By on December 16, 2015

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

If you see this Cadillac a-rockin’, you should submit a complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That, and depressed 2016 sales outlooks, the Federal Reserve rate hike, a Chinese electric vehicle Warrior and CarMax, after the jump.

16. Toyota Corolla Mudanjiang

Toyota predicts a flat 2016, Hyundai even less optimistic

According to two separate reports from Reuters, Toyota and Hyundai have very different outlooks for 2016 — and neither are all that good.

Toyota, who’s seen its main rival for being the world’s largest automaker drop out of the race for some reason, doesn’t expect much, if any, global growth for 2016. The automaker has stated its overall group sales will likely rise by a mere 1 percent to 10.2 million vehicles.

In Korea, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo said next year is “not bright” for the automaker.

Maybe they can make some diesels for North America. I hear those are in short supply these days.

Chicago Assembly Plant new 2011 Explorer

Fed likely to raise rates now that even millennials are buying cars and houses

Again, coming to you from Reuters, is a report on the impending Federal Reserve rate hike. Within it are some very, very interesting little tidbits of information:

• FCA more than doubled its workforce in Kokomo because of a booming automotive sector.
• Millennials (16-35 year olds) now account for a quarter of new automotive sales — and they’re the demographic that’s growing the fastest in terms of overall sales.
• Millennials are buying homes, too.

Good work, millennials. Go out and buy all those shiny new things.

nextev-formula-e-race-car_100525730_l

NextEV hires a Warrior

Cisco Systems’ former technology chief, Padmasree Warrior, has been scooped up by NextEV, a new electric vehicle company funded by a lot of money from China.

“I really care about solving big global problems,” Warrior said in an interview with Bloomberg (via Automotive News). “It’s not just electric cars. It’s how can you use the mobile Internet era to bring the user much closer to the brand — we call it user enterprise. The vision is not just about technology, but changing the experience.”

The company, which already operates a Formula E Championship team, was founded by Chinese car-pricing website chairman William Li and calls former Maserati and Ford Europe executive Martin Leach its CEO. NextEV plans to debut a fully electric supercar sometime in the later part of 2016.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe white

Full-size Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac SUVs (and their owners) not experiencing good vibrations

According to AutoGuide, the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade triplets are experiencing some noise, vibration and harshness problems that could be making their owners sick.

Some problems have been reported to NHTSA, with one complaint stating: “Pressure, sound and sensation at low to mid range speeds. Creating headache, dizziness and strain.”

A technical service bulletin for the problem states the roof panels might not be bonded properly and has issued steps to remedy the issue. However, it seems that some owners still have a problem after the fix is complete, according to the report.

Carmax

CarMax on recalls: Not our responsibility

Consumer advocacy groups believe used car should be responsible for completing recall work on inventory before it’s sold. CarMax, obviously, doesn’t agree.

According to Automotive News, CarMax says it discloses outstanding recalls for vehicles before they are sold, but getting that work done is the responsibility of the buyer. However, a recent buyer of a vehicle at a CarMax store, who also happens to be founder of The Safety Institute, said outstanding recalls were only disclosed after he had asked.

“Why would they let me drive off with fixing it?” Sean Kane said to Automotive News. “Had I not asked about the recalls, I’m pretty sure the salesperson would not have pulled up those recalls to show me.”

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46 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Full-size GM SUVs Making People Sick, 2016 Sales Look Flat, and Millennials Are Buying Everything Now...”


  • avatar

    Wow. CARMAX employees deciding not to show what minimal information they know about a car (“Sir, this car is very safe with its…3-point restraints and…color-keyed bumpers!”) with a customer? Color me shocked.

    That said, I agree its not their responsibility to ensure the recall is completed as many recalls are purely statutory in nature, like missing pages from a manual.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    • Millennials (16-35 year olds) now account for a quarter of new automotive sales — and they’re the demographic that’s growing the fastest in terms of overall sales.
    • Millennials are buying homes, too.

    They gotta keep copying me. Ugh.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I’m a Millennial?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yep, even 28CL is a Millennial – but just barely. The only person who isn’t a Millennial is Dal.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Does that mean I might be a hipster?

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            If you have to ask then the answer is no. Hipster level of stupid takes some serious doing. Were I to spend the entire afternoon assembling the most foolish looking get-up that Chase Freedom and the 16 fashion stores at the mall allow I couldn’t even come close. Pencil necked lumberjacks in skinny jeans and BCGs?

            Where’s a caning enforced dress code when you need one?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m not gonna look up what a BCG is, because I know I’ll be annoyed. I’m going to pretend it stands for some kind of UGGs.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You have a CUV, and thus are far too mainstream!

            +Hipster points for it being very ugly and unpopular and you purchasing it anyway.

            -Points because it’s a luxury car which is not vintage.

            -Points for owning a home and having a job and child an wife.

            -Points for living in Detroit, but outside a bad-up-and-gentrify part.

            Net negative of 2 points.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Birth Control Glasses.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ahh. I always just thought they were called Hipster Irony Glasses.

            They just try_too_hard.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I wore my BCGs in the Army. They helped me see those a$$hole insurgents. My M249, and everyone else with an M4 instead, appreciated it.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            The hipster of today is totally unrelated to the hipster of the mid-20th century, especially the jazz scene.

            Today’s hipsters are basically what was called metrosexuals ten years ago. Then they woke up briefly and decided that wasn’t as flattering a term as they had thought it would be, so they decided to re-brand themselves.

            Somebody’s father had a copy of Norman Mailer’s “The White Negro” on his book shelf, some metrosexual found it, and a paradigm was expropriated.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “Today’s hipsters are basically what was called metrosexuals ten years ago.”

            Nope, not at all the same thing.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I missed this… X gon’ give it to ya Corey.

      • 0 avatar
        Occam

        Hello fellow GenX/Y cusper. We don’t fit anywhere. We are the played a NES as a kid, watched Reading Rainbow, thought MC Hammer was cool mini-generation that fits in the awkward gap between the cynical, slacker X’es and the doofy techno-listening Pokémon-playing Y’s. If you see an AMC Pacer and immediately think of Wayne’s World, played with Dukes of Hazard toys, have fond memories of ALF, and at any point actually wondered if 2015 would be like Back to the Future…

        One of us!

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        You sound like a buddy of mine, a tweener that occupies the grey space between Gen-X and the boomers.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      • Millennials (16-85 year olds) now account for all new automotive sales — and they’re the demographic that’s growing the fastest in terms of overall sales.
      • Millennials are buying homes, too.

      See how easy it is to claim that Millenials have jobs and can afford things?

    • 0 avatar
      windnsea00

      I am 29 and have always bought used, I like to mix it up annually on average. However, with the attractive interest rate and included service from BMW I went for a lease this past summer.

      Admittedly it was pretty nice to order my car along with the fact I never worry about maintenance/repair bills.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Pressure, sound and sensation at low to mid range speeds. Creating headache, dizziness and strain.”

    Like I been saying, the ride quality is crap. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Funky

      I think I recall something similar to this occurring with my 2012 Honda Odyssey van (I no longer own this vehicle; it was sold in late 2013 after about 1 year of ownership). Maybe there is something inherent in the design of a big boxy vehicle which can cause this to occur?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “Maybe there is something inherent in the design …” Every object has its natural harmonic frequency.

        I remember when I was in the Air Force, the testing of the F16 fighter jet on a huge computerized vibration scale to determine its harmonic, with and without external armaments like bombs, missiles and external tanks.

        I was the one loading the bombs and missiles.

        IIRC, the harmonic frequency was 6Hz and 19Hz, depending on configuration.

        • 0 avatar
          Funky

          “Every object has its natural harmonic frequency”. Yes, this sounds like a very plausible explanation. It is disappointing, though, if true, that the engineers missed something so fundamental. Maybe adding mass or rigidity to the structure would solve their problem (but, I don’t imagine this would be an easy thing to fix on “already existing/produced” vehicles). There seems to be always something (fundamental) that is missed on newly designed models.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Cars are not tested as thoroughly as airplanes. It is rare for cars that operate in two-dimensions to come apart while in use.

            Metal fatigue or fastener failures in cars have occurred but it is less dramatic than if it were to happen to an airplane in flight. And in cars weight is not an issue – you can gusset.

            Airplanes OTOH operate in three dimensions with forces applied from 360-degrees in each of the three dimensions, and weight is the enemy. Plenty of evidence and precedence found in aircraft and rocket development during and since WWII.

            During WWII the Germans experienced some catastrophic in-flight failures while developing their aircraft and rocketry. What we are doing now finds its basis in the research done by the Germans of WWII.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I get why carmax does not want to do the recalls well no I really do not get it, Why would they let a perhaps unsafe car roll off their lot, I see a time suck to getting the recalls done by doesn’t the OEM pay for the recall work? Seems like a fairly cheap way to stand out in the use car world by making sure the recalls are done.

    • 0 avatar

      What is a remedy is not yet available for the recall? How long do you let the car wait on your lot, unsellable, eating up floorplan interest?

      • 0 avatar
        eamiller

        Sounds like a business plan issue. I don’t think the government cares about “floorplanning”, rather keeping unsafe vehicles off the road. A company as sophisticated as CarMax should be able to figure out whether a particular car is going to have to sit or not long before they buy it.

        The fact that used cars are being sold by dealerships with open safety recalls is a huge issue. It’s something that should have never been allowed in the first place. Considering you’re paying a premium to buy the car from a dealership instead of private party, it’s not unreasonable to assume it’s been vetted for recalls.

        • 0 avatar

          So, as a dealer with a’08 Mustang on the lot with a Takata airbag, I shouldn’t be able to sell it until Ford gets enough parts together to fix it?

          What if I were selling it as my personal car to someone?

          What if I were trading it in? Should the dealer restrict me from trading it in because of the outstanding recall? Or devalue it accordingly?

          And what constitutes a recall vital enough to impede retailing a vehicle? What about the Toyota floormat recall? A missing page from the owner’s manual? A MOPAR TOW BAR recall for a Wrangler that I will never have ‘officially’ completed since the Jeep I have are not fitted with that part?

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Hi Flybrian, Would a full disclosure and complete any “available” recalls requirement work? (wasn’t the towbar recall to install a tow bar and protect the gas tank?)

          • 0 avatar

            05LGT,

            The MOPAR Tow Bar recall is some MOPAR-branded accessory for the Wrangler that allows it to be dinghy-towed behind an RV.

            I’m sortof playing Devil’s advocate with the recall stuff, but as a dealer, I wouldn’t balk at an addendum to the Federal Used Car Window Sticker/Buyer’s Guid everyone has to sign anyway that contains something like…”I acknowledge that as of this date, this vehicle may not have had all recalls completed etc.”

            Alternatively, if mandated, “I acknowledge that this vehicle is being sold with all open recalls with known remedies as of this date completed.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @flybrian

            You do know we are planning to come harass your shop in February right?

            Don’t sell that Jag between now and then paly, I want to take a spin.

          • 0 avatar

            @28,

            Oh, I’m well aware of the maelstrom headed my way. I will need everyone to fill out credit applications prior to test-driving, though; if your FICO is over 540, you don’t qualify.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Damn. I’ll just have to stop making all those CC payments to fix my credit so it meets your specs.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Part of the problem is how long many recalls take to repair. Assume they had around 250 Cobalts for sale across the US. All of those would have had to sit in inventory until the parts became available to repair.

      For example, one of my co-workers’ parents had an ’07ish Rav4 that was recalled for an oil consumption problem. They were told there was currently no timetable for repairs several years ago and there still isn’t. Imagine if Carmax couldn’t sell all those Rav4s they had in inventory because Toyota was dragging their feet trying to avoid doing repairs.

      The real problem is as stated. They fail to properly disclose open recalls. I believe their idea of disclosure is handing you the CarFax report.

  • avatar

    vibration problems with full size SUVs are a reality and a difficult repair requiring numerous trips to dealers who are clueless as to the fix. first hand knowledge this is a fact.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I would say a dealer should make sure recalls regarding safety issues. It would definitely be a way to attract customers, and even avoid lawsuits for selling a vehicle with an open recall and forgetting, or just flat out neglecting to disclose that.

    This is something that gets done for free. If your big, multi-million dollar company can’t manage a trek to the dealer for a free repair, I brand thee lazy and greedy. At the VERY least, disclose it.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    When I bought the X5 from CarMax, they disclosed all open recalls (none) and showed me where I could find that information in the future, but that didn’t happen until we were signing papers. Presumably, this person asked earlier in the process…because their policy is to disclose it for every car.

    Regarding responsibilities, the logistics of administering or managing every recall there is on a vehicle has to be a nightmare for CarMax and other large used-car dealerships, so I can understand their position on this. I think the healthiest solution is for the NHTSA or whoever administers recalls to setup a rank system, “Dangerous” or “Not Dangerous.” Automakers can self-rank the recalls, but they do so at their own peril if they mis-rank something by saying it isn’t dangerous when it is. Make the dealerships disclose open recalls that aren’t dangerous (like a software fix for iDrive) and make them rectify the ones that are dangerous if there’s a fix (like a leak that causes fuel fumes to get into the cabin) before they can sell them.

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