Somewhere in my basement there’s an issue of Roundel, the BMW club magazine, that contains an extremely passionate and forceful article regarding a new vehicle from Munich. The author goes on in considerable detail regarding the new car’s size, weight, and insane complexity. He rails against the dilution of BMW’s Autobahn heritage and the compromises the firm is making to attract a wider audience. Lastly, he offers his sincere condolences to the shade-tree mechanics because this new car will be impossible to service anywhere but a dealership.
Those of you who read Roundel back in the day will no doubt guess that this flabby, super-computerized BMW was, in fact, the 1977 320i.
But here’s the thing: All of the complaints in the article were valid. It’s just that the E30 which followed made the E21 320i look fairly simple. The E36 was a rocketship compared to its predecessor and the E46 was a spaceship. Each time the cars changed, the enthusiast base swore loyalty to the relative simplicity and fitness-for-purpose of the old one. Then, as the stock of decent used inventory dwindled and the parts became impossible to find and the lap times continues to sink, that base made a slow and painful transition to the next model in line. This in no way invalidates criticism of the old cars. It’s just that for most people, they had no choice other than to upgrade. It’s possible to keep an old mechanical watch in daily use; it’s not tough at all to keep carrying a Remington-Rand-made Colt pistol from 1942. But cars are vastly more complex than either of those machines.
When the Jeep Liberty replaced the old “XJ” Cherokee, it was universally reviled as a cutesy piece of garbage better suited for the mall crawl than the rock crawl. Alas, tempus fugit and it’s now time for the old Liberty to get a second act.
What do the Honda Element, Honda S2000, Chevrolet Aveo, Mazda Tribute, Chevrolet HHR, Lexus HS250h, Cadillac STS, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Dodge Caliber, four Suzukis, and the Jeep Liberty have in common?
They all generated U.S. sales activity in 2013, and we all forgot about them in 2014.
A second Tesla Model S has burned following an accident, this time near Merida, Mexico. Tesla Motors issued a statement saying the customer was unhurt after crash in which the Model S hit a concrete barrier. The accident occurred on October 19 according to local news reports that say that the luxury electric car was speeding and “hit a raised pedestrian crossing and briefly took flight before crashing into a wall and tree.” Photos and video posted of the crash’s aftermath show the front end damaged and flames burning the car.
As we reported yesterday, Chrysler will be recalling the [s]2.7 million[/s] 1.56 million Jeeps being targeted by NHTSA over rear-end crashes that can lead to a fiery death. The solution; a trailer hitch out of the Mopar catalog.
Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne jumped, so to speak , into the flames erupting around the rebuffed Jeep recall. Says Reuters:
“Marchionne Friday reiterated Chrysler’s resistance to a recall of 2.7 million older-model Jeep vehicles, adding that the automaker is preparing to supply the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with information it had requested.”
In a letter sent (“VIA FEDERAL EXPRESS AND ELECTRONIC MAIL”) to Chrysler on Monday, the NHTSA requests that “Chrysler initiate a safety recall on MY 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and MY 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty vehicles and implement a remedy action that improves their performance in rear-impacts and crashes.” The NHTSA illustrated its request with pictures of burned-out Jeeps, some of which are in this article.
Yesterday, Chrysler sent out a press release, stating that it “does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation.” It is very rare that an automaker flat out denies such a request, especially one that documents scores of deaths. This is not an article about whether Chrysler is right or wrong. This is a story about curious double standards at the NHTSA.
The last Jeep Liberty will be coming off the line on August 16th, as the rugged 4-door Jeep makes way for its upcoming, car-based replacement.
An article in Automotive News lavishing praise on the Chrysler/Fiat [s]merger of equals[/s] marriage inadvertently spilled the beans on a couple upcoming products from Marchionne’s minions.
A USA Today interview with Sergio Marchionne revealed some interesting details about Chrysler’s future product plans – among them, a wider adoption of the Dodge Dart/Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform, a possible small hatch dubbed the “Chrysler 100” and Alfa Romeos built on American soil.
TTAC Commentator cc-rider writes:
Hi Sajeev- I am a huge fan and advocate of TTAC. I have a co-worker and friend in dire need of some good advice from the best and the brightest. She has a 2002 Jeep Liberty with 110,000 miles. Last week her car had to be towed to her mechanic. She found out the engine is toast.
Turns out it is a victim of engine sludge. After the fact, it seems that this is a fairly common issue with the Jeep 3.7 V-6. It seems that a new engine would be $3,000 in parts and at least another $2,000 to be installed.
In my opinion, it seems pointless to spend that sort of money on a car that’s maybe worth $4,000. She doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on another car- maybe $2,000 at most. She doesn’t put many miles on in a year and goes mostly to and from work. I am very familiar with the Nissan SR20 engines and am partial to them. I was recommending she find a used 1st generation Infiniti G20. They seem to give a huge bang for the buck at that low price point.
I’d love to hear everyone’s take on her situation. By the way, she is in the NYC metro area for anyone with a cheap ride for sale.
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