• Ford recalls Lincoln MKC over fuel pump, push-button start

    December 31, 2014
    Ford has issued two recalls related to the 2014 Ford Escape and 2015 Lincoln MKC.
    Both models are affected by a fuel-delivery problem that can cause the pump to seize due to defective nickel plating. If the pump fails while driving, the vehicle can stall without warning and increase the risk of a crash.

    A total of more than 9,000 vehicles will receive a replacement fuel-delivery module to resolve the problem, which has not yet been officially blamed for any accidents or injuries.

    The second recall is focused on just the Lincoln MKC. The company has received complaints of accidental shutdown while driving, likely due to the proximity of the push-button start to the touchscreen and other controls.

    “If the push-to-start button is inadvertently actuated while driving, the restraint system may not perform as intended in a crash, increasing the risk of injuries,” the company said in a statement.

    Dealers will replace the gearshift module with a component of revised design, relocating the push-to-start button away from other controls.

  • FCA hints at next Alfa Romeo unveiling in Detroit

    December 31, 2014
    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has hinted at an Alfa Romeo unveiling next month in Detroit.
    Chrysler blogger Jen Herman recently highlighted customer enthusiasm for the 4C launch in the US and Canada, which has brought a spike in membership to Alfa Romeo heritage clubs in both countries.

    “Of course, if you like what you see, there will be more over the next few years. Alfa Romeo plans to introduce eight new models by 2018,” Herman wrote. “You’ll get your next Alfa fix at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.”

    The company has not elaborated with additional details surrounding which model might make its debut in Detroit, though the timing coincides with recent spy shots revealing the 4C Spider.

    The open-air 4C features a removable roof panel and unique headlights with a more traditional appearance, among other minor visual tweaks. It is expected to go on sale in 2015 for the 2016 model year.

  • VW recalls Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat to fix fuel leak

    December 31, 2014
    Volkswagen has issued a recall for a wide range of new cars outfitted with 1.8T and 2.0T engines.
    During the fall of 2014, the company received field reports of fuel smell and leaking fuel lines. An investigation found that a supplier had manually reworked a sealing cap on the fuel rail, but with insufficient solder. Consequently, the solder joint can eventually fail and begin to leak.

    The problem can be identified via fuel smell or a warning light if the if the fuel-rail pressure cannot be maintained.

    VW warns that leaking fuel can result in a fire if it is in the presence of an ignition source, however no accidents or injuries have been blamed on the problem.

    The defect affects the 2014-2015 Beetle, Jetta and Passat, along with the 2015 Golf and GTI, for a grand total of nearly 38,000 vehicles. Service technicians will inspect each vehicle and replace the fuel rail if necessary.

  • Tesla clarifies range estimates for Model S family

    December 31, 2014
    Responding to range discrepancies with the new dual-motor Model S variants, Tesla Motors has promised a software update and clarified expected driving distances for the whole sedan family.
    The company notes that the dual-motor 85D and its high-performance counterpart, the flagship P85D, currently drive both motors when the vehicle is cruising. Allowing one of the motors to keep spinning in a “torque sleep” mode will help improve range by approximately 10 percent.

    After the torque-sleep software update arrives by the end of January, 85D owners can expect an EPA-cycle estimated range of 270 miles. Single-motor variants (P85+, P85, 85) are slightly behind at 265 miles, while the P85D drops further to 253 miles.

    Tesla points out that highway cruising range narrows the range gap, with 285 miles expected from the P85D and single-motor configurations, each driven at 65 mph. The dual-motor 85D still maintains a ten-mile lead, however, with an estimated 295 miles at the same speed. Bringing the speed up to 75 mph results in a 43-46 mile range penalty depending on the model.

    Owners or potential buyers can consult Tesla’s updated range tool to determine expected driving distances for a variety of vehicle configurations and driving conditions. The system suggests the P85D driven in the city with 21-inch wheels can lose 106 miles of range in cold conditions if the cabin heater is running.

  • Wall collapse leaves six cars buried in salt

    December 31, 2014
    Given enough time, salt can absolutely ruin a vehicle. In the case of one Chicago-area Acura dealer, it only took a few seconds for mean Mr. Salt to wreck six vehicles.
    No, it wasn’t the resulting corrosion that destroyed the Acuras, but rather the salt itself — and there was a lot of it.

    The incident occurred earlier this week when a wall of the Morton Salt building suddenly collapsed, spilling thousands of pounds of salt onto the ground below. Unfortunately for McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago, that wall collapse happen in the exact spot where they store vehicles awaiting service.

    According to Automotive News, six vehicles were involved in the incident, with at least three partially covered by the impromptu avalanche. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

    McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago so far hasn’t commented on the accident, but we imagine the dealer is currently scouting the area for a new overflow lot.

    Photo courtesy of Reuters.

  • Luxus-Supersportwagen: Hybrid-Technologie auf dem Zenit

    December 30, 2014
  • Honda CR-V 2015: Facelift mit neuem Super-Diesel, 9-Gang-Automatik und frischem Infotainment

    December 30, 2014

    Leicht geliftet geht Hondas SUV CR-V ins Modelljahr 2015

    Äußerlich tut sich beim CR-V-Facelift nicht all zu viel. Unterm Blech und vor allem innen wird es interessanter

    Das neue Infotainmentsystem Honda Connect hat im CR-V-Facelift Premiere. Über einen Sieben-Zoll-Screen wird gesteuert wie beim Smartphone

    Frankfurt, 29. Dezember 2014
    Auf dem Pariser Autosalon 2014 konnte man dem gelifteten Honda CR-V bereits aufs leicht aufgefrischte Blech schielen. Nun zeigen die Japaner erste – wenn auch ziemlich spärliche – Bilder des Interieurs. Das ist insofern interessant, als dass der 2015er CR-V ein komplett neues Infotainmentsystem erhält. Es ist der erste Einsatz für “Honda Connect”, ein Android-4.0.4-basiertes System mit Touchscreen-Bedienung, wie man es vom eigenen Smartphone her kennt. Über einen Sieben-Zoll-Bildschirm erlaubt es unter anderem den Zugang zum Internet oder die Einbindung des eigenen Smartphones über Bluetooth, USB und Mirror-Link. Alle Fahrzeuginfos, Musik, das Honda-App-Center oder Navigation und Rückfahrkamera (beides optional) lassen sich ebenfalls über Honda Connect bedienen.

    Neuer Diesel und Neungang-Automatik
    Dieselfans dürfen sich beim überarbeiteten Honda CR-V über den neuen 1.6 i-DTEC freuen. Das nur mit Allradantrieb erhältliche Aggregat leistet 160 PS und 350 Newtonmeter und löst den alten 2,2-Liter-Selbstzünder mit 150 PS ab. Laut Honda liegen die CO2-Emissionen des neuen Diesels bei 130 Gramm pro Kilometer. Das entspricht einer Verbesserung um elf Prozent. Der 1.6 i-DTEC wird als einziger CR-V-Motor auch mit einer neuen Neungang-Automatik erhältlich sein. Wie bisher im Programm bleiben die Benziner mit 120 und 155 PS. Der geliftete CR-V soll ab Frühjahr 2015 beim Händler stehen. Preise hat Honda noch nicht genannt.

    - Zur Bildergalerie (7 Bilder)

    - Immer informiert mit AutoNEWS: Mit einem Klick zum Newsletter

  • Honda delays Legend launch in Japan to reassess radar, hybrid tech

    December 30, 2014
    Honda is reportedly delaying the JDM launch of its Legend sedan to reassess several potential quality concerns.
    The same model encountered a few quality issues following its launch in the US market as the Acura RLX, with three quick recalls to fix problems with the headlights, seat belts and suspension. The Sport Hybrid edition also faced a lengthy delay, allegedly related to a technical issue with the new all-wheel-drive technology.

    The company is now pushing the Legend’s Japan launch into late February, the second such delay after an initial expectation of a fall launch, according to a statement to Bloomberg.

    Spokesman Atsushi Ohara further notes that engineers are taking a closer look at the Legend’s collision-avoidance sensor system and its hybrid powertrain. It is unclear if the latter issue is related to the mystery problem that delayed the RLX, or if the radar system on the US model is also potentially deficient.

  • VW recalls new Jetta to reprogram headlight software

    December 30, 2014
    Volkswagen has issued a recall for its 2015 Jetta, citing a problem with the headlight software.
    Affected cars left the factory with a control module that turns off the low-beam headlights when the high-beam headlights are activated. The behavior is typical for some lamp configurations, but is in violation of federal safety laws related to integral headlights.

    The problem was first spotted by a Canadian customer who found illumination to be lower than expected when the Jetta’s high beams were activated.

    “This noncompliance causes the light output from the headlights to be too low,” the recall documents note. “Reduced lighting at the front of the vehicle can affect the driver’s vision in driving conditions where illumination is beneficial, and may increase the risk of overlooking obstacles in roadway, and could result in a crash.”

    VW suggests the software needs to be reprogrammed in approximately 25,000 vehicles outfitted with halogen headlights.

  • Treasury offloads final auto bailout stake, reports $9.26B net loss

    December 30, 2014
    The US Treasury Department has sold its final stake from the automotive industry bailouts, which resulted in an overall net loss of $9.26 billion.
    The government earlier this month offloaded its 11.4-percent stake in loan provider Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC. Unlike the bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler, the Ally investments proved profitable with a net gain of $2.4 billion.

    The gains from Ally were not large enough to offset the $11.2 billion in losses attributed to GM. Taxpayers ultimately lost $9.26 billion on the program, though the impact was significantly lower than the government’s worst-case prediction of a $44-billion slide into the red.

    “Operating results have improved, the industry added jobs, and [Troubled Asset Relief Program] investments have largely been repaid,” the government said in its latest TARP report.