• Video: Second Tesla Model S catches fire after wreck

    October 29, 2013

    Electric carmaker Tesla says that the driver who wrecked one of its Model S sedans in Merida, Mexico, is interested in buying another vehicle even though his caught fire after the crash.


    News reports out of Mexico indicate that the Model S crashed and, after a series of explosions, went up in flames on October 18 in the Yucatan city. The name of the owner and the exact cause of the crash has not been announced. 

    Despite the dramatic video, Tesla doesn’t seem especially concerned with the wreck and it expressed that the car’s owner remains confident in its products. 


    “We were able to contact the driver quickly and are pleased that he is safe,” the automaker said in a statement. “This was a significant accident where the car was traveling at such a high speed that it smashed through a concrete wall and then hit a large tree, yet the driver walked away from the car with no permanent injury. He is appreciative of the safety and performance of the car and has asked if we can expedite delivery of his next Model S.”


    This latest wreck follows up on a highly-publicized incident early this month in Washington state, when another Model S caught fire after road debris punctured its battery pack. The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration briefly researched the accident but eventually agreed with Tesla CEO Elon Musk that it was not cause for undue concern. 


    Regardless, shares in Tesla dropped slightly after the Washington wreck and, once again, they slid about 3 percent after today’s news. 


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  • Video: Second Tesla Model S catches fire after wreck

    October 29, 2013

    Electric carmaker Tesla says that the driver who wrecked one of its Model S sedans in Merida, Mexico, is interested in buying another vehicle even though his caught fire after the crash.


    News reports out of Mexico indicate that the Model S crashed and, after a series of explosions, went up in flames on October 18 in the Yucatan city. The name of the owner and the exact cause of the crash has not been announced. 

    Despite the dramatic video, Tesla doesn’t seem especially concerned with the wreck and it expressed that the car’s owner remains confident in its products. 


    “We were able to contact the driver quickly and are pleased that he is safe,” the automaker said in a statement. “This was a significant accident where the car was traveling at such a high speed that it smashed through a concrete wall and then hit a large tree, yet the driver walked away from the car with no permanent injury. He is appreciative of the safety and performance of the car and has asked if we can expedite delivery of his next Model S.”


    This latest wreck follows up on a highly-publicized incident early this month in Washington state, when another Model S caught fire after road debris punctured its battery pack. The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration briefly researched the accident but eventually agreed with Tesla CEO Elon Musk that it was not cause for undue concern. 


    Regardless, shares in Tesla dropped slightly after the Washington wreck and, once again, they slid about 3 percent after today’s news. 


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  • Kia confirms K900 flagship to debut in LA

    October 29, 2013

    Kia has confirmed that it will unveil a new flagship, rear-wheel drive sedan at next month’s Los Angeles motor show.


    Based on Kia’s global Quoris model, the new range-topper will debut in LA as the K900. Kia hasn’t released any technical details on the K900, saying only that it will “take value to new levels of sophistication.”

    What we do know, however, is that the K900 will share its basic rear-wheel drive architecture with the Hyundai Genesis. Kia says the K900 will be available with both six- and eight-cylinder engines, which we assume to be the same 333 horsepower 3.8L V6 and 429 horsepower 5.0L V8 offered in the Genesis. Shifting duties will be handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission.


    Pricing information has yet to be announced, but previous reports have suggested a $50,000 to $70,000 price range for the K900.


    Look for the Kia K900 to arrive in U.S. showrooms early next year.

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  • Kia confirms K900 flagship to debut in LA

    October 29, 2013

    Kia has confirmed that it will unveil a new flagship, rear-wheel drive sedan at next month’s Los Angeles motor show.


    Based on Kia’s global Quoris model, the new range-topper will debut in LA as the K900. Kia hasn’t released any technical details on the K900, saying only that it will “take value to new levels of sophistication.”

    What we do know, however, is that the K900 will share its basic rear-wheel drive architecture with the Hyundai Genesis. Kia says the K900 will be available with both six- and eight-cylinder engines, which we assume to be the same 333 horsepower 3.8L V6 and 429 horsepower 5.0L V8 offered in the Genesis. Shifting duties will be handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission.


    Pricing information has yet to be announced, but previous reports have suggested a $50,000 to $70,000 price range for the K900.


    Look for the Kia K900 to arrive in U.S. showrooms early next year.

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  • Three Toyota models lose CR’s ‘recommended’ tag

    October 29, 2013

    Toyota may have topped Consumer Reportslatest reliability rankings, but three of the automaker’s most popular models have been booted from the magazine’s coveted ‘recommended’ list.


    CR has removed the Camry, Prius v and RAV4 from its recommended list following the trio’s poor performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s latest small overlap test. All three vehicles earned the institute’s lowest possible rating for the crash test.

    “We’re a year into it, we’ve got over 50 vehicles tested and there’s enough that are doing adequately on this test that now we’re making the shift and pulling recommendations from any car that gets a poor” rating, Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for the magazine, told Automotive News.


    “Honestly, we don’t take this lightly, but virtually every vehicle now in the family sedan category has been tested and the only one that has gotten a ‘poor’ is the Camry,” he added. “At this point, we don’t feel we can continue to recommend people buy a Camry when there’s other good choices out there that do better on the test.”


    Despite failing grades in the small offset crash test, the Camry, Prius v and RAV4 all earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick designation.


    Toyota wasn’t the only automaker to feel the sting of losing a recommended tag, however. CR also removed the 2013 Honda Accord V6 and 2013 Nissan Altima from its recommended list due to below average reliability rankings.


    Meanwhile, Tesla’s Model S sedan was added to the recommended list for the first time ever after notching a near perfect score in the magazine’s evaluation.

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  • Three Toyota models lose CR’s ‘recommended’ tag

    October 29, 2013

    Toyota may have topped Consumer Reportslatest reliability rankings, but three of the automaker’s most popular models have been booted from the magazine’s coveted ‘recommended’ list.


    CR has removed the Camry, Prius v and RAV4 from its recommended list following the trio’s poor performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s latest small overlap test. All three vehicles earned the institute’s lowest possible rating for the crash test.

    “We’re a year into it, we’ve got over 50 vehicles tested and there’s enough that are doing adequately on this test that now we’re making the shift and pulling recommendations from any car that gets a poor” rating, Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for the magazine, told Automotive News.


    “Honestly, we don’t take this lightly, but virtually every vehicle now in the family sedan category has been tested and the only one that has gotten a ‘poor’ is the Camry,” he added. “At this point, we don’t feel we can continue to recommend people buy a Camry when there’s other good choices out there that do better on the test.”


    Despite failing grades in the small offset crash test, the Camry, Prius v and RAV4 all earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick designation.


    Toyota wasn’t the only automaker to feel the sting of losing a recommended tag, however. CR also removed the 2013 Honda Accord V6 and 2013 Nissan Altima from its recommended list due to below average reliability rankings.


    Meanwhile, Tesla’s Model S sedan was added to the recommended list for the first time ever after notching a near perfect score in the magazine’s evaluation.

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  • 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost rated at 45 mpg

    October 29, 2013

    Official fuel economy data published by the EPA has revealed that the newest engine option for Ford’s Fiesta subcompact, an EcoBoost 1.0-liter three-cylinder, will be rated at an impressive 32 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 37 mpg combined.


    Among non-hybrid models, only the 74-horsepower Mitsubishi Mirage is more economical than the Fiesta 1.0-liter, earning a 37/44/40 mpg rating with its optional CVT.

     

    Ford has yet to release finalized power figures for the turbocharged triple, but output is expected to be in the neighborhood of 123 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the Fiesta’s standard 1.6-liter four produces 120 ponies and 112 lb-ft of torque while returning 30/41/ 34 mpg in efficiency-focused SFE form.

     

    A five-speed manual will be the only transmission available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost.

     

    The mill will be offered as a $995 option on the Fiesta’s SE trim level, meaning that the price of entry will be $17,240 for the sedan, with the hatchback running $17,840. A regenerative braking system, a decklid spoiler (sedan only) and 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps – the standard SE gets 15-inch alloys – will be packaged with the engine.<![CDATA[
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  • 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost rated at 45 mpg

    October 29, 2013

    Official fuel economy data published by the EPA has revealed that the newest engine option for Ford’s Fiesta subcompact, an EcoBoost 1.0-liter three-cylinder, will be rated at an impressive 32 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 37 mpg combined.


    Among non-hybrid models, only the 74-horsepower Mitsubishi Mirage is more economical than the Fiesta 1.0-liter, earning a 37/44/40 mpg rating with its optional CVT.

     

    Ford has yet to release finalized power figures for the turbocharged triple, but output is expected to be in the neighborhood of 123 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the Fiesta’s standard 1.6-liter four produces 120 ponies and 112 lb-ft of torque while returning 30/41/ 34 mpg in efficiency-focused SFE form.

     

    A five-speed manual will be the only transmission available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost.

     

    The mill will be offered as a $995 option on the Fiesta’s SE trim level, meaning that the price of entry will be $17,240 for the sedan, with the hatchback running $17,840. A regenerative braking system, a decklid spoiler (sedan only) and 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps – the standard SE gets 15-inch alloys – will be packaged with the engine.<![CDATA[
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  • Toyota tops latest reliability rankings; Ford remains mired in last

    October 29, 2013

    Japanese brands have once again dominated Consumer Reports‘ Annual Auto Reliability rankings, but some European automakers are quickly gaining ground.


    Toyota emerged as this year’s most reliable automaker, with the company’s Lexus and Toyota brands nabbing the top two spots in the 2013 rankings. Toyota’s Scion took a sizable hit, however, dropping from No. 1 in last year’s rankings to 11th place this year.  CR cited poor reliability for the FR-S sports car as the reason for Scion’s tumble.  The FR-S’ twin, the BRZ, was also to blame for Subaru’s five position dive to 10th.

    Honda’s Acura placed third in this year’s rankings — up four from last year — with Honda’s namesake brand slipping two spots to eighth overall.


    Audi was a surprise mover this year, with the German brand moving up four spots to occupy the fourth place on the list. Mazda, down one spot, rounded out the top five.


    Volvo made the biggest improvement of any automaker, climbing 13 spots to No. 7. GMC was the highest ranked domestic brand at nine.


    Luxury automakers Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and BMW finished about on par with the industry average for reliability.


    There were some unexpected slips this year, including Kia (down six spots to 16), Hyundai (down 4 to 21) and Cadillac (down 14 to 25). Nissan also fell nine places to rank 22.


    Ford and Lincoln were once again bottom dwellers in CR‘s rankings, beating out only BMW’s last place MINI brand. Both Ford and Lincoln were dinged for their buggy MyTouch infotainment systems, but problems with Ford’s EcoBoost engine also kept the brands in the basement.


    CR was unable to rank Fiat, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Land Rover and Tesla this year due to lack of data.


    For those interested, the Subaru Forester was ranked the most reliable vehicle while the Ford C-Max plug-in hybrid was named the least reliable. 

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  • Toyota tops latest reliability rankings; Ford remains mired in last

    October 29, 2013

    Japanese brands have once again dominated Consumer Reports‘ Annual Auto Reliability rankings, but some European automakers are quickly gaining ground.


    Toyota emerged as this year’s most reliable automaker, with the company’s Lexus and Toyota brands nabbing the top two spots in the 2013 rankings. Toyota’s Scion took a sizable hit, however, dropping from No. 1 in last year’s rankings to 11th place this year.  CR cited poor reliability for the FR-S sports car as the reason for Scion’s tumble.  The FR-S’ twin, the BRZ, was also to blame for Subaru’s five position dive to 10th.

    Honda’s Acura placed third in this year’s rankings — up four from last year — with Honda’s namesake brand slipping two spots to eighth overall.


    Audi was a surprise mover this year, with the German brand moving up four spots to occupy the fourth place on the list. Mazda, down one spot, rounded out the top five.


    Volvo made the biggest improvement of any automaker, climbing 13 spots to No. 7. GMC was the highest ranked domestic brand at nine.


    Luxury automakers Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and BMW finished about on par with the industry average for reliability.


    There were some unexpected slips this year, including Kia (down six spots to 16), Hyundai (down 4 to 21) and Cadillac (down 14 to 25). Nissan also fell nine places to rank 22.


    Ford and Lincoln were once again bottom dwellers in CR‘s rankings, beating out only BMW’s last place MINI brand. Both Ford and Lincoln were dinged for their buggy MyTouch infotainment systems, but problems with Ford’s EcoBoost engine also kept the brands in the basement.


    CR was unable to rank Fiat, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Land Rover and Tesla this year due to lack of data.


    For those interested, the Subaru Forester was ranked the most reliable vehicle while the Ford C-Max plug-in hybrid was named the least reliable. 

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