Category: Quality

By on June 29, 2016

2012 Prius Plug In Hybrid, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Toyota will recall a total of 3.37 million vehicles to resolve two safety-related issues, one of which involves an environmental control that can quickly become very bad for the environment.

The largest of the two recalls concerns faulty side curtain airbags that could partially inflate without warning, according to the Associated Press. The issue isn’t related to the Takata airbag recall — rather, the problem stems from small cracks in some driver and passenger side airbag inflators, which can widen over time and lead to the partial inflation of the side curtain. Read More >

By on June 22, 2016

JD Power

If you’re planning to buy a new vehicle this year, J.D. Power wants you to know you’ll probably happier in a Kia than a Porsche.

Well, maybe less annoyed. By the little things. On average. That’s one takeaway from the firm’s annual ranking of automotive brands based on consumer complaints logged during the first 90 days of ownership.

This year’s J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study is good PR for many automakers, considering 21 of the 33 brands moved up in the rankings this year, including those in the Big Three. Domestic brands collectively recorded a lower problem tally than their foreign competition, a feat only accomplished one other time in the study’s three decade history. Read More >

By on June 11, 2016

2016 Tesla Model S

Elon Musk is declaring the controversy that erupted over reports of Tesla Model S suspension failures to be over, done, finished, finito.

The Tesla founder and CEO fired off a string of tweets late Friday, saying that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration was done looking into the matter, and added that the majority of complaints were found to be fraudulent.

Yesterday, TTAC examined the details of the case that sparked accusations of a serious Model S safety issue and a cover-up on the part of the automaker. The firestorm of controversy, ignited by a Daily Kanban blog post by ex-TTAC editor Edward Neidermeyer, centered on a Pennsylvania man whose 2013 Model S experienced an unusual upper ball joint failure. Read More >

By on June 8, 2016

2017 Toyota Highlander

When it comes to brands that resonate with buyers, no other automaker tops Toyota, according to a recent study.

In its annual ranking, BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands shows the Japanese automaker rising two spots to place 28th out of all companies in 2015. Second and third-place automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz both gained ground in the rankings. Read More >

By on June 1, 2016

2014-Ford-Fiesta-Ecoboost-engine-2

If you want to own one of the world’s best engines (as ranked by a panel of multi-national auto journos), you don’t necessarily have to find a higher paying job or buy a plane ticket to Europe.

Most categories at the recently announced 2016 International Engine of the Year Awards were won by high-end powerplants and European mills you won’t find in North America — except for one entry dominated by Ford. Read More >

By on June 1, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk plans to turn off the free electricity taps at his company’s Supercharger stations for owners of the upcoming Model 3.

Musk made the announcement last night during a question and answer session at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Paying to use the Tesla-financed recharging network isn’t something the roughly 373,000 reservation holders want, but the decision comes down to basic economics, said Musk. Read More >

By on May 28, 2016

Tesla Model X, Image: Tesla Motors

Bad PR from customers annoyed by their problem-plagued Tesla Model X SUVs continues to hammer the electric automaker.

A lawsuit filed against Tesla by a California man is the latest bit of bad news (and press) for the company. According to Barrett Lyon, the bizarre electrical gremlins running loose in his Model X turned his vehicle into a static driveway decoration. Read More >

By on May 24, 2016

Challenger crash

If you’re going to hit a pole in a Dodge Challenger, it’s better to nail that sucker head-on or it miss altogether.

That’s the takeaway from a series of crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, where Dodge’s muscle coupe scored itself a “marginal” rating in the small front overlap test.

The IIHS normally doesn’t test niche vehicles, but V8-powered Challenger, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro models are hot-selling items and buyers demanded it. Read More >

By on May 18, 2016

2015-Ford-Focus-15

Ford Motor Company probably wishes it had gone with a CVT.

After weathering years of complaints about the performance of its six-speed PowerShift dual clutch transmission, Australia just added to the misery with a class-action lawsuit, CarAdvice reports.

The suit, which alleges the transmissions are unsafe, concerns 2010–2014 Ford Fiesta and Focus models.  Read More >

By on May 17, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Traverse

The strange case of General Motors’ incorrect fuel economy numbers is getting stranger, if it wasn’t odd enough already.

GM announced late last week that it would reprint EPA labels for its 2016 full-size crossovers after the wrong mileage made its way onto window stickers, but Consumer Reports now says there’s something fishy about that. Read More >

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