As for why go for it again, GM Powertrain representative Tom Read says the automaker has the capability to make its own CVTs, and will deliver when conditions — specifically those concerning fuel efficiency and emissions — are met:

GM has unmatched transmission expertise and development resources and is capable of delivering additional CVTs if and when they’re needed.

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Judge Asked To Make Treasury’s Role In 2009 GM Bailout Public http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/judge-asked-make-treasurys-role-2009-gm-bailout-public/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/judge-asked-make-treasurys-role-2009-gm-bailout-public/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987098 Before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia this week, the Center for Auto Safety asked the judge to make public the U.S. Treasury’s role in the 2009 General Motors bailout. Bloomberg reports the consumer safety advocacy group asked the judge to force the United States federal government into disclosing a number of […]

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Before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia this week, the Center for Auto Safety asked the judge to make public the U.S. Treasury’s role in the 2009 General Motors bailout.

Bloomberg reports the consumer safety advocacy group asked the judge to force the United States federal government into disclosing a number of documents linked to the Treasury’s role in the bailout, suggesting the department told GM to cast aside responsibility for any defects or accidents tied to said defects before receiving $49.5 billion in funding.

On the other side, the Treasury is asking the judge to dismiss president Clarence Ditlow’s 2011 lawsuit for the aforementioned information, warning that being forced to go public would harm the government’s chances to come to the aid of a company whose demise would greatly damage the overall economy.

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Four Former Chrysler Dealerships Could Reopen Following US Appeals Court Ruling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/four-former-chrysler-dealerships-reopen-following-us-appeals-court-ruling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/four-former-chrysler-dealerships-reopen-following-us-appeals-court-ruling/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=986738 After five years of fighting and a U.S. appeals court ruling, four former Chrysler dealerships could have a shot at opening their doors once more. Automotive News reports three Detroit area dealerships — Livonia Chrysler Jeep Inc., Fox Hills Chrysler Jeep and Village Chrysler Jeep — and one based in Las Vegas — Jim Marsh […]

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After five years of fighting and a U.S. appeals court ruling, four former Chrysler dealerships could have a shot at opening their doors once more.

Automotive News reports three Detroit area dealerships — Livonia Chrysler Jeep Inc., Fox Hills Chrysler Jeep and Village Chrysler Jeep — and one based in Las Vegas — Jim Marsh Chrysler Jeep — could reopen after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a federal arbitration law allowing 789 dealers to fight against closure by Chrysler overruled state laws allowing local dealers to legally fight against nearby competitors from opening doors.

The court added the victory wasn’t an unconditional reinstatement, yet “should meaningfully facilitate incorporation of prevailing dealerships back into the network.” FCA US issued a statement praising the district court for its decision, and is reviewing legal options to take regarding the four dealerships.

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Glass’s: Falling Fuel Prices Mean Return Of Big Gas Guzzlers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/glasss-falling-fuel-prices-mean-return-big-gas-guzzlers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/glasss-falling-fuel-prices-mean-return-big-gas-guzzlers/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=983873 As the price at the pump continues to plummet — diesel not so much — British valuation guide Glass’s predicts big gas guzzlers new and used will return to the motorway. According to Just-Auto, Glass’s valuation chief Rupert Pontin says that despite such vehicles with 3-liter+ engines falling out of favor in the United Kingdom […]

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As the price at the pump continues to plummet — diesel not so much — British valuation guide Glass’s predicts big gas guzzlers new and used will return to the motorway.

According to Just-Auto, Glass’s valuation chief Rupert Pontin says that despite such vehicles with 3-liter+ engines falling out of favor in the United Kingdom since austerity took hold five years ago, falling oil prices could soon motivate consumers into ditching their Ford Fiestas for BMW 335i Sedans:

While no-one could call petrol and diesel prices exactly cheap, they are certainly falling to a level where some consumers won’t place fuel economy as high on their list of priorities as we have seen in recent years. Bigger engined cars are suddenly more viable.

Pontin adds that while this makes for a wonderful few years for bigger-engined vehicles, the environment could take a hit for the duration due to increased emissions from said vehicles.

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Manley: Jeep Wrangler Truck Perfect For Brand, Business Case Not There http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/manley-jeep-wrangler-truck-perfect-brand-business-case-not/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/manley-jeep-wrangler-truck-perfect-brand-business-case-not/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 12:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=983761 The B&B’s only bet for buying a Jeep Wrangler pickup at the moment is to buy a Wrangler, then send it to a third-party for conversion. CEO Mike Manley says he’d love to have such a beast in his brand’s portfolio, as well, but there’s a hitch. According to CarAdvice.au.com, Manley says that while “every […]

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Jeep Wrangler Eliminator

The B&B’s only bet for buying a Jeep Wrangler pickup at the moment is to buy a Wrangler, then send it to a third-party for conversion. CEO Mike Manley says he’d love to have such a beast in his brand’s portfolio, as well, but there’s a hitch.

According to CarAdvice.au.com, Manley says that while “every international market” would take a Wrangler pickup, and that the idea “fits the portfolio exactly,” the business case for the truck still isn’t there.

Part of that case involves Ram: a Wrangler truck would do gangbusters on the showroom floor — the Wrangler made up 25.3 percent of the record 692,248 Jeep products sold in 2014 — but at the expense of the designated truck brand, an issue that has persisted for some time.

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NAIAS 2015: The Return Of The Ford GT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-return-ford-gt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-return-ford-gt/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:15:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=978057 We thought this wouldn’t happen, but here it is: The Ford GT has returned. The new GT will begin production late in 2016, and will be sold in select markets around the world in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ford’s destruction of Ferrari at Le Mans with the GT40. Power for the GT is […]

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We thought this wouldn’t happen, but here it is: The Ford GT has returned.

The new GT will begin production late in 2016, and will be sold in select markets around the world in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ford’s destruction of Ferrari at Le Mans with the GT40.

Power for the GT is derived from a mid-mounted next-gen twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 producing upwards of 600 horsepower, which is sent to the back via a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle.

Surrounding the engine and transaxle is bodywork composed of carbon fiber with front and rear aluminum subframes. The body itself is heavily optimized for aero and downforce, and features an active rear spoiler that follows both speed and what the driver desires.

Other features include: adjustable ride height; 20-inch wheels mounted in Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires with a composition made specifically for the GT; upward swinging doors; and Ford’s new SYNC 3 connected-vehicle system.

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NAIAS 2015: 2016 Buick Cascada Marks Brand Return To Convertibles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2016-buick-cascada-marks-brand-return-convertibles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2016-buick-cascada-marks-brand-return-convertibles/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 18:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=975697 Revealed ahead of its 2015 Detroit Auto Show debut, the 2016 Buick Cascada marks the brand’s return to the convertible game after a 25-year absence [Live photos now available – CA]. The 2+2 convertible — based on the Opel model of the same name — can seat four adults comfortably, with its top able to […]

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Revealed ahead of its 2015 Detroit Auto Show debut, the 2016 Buick Cascada marks the brand’s return to the convertible game after a 25-year absence [Live photos now available – CA].

The 2+2 convertible — based on the Opel model of the same name — can seat four adults comfortably, with its top able to provide more of the same when up, both in regards to warmth and noise. Said top can be taken down in 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

Speaking of speed, power for the Cascada comes via a 1.6-liter turbo-four with direct injection and variable valve timing, capable of 200 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque, 221 lb-ft with overboost. A six-speed auto will direct that power to the front.

Heading back inside, those who take their Cascada to the beach house for a weekend getaway will have 13.4 cubic feet of cargo space to use with the top up, 9.8 cubic feet when the top is down. The electronically controlled rear seatbacks fold down to provide more storage space, as well.

Other features include: Buick IntelliLink connected-vehicle system with Apple iOS 6+ compatibility; pop-up rollover protection bars that activate upon detection of potential rollover accidents; OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi; standard safety features such as lane departure, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense windshield wipers; HiPer Strut front suspension, derived from the Regal and LaCrosse; Watts Z-link rear suspension; and a rigid body structure composed of high-strength steel, reinforced side sills, and A-pillars made with press-hardened steel.

The 2016 Buick Cascada is set to go on sale next year.

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Jaguar Teases 2016 F-Pace Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/jaguar-teases-2016-f-pace-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/jaguar-teases-2016-f-pace-crossover/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 17:30:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=975673 After three concept crossovers, Jaguar is ready to go all in for 2016 with the F-Pace. Just Auto reports production of the premium crossover will begin in late 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, England, with a Land Rover-based variant — codenamed L560 — to follow later. Both models will be underpinned by […]

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After three concept crossovers, Jaguar is ready to go all in for 2016 with the F-Pace.

Just Auto reports production of the premium crossover will begin in late 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, England, with a Land Rover-based variant — codenamed L560 — to follow later. Both models will be underpinned by JLR’s PLA aluminum platform, currently in use by the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

The F-Pace follows three concept crossovers, all named C-X17. The first concept bowed at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, the second version arrived at both Guangzhou and Dubai auto shows later that year, and the final C-X17 debuted at last year’s Brussels Auto Show.

Per Director of Jaguar Design Ian Callum, the overwhelming response to all three concepts prompted the decision to go forward with building the F-Pace:

We just had to make it a reality. The Jaguar F-PACE, inspired by the F-TYPE, represents a perfectly judged balance of style, performance and practicality. It offers a unique combination of Jaguar sports car inspired exterior design, fused beautifully with a thoroughly practical and spacious luxury interior. The F-PACE is our family sports car.

The crossover is set to go on sale in Europe in 2016, where it will do battle against the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and X4, Volvo XC60, and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. JLR expects to produce 50,000 F-Paces annually.

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New York Pedestrian Fatalities Fall To Historic Low In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-york-pedestrian-fatalities-fall-historic-low-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-york-pedestrian-fatalities-fall-historic-low-2014/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 14:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974354 New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan — aimed at ending all traffic deaths by 2024 — appears to be paying off, with a historic low of 132 pedestrian fatalities in 2014. The New York Times reports the low follows a decade high of 180 such deaths the year prior. Meanwhile, overall […]

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Pedestrians on Broadway in New York

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan — aimed at ending all traffic deaths by 2024 — appears to be paying off, with a historic low of 132 pedestrian fatalities in 2014.

The New York Times reports the low follows a decade high of 180 such deaths the year prior. Meanwhile, overall fatalities dropped from 293 in 2013 to 248 in 2014, with bicycle deaths climbing from 12 to 20 in the same period, motorcycle deaths falling from 42 to 37, and automotive deaths remaining stable at 59.

The overall decline follows the recent lowering of the city’s default speed limit of 25 mph, a move that had to go through the state legislature prior to approval; the State of New York’s default for the local speed limit is 30 mph. Increased NYPD enforcement of traffic laws, including new ones like Cooper’s Law — which strips a taxi or livery driver of their license if they kill or injure a pedestrian who has the right of way — are also contributing to the decline.

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Honda Fined $70M By NHTSA For Data Reporting Failures http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/honda-fined-70m-nhtsa-data-reporting-failures/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/honda-fined-70m-nhtsa-data-reporting-failures/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974330 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday that it would fine Honda $70 million “for failing to report death and injury data in a timely manner.” Autoblog reports the fine is based on 1,729 incidents over 11 years that were not brought to the attention of the NHTSA via the agency’s Early Warning Reporting […]

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday that it would fine Honda $70 million “for failing to report death and injury data in a timely manner.”

Autoblog reports the fine is based on 1,729 incidents over 11 years that were not brought to the attention of the NHTSA via the agency’s Early Warning Reporting system. Further, some of the incidences have still yet to be reported, prompting new administrator Mark Rosekind to send investigators to Honda to retrieve the missing information.

The fine, the largest ever delivered by the agency to an automaker, is composed of two separate $35 million fines, one for the death and injury data, the other for missing warranty claims. The U.S. Department of Justice is considering a criminal investigation into the matter, though nothing has been confirmed thus far.

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Owner-Built Engine Program For Corvette Z06 Returns http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/owner-built-engine-program-corvette-z06-returns/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/owner-built-engine-program-corvette-z06-returns/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973569 Buying a new Corvette Z06 soon? Would you like to build its engine? Chevrolet has a plan to make that happen, if you got the cash and the time. Beginning in March, new Z06 owners will have the opportunity to participate in Chevrolet’s resumed Engine Build Experience. The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling […]

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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06

Buying a new Corvette Z06 soon? Would you like to build its engine? Chevrolet has a plan to make that happen, if you got the cash and the time.

Beginning in March, new Z06 owners will have the opportunity to participate in Chevrolet’s resumed Engine Build Experience. The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling Green Assembly’s Performance Build Center, where the build will occur — allows owners to spend an entire day building the Z06’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 under supervision by a PBC engine assembly tech. A personalized plaque on the engine and photographs of the day complete the package.

That said, the engine won’t necessarily be placed in the owner’s Z06 right away. Corvette product manager Harlan Charles says the owner-built engines will take its place in line with the rest of the engines, flowing into “the scheduling process for vehicle assembly, which depends on a number of logistical variables.”

Those who don’t mind the wait and want to spend more time in Bowling Green, Ky. can also check-off option R8C, which allows owners to pick up their completed Z06 at the National Corvette Museum across the street from Bowling Green Assembly.

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Supplier Woes Lead To Lada’s First-Ever Loss Of Monthly Sales Crown http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/supplier-woes-lead-ladas-first-ever-loss-monthly-sales-crown/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/supplier-woes-lead-ladas-first-ever-loss-monthly-sales-crown/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973537 Since the first Ladas left the assembly line in the 1970s, the automaker has always held the top spot on the sales podium, month after month, year after year. Until November 2014, that is. Automotive News Europe reports that problems between parent company AutoVAZ and several of its suppliers helped to bring Lada’s continuous dominance […]

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Since the first Ladas left the assembly line in the 1970s, the automaker has always held the top spot on the sales podium, month after month, year after year. Until November 2014, that is.

Automotive News Europe reports that problems between parent company AutoVAZ and several of its suppliers helped to bring Lada’s continuous dominance over the Russian domestic market to an end that month, when Kia moved 10,834 Rios over the former’s 10,520 Grantas to take the monthly gold. Those problems have since been resolved, per an AutoVAZ representative.

Despite the hiccup, Lada is still the czar of the Russian market, having sold 351,992 units between January and November of last year; Kia holds a distant second with 175,491 sold. The Granta is also holding its own overall, with 139,405 copies taking to the highway over the same timeframe. Hyundai’s Solaris (105,142) and the Kia Rio (84,350) round out the top three.

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BMW Takes US Luxury Sales Crown Back From Mercedes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/bmw-takes-us-luxury-sales-crown-back-mercedes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/bmw-takes-us-luxury-sales-crown-back-mercedes/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972809 After a year-long battle for the top position on the U.S. luxury sales podium, BMW takes back the crown Mercedes-Benz won in 2013. Reuters reports the Bavarians moved over 9,000 more units by the end of 2014 over the wonder boys back in Stuttgart, coming out to a total of 339,738 for BMW, 330,391 for […]

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After a year-long battle for the top position on the U.S. luxury sales podium, BMW takes back the crown Mercedes-Benz won in 2013.

Reuters reports the Bavarians moved over 9,000 more units by the end of 2014 over the wonder boys back in Stuttgart, coming out to a total of 339,738 for BMW, 330,391 for Mercedes. Both automakers also experienced growth in U.S. sales during the last year, though BMW’s 9.8 percent boost over 2013’s numbers raced past Mercedes’ 5.7 percent increase.

Taking third on the podium was Lexus with 311,389 units sold in 2014, though its rate of growth bested the top two finishers at 13.7 percent over 2013.

Rounding out the rest of the U.S. mainstream luxury pack, Audi took fourth from Cadillac, the latter to be the only make to see a decline in growth in 2014, falling 6.5 percent to 170,750 units; Audi sold 182,011 over the same period, 15.2 percent more than it did in 2013.

Acura and Infiniti took sixth and seventh respectively, with 167,843 to 117,300 units moved. Both also experienced the lowest rates of growth in sales in the outgoing year: 1.5 percent in Acura’s favor, 0.8 percent for Infiniti.

Lincoln finished dead last with 94,474 units sold, but had the biggest rate of growth out of its fellow competitors compared to 2013 at 15.6 percent.

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Southbound And Down: Mercedes Moving To Atlanta http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/southbound-mercedes-moving-atlanta/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/southbound-mercedes-moving-atlanta/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972777 We first mentioned this Monday evening, and now it’s official: Mercedes-Benz USA is leaving New Jersey for the old, sweet song of Atlanta. The move from Montvale, N.J. begins in July with the first group of employees heading southbound and down. Mercedes will relocate the over-1,000 employees in phases through 2017 to minimize disruption during […]

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Georgia Welcome Sign

We first mentioned this Monday evening, and now it’s official: Mercedes-Benz USA is leaving New Jersey for the old, sweet song of Atlanta.

The move from Montvale, N.J. begins in July with the first group of employees heading southbound and down. Mercedes will relocate the over-1,000 employees in phases through 2017 to minimize disruption during the transition.

As for where everyone will be working, “a new, state-of-the-art headquarters” will be constructed in or around Atlanta, with completion set for 2017. In the meantime, the transferring employees will work from the city’s Central Perimeter.

Though MBUSA CEO and president Stephen Cannon spoke in kind about his subsidiary’s 50-year history with the Garden State, he said that the decision to relocate to Atlanta allows MBUSA to be closer to its growing customer base in the Southeastern United States, its port in Brunswick, Ga., and its plant in nearby Alabama, as well as provide “the sustained, profitable growth and efficiencies” required for success in the decades to come.

More details on the impending move are expected to be announced by the end of January.

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Obama Visiting Ford Plant Wednesday Amid Temporary Closure http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972082 President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max. The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech […]

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Barack Obama + Connected Vehicles

President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max.

The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech on the recovering housing market. Both Ford CEO Mark Fields and Chairman Bill Ford Jr. are expected to be in attendance; the company received $5.9 billion in low-cost government loans from the U.S. Energy Department in 2009 to help transition Michigan Assembly from SUV production to that of fuel-efficient small cars

Per the White House, his speech at the plant will focus upon “the workers in the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector now that the auto rescue has been completed and the decision to save the auto industry and the over one million jobs that went with it.”

Meanwhile, the plant’s closure is expected to be temporary, with its 5,100 employees receiving most of their standard pay in the interim. The closure is an extension of a two-week Christmas break at the plant, and is meant to help better manage supply as consumers, encouraged by falling fuel prices, look at F-150s and Explorers over smaller cars like the aforementioned Focus and C-Max.

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Subaru Of America Delivers 500K In Single-Year Sales For The First Time http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/subaru-america-delivers-500k-single-year-sales-first-time/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/subaru-america-delivers-500k-single-year-sales-first-time/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=971177 It’s official: Subaru of America has moved 500,000 units in a single year for the first time. The 500,000th vehicle sold left the showroom December 29, with the final tally for 2014 likely to come sometime soon; the sales period closed January 2. The milestone came a year early for the subsidiary, who had forecasted […]

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It’s official: Subaru of America has moved 500,000 units in a single year for the first time.

The 500,000th vehicle sold left the showroom December 29, with the final tally for 2014 likely to come sometime soon; the sales period closed January 2.

The milestone came a year early for the subsidiary, who had forecasted hitting the mark in 2015. It also comes on the heels of its seventh consecutive year of growth, starting in 2008; then, 187,699 models were sold.

The fuel for this particular milestone comes from strong sales of models such as the Impreza, Outback, Forester and XV Crosstrek, all of which were developed “to better suit the needs of the American buyer.” In fact, the only models not to do well in 2014 were the BRZ and Tribeca. Other factors include improved marketing and greatly improved dealerships.

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GM Files For ‘Crossvolt’ Name For Possible Volt-Based CUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/gm-files-crossvolt-name-possible-volt-based-cuv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/gm-files-crossvolt-name-possible-volt-based-cuv/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 11:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=969225 Over four years ago, Chevrolet introduced a Volt-based crossover concept that hinted at the style the brand would have crossed someday, had not the resources been diverted to the Cadillac ELR. That day might now be sooner than never. Fox News reports General Motors made a new filing for the trademark Crossvolt in August of […]

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Over four years ago, Chevrolet introduced a Volt-based crossover concept that hinted at the style the brand would have crossed someday, had not the resources been diverted to the Cadillac ELR.

That day might now be sooner than never.

Fox News reports General Motors made a new filing for the trademark Crossvolt in August of this year, abandoning a previous filing made in 2011 that the current application — published for opposition just before Christmas — duplicates.

As for the Volt-based crossover that could end up wearing the nameplate, a mule based on the Orlando was spotted last year among a handful of Volts undergoing testing, a hint that a second model based on the upcoming Volt set to bow at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is in the works.

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2015 US Auto Sales Expected To Push Past 17M Units http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/2015-us-auto-sales-expected-push-past-17m-units/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/2015-us-auto-sales-expected-push-past-17m-units/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 12:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=964410 This year is set to end on a high note as far as U.S. car sales are concerned, with 2015 shaping up to be the best year in a long time. The Detroit Bureau reports a combination of falling gas prices and an improving U.S. economy is setting the coming year up for a new-car […]

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Happy Face Car Lot

This year is set to end on a high note as far as U.S. car sales are concerned, with 2015 shaping up to be the best year in a long time.

The Detroit Bureau reports a combination of falling gas prices and an improving U.S. economy is setting the coming year up for a new-car sales record of over 17 million, with total sales going over 55.7 million in the same period. The previous peak new-car annual sales figure was in 2000, when 17.4 million units left the showroom floor.

Transaction prices are set to climb higher in 2015, as well, with new-car averages rising 2.4 percent from this year to a record $32,589, and used-car averages scaling 2.1 percent to $16,678.

As for the segments that will see the biggest growth in revenue, luxury and utility vehicles will lead the way, pulling in $116.7 billion and $192.1 billion, respectively. Trucks are forecasted to take third on the podium, with $95.7 billion in revenue.

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Ally Leaves Government Ownership, US Treasury Exits Auto Industry http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ally-leaves-government-ownership-us-treasury-exits-auto-industry/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ally-leaves-government-ownership-us-treasury-exits-auto-industry/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=963794 With its GMAC Financial leather jacket burning in the closet while a supermodel lip-syncs in the tub, Ally Financial is at last free from government ownership. The Detroit News reports the U.S. Treasury sold its remaining 11.4 percent stake in the lender Friday, six years to the day the Bush II administration made the decision […]

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With its GMAC Financial leather jacket burning in the closet while a supermodel lip-syncs in the tub, Ally Financial is at last free from government ownership.

The Detroit News reports the U.S. Treasury sold its remaining 11.4 percent stake in the lender Friday, six years to the day the Bush II administration made the decision to rescue the automotive industry from certain doom; the Treasury held 74 percent to start. The sale — 54.9 million shares at $23.25 per share — brought in $1.3 billion, adding to the $19.6 billion recovered from three separate investments totalling $17.2 billion.

Overall, the bailout recovered the $60 billion invested under the Obama administration, though said administration didn’t include the $10 billion lost in that time, nor the initial $25 billion pumped into the ailing industry in the final days of the Bush II era.

The stake sale also follows a similar action a year earlier, when the department sold its last shares in General Motors. The sale drew a loss of the aforementioned $10 billion from a total investment of $49.5 billion.

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Fuel Prices Fall Further, Auto Sales Soar Higher In December http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/fuel-prices-fall-auto-sales-soar-higher-december/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/fuel-prices-fall-auto-sales-soar-higher-december/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962858 Remember when we thought $2.55 for a gallon of regular was going to make for a good Christmas? Turns out the new average is $2.47, the lowest average price reported in five years. Also: That’s a photo shot by one of my relatives back in Louisville, Ky., where some stations are pumping gas for as […]

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Cheap Gas In Louisville Kentucky Circa Mid-December 2014

Remember when we thought $2.55 for a gallon of regular was going to make for a good Christmas? Turns out the new average is $2.47, the lowest average price reported in five years.

Also: That’s a photo shot by one of my relatives back in Louisville, Ky., where some stations are pumping gas for as low as $1.96/gallon.

Automotive News reports that by January 1, 2015, gasoline could be selling for as much as $2.25 to $2.40 nationally, a seasonal low not seen since 2008. The current average is down from a peak of $3.69 in April, hitting below $2.50 for the first time since October 2009.

Lower fuel prices — caused by OPEC’s decision to play the short game against United States oil production, and, perhaps, to make Putin tap out — is putting more money into the pockets of consumers, who are, in turn, using the savings to buy new vehicles, including SUVs, CUVs and trucks.

The new-car rush is helping to make this December one to remember, with J.D. Power and LMC Automotive both forecasting a 10.4 percent increase in sales over last December. Both added that 2015 will see 17 million units sold for the first time since 2001, while this year will close at 16.5 million.

As for the oil, West Texas Intermediate is going for $53.60/barrel, while Brent is moving for $58.50/barrel. Both prices are the lowest recorded since May 2009.

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MBUSA Looking South For New Home http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/mbusa-looking-south-new-home/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/mbusa-looking-south-new-home/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962394 With Cadillac getting its inner hipster on in SoHo, and Subaru trekking four miles west to conduct its American hustle in Camden, N.J., Mercedes-Benz USA is feeling the urge to heed the song of the South and go with the wind. Automotive News reports MBUSA is looking at relocating its 800 employees to either Georgia, […]

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With Cadillac getting its inner hipster on in SoHo, and Subaru trekking four miles west to conduct its American hustle in Camden, N.J., Mercedes-Benz USA is feeling the urge to heed the song of the South and go with the wind.

Automotive News reports MBUSA is looking at relocating its 800 employees to either Georgia, Florida or North Carolina, leaving Montvale, N.J. after 42 years. Representatives for the company wouldn’t confirm or deny the plans, believing it to be nothing more than rumor and speculation.

The company is currently looking over tax incentive packages, with New Jersey working on its own package in the hope of keeping MBUSA’s headquarters in Montvale. JLL Inc., the commercial real estate firm that is helping Toyota move its U.S. headquarters to Texas from California, is also lending assistance to the company.

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