October 11, 2012 |
When it comes to autos, white is the new white. Automakers in North America offered more white cars than vehicles in any other color during the just-completed 2012 model year, according to the automotive coating division of PPG Industries. The paint company said 22% of the 2012 cars painted white. That compares to 21% last year. White stole market share from black, which fell to 19% this year from 20% last year. Silver held steady at 20%. Americans just don't seem to be into cars with dynamic colors, according to the 2012 model year build data collected by PPG. Red is 9%, blue 7% and green 2%. But that hasn't stopped PPG from offering up some interesting colors for consideration by the industry for the 2014 model year and beyond.
February 5, 2013 |
While electric vehicles continue to grab the green-car spotlight, an older technology has quietly emerged as a player in the fuel economy wars: turbocharging. Once the province of performance cars, turbochargers now power economy cars, family sedans and even full-sized trucks. Turbos now account for an estimated 13% of U.S. auto sales, according to Honeywell International Inc., a leading turbo supplier. That's double what it was in 2010. The increase is driven by ever-stricter federal fuel economy standards.
May 21, 2012 |
Here's a big oops for Ferrari, the maker of mega-bucks sports cars. It made a mistake building the crankshafts for the engines in its California and 458 Italia models and now will have to repair or replace them, depending on what the owner picks. Ferrari said it will recall the 2011 and 2012 model-year cars because the crankshaft error can cause the engines in the vehicles, which sell for $200,000 or more, to freeze suddenly and possibly cause a crash. The Italian automaker learned of the problem in a uniquely embarrassing way. The first of these models to have its engine freeze was the car the company was lending to critics to review.
October 19, 2012 |
Federal safety regulators have opened a probe into the 2011 and 2012 model year Jeep Patriot, which they said may stall at high speeds without warning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it has received 12 complaints from drivers alleging incidents of engine stall in the sport-utility vehicle. Almost all of the drivers said the engine stopped while they were traveling at 65 mph or more. One complaint alleged that the incident resulted in a crash and injury.
February 27, 2013 |
Hyundai is adding about 6,100 more Veloster hatchbacks to a recall for sunroofs that can shatter and rain glass onto the driver and passengers. In December, the automaker announced the recall of 13,500 of its Veloster coupes from the 2012 model year for the same problem. Hyundai says the panoramic sunroof assembly may have been weakened during installation at the factory. At least five people have suffered minor injuries when sunroofs in the Velosters shattered, though no crashes have resulted.
January 31, 2013 |
General Motors announced a pair of recalls Thursday covering more than 12,000 vehicles. The first recall is for 8,519 Chevy Malibu sedans from the 2013 model year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said one or more bolts in the vehicles' rear suspension may not have been fastened tight enough. This could cause "sudden changes in the vehicle handling" which may lead to a crash, NHTSA said. No injuries or crashes have been reported as a result of this issue, said GM spokesman Alan Adler.