Though the recall has fallen out of the headlines, it's still the subject of a huge class action lawsuit working its way through federal court. According to a report in Detroit News, that case could be settled within the next month, and up to $1.6 billion hangs in the balance.
A QUICK RECAP
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began receiving complaints about sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles as far back as 2002, but it took the 2009 deaths of California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and three of his family members to bring the issue to the public's attention.
Numerous investigations, accusations, speculations, hoaxes, and conspiracy theories later, some conclusions were reached. In 2011, NHTSA revealed that it found no electronic flaws on Toyota vehicles that might've resulted in sudden acceleration. However, there were problems with the design of Toyota's accelerator pedals, which had caused them to become trapped beneath floormats in some cases. ( Continue… )
Do you live in Florida? Have you received a ticket from a red-light camera lately?
There may be a reason for that: according to Tampa's CBS affiliate WTSP, the state recently shortened the legal length for yellow lights. That's caused a surge in red-light citations -- and proved beneficial for Florida's coffers.
WTSP became suspicious of yellow-light times last December, when a Hernando County woman was killed after another motorist ran a red light. Timing of the yellow light revealed that it was shorter than expected, making drivers more likely to run the subsequent red light and making the intersection considerably more dangerous.
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After further digging, reporters found that in 2011, a law had been changed to reduce minimum yellow-light lengths throughout the state. Previously, minimum lengths were based on the posted speed limit at the intersection in question or the average speed of drivers, whichever was greater. ( Continue… )
How far will state car-dealer associations go to prevent Tesla Motors from opening its electric-car showrooms and selling cars over the Internet?
A long, long way.
In North Carolina, a new law passed by the state Senate would apparently make it illegal for Tesla to e-mail its customers.
In other words, if you're a North Carolina resident who has a question about Tesla, the new law may prohibit Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] from responding to your question via e-mail. ( Continue… )
Some of the most popular small SUVs have failed crash tests that simulate a common and deadly front end collision.
"These are troubling results," said Joe Nolan with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "These small SUV's are very popular and for the most part pretty safe, but with these tests most of them did not do well."
For the first time the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted small overlap crash tests with small SUV's. Eleven of the thirteen models tested received marginal or poor ratings. (Read More: Bigger Is Better: SUVs and CUVs Rule the Road in China)
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"Too often many of these models did a poor job protecting the front occupant cabin," said Nolan. ( Continue… )
Since Tesla issued its first-quarter financials last week, its stock has been on a tear.
So Tesla is taking advantage of the price runup; it announced Wednesday afternoon that it would issue up to 2.7 million to 3.1 million more shares of its common stock.
Among the factors discussed was its ability to "rapidly swap out the Model S battery pack, and the development of specialized public facilities to perform such swapping, which do not currently existbut which we plan to introduce in the near future." (our emphasis)
Hmmmmmm. ( Continue… )
It's been a great run for Tesla Motors these last few months.
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Over the weekend, the first photos and details for a brand new Lamborghini concept cropped up. We now have all the official details for the concept, which goes by the name “Egoista” and was developed as a tribute to Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary by a team led by Volkswagen Group designboss Walter De Silva.
The concept’s name, which is Spanish for “selfish,” has been applied because of the single-seat design. But rather than signify a potential for single-seat racing, the design was picked to allow its driver the ability to express their individual personality to the maximum.
The Italian designer also used the words “hedonism,” “four-wheeled UFO” and even “Never Never Land” in describing the car. ( Continue… )
Your mileage may vary.
We've heard it for years, we all know it's true, and yet we put our trust in the EPA's fuel-efficiency ratings as a guide to what kind of gas mileage a car will really get.
10-15 percent leeway
In general, buyers seem comfortable with variance of 10 or 15 percent from the advertised EPA ratings.
And although automakers generally publicize only the higher rating number (for gasoline cars, always the highway cycle), the EPA's combined rating is usually pretty close to real-world fuel economy for most buyers--within that margin.
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But the new 2013 C-Max and Fusion hybrid models have generated a drumbeat of dissatisfied buyers, who claim their real-world mileage doesn't even come close.
Inevitably, there are now lawsuits.
'What was Ford thinking?'
Here's just one of many comments Green Car Reports has received on the topic:
What was Ford thinking when they published 47/47/47 estimates? Based on the advertised EPA estimates, I would have been OK with low 40s, but 28-33 mpg is not even in the ballpark.
This is not an issue about EPA testing standards, but rather an issue about setting false customer expectations in order to promote sales.
Ford's "47MPG" marketing campaign tarnished what should have been the rollout of a truly remarkable vehicle, the C-Max. Real-world MPG estimates should have been promoted in the mid-30s.
Only EPA estimates allowed
We've gotten dozens of comments like this, following our coverage of the disparity between published 47-mpg combined EPA ratings and real-world figures achieved by drivers. ( Continue… )
Chrysler is recalling 469,000 Jeep SUVs worldwide because they can shift into neutral without warning on startup.
The recall affects 2005 to 2010 Grand Cherokees and 2006 to 2010 Commanders.
U.S. safety regulators say cracks in a circuit board can cause a faulty signal as the SUVs are being started. If the vehicles shift into neutral they can roll away.
Chrysler says the problem has caused 26 crashes and two injuries. ( Continue… )