Ford Recalls 100,000 Sedans Over Seatbelt Pretensioners

Ford may be phasing out the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans in the near future, that doesn’t mean you won’t see some the next time you’re visiting the dealership. Last week, the company announced a recall of 103,374 vehicles in the United States, 4,002 in Canada and 1,023 in Mexico due to bunk seatbelt anchor pretensioners.

According to the notice, increased temperatures generated during deployment of the driver or front-passenger pretensioner could degrade the tensile strength of the cable below the level needed to effectively restrain an occupant.

Read more
GM Recalls a Million Pickups and SUVs Amid Flurry of Accident Reports

More than a million, actually. A recall of 1,015,918 Silverado and Sierra pickups, plus their full-size SUV cousins, was issued yesterday by folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This recall affects machines from the 2015 model year. They are being summoned to repair centers thanks to electrical and software issues that could play havoc with the power steering system.

Read more
Nissan Recalling 870,000 Altimas for Faulty Hood Latches, Again

Nissan announced Friday that it would recall about 870,000 Altimas for faulty hood latches, the third time the automaker has recalled the cars since 2014, according to Reuters.

The affected models are 2013-2015 Altimas, whose secondary hood latches could rust and be ineffective at keeping 20-some square feet of sheet metal from blocking your view of the road.

The automaker attempted to fix the issue in February 2015 and September 2014, but like any good owner of a General Motors 3800 engine will tell you, anything worth doing is worth doing over and over and over again.

Read more
Ford Fueled Record Profits in 2015 With Truck Sales, China Surge

Ford announced Thursday that it had earned a record pre-tax profit of $10.8 billion for 2015 — including $2 billion in the fourth quarter — bolstered by pickup sales in the U.S. and strong growth in China.

The record-setting year for the automaker wasn’t much of a surprise — second- and third-quarter results set records along the way — but Ford’s ability to finally turn a profit in Europe may be the most unexpected news. The automaker had lost money in Europe since 2011.

Latin America, notably Brazil, will continue to be a sore spot for Ford and other automakers. Ford said Thursday it expects to lose more money there in 2016 than the $832 million it lost there in 2015.

Read more
Five by Five: Mental's Favorites (and Yours) in 2015

It seems like a fine tradition here at TTAC for the contributors to look back on their work over the past year and actively seek feedback. The comments are my favorite part of this site, and it’s because of them that my work has shown up elsewhere. That’s a long way from the first contribution I emailed Bertel Schmitt from my Air Force computer.

While I may have dropped my contributions from a 2013 high of 43 posts, 2015 was better than my 2014 total of five. In fact, I think I posted enough this past year to warrant a list of my favorites and yours.

So, shall we?

Read more
Newsbot Looks Back: The Best News of 2015, According to Some

We didn’t spend all of this year together, but the time we spent together meant something to someone, somewhere. Probably.

This year was marked by a massive worldwide scandal, recalls, fines and wonderful avoidance from automakers who saw the “@thetruthaboutcars.com” appendage on my emails and demurred.

Let’s recap as best we can, shall we?

Read more
My Greatest Hits (And Biggest Misses) Of 2015

It’s that time of year again! As I did in 2014, 2013, and 2012, I’m channeling my inner Joni Mitchell by linking back to some of my most popular articles of the year and also reanimating some of the things that I loved but you hated.

So let’s set the wayback machine to “not terribly far” and let’s go living, we’ll keep living, in the past!

Read more
My $2.2 Million Fleet In 2015 - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Forty-nine cars worth more than $2.2 million dollars arrived for one-week stays in my driveway during the 2015 calendar year. Seventeen of them were traditional four-door sedans, including an XSE V6 version of America’s most popular car — the Toyota Camry. Another 15 were utility vehicles of one kind or another: the tiny Jeep Renegade and Mazda CX-3 to the full-size GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade.

There were five pickup trucks, six hatchbacks, one wagon, and two vans. Three V8s. Many turbochargers. Five diesels. And two manual transmissions.

Read more
Los Angeles Fakers: TTAC Heads To L.A. So Here's Your Auto Show Primer

Like Randy Newman, automakers love Los Angeles this week as the industry descends on Southern California for two days (really, one-and-a-half days) to showcase their latest and greatest.

Automakers are lining up to show off their wares Wednesday (Cadillac is a lone exception for Thursday) so we’ll reuse our tuxes without dry cleaning for two days, we guess. We’re animals.

We’ll be on the floor live Wednesday to cover everything we can, but in the meantime, here’s a primer to whet your appetites for the show.

Read more
2015 Cadillac Escalade Review - Haute Leisure

Under the best circumstances for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, I could find a half-dozen reasons not to drive it: It’s too big. Too heavy. Too slab-sided. Too thirsty. Too tall. Too long. Too unwieldy. Too gaudy. Too powerful.

But I kept driving it. Like a salmon driven upstream through bear-infested waters, the Escalade kept calling me to ignore the challenges and instinctually clamber up the power retractable running boards, loosen my belt and start the motor. Who wants to procreate in here?

It’s antithetic to my person. I’m not interested by big, heavy SUVs that cost $89,360 and return mileage firmly rooted in the teens — but somehow I am drawn to them.

Which makes me wonder: why?

Read more
2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude Review - The Sibling Complex

There are myriad ways to improve SUVs and Jeep won’t do any of them to the Wrangler.

Instead, the Wrangler remains hopelessly impractical, wonderfully unapologetic and, to own, like living with a Libertarian: there are no compromises and everything is wonderful when you play by their rules.

Thankfully for the rest of us, who welcome a little compromise, there are other Jeeps. A crowd of SUVs — and soon to be pickup — will sport the seven-slot grille for mountains of money to keep FCA running well into the black at the moment. When it’s convenient, those cars are compared to the Wrangler to tout their capabilities. When it’s not, well, let’s remember the Compass.

Like Robert Hunter said (kind of): The problem with the 2015 Jeep Renegade is the problem with me.

Read more
2015 Toyota Sienna AWD Drive - Three Mans And A Van

* A cautionary tale.

Traversing the [s]great[/s] state of Wyoming with hundreds of pounds of men, gear (including a Chairman Mao stencil) and snacks needs no fewer than 14 cupholders.

(Two cupholders were used for drinks, the rest were used for toy cars and various empty wrappers.)

Building a family car isn’t a trick. Rather, it’s a compromise between size and economy, comfort and capability, familiar and futuristic. Anyone can build a battleship, but moving it down the road at 25 miles per gallon requires some finesse.

This isn’t a story about the Littoral combat ship. Instead, it’s a story about three overweight men, eight hours to wonder aloud in a van in Wyoming about Nixon, road noise and absolutely no legal marijuana from Colorado crossing interstate lines. (Sorry to get your hopes up.)

Read more
Tokyo Motor Show 2015: The Full-size Lexus LS-FC Is A Helluva Boat For A Flagship

Lexus took the wraps off its LS Concept in Tokyo on Tuesday to showcase the automaker’s big plans for its flagship sedan.

The car — which is about as long as a 1995 Cadillac DeVille Concours — boasts a hydrogen power plant to drive all of its wheels, an “advanced human interface” to recognize hand gestures, and a spindle grille the size of Rhode Island.

The concept shows the direction Lexus designers may take for its future full-size sedan, including floating L-shaped lights in front and back.

Read more
Tokyo Motor Show 2015: The Next-gen Subaru Impreza, or #SaveTheWagon

At least we know that Subaru is planning on keeping the five-door through 2017.

Subaru showed off it’s cleverly named Impreza Concept in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Or was it Wednesday? With the international time travel line, I always get mixed up.) It will preview the next-generation Impreza when it arrives — probably around 2017.

The car sports a more angular face and rear end, alongside shoulder and hip flares that are connected through the car’s high belt line. If you place your hands over the front and rear wheels in the side profile picture, you’ll probably get a good look at Subaru’s next Impreza, I’m betting.

Read more
Tokyo Motor Show 2015: Mazda's RX Concept is Less And More

Well, what we mean is less information is more frustrating. Or less exterior styling is more attractive. Or the less we know, the more we want to know. You get the gist.

Unveiled in Tokyo alongside its legendary 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, the RX-Vision “represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality,” according to the automaker.

Mazda was pretty mum on the details, including how it plans to update its next-generation rotary engine, dubbed Skyactiv-R, to comply with modern fuel economy standards. Will it be a range extender for hydrogen power? Will it be boosted? Will it blend? These are all important questions, people.

Read more
  • Matt Posky A lot of dune buggies aren't street legal and plenty that are aren't really fit for any kind of sustained highway driving.Unless you live in a state where it's pretty much wide open for vehicle mods and the cops don't care how wild your ride looks, you're probably towing it to its play space. While the Manx should be street legal and capable of making it to the dunes without outside help -- arguably part of its appeal vs other options -- it's hard to assume a majority of owners won't still opt to drag it behind their pickup or SUV.
  • Pmirp1 That is one more color than they have added to Grand Cherokee or Grand Cherokee L in three years. White, Grey, Silver, Black and a dark boring red. No Blues. No Forest Greens. No Beige. It is as though Jeep forgets they own the green SUV market and yet they refuse to give us any rich colors.
  • Golden2husky Customers should simply not buy this with such stupid markups. But since this is a "limited edition" model there will be those stupid enough to pay it. I walked away from a Supra for my wife because the dealer wanted a $20K markup on a $54K car...this Before the pandemic. Screw that. I worked way too hard for my money to throw it away. If I'm going to give my money away there are plenty of causes I support and dealers ain't one of them...
  • Arthur Dailey In the current market many are willing to pay 'extra' to get a vehicle that may be 'in stock'/on the lot. An acquaintance recently had his nearly new vehicle stolen. His choices were rather limited a) Put a deposit down on a new vehicle and wait 4 to 6 months for it to be delivered. And his insurance company was only willing to pay for a rental for 1 month and at far less than current rental costs. b) Purchase a used vehicle, which currently are selling for inflated prices, meaning that for the same vehicle as the stolen one he would need to pay slightly more than what he paid for his 'new' one. c) Take whatever was available in-stock. And pay MSRP, plus freight, etc and whatever dealer add-ons were required/demanded.
  • SCE to AUX I like it, but I don't know how people actually use dune buggies. Do you tow them to the dunes, then drive around? Or do you live close enough that the law winks as you scoot 10 miles on public roads to the beach?As for fast charging - I doubt that's necessary. I can't imagine bouncing around for hours on end, and then wanting a refill to keep doing that for a few more hours in the same day. Do people really run these all day?A Level 2 charger could probably refill the 40 kWh version in 6 hours if it was 80% empty.