GM announced six new recalls that cover 717,950 Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC models from the 2010 to 2015 model years. The bulk of the recalls — 414,333 cars — involves late-model GM midsize SUVs, the Chevrolet Camaro sports cars and two Buick sedans, all with power height-adjustable seats. The power adjusters have faulty bolts, which may cause the seats to move up or down freely; GM says owners should not use the height adjuster until dealers replace the bolts. The automaker says it’s aware of one crash and three injuries but no fatalities that stem from the issue.
Another 57,242 Chevrolet Impalas have a new power-steering issue; GM says it’s aware of one crash but no injuries or fatalities from it.… Read more
Vehicles Affected: More than 2,000 model-year 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI hatchbacks manufactured between Jan. 27, 2014, and May 12, 2014.
The Problem: The stabilizer link fasteners may come loose and possibly interfere with steering, requiring additional effort to control the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash. Volkswagen earlier this month issued a stop sale order to dealers on the 2015 Golf and GTI due to the stabilizer link fastener issue, covering about 700 vehicles in dealer inventory; the automaker said no accidents or injuries related to this problem have been reported.
The Fix: Volkswagen will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will replace the front stabilizer links for free.… Read more
Vehicles Affected: More than 18,000 model-year 2003-04 Mazda6 cars and model-year 2004 RX-8 sports cars.
The Problem: A defect in the passenger side frontal airbag may produce excessive internal pressure, causing the inflator to rupture upon deployment of the device; metal fragments could strike and seriously injure occupants. This latest action is an expansion of a 2013 recall related to the ongoing problem with airbag systems manufactured by Japan’s Takata Corp., a major world supplier of the devices, involving numerous automakers.
The Fix: Mazda will begin notifying owners in August, and dealers will replace the defective airbag inflator for free.
What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mazda at 800-222-5500, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.… Read more
Duncan Forster and Phil Weicker have known since college that there is nothing quite like enjoying a relaxing soak while driving.
As undergraduate engineering students at McMaster University the pair designed and built their first ‘Carpool’, a 1982 Chevy Malibu with a working hot tub instead of seats or floor mats. The car became a local celebrity and was featured at the 2001 Canadian International Car Show.
It was at the car show that the Southern California Timing Association said they would support a planned attempt for the hot tub land speed record. Unfortunately, the Malibu rusted apart before it could make it to the test track.… Read more
Ford Motor Co. posted a second-quarter pretax profit of $2.6 billion, bolstered by a record performance in North America and its first quarterly profit in Europe in three years.
The pretax profit was up 44 million dollars from a year earlier. Ford’s second-quarter net income was 1.3 billion, an increase of 78 million compared with last year’s quarter. Ford’s net figure was trimmed by pretax special charges of 481 million, the company said.
Revenue fell slightly to 37.4 billion dollars.
“Our One Ford plan continues to deliver, enabling us to reach our 20th consecutive quarter of profitability,” said CEO Mark Fields, who assumed the job on July 1 after the retirement of Alan Mulally.… Read more
The new Corvette Stingray is red hot when it comes to performance, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the car is completely obliterating rival vehicles when it comes to sales. GM Authority has broken down sales data from the North American Dealers Association Used Car Guide, producing some rather interesting insights.
Not surprisingly, the Corvette Stingray outsold the Viper and Porsche 911 for the first half of 2014, racking up 17,744 unit sales. Of course the Chevrolet is less expensive and provides plenty of performance thrills, so that fact alone isn’t all that impressive. What is amazing about the data is just how badly the Corvette outsold the other two models.… Read more
Two U.S. senators are asking the Surface Transportation Board — a bipartisan body of the Department of Transportation — to investigate railroad delays of vehicle deliveries to dealerships.
In a letter, Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, urged Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel Elliott to consult with the railroads to resolve the delays.
“While rail service delays are being felt across industry sectors and across the country and need to be addressed, it is a particularly urgent matter for the automotive industry,” the senators wrote.
Levin and Portman, co-chairmen of the Senate Auto Caucus, wrote that the issue was first raised on April 17, in a letter to the Surface Transportation Board from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — which represents 12 automakers including General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp.… Read more
It’s hard to imagine that words like “U.S. sales bonanza” were ever used to describe anything that happened in 2009. But they were.
The Car Allowance Rebate System, also known as cash for clunkers, was a lifeline at a desperate time in the U.S. auto industry. Consider this: When U.S. vehicle sales fell 28 percent in June of that year, the drop wasn’t seen as being so bad. Every other month that year had been worse.
“We were getting our teeth kicked in,” recalled Paul Lunsford, a Toyota dealer in Orange County, Calif.
Cash for clunkers changed that, if only for a couple of months.… Read more