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21 May 2014

GM recalls 218,000 Chevy Aveo models over fire-prone lighting

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2007 Chevy Aveo

The recall train keeps on rolling for General Motors. Hot on the heels of its recent 2.4 million-vehicle recall of various models, it’s now calling in 218,000 Chevrolet Aveo units from the 2004-2008 model years because they could catch fire.

The problem concerns the daytime running light module in the instrument panel. It could overheat, melt and cause a fire. According to GM spokesperson Alan Adler, “We are aware of some fires,” and the company “is still investigating.” Adler wouldn’t comment about how many fires were reported or when the automaker was first aware of this issue because of the ongoing analysis. However, he said the issue has not caused any injuries or fatalities.

GM also doesn’t have a fix for the problem with the DRL module yet. The company says in its recall statement to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the remedy “is still under development.” Adler wasn’t sure when it would be ready, but he said Aveo owners would receive notification in the mail “relatively soon.” They will receive a second letter later to schedule the repair.

In a separate letter about the Aveo’s problem to NHTSA (viewable here as a PDF), GM said its Executive Field Action Decision Committee decided to conduct the recall on May 16. Scroll down for the recall report.

Continue reading GM recalls 218,000 Chevy Aveo models over fire-prone lighting

GM recalls 218,000 Chevy Aveo models over fire-prone lighting originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 May 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21 May 2014

25th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata sells out in 10 minutes

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Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition

Looking to buy one of the limited-edition 25th Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata roadsters? Well, you’re too late. According to Mazda, all 100 examples of the darling two-seater have sold out – and it only took 10 minutes.

On Tuesday, Mazda opened its pre-order site for the limited-run Miata, and had intended to keep the site running until May 31, or until 250 customers were registered, whichever came first. Just 10 minutes later, 250 people had signed up. Now, Mazda will contact those folks, and the first 100 that are verified will be given the opportunity to pre-order the unique MX-5. “Upon verification of purchase intent and transmission selection, the customer’s information will then be forwarded to the dealership of their choosing to finalize the transaction,” Mazda said in a press release.

The 2015 MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition models will arrive at dealers this summer, retailing for $32,205 with the six-speed manual, or $32,655 for those desiring the automatic transmission. Based on the PRHT (Power Retractable Hard Top) model, the limited-edition Miata adds Bilstein shocks, a Soul Red metallic paint job (the same found on the gorgeous Mazda6) with a contrasting black roof, gunmetal wheels and an off-white leather interior. Special badging will be found inside the car, and buyers will also be treated to a custom-crafted Tourneau watch and a display winder box.

Not lucky enough to get your hands on one of the 25th Anniversary roadsters? If our vast experience with the Miata is any indication, we trust that you’ll enjoy the regular model just as much. Scroll down for Mazda’s official announcement.

Continue reading 25th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata sells out in 10 minutes

25th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata sells out in 10 minutes originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 May 2014 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21 May 2014

2015 Lincoln Navigator ready to roll for $62,475*

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Lincoln Navigator

Fancy picking up a refreshed Lincoln Navigator? Well, prepare to shell out at least $62,475. That’s a whopping increase of $6,310 for the now-EcoBoost-equipped SUV.

That’s just for the two-wheel-drive Select model, though. Want to drive all four wheels? Better have an extra $3,575 laying around. Snagging the top-of-the-line Reserve model, meanwhile, demands a premium of $7,500.

For those extra bills, you’ll net Lincoln Drive Control, complete with continuously controlled dampers, power running boards, Ziricote wood interior trim, upgraded leather, 22-inch wheels, a “unique” interior headliner and, of course, a “Reserve” badge.

Finally, adding the long-wheelbase bodystyle tacks on an extra $2,165. Other optional goodies include 22-inch wheels, if you pass on the Reserve trim; the bigger hoops are $2,500 on two-wheel-drive models and $1,850 on 4WD Navis. If you’d prefer 20s, there are also a set of dark-finish aluminum wheels that can replace the stock items, for $495. A sunroof is $995, a rear-seat entertainment system with monitors inserted in the headrests is $1,995 and the two premium paint options – White Platinum Tri-Coat Metallic and Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat – are $695 and $495, respectively.

All told, a four-wheel-drive Navigator L Reserve will demand $75,065. Regardless of how the Navigator is outfitted, Lincoln has positioned it squarely against the new GMC Yukon Denali. The prices of the two are virtually mirrored, with the Denali starting at $62,680 and the Denali XL starting at $65,380. Which would you choose? Let us know in Comments, and take a look below for the full pricing release from Lincoln.

Continue reading 2015 Lincoln Navigator ready to roll for $62,475*

2015 Lincoln Navigator ready to roll for $62,475* originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 May 2014 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 May 2014

2015 BMW M3 Sedan

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2015 BMW M3 Sedan

BMW’s all-new M3 Sedan is dynamically nearly identical to its two-door M4 Coupe sibling: a stopwatch reveals that both are sub-four-second cars to 60 miles per hour, a racetrack proves that the mechanical twins are equally as adept on a road course and a full afternoon of driving on public roads demonstrates that each possesses talented everyday adaptability.

Yet after driving both BMW models back-to-back over two full days in Portugal, it’s clear there are a few noticeable differences, both objective and subjective, that don’t require instrument testing to reveal. All it takes is a few hours behind the wheel of both cars to conclude that one is slightly more agile, and the other a bit more twitchy. One has better outward visibility, while its counterpart is unquestionably more convenient.

It is the little things – subtleties attained through seat-of-the-pants observations – that eventually allow me to choose a favorite.

Continue reading 2015 BMW M3 Sedan

2015 BMW M3 Sedan originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 May 2014 12:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 May 2014

Roger Moore's 1970 Aston Martin DBS sells for $900k [w/video]

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1970 Aston Martin DBS at Lake Como

Think of Roger Moore zipping around Europe in an Aston Martin thwarting evil plans, and you’ll probably think James Bond, right? Wrong. Because though 007 has driven a variety of Astons in the various films over the years, none of those were in the Moore era. He drove a Chevy Impala in Live and Let Die, a Mercedes in The Man With The Golden Gun, a Lotus Esprit in both The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only, a Range Rover in Octopussy and a Ford LTD in A View to a Kill. But that wasn’t the only jet-setting do-gooder Moore played. He drove a Volvo as Simon Templar in The Saint, but after that and before his Bond days, he got his turn behind the wheel of an Aston in a television series called The Persuaders!

The show starred Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair and Tony Curtis as American playboy Danny Wilde in a TV series that ran on both ITV in the UK and ABC in the US. It sadly only ran for one 24-episode season, but remains a cult classic. The series was as much about the cars as it was the stars, with Curtis speeding around Europe in a Ferrari 246 GT Dino and Moore in this yellow 1970 Aston Martin DBS. And it just sold at auction.

As Octane pointed out when it drove the car for its September 2013 issue, the car was loaned to the show’s producers and, though it packs the 4.0-liter inline-six of the DBS, was fitted with the wheels and badges of the Aston Martin V8 that followed – just without the eight-cylinder engine. It was sold to a private owner after the show finished filming and then bounced around different owners before collector and enthusiast Mike Sanders bought it and subsequently sold it to one Ed Stratton. Ed brought it back to show spec, took it to Villa d’Este, had Moore and Curtis sign the inside of the trunk lid, and now put it up for auction.

The star of Bonhams‘ 15th annual sale at the Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell this past weekend, the DBS sold for a record £533,500 – equivalent to almost $900k at today’s rates – contributing to £8.7 million ($14.6m) in total sales that day. Find the press release below, along with a video of a pretty great scene from The Persuaders! with both Moore and Curtis.

Continue reading Roger Moore’s 1970 Aston Martin DBS sells for $900k [w/video]

Roger Moore’s 1970 Aston Martin DBS sells for $900k [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 May 2014 10:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 May 2014

Muscle Truck takes on Baja Bug in sandy Roadkill battle

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Baja Bug versus Muscle Truck

Motor Trend‘s Roadkill series is all about taking relatively unloved vehicles and putting some work into them to make them seriously fun performance machines. If you need your car to be perfect, with shiny chrome and modern amenities, then these creations might not fit your style. Their work is more in line with very functional rat rods.

In the latest video, the hosts take their Muscle Truck, a 1974 Chevrolet pickup with an upgraded Chevy LS6 V8, and modify it from its present duty as a drag racer to work in the desert and sand dunes. To test its mettle, they put the pickup up against an offroad-prepped 1969 VW Bug.

Actually getting to the showdown with the Baja Bug takes some time, though. First, the hosts spend a lot of time deciding how to fit the truck with bigger tires for the sand and take it out to the desert to see how the mods work. If you’re only interested in seeing the Muscle Truck challenge the Beetle, skip about 15 minutes into the video. Once they make it to the shore the two very different vehicles square off to see which is the king of the dunes. Scroll down to watch it and see whether the big power of the truck or the lithe Bug fares better.

Continue reading Muscle Truck takes on Baja Bug in sandy Roadkill battle

Muscle Truck takes on Baja Bug in sandy Roadkill battle originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 May 2014 17:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 May 2014

GM issues four new recalls, 2.4 million cars affected

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2008 Chevy Malibu

General Motors has announced another set of recalls, covering some 2.42 million cars in the United States. For those keeping track, The General has now recalled over 15 million cars worldwide this year due to various issues.

Here’s the breakdown for this most recent set of recalls:

For the Lambda crossovers, GM says that “front safety lap belt cables can fatigue and separate over time.” In the event of a crash, “a separated cable could increase the risk of injury to front seat passengers,” the automaker points out. GM has told its dealers not to sell any new or used examples of these vehicles until the repairs are made.

The Malibu and G6 issue, which also includes the Malibu Maxx, is an extension of a recall for Saturn Aura models with four-speed automatic transmissions. 4AT-equipped models have a condition where the transmission shift cable can fracture. “When the fracture occurs, the driver may not be able to select a different gear, remove the key from the ignition or place the transmission in park,” GM states. The company is aware of 18 crashes and one injury related to this issue.

Brand-new Escalade models are being recalled because “an insufficiently heated plastic weld that attaches the passenger side air bag to the instrument panel assembly could result in a partial deployment of the air bag in the event of a crash.” A stop-sale has been ordered for these SUVs, and owners have been told to not let anyone sit in the front passenger seat until the issue has been addressed.

Finally, the HD pickup recall affects vehicles equipped with a 220-amp generator. “Retention clips that attach a fuse block to the vehicle body can become loose, allowing the fuse block to move out of position and lead to a potential fire,” GM states.

Overall, GM said in a press release that it expects to take a charge of up to $400 million in the second quarter, due to recall-related repairs. This figure includes the previously announced $200 million recall charge.

Scroll down for the full details in GM’s press blast.

Continue reading GM issues four new recalls, 2.4 million cars affected

GM issues four new recalls, 2.4 million cars affected originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 May 2014 11:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 May 2014

Autoblog Podcast #381

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Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #381 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing and Mike Harley talk about our recent experience with the Nissan Micra and Ford Mustang EcoBoost, Dan has an interview with Phil LeBeau of CNBC about the GM ignition switch recall and NHTSA fine, and we also consider the FTC’s latest positive statements about Tesla’s direct-sales plan. We start with what’s in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #381:

Topics:

In the Autoblog Garage:

Hosts: Dan Roth, Steven Ewing, Michael Harley
Runtime: 01:54:31

Rundown:

  • Intro and Garage – 00:00
  • Nissan Micra – 27:28
  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost – 38:51
  • Phil LeBeau interview – 49:14
  • GM Recalls – 01:12:42
  • FTC and Tesla – 01:20:35
  • Q&A – 01:36:17

Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #381

Autoblog Podcast #381 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 May 2014 15:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 May 2014

New Volvo ad remembers the joy of rear-facing jump seats

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Volvo Rear Facing Seat Commercial

With the rise in popularity of first the minivan and later the crossover as the default family vehicle, there have been about 20 years of children who have missed out on the joy of rear-facing jump seats in station wagons. It means kids today don’t know the pleasure to be found in making faces or lewd gestures at other drivers while their parents can’t see. Plus, they don’t know the slightly nauseous feeling of watching the world pass by in reverse. However, a group of filmmakers look back with nostalgia at this increasingly uncommon automotive feature in a new ad for the 2015 Volvo V60.

As part of its sponsorship of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, Volvo commissions a team each year to create an advertisement to be shown during the festival. This year’s shows how the company’s buyers have gone from riding in the back to driving the brand’s cars. Scroll down to check out the charming ad, along with some wistful looks at classic Volvo wagons, before the jump seat is forgotten.

Continue reading New Volvo ad remembers the joy of rear-facing jump seats

New Volvo ad remembers the joy of rear-facing jump seats originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 19 May 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 May 2014

California bill would ensure used cars with recalls are fixed

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Recall Repair

It seems that 2014 may go down as the year of the recall. As of April, the US was already on pace for record levels, and that was before millions of more cars were called in for various repairs by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in just the past few weeks. But how many of those vehicles will actually get their necessary fixes? GM claims that it has 80 percent of its vehicles mended in the first year, but the industry average is only 66 percent. That is a lot of faulty automobiles left on the streets, but California thinks it has a solution. A bill there would mandate that dealers must complete all pending warranty repairs on used vehicles before they could be sold to customers.

Federal law already forces dealers to keep new vehicles up to date, but it excludes used cars. California’s dealerships don’t want that to change and are fighting against the new rules. They call the bill unfair because it excludes private sales, and rental agencies don’t have to keep their vehicles up to date, expect when selling them, according to The Los Angeles Times. The sellers also say its too hard to keep track of the individual repairs necessary for each used model that comes onto the lot.

The showrooms may be winning this battle. According to The LA Times, the bill passed the state’s Senate last year, but it has been stuck in the California State Assembly since then. Expect a political fight before California’s used cars start seeing any repairs from dealers.

California bill would ensure used cars with recalls are fixed originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 19 May 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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