Category: Quality

By on October 25, 2016

2016 Ford Focus

Headlining 2016’s Consumer Reports annual reliability rankings were the dreadful results of four Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ brands. Bringing up the rear in uninterrupted fashion were Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram. Jeep was only three spots ahead of Dodge.

Not coincidentally then, two of the five least reliable new vehicles on sale in America are also FCA products. All five are domestics, though they’re not all built in the United States.

Still, poor reliability does not necessarily correspond to poor marketplace performances. Three of the five least reliable vehicles in America are sales leaders in their respective categories; another is a steady top-tier player.

And one of the least reliable new vehicles on sale today has failed so badly in the marketplace that its days are numbered.  Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

2016 Fiat 500L, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Consumer Reports released its new car reliability ratings today, and one company should take a long hard look at itself in the Italian-American mirror.

The annual report covers brand reliability and includes a list of the 10 best, and worst, vehicles in terms of reliability. While there are some predicable favorites, Buick managed to hit an unexpected home run and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla surprised everyone with reports of mechanical issues stemming from — get this — the electronics.  Read More >

By on October 24, 2016

CarMax in Raleigh, Image: Ildar Sagdejev [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0]/Wikimedia Commons

When is a completed inspection report not a completed inspection report? When it’s issued by CarMax, a California appeals court has ruled.

The court found the country’s largest used vehicle retailer in violation of a state law requiring detailed inspection checklists for certified used vehicles, Automotive News reports. The ruling, which stems from a lawsuit filed by a customer who claimed CarMax sold him a “certified” lemon, shines light on the retailer’s dodgy vehicle inspection practices. Read More >

By on October 20, 2016

2016 Hyundai Sonata, Image: Hyundai Motor America

The only thing missing is an ejection seat.

Panoramic sunroofs are a great way to add upmarket flair to a solidly mid-range vehicle, bringing occupants closer to the outside world and making joyriding antics a breeze. However, drivers would normally prefer some say over when those large glass panels open. They’d also like to keep them attached to the car. Read More >

By on October 13, 2016

Dodge Challenger crash test

Once again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has handed the Dodge Challenger a five-star safety rating in its annual crash tests.

Shelf space at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles headquarters must be at a premium thanks to all those awards, but does the NHTSA safety rating tell the whole story?

In short — no, it doesn’t. Read More >

By on October 13, 2016

2016_Toyota_Prius_032_C475F57FB73C22488071C4EA551C57C29546966D

Toyota shoehorned a lot of cutting-edge technology into the current-generation Prius, but the fuel-sipping vehicle has a low-tech Achilles Heel.

The automaker is recalling 340,000 2016 and 2017 Prius models to fix a potentially deadly parking brake problem, the Associated Press reports (via USA Today). In the Prius, it could lead to “sudden acceleration” of a different kind. Read More >

By on October 12, 2016

Jeep Renegade by Pablo David González of KM77

Jeep may have an issue with the Renegade and is either unaware of it or in denial.

A video shot by Spanish reviewer Pablo González shows a Renegade’s rear end catching serious air during a routine braking test. The video, posted on 77km.com and first noticed by Jalopnik, is alarming — the test vehicle’s front end nosedives, while the rear wheels leave the pavement entirely.  Read More >

By on October 7, 2016

11Edge-MyFord Touch_6316

Customers welcomed Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system with all the enthusiasm of a child running across the tarmac to greet a returning serviceman, and with good reason.

The automaker’s MyFord Touch and Sync systems, launched at the beginning of the decade, caused irritated customers to pull out their hair and join together in a 2013 class-action lawsuit. Court documents obtained by The Detroit News now show that the frustration at Ford went all the way to the top. Read More >

By on October 6, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Interior-006

A new wrinkle has cropped up in the lawsuit filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles by the parents of late Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin.

Yelchin died in June after being pinned against a gatepost by his 2015 Jeep Cherokee, which was subject to a recall for its confusing Monostable shift lever. According to documents obtained by TMZ, the dealer that sold him the vehicle blames the victim for the accident. Read More >

By on October 5, 2016

2017 Toyota Highlander

Interbrand released its annual list of the world’s top 100 brands, a ranking that now contains an independent automaker.

While Toyota climbs one spot to the No. 5 position (the highest of all automakers), Tesla has muscled its way onto the field, slotting at No. 100. Volkswagen continues the brand value descent it began last year, falling from No. 35 to No. 40 and posting a value decline of 9 percent.

There’s grim news for GM, as none of its brands made the list this year.
Read More >

By on October 3, 2016

2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-004

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 380,000 Ford Edge SUVs after receiving a slew of complaints about doors that won’t latch.

The regulator’s probe increases the chances that Ford will add another crop of vehicles to its 2.4 million-strong door latch recall. Meanwhile, another NHTSA investigation targets reports of power steering failure in certain Fusion models. Read More >

By on September 20, 2016

1-Ethanol-Gas-006

Like something from the Nixon era, the U.S. Southeast is currently in the grips of a gasoline shortage, all thanks to the shutdown of the Houston-to-New York Colonial Pipeline. North Carolina and Virginia have declared a state of emergency as gas pumps dry up.

Even TTAC’s Bozi Tatarevic can’t find premium unleaded to save his life. His WRX’s tank runneth dry.

The sudden gas crisis provides a perfect backdrop for a study by the American Automobile Association showing that 16.5 million Americans gassed up their vehicle last year with octane they didn’t need. Read More >

By on September 16, 2016

2012 Jeep Patriot Latitude, Exterior, front 3/4, Photography by Alex L. Dykes

This time, it’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ turn to recall a million-plus vehicles for airbags that might not deploy during a crash.

Yesterday, the automaker announced the recall of 1.9 million vehicles worldwide to fix a defect linked to three deaths and five injuries. Read More >

By on September 12, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition

General Motors has a doozy of a recall on its hands after admitting that 3.64 million vehicles in the U.S. are equipped with airbags that might not deploy in the event of a crash.

The automaker has announced a voluntary recall of numerous 2014-2017 models to fix the issue, which can also disable seatbelt pretensioners. There remains a bit of mystery as to the “certain rare circumstances” that can disable the airbags. Read More >

By on September 8, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang GT

Ford Motor Company’s multi-model door latch recall, which started out relatively small earlier this year, is growing in leaps and bounds.

The automaker announced today that it has recalled another 1.5 million vehicles to prevent doors from flying open, nearly tripling the previous tally of 828,053, the Associated Press reports. Read More >

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