After initially refusing, Chrysler has agreed to comply with a formal government request to recall 2.7 million model Jeeps. According to regulators, the Jeep recall will include Cherokee and Liberty models that can catch fire due to the position of the gas tank behind the rear axle.
The problem has already been responsible for 51 deaths resulting from Jeeps igniting after rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recall involves Jeep Grand Cherokees made between 1993 and 2004, as well as Jeep Libertys manufactured between 2004 and 2007. The affected vehicles will be inspected and, if necessary, have a trailer hitch installed to protect the gas tank. Chrysler didn’t say how much the hitches would cost the company.
“As a result of the agreement, Chrysler Group will conduct a campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts,” Chrysler said in a statement. ( Continue… )
The vehicle will be available for sale later this summer where it will go up against the likes of the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK Class.
However, the Audi stands apart thanks to its 354 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque output. That potent output is derived from a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 and is channeled to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
According to Audi, the SQ5 needs just 5.1 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph and can easily reach its governed top speed of 155 mph.
Those numbers make the SQ5 the fastest and most powerful model in its segment.
The vehicle also gets a host of goodies as standard, including 20-inch wheels (21-inch wheels are offered), leather and Alcantara trim, and aluminum accents inside and out.
In addition to the high-performance SQ5, the 2014 Audi Q5 lineup also sees the addition of the Q5 TDI model. For pricing on this model, plus more of Audi’s 2014 range, click here.
General Motors is recalling nearly 200,000 midsize SUVs in the United States for a problem that has plagued several automakers: a driver's door module that can corrode, if it attracts excess moisture.
The issue can cause power door locks and windows to fail and the module's circuit board to melt, smoke, or even catch fire in some instances. It can happen even when the car is not operating, prompting GM to suggest that owners affected by the recall keep their vehicles parked outside.
The models involved in the GM recall are: Chevy TrailBlazer (2006-07 models) and Trailblazer EXT (2006); GMC Envoy (2006-07) and Envoy XL (2006); Buick Rainer (2006-07); Saab 9-7x (2005-07); and Isuzu Ascender (2006-07). In all, more than 193,000 vehicles are being tagged with the potential problem. The recall also includes some 38,000 of these GM vehicles sold in Canada and elsewhere around the world.
For GM owners, however, this latest recall might seem like deja vu. The current safety notice is an extension of a GM recall involving nearly 250,000 SUVs nearly a year ago. That recall was limited to 20 cold-weather states where road salt was most likely to cause the damage. In January 2013, the automaker also alerted owners outside those states with a special coverage letter, urging them to get the item fixed at a GM dealer. The fix is free in either case. ( Continue… )
After spending a few weeks with a 2013 Audi Allroad, we've grown to appreciate how, from choppy, rutted unpaved access roads to nicely surfaced curving blacktop, this stocky wagon manages to handle surprisingly well, without punishing passengers or transmitting too much road noise into the cabin.
In fact, for what most people need—the occasional snowy driveway, or the rutted two-track to the trailhead—we think the Allroad has the right amount of capability, without sacrificing too much in the ride-and-handling department.
Yes, there are many models that have more ground clearance than the Allroad's 7.1 inches. But a higher body would have physical consequences and would raise the center of mass—almost surely bringing a harsher or bouncier ride, less surefooted handling, or both.
Versus the A4 sedan and Q5 crossover?
We expected the taller Allroad to be a somewhat clumsier handler than the A4 sedan, but we can't say it is. And really, it rides just as well as the sedan. The Allroad has 1.5 inches more ground clearance than the A4 (7.1 inches, versus 5.6), while the Q5 has even more—7.9 inches. As for the Q5, you sit higher and more upright in it, so it's a little higher to gauge, but there's definitely more fore-and-aft motion in the suspension with bumpy roads or hard braking. ( Continue… )
We have good news and bad news for hybrid car owners.
First the bad news: basic car repairs are more expensive than they used to be. According to a CarMD survey of repair costs across the U.S., problems associated with the "check engine" light cost $367.84 to repair in 2012. That's 10% higher than in 2011.
A little more bad news: on the whole, rates on the East Coast seem to be outpacing the rest of the country. Things were at their worst in New Jersey, where motorists paid an average of $392.99 for repairs last year.
The good news? As we reported a few months ago, repairing hybrid cars is getting cheaper.
And by sheer coincidence, it's cheapest of all in New Jersey. ( Continue… )
U.S. Historic Route 66 is one of the most famous highways in the world, but it's a mere shadow of the journey it was in its 1930s to 1950s heyday.
Eisenhower's Interstate Highway Act of 1956 effectively signed the route's death warrant--and indeed, the towns along it, as flat, smooth, effortless interstate carved its way through the country and around previously prosperous towns..
But could the electric car rekindle interest in the historic highway?
This author thinks it could too. Back in 2007, myself and two friends decided to take on the famed Route 66 ourselves, having just finished college and keen to travel before several years of university weighed us down. ( Continue… )
Last week, Jeep did something very, very unusual: when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked the automaker to recall 2.7 million vehicles due to a potentially dangerous design issue, Jeep said "No".
According to one market research firm, that refusal isn't playing too well in Peoria -- or anywhere else that Jeep customers live.
GAS TANK TROUBLE
NHTSA claims that the 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Liberty are unsafe because their fuel tanks are located behind the rear axle -- a serious problem that has resulted in fuel leaks and fires in other vehicles like the Ford Pinto. The Grand Cherokee might be particularly at risk due to its ride height, which makes it easier for small cars and other vehicles to reach and rupture the tank during collisions.
According to NHSTA, the design flaw could be responsible for up to 44 deaths in the Grand Cherokee and another seven in the Liberty. ( Continue… )
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected by the recall at 12,907. Affected vehicles are equipped with a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo engine and dual dry clutch transmission and were built from March 1, 2012 through February 28, 2013.
According to the NHTSA bulletin and documentation from Chrysler (PDF), these vehicles may experience an engine stall when the temperature is 20-degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
South Carolina is looking to inject a fresh bit of technology into the automotive world, and it's arriving in a rather unexpected form. The state is exploring the idea of introducing electronic license plates. A company called Compliance Innovations has developed such a plate utilizing ePaper technology similar to what's used on devices like the Kindle. The reason behind a state-led desire to switch to such a plate becomes clear when you realize what could be displayed on such a license plate.
The display would appear just like a normal plate when the motorist is driving with insurance and up-to-date registration. If that changes, however, the tags could display messages that would alert officials to an issue. The word "UNINSURED", "SUSPENDED", or "EXPIRED" could flash on the electronic plate. Additionally, the plate can display an Amber Alert message or Stolen if the owner discovers his car isn't where he or she left it. ( Continue… )
It isn't easy to compare gasoline and electric vehicles.
Sure, you can look at EPA stickers, sit in them and appreciate the way they drive, but comparing like-for-like on an economic basis is requires some thought.
The U.S. Department of Energy has simplified the process with its new eGallon calculator, showing potential electric vehicle drivers just how much cheaper it is to run one than the equivalent gasoline vehicle.
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The DoE describes an eGallon as "the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline". ( Continue… )