Junkyard Find: 2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition

The junkyard tells me that the Fiat 500 depreciates nearly as quickly as the New Mini and Mitsubishi Mirage, though the current generation of 500 remains sufficiently recent that most examples I see are crash victims.

This car, though crashed, is still special: a genuine, numbers-matching Gucci Edition Fiat 500, found in a Denver car graveyard.

Read more
TTAC News Round-up: Let's Talk Carbon Emissions, Volkswagen's Bigger Headache, and Plug-in Porsches

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

Read more
Report: Ford, Regulators Aware of Power Steering Issues, Still No Recall

The New York Times reported that federal regulators have received about 150 complaints over four years about power steering failures in the 2012 model year Ford Focus, including 124 crashes with injuries, with no recourse. One crash reportedly killed an 89-year-old New Jersey woman, although federal investigators concluded, “a steering failure is most likely not implicated,” according to the New York Times.

Despite the widespread reports by owners and the manufacturer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t asked Ford to recall the car. Ford has issued two service bulletins to dealers to inform consumers that the electric-assisted steering could lose power on startup and “wander” at highway speeds.

Safety authorities told the New York Times that its investigations revealed that in most of the crashes the fault was with the steering wheel and not necessarily the power steering.

Read more
Piston Slap: My Pick Up's Failing Clutch Pick Up?

TTAC Commentator halftruth writes:

My 2012 Tacoma has a temperamental clutch. Sometimes it catches high, sometimes low. This is most annoying on a grade when the pedal comes up and very little happens, then — boom! — it grabs all at once or it catches a little at a time and eventually works as it should. The ambient temperature does not seem to matter nor if the truck is hot or cold.

I noticed the pedal linkage is all plastic and has lots of play in it. I have also noticed this in other Tacomas of the same generation. I did adjust the actuator gap as it was way out of spec at about 8 mm, but it did not make a difference.

Read more
NHTSA Deepening Probe Into Ford F-150 Brakes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will look further into claims that 2011-2012 F-150 trucks may have a faulty brake vacuum pump on cold starts that caused seven crashes, including one injury, the Detroit News reported.

According to the report, nearly 253,000 trucks are affected by the investigation. Ford has said that it will comply with the investigation and that a recall shouldn’t be necessary for the trucks because the failing vacuum pump will sufficiently notify drivers before braking distance is significantly impacted.

Read more
Georgia Jury Orders Jeep To Pay $150M For Role In 2012 Fatal Accident

After two weeks of deliberation, a jury in Decatur County, Georgia has found Jeep liable for the 2012 death of a 4-year-old involving a 1999 Grand Cherokee.

Read more
Rental Car Review: My Wisconsin Week With a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LT

In my travels as Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court, I spend a lot of time in bottom-end rental cars. Sometimes I get press cars and write about them on these trips, but that’s usually more of a hassle than it’s worth. For about 15 four-day race weekends a year (plus a few vacation trips here and there) I’m in a Dodge Avenger, Nissan Altima, Ford Focus, or other rental-fleet favorite. 2013 is a year of Wisconsin visits for me; first, I went to my wife’s Milwaukee high-school reunion with a ’13 Jaguar XJL Portfolio, then I spent nine days in Door County with a rental ’12 Sonic, and next month I’ll be at the Chubba Cheddar Enduro at Road America with a ’14 Mitubishi Evo. The Sonic made an unexpectedly strong impression on me in August, so let’s see what life with Chevy’s little Daewoo is like.

Read more
Toyota Recalls 870,000 Units Due To Arachnophobia

One blah Monday morning, you’re commuting to the anonymous office park some 90 minutes away from the bedroom community you call a home in your equally anonymous Toyota Camry Hybrid, listening to yet another story about Congress kicking cans down roads and/or some wacky antics your favorite DJs had the past weekend while you take another swig of that mermaid-branded caffeinated goodness.

Read more
Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: New Yorkers Love Hondas

After California, let’s go all the way to the East Coast and the Big Apple because I have some exclusive, rare and detailed car sales data for New York!

One thing is certain, New York loves Japan and Honda… and not so much cowboys pick-up trucks…

Read more
The 1000 (One. Thousand.) Best Selling Cars Around The Globe in 2012

We have now gone to China, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Italia, Indonesia, France, Canada and Germany to explore what cars these countries bought in 2012. While we’re at it, why not explore the entire world?

Way too much to stomach? That’s ok, you can check the best-selling models and brands in 173 different countries and territories on my blog, one by one. So enjoy!

Back to the world. No one up to now had dared to publish a worldwide models ranking because of all the controversy: why is this model not counted as a separate one? But what about the sedan version? The Jetta is really a Golf with a boot, so why don’t you count them together? Is this a Chevrolet, a Buick or an Opel? And so on. But that was up to now. And now is the time to break the last car sales data taboo, take the bull by the horns, draw a line in the sand, or whatever tired expression you choose to insert here.

At last.

I give you the 1000 (yes, one thousand) best-selling models around the planet in 2012.

Jump in.

Read more
Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What The Mexicans Bought in 2012

Now that we have visited China, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Italia, Indonesia, France, Canada and Germany, it’s time to explore what the most popular cars were in Mexico in 2012.

Not interested in the least? That’s fine I won’t take it personally, simply because I had prepared the best-selling models and brands in 172 additional countries and territories on my blog, so enjoy!

Back to Mexico. And did you know Mexico was the only country in the world dominated by… Jump in to know more!

Read more
Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What The Germans Bought in 2012

The next stop on our ‘what the XXX bought in 2012′ is Germany, after going to China, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Italia, Indonesia, France and Canada.

Not what you had in mind? That’s ok, you can check the best-selling models and brands in 172 additional countries and territories on my blog. Enjoy!

Back to Germany. And in 2012 a few models broke their all-time annual volume records… Jump in to know more!

Read more
Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What The Canadians Bought In 2012

We continue on our ‘what the XXX bought in 2012′ series. After going to China, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Italia, Indonesia and France, today we cross the border to Canada.

Had enough already? Thought so, and it’s ok because you can check the best-selling models and brands in 172 additional countries and territories on my blog. Enjoy!

Back to Canada. And in 2012 a very important record was broken… Jump in to know more!

Read more
Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What The French Bought in 2012

After one World Roundup interruption last week, let’s resume our ‘what the XXX bought in 2012′ series. After going to China, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Italia and Indonesia, this time let’s see what the French bought in 2012.

Not interested? That’s fine I’ve got it all covered and prepared the best-selling models and brands in 172 additional countries and territories on my blog for you. Enjoy!

Back to France. And 2012 was a transition year for this market, with best-sellers that we will not see atop the ranking in the future anymore…

Read more
Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What The Indonesians Bought In 2012

We continue our round-the-world-travels, exploring what the main car markets in the world looked like in 2012. We have gone through the Chinese, European, Russian, Indian, Israeli and Italian markets already, now let’s have a look at Indonesia…

Not really interested? That’s ok, you can check out the best-selling models and brands in 172 additional countries and territories on my blog. Enjoy!

Back to Indonesia. And for the first time ever in 2012, the Indonesian car market became… Damn me! You’re going to have to jump to find out…

Read more
  • Juan Let's do an 1000 mile drive and see who gets there first.
  • Eliyahu CVT needed for MPG. Outback is indeed the legacy of, err, the Legacy.
  • Gayneu I can comment on these. My wife always thought the Minis were "cute" so I bought her a used 2005 (non-S, 5 speed) for one of her "special" birthdays. She loved it and I kinda did too. Somehow a hole developed in the transmission case and the fluid drained out, ruining the car (too expensive to fix). A local mechanic bought it for $800.We then bought a used 2015 S (6 speed) which we still have today (80k miles). Her sister just bought a used S as well (also manual). It has been a dependable car but BMW-priced maintenance and premium gas hurts for sure. I think the earlier generation (like in the article) were better looking with cleaner lines. The 2015 S rides too stiff for me (Chicago roads) but is a hoot on smooth ones. It does seem to shift weird - its hard to describe but it shifts differently from every other manual I have driven. No matter how hard I try, so won't let go of her Mini.
  • Crown Seems like they cut some cylinders too.A three cylinder...where are they planning on selling that??
  • Slavuta "There’s also the problem of climate change, and the more intense weather that comes along with it"How could one even write something like this? We don't have more intense weather. We have better weather. When Earth started, it was a fiery ball. We don't know what weather was in 1700. And even if we know some of it in Europe, we don't know what was happening in Africa, South America, Oceania, etc. We have people living in places where they did not live before. We have news that report weather related events minutes later or during. This did not happen before. There is no evidence that we have an increase in intensity. I looked into historical records in the area where I live - there is not much movement at all between 1970 and now. And remember - none of the previous weather predictions have materialized.