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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
* A cautionary tale.
great 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.)
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.
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.
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.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
- AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
- Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.
- Master Baiter This is horrible. Delaying this ban will raise the Earth's temperature by 0.00000001°C in the year 2100.
- Alan Buy a Skoda Superb.