A perfect name can summarize a car’s or truck’s personality perfectly: Mustang, Ram, Impala, but the wrong one can send a message the automaker never intended.
Sometimes, automakers seem unaware of an embarrassing name. Despite having a name which means “a seizure in which the victim loses consciousness,” Honda has not changed the name of the Fit back to Jazz, which is what it’s called in other countries.
Maybe this is why automakers avoid proper words when naming their vehicles; it avoids unintended consequences. You’ll understand why when you see what your vehicle’s name means.
Here’s a sampling of current model names, their definitions and the automaker who uses them.… Read more
Volkswagen Group and Ford Motor Co. fared well among automakers in an annual study released Monday measuring quality and how deeply consumers feel about a new car or light-truck purchase after several months of ownership.
For the first time in over a decade, domestic automakers, led by GM, topped foreign brands in individual product segments surveyed by Strategic Vision, a California research and consulting firm.
In addition to tracking problems, the study measured emotions and perceptions of more than 442 functions and other vehicle attributes owners develop with a new vehicle purchase. Key attributes measured are performance, driving characteristics and styling.… Read more
U.S. auto safety regulators closed two separate probes into vehicles made by Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group after the two U.S. automakers conducted safety recalls this year to fix glitches in some models.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed both investigations in early May, according to documents filed on the agency’s website.
In late 2011, NHTSA began exploring reports of corrosion problems in 200,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans made for the 2004 through 2007 model years.
In March, Ford recalled 230,000 minivans worldwide to repair the problem that could prevent the fold-down, third-row seats from locking in place.… Read more
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the agency is opening a preliminary investigation into 340,000 Ford trucks over complaints of steering gear box failures resulting in a loss of control.
The investigation covers the 2008 Ford F250 and F350 Super Duty trucks after several reported crashes.
NHTSA said it has received five complaints alleging an internal failure of the steering gear box resulting in a complete loss of steering control. One report said the loss of steering resulted in the vehicle crashing into a parked vehicle at 20 miles an hour. The driver said he believed the 2008 F-350 steering and suspension was too light for a heavy load.… Read more
U.S. safety regulators opened a preliminary investigation into more than 100,000 Chevrolet Corvette sports cars after complaints that headlights suddenly died.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating 103,374 2005-07 Corvettes after receiving 30 complaints from owners reporting a loss of both low-beam headlights while driving at night without warning.
In one of the 30 reports, a driver ran over a discarded tire while attempting to pull off the road, NHTSA said. Some complaints said the problem is intermittent and some reported that low-beam function returned after a period of time, typically after the vehicle has been parked.… Read more
Chrysler Group LLC is recalling about 469,000 SUVs worldwide to update software after some vehicles’ circuit boards were found to be transmitting signals that trigger inadvertent gearshifts to neutral, the automaker said.
Included are 2006 to 2010 model-year Jeep Commanders and 2005 to 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokees, of which about 295,000 are in the United States, 28,500 are in Canada and 4,200 are in Mexico. The remaining 141,000 are outside of North America.
Chrysler also said it is recalling 532 2013-model-year Ram 1500 pickup trucks in the United States and Canada, a third of which remain in dealer inventories, to inspect and possibly replace windshield defrosting and defogging components.… Read more
Cadillac announced new coverage limits on its certified pre-owned (CPO) cars, with a full bumper-to-bumper warranty extending to six years or 70,000 miles from when the car was new. That’s two years and 20,000 miles past the brand’s previous CPO policy, which extended just four years or 50,000 miles. The program also includes 24-hour roadside assistance and three months’ OnStar and Satellite radio service.
Shoppers can also purchase Cadillac’s Premium Care Maintenance, which covers oil changes, tire rotations and other routine maintenance, for $399, Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell confirmed. Premium Care Maintenance is standard on new Cadillacs but was previously unavailable on CPO cars.… Read more
The Toyota Matrix will pass silently into the ether next year, just as the new Corolla hatchback takes its place in 2014. This was confirmed to me by an internal memo sent to dealers last week.
That will neither come as a shock nor much of a disappointment for many, as the compact’s sales have slid downwards ever since 2009–now accounting for only 0.2 percent of Toyota’s sales in the compact segment.
According to Car and Driver, the Matrix was something of a success in its first four years on the market, starting 2002. It sold over 55,000 units each year before averaging 47,000 through 2008.… Read more