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By on August 31, 2016

ammonium nitrate explosion (Oregon National Guard/Flickr)

The company behind the massive recall of potentially explosive airbags won’t face a federal investigation after one of its trucks crashed and exploded on a Texas highway.

A transport truck carrying ammonium nitrate propellant and airbag inflators detonated last week, killing the occupant of a nearby home and leaving the truck in pieces. After two U.S. senators demanded a probe, the National Transportation Safety Board now claims that Takata followed the rules. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

Boeing 707 water injection takeoff (USAF/Wikimedia]

Bosch, the creator of the horsepower-boosting water injection system in the BMW M4 GTS, will now offer the technology to any automaker that wants it.

Spraying distilled water vapor into an engine’s combustion chamber has an added bonus of greatly increasing fuel efficiency — meaning Bosch might have a lineup at its door when the system enters mass production in 2019, Autocar reports. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

Update: Added statement from Honda Canada  Surely part of the reasoning behind a minivan buyer’s decision to end up with a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna relates to reliability reputations. For most buyers in most trade-in situations, a similarly equipped Dodge Grand Caravan will cost a lot less. But the belief that the Odyssey or […]

By on August 31, 2016

 

fisher body, shutterstock user Flystock

TTAC commentator Arthur Dailey writes:

We all understand that developing a new vehicle requires hundreds of millions of dollars and a number of years. However between the early ’50s and late ’70s, the Detroit Three unveiled multiple “new” vehicles on an annual basis. I remember eagerly watching the first episode of Bonanza, each September through most of the ’60s because that’s when Chevrolet would unveil its new cars to the public.

The split-window Corvette, the Corvair Monza, the Caprice and the Camaro, all seen for the first time on Sunday nights.

(Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

2017 Toyota Corolla iM

A group of Toyota engineers clearly had time to kill this summer, but at least they spent it with one of their products.

For whatever reason, members of the automaker’s Michigan research and design team took a stock Corolla iM (formerly the Scion iM) and entered it into a rally, possibly just to see what would happen. Then they entered it into another. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

Facebook Overlay Tombstone

The annoying Facebook overlay is dead. Hurrah!

By on August 31, 2016

Please welcome TTAC reader Mike Allen. He recently took delivery of an automatic-transmission MX-5 and drove it through California in search of enlightenment! The fourth-generation Miata is no stranger to these pages, having been reviewed by Tim Cain and Alex Dykes in the past year. But these reviews, like most of those you’ll find out […]

By on August 31, 2016

U.S. Marines amphibious assault vehicle (U.S. Pacific Command/Flickr)

What a difference seven decades make. In the early 1940s, Mitsubishi Zeroes of the Imperial Japanese Navy tangled with U.S. Grumman Wildcats and Hellcats in the skies over the west Pacific. Now, the aircraft’s builder wants the U.S. Marines to sign up for its amphibious assault vehicle.

Japan is getting into the arms export game after scrapping a law forbidding it, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries now in talks with a U.S. company to partner on the vehicle, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

2016 GMC Canyon 2WD SL, Image: General Motors

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that is — all things considered — the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

For years, there’s been a chorus cry from the internet: “Buyers can’t get a simple pickup truck anymore!” Well into the ‘90s, customers could waltz into many a dealer and drive off in a Spartan, four-cylinder, stick shift, rear-wheel-drive pickup with the footprint of a Twinkie.

(Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

pumping gas

Whoa, slow down a minute. That’s the message from three Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is reviewing fuel economy targets set out for automakers.

The members want more time for car companies to respond to a key report about the 54.5 mile per gallon corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target, The Detroit Free Press reports. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

Ford hasn’t told us when we’ll see the 2017 Fusion Sport on dealer lots, but it does want us to know how the 325-horsepower sedan alters its personality.

The top-shelf performance variant of Ford’s midsize family hauler lets its hair down with the press of a single button, which switches seven settings from “Jekyll” mode to “Hyde.” (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

hyundai N Division

Hyundai’s plans to diversify the Elantra lineup continues apace, with the automaker dropping teaser images of the next GT hatch and posting a video of a possible N-badged high-performance variant.

Expect more maturity and style from the hatchback Elantra, and, if the automaker is really serious about its N Division, a turbocharged stick-shift funmobile with room for camping equipment. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (3 of 8)

Faced with the option of waiting to see if their cars can be fixed or accepting a hefty cash payout, diesel Volkswagen owners are opting to take the money and run.

Once-fierce loyalty to the dirty “clean diesels” seems to have evaporated, as most owners who’ve registered for the settlement want the automaker to buy back their car, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

traffic highway (Bryce Watanabe/Flickr)

Traffic deaths skyrocketed last year by the largest amount since 1966, erasing safety gains made in recent years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released raw 2015 data yesterday, revealing that 35,092 people died on U.S. roads — a 7.2 percent spike in fatalities compared to the previous year. The data shows the deaths weren’t confined to any particular demographic. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

Spinning Miata, Image: © 2016 Jack Baruth/The Truth About Cars

I didn’t race this past weekend at Mid-Ohio, but it was still useful to me for a couple of reasons.

The first one was that I got to have an argument with the nice but very naive fellow who banned me from competing in the event. That was primarily amusing because his wife kept sticking her face in front of his and screaming at me. And this dude was totally cool with that. Preferred it, I think.

Intellectually, I realize that in $THE_CURRENT_YEAR there are a lot of full-grown “men,” probably raised in a fatherless environment, who need women to defend them from super-mean, scary old cripples like me. But it still makes me feel like Tommy Lee Jones in that movie where that one guy with the great hair kills people with a pneumatic cattle gun. I’m already irrelevant. Already a relic. The national conversation has moved on. It’s okay. I will adapt. In the future, if you have a problem with me, take it up with Danger Girl. She’s much younger and stronger than I am.

The other useful part of the NASA race was that I happened to be holding a camera when a young Miata driver looped his car. I caught the whole thing. Click the jump and I’ll show you how he spun — and how you can avoid a spin like this, both on the street and on the track.

(Read More…)

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