Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Ford issued the largest single recall in Ford history on Tuesday. Owners of an additional 4.5 million Ford vehicles were warned about recall due to a fire hazard from a faulty switch.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this was the eighth Ford recall, involving a total of 16 million Ford Motor vehicles, concerning the cruise control deactivation switch manufactured by Texas Instruments

The faulty cruise control switch involved in this Ford Recall can leak hydraulic fluid, overheat, smoke and then burn, and risks causing a fire even when the ignition is turned off, parked and unattended, the NHTSA said.

The risk is elevated for 1.1 million Windstars that were subject to a government investigation, said Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood.

"We determined with the government that there is a low risk of fires for those vehicles," Sherwood said. "The other 3.4 million vehicles are the remaining vehicles that have the Texas Instrument switch, so we're recalling them to reassure customers and prevent future recalls." Sherwood added Ford has always gone beyond recalling only the cars that present a risk. While the Ford does not discuss its current suppliers, Sherwood said Ford vehicles did not use the Texas Instrument switch in post-2003 models.

NHTSA said Ford drivers should look for warnings of possible imminent fires, including malfunctioning cruise control systems and brake lights and antilock braking system and brake light warnings on the dashboard. The safety agency also said difficulty in getting the vehicle out of the park mode should be treated as a warning.

"I urge customers to pay attention to this warning and bring the affected models in to have them repaired as soon as possible," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in a statement.

Ford is notifying customers and instructing them to take vehicles to dealers for a complimentary installation of a fused wiring harness that will eliminate the risk of fires, the NHTSA said.

The safety recall is expected to begin around Oct. 26. Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673 or NTHSA's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit

Tuesday's Ford recall includes the following recalled Ford models: 1995-2003 Windstars, 2000-2003 Excursion diesels, 1993-1997 and 1999-2003 F-Super Duty diesels, 1992-2003 Econolines, 1995-2002 Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Rangers and 1994 F35 motorhomes.

In other Ford news, Ford Motor Company is building another plant in China.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Toyota Motor Company has announced a massive recall on several vehicles in the Toyota and Lexus lines. This Toyota / Lexus recall effects over 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles.


The Toyota / Lexus recall comes as a result of a problem where the floor mat has a tendency to jam the accelerator on several Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Although seemingly simple, this 2009 Toyota / Lexus recall is being treated very seriously as the floor matt problem recently resulted in a fiery crash involving a runaway Lexus which ended up killing a family of four. The vehicle hit speeds in excess of 120 MPH before it crashed into a SUV and flew off the embankment subsequently bursting into flames killing all those inside.

Vehicles affected by the Toyota / Lexus recall of 2009 include 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350 and 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and IS350.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging owners of the Toyota and Lexus vehicles effected by this Toyota / Lexus Recall not to wait for a fix. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is reported as saying "This is an urgent matter, for everyone's sake, we strongly urge owners of these vehicles to remove mats or other obstacles that could lead to unintended acceleration."

Friday, September 18, 2009

VOLKSWAGON - VW L1 Concept Car

VOLKSWAGON - VW L1 Concept vehicle

Back at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show, Volkswagon revealed their L1 Concept car, a super economical one-litre car weighing only 840 lbs. The tandem-seat VW L1 by the folks at Volkswagon is powered by half of a 1.6-litre TDI engine in a hybrid installation. In addition, the Volkswagon L1 comes with a 800cc, twin-cylinder, common-rail, turbodiesel is joined by a 14bhp electric motor.

To avoid wind drag caused by side view mirrors, the Volkswagon L1 comes with 2 CCTV camera's with monitors mounted on the left and right dashboard of the VW L1 Concept.

Another favoured feature of the Volkswagon L1 Concept is its' ability to "sail" or glide with the engine shut off. The Volkswagon L1 Concept definitely seems designed with the fuel miser in mind. The Volkswagon L1’s headline fuel consumption is an EU Combined figure of 180mpg with CO2 emissions of 39g/km.

In addition to being very economical, the Volkswagon L1 is capable of reaching speeds of 99mph, with the ability to accelerate from 0-62mph in 14.3 seconds.

If you are eager to own a VW L1, the very spacey looking Volkswagon L1 Concept will be ready to ship in 2012.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Limited Recall of Toyota Vehicles due to braking Issue

TOYOTA Motor Corp is recalling 95,700 Toyota and Scion cars sold in the United States. The reason for this massive Toyota Recall is as a result of a fault in their braking system

The Toyota Recalll effects 2009 and 2010 models of the Toyota Corlolla, Corolla Matrix as well as the 2008 and 2009 Scion xD's

According to the recall notice, vehicles driven in extremely low temperatures may have ice buld up at the braking system port. This ice build up will decrease braking power.

Since the condition can happen at low temperatures, Toyota's recall applies to vehicle owners in 19 states: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Those living in other area's who are concerned about potential travel to these low temperature area's should contact Toyota directly to push for a wider recall area.

There is also an indication of another recall involving Chinese made Toyota Camry's and other sedans involving a faulty window control switch.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

GENERAL MOTORS RECALL - GM RECALL effects 1.4 Million cars

GM is recalling 1.4 million vehicles because of a problem with an oil drip in the engine that could lead to a fire.

GENERAL MOTORS says the engines in the vehicles can drip oil into the wrong place and start a fire in the engine compartment. The GM cars included in the GENERAL MOTORS RECALL are:

1997 - 2003 Buick Recal
2000 - 2003 Chevy Impala
1998 - 1999 Chevy Lumina
1998 - 2003 Chevy Monte Carlo
1998 - 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue
1997 - 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix

If you own one of the listed GM vehicles, you're advised to take it to the dealer so it can be repaired.

General Motors Corp. is recalling 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix a glitch in an engine component that may cause oil to leak and lead to a fire.

The move includes certain Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac cars from model years 1997 to 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its Web site.

Oil could drop on the exhaust manifold, posing a risk of engine fire. The recall for Detroit-based GM will begin in May, the agency said.

The recall affects Buick Regals from model years 1997 to 2003; Chevrolet vehicles including 1998 and 1999 Luminas, 1998- to-2003 Monte Carlos and Impalas from model years 2000 to 2003; the 1998 and 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue; and some Pontiac Grand Prix cars from model years 1997 to 2003.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

2010 Camaro SS

At first glance, the 2010 Camaro SS makes us feel like we’ve stepped back in time to a more innocent era when gas was cheap. Yet the 2010 muscle car is more than just a retro-mobile.

It’s the long-awaited revival of General Motors’ classic American pony car. First seen in 1967, the iconic design that GM designers have liberally borrowed from debuted two years later.

Sure, it’s got the bones of the most popular Camaro in the brand’s long history, with its egg-crate grille, Coke-bottle silhouette and the muscular kick-up of its rear shoulders. But this is a decidedly modern interpretation, taking advantage of state-of-the-art engineering and technology. The long side aperture, for example, running front fender to rear, is stamped from a single piece of steel, a task impossible during the classic muscle car era.

The “halo rings” around the headlights add a decidedly contemporary touch as well.

The 2010 SS is the most powerful version of the new Camaro and the only one with a V-8, in this case, turning out a solid 426-horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque with the manual transmission.

With the new 6-speed automatic, the engine had to be detuned slightly to 400 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. But with the auto box you get cylinder deactivation, which shuts off four cylinders during low power demand, improving highway mileage to 16 city/25 highway, from 16/24 for the stick.

If you’re willing to sacrifice performance for fuel economy, the still sporty Camaro LS and RS models get 30 mpg on the highway out of their V-6s.

The new Camaro SS will turn 0 to 60 times in 4.7 seconds, despite its 3,800-pound heft, which is notably quicker than domestic competitors like the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang GT, as well as the new Nissan 370Z. But the Chevy coupe delivers more than just straight-line performance, in part because of its new, independent rear suspension.

The 2010 Camaro SS is arguably the best version of the pony car in more than 40 years, and it will give challenge to just about anything in its class. Sadly, the planned convertible version has been delayed and the even more powerful Z28 model has been cancelled. But expect to see the SS burning rubber as it flies out of dealer showrooms.

Miles per gallon: 16 city/24 highway with six-speed manual, 16/25 with six-speed automatic.

Engine options: 6.2-liter LS3 V-8, 426 hp/420 pound-feet, with manual; 400/410 with automatic.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (base): $30,995.

Cost fully loaded: $35,000.

Friday, February 20, 2009


STOCKHOLM (AP) Saab has filed for bankruptcy protection and intends to split from its troubled parent company, General Motors.

GM had asked Sweden for government help for Saab but had to take 'no' for an answer.

With no help forthcoming from Sweden's government, Saab has filed for bankruptcy protection. The goal is to split from its parent company, General Motors. GM says its exploring all options.
General Motors' subsidiary has filed for reorganization, a step taken to stave off bankruptcy protection.

General Motors' Swedish subsidiary, Saab, confirmed on Friday that it has filed for reorganization, a step to avoid bankruptcy protection, as the company seeks to pay down pending debt and return to profitability.

"I can confirm that Saab has filed for reorganization. It is not a bankruptcy situation. The aim is to have Saab as a freestanding entity," a spokesman for the firm told Forbes.

SAAB is seeking funds from both public and private sources but will operate as usual with government funding during the reorganization process.

Under Swedish law, when a company files for reorganization, it means that it is looking for ways to raise capital to pay off debt. One of the solutions a company might consider is seeking a buyer to could acquire an equity stake.

The legal process will be headed by an independent administrator appointed by court as the company seeks funds from both private and public sources, reported. Saab will operate as usual, with the central government providing assistance during the process, which will be executed over a 90-day period.

The Swedish government has categorically denied the possibility of buying equity in its struggling carmakers. "The Swedish state and taxpayers in Sweden will not own car factories," Industry Minister Maud Olofsson said on Wednesday. "Sometimes you get the feeling that [GM] is a small, small company, but it is the world's biggest automaker, so we have a right to make demands."

Saab builds fewer than 1 million vehicles per year, in contrast to Renault or Volkswagen, whose capacity ranges between 2 million and 3 million cars per year.

Inside, a forward-leaning center stack clearly makes the 2010 Ford Taurus a five-seater. There will be no front bench seats or column shifters available for this car (we hope fleet car purchasing agents aren't crying too hard). New production techniques have yielded better looking and richer feeling dash and door coverings. As evidenced in recently introduced models, Ford knows how to craft high-quality and visually pleasing interiors. Panel gaps and materials appear on par with luxury cars.

Even though the Taurus is a full-size car, the amount of passenger room is still surprising. The adjective "huge" comes to mind. The trunk, thanks to the high profile of the rear fenders and the tall deck, is likewise enormous. Back in the days of drive-in movies, it would have been easy to fit three stow-aways back there with room for beer and chips.

The 2010 Ford Taurus is a sleek, stylish update of a car that has been one of the mainstays of the Ford fleet, and it's turning heads at the show with its expressive lines and improved interior, including a new instrument panel with chrome ringed gauges. The Taurus also delivers more fuel efficiency. No fuel economy numbers are available as yet, though Ford promises that it will be 10% better than the 2009 Taurus.

The 2010 Ford Taurus should have the moves to match its trimmer more athletic looks. The mechanicals are based on the Lincoln MKS, a car we've driven and liked. The standard engine is the proven Duratec 3.5-liter V-6, generating an estimated 263 horsepower and 249 foot-pounds of torque. Along with earning ULEV-II emissions certification front-wheel-drive Taurus (all-wheel drive is optional) is expected to deliver unsurpassed highway fuel economy in the class, but Ford hasn't yet released mpg estimates. Plan also calls for the availability of Ford’s turbocharged and direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 to become available after the car goes on sale. In the MKS, the boosted engine produces 340 horsepower. Perhaps this foreshadows the return of the SHO (Super High Output)?

The base Taurus SE offers a six-speed automatic transmission with a Grade-Assist hill-holding rollback prevention feature, paired with an economical 2.77 final drive ratio. Taurus SEL and Limited models get the SelectShift gearbox used in the Lincoln MKS. It features paddle shifters on the steering wheel, manual shift mode, and rev-matching downshifts. Enhancing acceleration, the Limited series uses a 3.16 gear in front-wheel-drive models, and a 3.39 ratio in all-wheel-drive models to provide compensate for the added weight of the extra drive mechanicals.

Compared to the outgoing model, the chassis components under the 2010 Taurus should deliver sportier ride dynamics. Ford engineers promise more roll stiffness and more responsive steering. Like the MKS, the new Ford uses struts up front and multi-link, fully-independent arrangement in the rear.

Ford added a healthy helping of technology to the 2010 Taurus. Many of these features were once found exclusively in high-end luxury cars, but now Ford is making them mainstream. The list of optional features includes: Adaptive cruise control that uses radar to adjust the car's cruising speed in traffic; keyless entry with push-button start; and Ford's keyless entry keypad with a new pad flush-mounted on the driver’s side B-pillar. These are added to the latest version of Ford's SYNC infotainment interface that includes turn-by-turn route guidance (SYNC and GM's OnStar are in a heated battle to out-feature the other).

Offering even more travel-type information is optional voice-activated NAV with SIRIUS Travel Link. It uses a large eight-inch screen to present a birds-eye-view map with 3D landmarks. The Travel Link subscription provides current weather conditions (real-time radar), a five-day forecast, local fuel pricing by cost per gallon as well as brand, sports scores and movie listings.

One especially interesting option is what Ford is calling multi-contour front seats. These seats include six-way lumbar support and subtle rolling pattern massage. The minute but continuous movement stirs a change of muscular activation helping a driver avoid back pain and help reduce long-distance driving fatigue.

On the safety front, the 2010 Taurus is well equipped with standards including six air bags (including a two-row side canopy), electronic stability control, ABS, traction control, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, plus a post-crash feature that unlocks all doors, flashes the emergency flashers, and sounds the horn in an event of an airbag deployment.

Safety enhancing options include a collision warning system that's part of the adaptive cruise control. When the potential for a collision is detected, the brakes are pre-charged for faster response, and a visual "heads-up" warning signal is flashed on the base of the windshield. Drivers are also warned of traffic they might not see on the highway or in parking lots by Ford's Blind Spot Information and Cross Traffic Alert systems; these use rear- and side-aiming radar. Additionally, Ford's SYNC now includes a 911 Assist enhancement that will place a call to a local emergency operator in the event of an air bag deployment incident.

The 2010 Ford Taurus also boasts a stronger body structure that makes use of high-strength boron steel. If the crash results of the 2009 Lincoln MKS are any indication, this sedan should earn full five-star ratings and a "good" rating from the IIHS.

Regardless of your take on the old Taurus, this new offering looks to be a lot of bull for the money.

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