Category: News Blog

By on July 22, 2019

Volvo Cars is recalling 507,000 vehicles worldwide over a bum engine component that it claims could lead to an engine fire. However, according to the automaker’s own internal investigation, the more likely scenario involves the vehicles’ plastic intake manifold melting — though it stated this prospect was still “very rare.”

Affected vehicles include all Volvo models equipped with the 2.0-liter diesel between 2014 and 2019 — that’s the S60, S80, S90, V40, V60, V70, V90, XC60 and XC90. The company said it is unaware of any reports of accidents or personal injuries stemming from the problem and was keen to remedy the issue as swiftly as possible.  Read More >

By on July 22, 2019

With Oliver Zipse confirmed as BMW’s new chief executive, practically everyone theorized on how he was going to shake up the strategy established under former-CEO Harald Krüger — which revolved around gradually introducing more EVs via a highly flexible architecture. While we were disinclined to agree, a swath of industry experts and media outlets claimed this was a terrible blueprint for the brand and expected Zipse to come up with something different.

However, he looks to be offering more of the same. That begs the question as to why Krüger actually left the company and taints the validity of suggestions that his product strategy was internally viewed as a failureRead More >

By on July 22, 2019

TTAC Commentator Znueni writes:

Dear Sajeev,

We have a 2007 Honda CRV with nice Continental winter tires mounted, speed rating of H. We only put around 8k miles a year on it with short hops and maybe one long 800 mile trip in the summer. Living in a moderate climate (couple snows a year, summers max out high 80’s for a month or two) and using the car so little, we’re considering running winter tires year round.

Think doing so will ruin them quickly? Your sage opinion welcomed!

Read More >

By on July 22, 2019

best trailer brake controllers

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


If you’re thinking about using your truck or SUV to tow anything more than a child’s inflatable dinghy, it is an exceedingly good idea to invest in a trailer brake controller. These units, generally about the size of two stacked smartphones, manage the amount of braking force being produced by the electric brakes fitted to your trailer’s axles.

Not sure if your trailer has electric brakes? Check the plug size on the end of its electrical pigtail that gets connected to the tow vehicle. If it is rectangular with four metal connections, it is only tasked with providing the trailer’s lights with juice. If it is round with seven pins, your trailer has electric brakes.

These controllers allow the driver to monitor the braking situation astern and, in all but the cheapest examples, set the level of braking aggression provided by the trailer when you apply the brakes on your tow vehicle.

We’ve picked out eight of the best for you to consider before getting hitched and hitting the road. Be safe out there, kids.

Read More >

By on July 22, 2019

Mini might not make sense as a automotive company anymore, at least not in the United States. Consumer tastes have shifted away from small cars and practically everyone is interested in crossovers these days. While this issue has been less pronounced in Europe, where the Mini has enjoyed an uptick in sales, the brand has been struggling in North America. U.S. volumes are comparatively low and have been on the decline since 2015. It’s not a total disaster, but annual deliveries have been wallowing south of 50,000 units for a couple of years now. Nobody can pretend there isn’t a problem.

The fix, according to parent company BMW Group, is to fill up Mini’s product portfolio with crossover vehicles while also giving the little Hardtop a bit of love.  Read More >

By on July 22, 2019

Citroën’s on-and-off history with North American importation make almost all of them rarities, and perfect for this series. Thus far, we’ve seen Citroëns in the form of Traction Avant, XM, and CX. Today’s front-drive Frenchy is a sporty BX hatchback from 1991.

Read More >

By on July 22, 2019

The new Corvette showed up in a war-era hangar last week, wearing slinky new bodywork and an engine mounted amidships. This change has reliably rattled some corners of Vette fandom.

Another part of the new Chevy halo car that caused controversy? Its interior. The reconfigurable screen ahead of the driver was expected, given what’s being deployed now by the likes of Audi and a few others. But the rest of the Corvette cabin? Very surprising.

Which is today’s question: what production car interior, good or bad, has surprised you the most?

Read More >

By on July 20, 2019

Ford Motor Company’s Oakville, Ontario assembly plant will soon see a reduction in manpower, according to the union representing Canadian Detroit Three autoworkers. The looming changes represent the latest blow to that country’s fragile car building presence.

For Ford, the cuts outlined by Unifor Local 7070 president Dave Thomas in a web post this week are an inevitable consequence of evolving lineups and consumer tastes. The company can’t build the Ford Flex forever. Read More >

By on July 19, 2019

Following a scathing analysis from the Detroit Free Press regarding Ford’s handling of their dual-clutch transmission troubles in the Focus and Fiesta, the company has apparently ordered dealerships to fix all affected cars for free, regardless of warranty status.

Automotive News is reporting that the company sent a memo out to dealerships instructing them to fix transmissions if the customer is having issues:

In the July 12 memo, Ford says dealerships should “arrange to diagnose the vehicle and repair as necessary.” The fixes can be applied to 2011-17 models, many of which are out of warranty.

Dealerships were also told to expect another update later today.

Read More >

By on July 19, 2019

On Friday, Toyota Motor Corp. announced it had signed an agreement for the joint development of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with China’s BYD Company Ltd. Technically, BYD also made an announcement but we’re not scouring their press page on an hourly basis. Toyota gets top billing.

According to the release, the two companies will jointly develop “sedans and low-floor SUVs as well as the onboard batteries for these vehicles and others with the aim to launch them in the Chinese market under the Toyota brand in the first half of the 2020s.”

Having previously announced it was teaming up with Contemporary Amerex Technology (CATL) and Panasonic to supply and develop batteries, Toyota is trying to expand rapidly into electric development — after showing limited interest for years. We’ve no clue how these partnerships will influence the brand’s physical products outside of Asia but, at the very least, it should have fewer battery supply issues than some of the competition moving forward.  Read More >

By on July 19, 2019

Mazda has filed the term “MX-30” with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). While the filing incorporates broad automotive usage (including parts), the MX prefix has historically been applied to Mazda’s two-doored vehicles (including the MX-5 Miata). However, we’re urging you not to get your panties in a bunch and take a moment to seriously consider the odds.

You might be envisioning a return of the MX-6 or MX-3 coupe, but the fact that there is a 30 tacked onto the end could be indicative of ties to the new CX-30 — a crossover.  Read More >

By on July 19, 2019

The Rare Rides series has touched on recreational vehicles twice in the past, when it featured a BMW-powered Vixen, and the custom fiberglass hodgepodge which was the MSV.

Today’s RV is smaller than either of those, but it can also fit into normal parking spaces. It’s the 1991 Provan Tiger GT.

Read More >

By on July 19, 2019

Caroline Writes:

Good day Sajeev:

I was blessed to find your information on line.  I am experiencing the exact issues mentioned on your site regarding my 2013 Volvo S60. Do you have any advice regarding the best way to handle this matter? Here are the details:

November 2015, I purchased a used 2013 Volvo S60 with 33,000 miles from a Volvo dealer. The car worked fine, within the last year (2018) the synthetic oil started burning out within 60-90 days. Synthetic oil changes are supposed to last for 7k miles. (my oil changes didn’t last for 1,000 mi). I have taken my car for servicing at the Volvo dealer. I searched the web and found my issue is a common issue with Volvo: Piston, Oil leaking, engine problems. There has not been a recall.

Dealer states they will cover parts, but I must pay $2900 for service hours. Why should I suffer penalty of $2900 for an international issue with the make and model of Volvo?

Read More >

By on July 19, 2019

2020 Chevrolet Corvette

ORANGE COUNTY, CA. — After months, if not years, of hype, plus another 30 minutes or so of introduction, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is finally here.

Dubbed C8, for eighth generation, the Corvette is now mid-engined for the first time ever.

It’s also sans stick, at least for the foreseeable future.

Chevy introduced just one version of the car in Southern California Thursday — the Stingray. A Z51 performance package is available, and Stingrays so equipped will be able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in under 3 seconds.

Oh, and the price tag? Under $60,000 to start.

Read More >

By on July 18, 2019

I’m in California today so that I can see the new Chevrolet C8 Corvette in the flesh. The reveal will take place later tonight.

In advance of that event, friend of TTAC Bozi Tatarevic has tweeted out a photo of the car’s interior. It looks, um, interesting.

Read More >

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