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19 Apr 2014

Porsche giving Nick Murray exactly what he deserves [w/video]

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Nick Murray Porsche 911

The tale of Nick Murray and his lemon Porsche 911 appears to have come to a satisfactory end. As noted in the original story about Murray, he and Porsche Cars North America met and came to a resolution. However, we didn’t know exactly what that meant, until now.

Murray has created a new video explaining that PCNA offered to buy back the car at full price or give him an exact replacement for it. This was exactly what he was asking for. Murray remains pro-Porsche in the new video. “I am definitely considering reordering a Porsche 911,” he says.

Porsche also posted a message on its Facebook page that clarified the situation. “We at Porsche have always sought excellence in all that we do. We know you expect it of us. And when we don’t meet that standard, we make every effort to improve,” said a portion of the note.

It’s good to see a level-headed guy like Murray succeed. He’s getting what he wants, but he doesn’t seem to harbor any ill will towards the company. Scroll down to watch the latest video. Warning, there is some very vulgar NSFW language when he reads several YouTube comments left on his previous video.

Continue reading Porsche giving Nick Murray exactly what he deserves [w/video]

Porsche giving Nick Murray exactly what he deserves [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Apr 2014

Federal judge keeps recalled General Motors cars on road

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More than a quarter-million General Motors cars recalled for faulty ignition switches are staying on the road. On Thursday, a federal judge in Texas denied an emergency motion that would have idled all the affected cars until they are repaired. A Texas attorney who represents several clients who own affected cars had argued the vehicles posed a grave safety threat.

At least 13 people have been killed and at least 31 accidents have be caused by the defective ignition switches, which inadvertently allow the ignition to slip from the “run” to “accessory” position, which can turn off the engine and electrical components, like power steering and airbags. Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos had considered the motion for the past two weeks.

“We are pleased that the Court denied the motion for preliminary injunction,” GM spokesperson Greg A. Martin said Thursday.

GM has said the affected cars, which include certain models of the Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, Saturn Ion, Chevy HHR, Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice, are safe to drive until they are repaired – as long as drivers remove all keys from key rings before inserting them into their ignition switches.

At the same time, critics have noted that GM said, in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that the cars may be susceptible to heightened risks in unusual driving situations, such as driving on dirt roads or sudden, jarring movements. Replacement parts started arriving in dealerships last week, and GM expects enough parts to be produced to fix all the cars by October.

The request had been filed in US District Court in Corpus Christi, TX. Bob Hilliard, the lawyer who had filed the request, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. In an earlier statement (which you can read, below), he said, “the defect is severe and lives are being lost. The devastation is heartbreaking and immeasurable. This is a human safety issue that is ongoing. I would not wish it on anyone in this courtroom on either side of the table.”

Continue reading Federal judge keeps recalled General Motors cars on road

Federal judge keeps recalled General Motors cars on road originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Apr 2014

Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue

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2004 Mazda Tribute

The Mazda Tribute is being hit with a similar recall as its platform-mate the Ford Escape underwent a few weeks ago. Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tributes from model years 2001 to 2004. On the trucks, the subframe can rust from road salt, potentially causing the lower control arm to detach. If this happens, a loss of steering control could occur.

Mazda is adding a reinforcement crossbrace for added strength on the affected models. The recall covers Tributes currently registered in or originally sold in 20 northern states and Washington, DC, where road salt is used.

The reinforcement braces aren’t available yet to do the repair. Mazda will send a letter in May to owners of affected vehicles that will inform them of the problem, and a second letter telling them when the parts will be ready. Scroll down to read the full recall press release.

Continue reading Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue

Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Apr 2014

Aston Martin requests exemption from stringent US safety regulations

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Aston Martin Vantage GT

If you were intrigued by the chance to buy a new Aston Martin Vantage GT for $99,900, it might be best not to wait too long. There is a slim chance that the Vantage and DB9 may not have much life left in the US because they don’t meet new crash standards. Aston Martin has filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking that the new pole and moving barrier crash safety requirements – internally referred to as FMVSS 214 – be waived for the two models. The company is claiming “substantial economic hardship” and says that it can’t afford to bring the vehicles into compliance.

We aren’t talking about a huge number of vehicles here. The Rapide and Vanquish comply with the new rules, and Aston Martin predicts that it would import 670 Vantage and DB9 models into the States between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2017. The automaker estimates it would cost around $30 million to make them compliant.

The company has indeed been in rough shape in the not-too-distant past. According to the documents, sales volume decreased by about 48 percent from a high of 7,281 units in 2007 to 3,786 vehicles in 2012. The automaker had planned to have new models ready in time so that it wouldn’t need an exemption, but the global economic crisis delayed it. Interestingly, the paperwork reveals that Aston currently plans to launch a replacement for the DB9 between September 2016 and August 2017.

Aston Martin doesn’t have very long for NHTSA to deliberate. The new rules go into effect for them on September 1, 2014 for hardtops, and September 1, 2015 for convertibles. While it would still be able to sell its other models here, it would certainly be a shock if it had to pull the the Vantage and DB9. Both documents are available in PDF format to download and read.

Aston Martin requests exemption from stringent US safety regulations originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Apr 2014

Nick Murray's problematic Porsche 911 shows the power of a viral video

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Nick Murray Porsche 911

When Nick Murray took delivery of his 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S in June 2013, he had saved for it for the past five years. He didn’t just pluck a random 911 off a dealer lot. He specially ordered his car with thousands of dollars in extras tailored just to him, and he captured all of the options on his YouTube channel. The love affair didn’t last long. Eventually the channel became a place for Nick to air his growing list of grievances about his deteriorating 911. Eventually, his mix of righteous indignation and sarcasm went viral.

Nick Murray Porsche 911By late December, he had already had four warranty repairs done on the car. Things got much worse in March. The computers began resetting whenever Nick drove over large bumps. There was also an acrid, electrical smell that occasionally permeated the cabin. Murray filed for Lemon Law protection. ​Porsche Cars North America contacted him for the first time to fix the problem, but it didn’t help.

Things culminated in April when Murray put up a new video that showed more troubles. He began arbitration with Porsche and asked for either his full purchase price back or an exact replacement. The company countered with a portion of what the car was worth, based on its mileage. Murray refused and turned to his YouTube watchers for help. He asked them to spread the word, and the video went viral with over 800,000 views as of this writing. Supporters posted it multiple times on Porsche’s Facebook and Twitter sites.

The pressure may have worked. Murray posted on the 6 Speed Online forums: “Good news! I have been contacted by PCNA to settle this. This whole mess will end today hopefully. Good that they are doing the right thing. Good for them.” Later, he added another note on the forum and Facebook that the situation was resolved without going into detail.

Nick Twork, Product Communications Manager Porsche Cars North America, told Autoblog the that company was “very aware of these videos.” He confirmed that the Customer Care Department had been in contact with Murray, and it met “with him one-on-one.” He promised that PCNA would work with him until “everyone is satisfied.”

Scroll down to watch the last three videos starting from the most recent to see what he went through. Warning, there is some occasional salty language.

Continue reading Nick Murray’s problematic Porsche 911 shows the power of a viral video

Nick Murray’s problematic Porsche 911 shows the power of a viral video originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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17 Apr 2014

Mazda Miata 25th anniversary display is roadster heaven on Earth

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Mazda Miata 25th Anniversary Display

As part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 Miata, Mazda has put together a rather large display at its New York Auto Show booth, showing off significant models from the diminutive roadsters history.

The display represents a healthy split of volume models, with cars 14, 15 and 17 sitting alongside cars 500,000 and 700,000. There are also more than a few concept cars in the offering, such as the Super20 Concept we drove a few years back, as well as older offerings, like the Club Racer concept from the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the M-Speedster from the 1995 Chicago show and the M Coupe from the 1996 New York Auto Show.

We’ve put together a gallery of images of the historical Miata display, which you can view above. Take a look and then let us know which of Mazda’s awesome roadsters is your favorite.

Mazda Miata 25th anniversary display is roadster heaven on Earth originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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17 Apr 2014

Documents show GM rejected better ignition switch in 2001

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Ignition Switch closeup

Documents do not shed light on what motivated the decision to eschew use of the first switch.

General Motors made a fateful choice in the fall of 2001.

The company considered two options for ignition switches to be installed on the 2003 Saturn Ion. One drawing submitted that September contained an ignition switch that included a longer detent spring and plunger with greater torque.

In October, one month later, the company considered another engineering drawing that showed a shorter detent spring and plunger, which made it easier for the switch to move between the “run” and “accessory” positions.

Documents do not shed light on what motivated the decision to eschew use of the first switch, but GM’s decision to go with the shorter switch has proven to have far-reaching consequences. The shorter switches have been linked to at least 32 car accidents resulting in at least 13 deaths.

Drawings of the two different switches were among the 200,000 pages of documents GM submitted to federal investigators who want to know why the company waited until this February to recall more than 2.5 million cars afflicted with the defective switches when it had knowledge of its flaws for more than a decade. The springs in the shorter switches were 9.6 millimeters; the springs in the longer ones were 12.3 millimeters, according to the documents. The difference between life and death was 2.7 millimeters.

On Wednesday, the Center for Auto Safety, which first noted the differences between the drawings, sent a letter to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, asking if she had been briefed about the differences in the parts – and the documents that illustrate them – in advance of Congressional hearings held earlier this month. Clarence Ditlow, the executive director of CAS, and Joan Claybrook, a former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, called on Barra to release all documents that shed light on the decision to select the switch utilizing the shorter detent spring and plunger.

Continue reading Documents show GM rejected better ignition switch in 2001

Documents show GM rejected better ignition switch in 2001 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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16 Apr 2014

Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar

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Citroen cars on three wheels

With models like the 2CV, DS and SM, Citroën established itself as a home for quirky styling and out-of-the-box engineering, and in many minds the brand defines the look of the classic French car. In a recent video, XCar ventures inside Citroën’s secret warehouse outside of Paris where the brand keeps many of its rarest and most significant cars.

The collection includes the oldest DS in the world, which was never put on sale, and four incredibly rare, pre-World War II 2CVs. According to Denis Huille of Citroën Heritage, about 60 percent of the cars are in drivable condition.

Citroën is now starting to go through a stylistic reawakening. Concepts like the DS 5LS R, Wild Rubis and Numero 9 show off a brand that has a definite idea of how a car wearing its badge should look. Scroll down to take a tour through the company’s history.

Continue reading Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar

Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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16 Apr 2014

General Motors creates new safety organization in wake of recall

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Mary Barra speaks Tuesday at the Automotive Forum in New York.

Barra announced that she’s creating another group within the company that will monitor new products for safety issues.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra continued to make changes Tuesday, which she said would help lead the embattled company out of a crisis caused by deadly defects in some of its vehicles.

On the eve of the New York Auto Show, Barra announced that she’s creating another group within the company, the “global product integrity organization,” that will monitor new products for safety issues. Mark Reuss, the company’s vice president of global product development, will head the new group.

“This is a group that, may parts of it, will be dedicated to reviewing products going through the pipeline now, and in the future,” said Barra who was making her first public appearance since testifying before Congress two weeks ago.

The group will work in tandem with Jeff Boyer, who was appointed last month to the newly created position of vice president of global vehicle safety. Barra touted several internal initiatives she’s made at General Motors in the wake of the widening recall crisis – which has affected more than 2.5 million cars and caused at least 31 car accidents – including Boyer’s appointment.

But much like she did in her testimony before two Congressional committees, Barra wouldn’t answer questions on whether the company would create a fund to compensate victims. Nor would she answer whether GM would support new laws that required automakers to report more information to federal regulators, saying she needed to wait for an internal investigation to be completed.

Continue reading General Motors creates new safety organization in wake of recall

General Motors creates new safety organization in wake of recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Apr 2014

1964 Ford GT40 prototype sells for $7M

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1964 Ford GT40 Prototype

Seven-figure Ferraris are not horribly rare. Heck, an eight-figure Ferrari isn’t a rare occurrence. Between modern masterpieces like the Enzo and more classic offerings, cracking the million-dollar mark isn’t a particularly tall order for the cars from Maranello. For a Ford, though, it’s a big deal.

Now, this is not just some rare Mustang. This is a GT40, the car that Henry Ford II commissioned to whip Enzo Ferrari around a track in France. As far as the Le Mans-winning racers go, they don’t get much rarer than this one. Sold at the Mecum Auctions in Houston, this is one of the prototypes, meaning it’s one of the very first GT40s ever built. That makes its $7 million winning a bid, a record for on-air coverage of the auction, a pretty darn impressive figure.

You can watch the auction below, but first, take a look back at our original story on this rare Blue Oval.

Continue reading 1964 Ford GT40 prototype sells for $7M

1964 Ford GT40 prototype sells for $7M originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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