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July 22, 2010 | By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It used to be that a peach was a peach and a plum was a plum, and that was it. Now, however, breeders are coming up with complex hybrids between species, such as fruits that are a combination of peaches, apricots and plums, and cherries or nectarines and plums. Making these kinds of interspecific crosses opens up a promising range of possibilities for growers and consumers, but what to call the resulting fruits? No one really knows. We're in the initial stages of a paradigm shift in which names of fruit types are becoming unmoored from their genetics and are being chosen primarily for marketing and convenience.
March 30, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
The name is familiar, but the title is not. The Angels hired Rick Eckstein, the older brother of former World Series-winning Angels shortstop David Eckstein, as their major league player information coach in November, which begs the question: What the heck - or would that be what the Eck? - is a player information coach? In short, it's a position that combines scouting and on-field coaching duties. "It's a hybrid role," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said, "one that will be very valuable to our club.
June 30, 2012 | By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
HANFORD, Calif. - Combining the high sugar and flavor of cherries with the larger fruit size and extended season of plums has been a longstanding dream for fruit breeders, but such crosses are difficult to make successfully so that the hybrids yield abundant high-quality fruit. Zaiger's Genetics of Modesto, the inventors of Pluots and Apriums, managed the trick, and the fruit started showing up several years ago in very small quantities at upstate farmers markets; this year vendors at local farmers markets have begun offering plum-cherry hybrids, and the first commercial orchard has started bearing fruit.
March 26, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In a first, scientists have detected rings encircling an M&M-shaped asteroid known as Chariklo. Until now, only the solar system's four gas planets - Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and especially Saturn - were known to have rings. "It was an extremely surprising discovery," said James Bauer, a planetary astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge who was not involved in the finding. "No one has ever seen rings around a comet or an asteroid before. This is a brand-new area.
February 13, 2007
Re "40 mpg? Congress just might go for it," Feb. 12 As usual, Congress is really getting tough on Detroit -- going to force automakers to meet 40 mpg standards within 10 years! The cars are already on the road. Ever hear of hybrids and diesels? Simply mandate that all new 2008 cars and trucks must be 40 mpg hybrids or diesels. The car companies will whine and snivel that it can't be done, but it can. Some of the cars are already manufactured in hybrid or standard model versions.
July 29, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Ford Motor Co. recalled more than 33,000 C-Max hybrids over the weekend after testing revealed vehicle roofs may not sufficiently protect drivers and passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered the defect during regular testing of 2013 models, and brought the issue to Ford's attention. The recall will affect 33,021 C-Max hybrids, specifically those without the optional panoramic roof, built at a Michigan assembly plant between Jan. 19, 2012, and June 26 of this year.
July 13, 2008 | By Terry Gardner, Special to The Los Angeles Times
Travelers, you've made your voices heard. Whether you want to lessen your pain at the pump or reduce your carbon footprint (or both), you can find more hybrid and biofuel-powered rental cars these days. Just remember, though, that you may be going green, but you won't necessarily be saving green. If you're in L.A., San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta or Miami, you'll have a good shot at finding a hybrid. Here's who's doing what: * Enterprise, National and Alamo rent Ford, Toyota and Saturn hybrids, and they offer carbon offsets through TerraPass, a company that strives to reduce the negative effects on the climate of driving a car. Renters contribute $1.25 per rental, and TerraPass uses funds for an emissions-offset project.
February 13, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Supporters of green-car technology like hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars say they were happy to hear that automakers like Ford and Honda are expanding the number of dealerships who can sell those cars. Honda's 2013 Honda Fit EV, launched in California and Oregon in July, will be added to dealerships in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New York and New Jersey. Ford Motor Co. is accelerating dealership certification for its plug-in electrified vehicles from 200 to 900 dealers.
November 14, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. announced two safety recalls for its flagship Prius hybrid. The automaker said the steering intermediate extension shafts in 670,000 Prius cars sold in the U.S. need to be inspected and in some cases replaced. And 350,000 of those hybrids also will have to have their electric water pumps replaced. Toyota will recall another 2 million vehicles worldwide, including the Prius and the Corolla, to fix the same problems.   The gas-sipping Prius has become an important vehicle for Toyota, giving the company a reputation for producing fuel-efficient, green vehicles and quietly becoming one of the best sellers in the automaker's lineup.
August 29, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
With the ink barely dry on our review of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe , GM President Mark Reuss swung by the L.A. Times office in a gleaming new Cyber Gray Metallic Stingray Convertible. On his mind were consumers' changing buying habits, the strength of the auto market in the coming years and GM's plans for diesel and hybrid powertrains in its vehicles. How about a hybrid Corvette? "Actually, don't laugh," Reuss said with a telling smile. PHOTOS: The 2014 Corvette Stingray in detail Using an energy recapturing system like that found on hypercars such as Ferrari's LaFerrari or McLaren's P1 -- both hybrids -- presents many advantages.
March 3, 2014 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
PARIS -- A hybrid moto-meets-Mongolian lamb jacket. A gray flannel skirt with pleats spliced with chiffon. A blazer cross-pollinated with an electric blue fisherman's knit. For women who want classic clothes with a kick, designer Chitose Abe's Sacai label is becoming a go-to. Her design aesthetic might be described as a softer, sportier spin on Japanese deconstruction. And her collections just keep getting better and better. Her fall 2014 outing shown Monday at Paris Fashion Week was full of sportswear separates that were as interesting to look at from the back as from the front, including an orange menswear check wrap skirt with a lace back panel, and a blue knit sweater dress with a silk print peeking out from the skirt pleats.
February 21, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Don't get attached to the new plug-in hybrid Golf that Volkswagen is bringing to the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. But let yourself get a little excited about what's under its skin. Germany's everyman brand will use its March 4 press conference to debut the Golf GTE. It's the latest version of the new generation of Golf hatchback that's been on sale in Europe for almost a year and is headed to our shores later in 2014. While VW says it doesn't currently plan to bring the GTE to the U.S. market, the hybrid powertrain that moves it will definitely land here.
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. launched a massive global recall of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall, an aggressive reaction to counter past criticism of its slow response to defects, experts said. The Japanese automaker also said it would recall about 260,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue. The recall of the Prius, one of America's best-selling passenger cars and the top-selling vehicle in California, covers 1.9 million hybrids from the 2010 through 2014 model years.
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday announced a massive global recall of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall. The Japanese automaker also launched a recall of about 260,000 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue. The Prius recall includes 1.9 million vehicles sold from 2010 through 2014 model years. It involves about 1 million cars in Japan, some 700,000 in North America and the rest from Europe and other regions.
January 27, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into intermittent brake failure in the 2007 and 2008 Toyota Camry hybrid sedan. Dozens of consumers have complained to the agency about the problem, asking it to force Toyota Motor Corp. recall the cars. Toyota has previously paid record federal fines for not recalling vehicles promptly. The agency said Monday that it would look into reports of delayed braking and brake failure from owners of the vehicle. The problem could affect up to 30,000 cars.
January 5, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Higher mortgage rates for 2014? Count on it. Could this be the year to check out hybrid mortgages, which haven't been popular lately? Maybe. You can count on interest rates going higher because: •The Federal Reserve intends to continue reducing its monthly purchases of mortgage bonds and Treasury securities, which will have the side effect of raising rates. •The national economy finally appears to be picking up steam, based on the latest quarterly data. Higher growth rates in turn will increase demand for available credit and probably nudge rates higher.
January 26, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Honda Civic owners from Sacramento to Carlsbad, Calif., took off from work to attend an unusual Small Claims Court case in Torrance, where a lone consumer has sued American Honda Motor Co. over fuel economy claims. The hearing Wednesday represented round two of a case that has garnered national attention pitting Honda Civic hybrid owner Heather Peters against the automotive giant. Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan heard testimony from Peters and Honda.
December 7, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to review Consumer Reports test data indicating that two Ford Motor Co. hybrids don't get the fuel economy claimed on the window stickers of the vehicles. Except to confirm that it was seeking more information, the agency, which monitors fuel-economy ratings, declined to discuss the scope of its review of Ford's mileage claims for the Fusion and C- Max hybrids. Earlier this year, the EPA tested multiple Hyundai and Kia models that had become the focus of consumer complaints about fuel-economy ratings, and ordered changes to the labels.
December 18, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Ford has announced it is joining a growing list of automakers who are taking a serious look at the future of self-driving cars. The automaker has teamed up with the University of Michigan and State Farm Insurance to develop an autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid test car. The collaboration will use the car to develop technologies that Ford and its suppliers can use on a future generation of vehicles. "The Ford Fusion Hybrid automated vehicle represents a vital step toward our vision for the future of mobility," Bill Ford, Ford's executive chairman, said in a statement.
November 24, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
With eco-friendly cars taking center stage at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show, it was no surprise luxury carmakers wanted to tout their stuff too. And not just far-off concepts that drivers will need to wait years for, either. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac each brought production-ready fully electric or plug-in hybrid models. FOR THE RECORD: Electric vehicles: In the Nov. 23 Business section, an article about new electric cars said the BMW i3 is front-wheel-drive. The BMW i3 is a rear-wheel-drive car. - It's not hard to see why they chose to do this at the Los Angeles show.
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