Bronston, Kentucky, United States
According to a letter from General Motors to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, flaws in the build process of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu have led to the recall of 8,519 cars. Units built between December 6, 2011 and January 15, 2013 may have been assembled with rear suspension cradles that had insufficient torque applied to certain bolts. That out-of-spec assembly could lead to issues ranging from slight noises to a loss of vehicle control.
The problem was first noticed in December of last year by a GM test fleet driver and eventually tracked back to the improperly torqued bolts on the suspension cradle assembled through July 2012 by a supplier located not too far from the Malibu's Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant. Since an official NHTSA recall notice has not been issued yet, it isn't clear whether or not Detroit-built Malibus were the only ones affected (the 2013 Malibu is also built at GM's Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas). Dealers will fix the problem by inspecting vehicles for proper torque specs, retightening if not within specs and, in some cases, perform a rear-wheel alignment.
Want proof that General Motors has increased global ambitions for its 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray? It's staging the world premiere of the model's convertible variant at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.
As previously rumored, the droptop rendered above will debut at the Swiss show, making its first appearance anywhere on March 5. According to Susan Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet, the location makes sense because Corvette "...is an icon that has long been recognized and admired even in countries where it's never officially been offered."
While neither Chevrolet nor the Corvette has a major sales presence in Switzerland, the Bowtie's European headquarters is located in Zurich (about three hours to the northeast of Geneva) and GM has made it clear that it wants to build the Chevrolet brand up across Europe.
We all remember the financial crisis that began several years back. At its core was a splurge of subprime lending for housing loans. The housing bubble burst, triggering a collapse of the mortgage-backed securities market. Apparently, those types of loans still exist in the automotive industry, and the market share for these types of "nonprime, subprime, and deep subprime," loans has grown 13.6 percent compared to the third quarter a year ago.
According to an Automotive News report, high-risk lending expanded to 24.8 percent of total loans in Q3, up from 21.9 percent for this time last year. As this level increased, average credit scores of borrowers dropped to 755, down from 763 a year ago. In that time, the average financing amount increased $90 per vehicle, to $25,963.
At 818, Volvo maintains the highest per-owner credit score, while Mitsubishi has the lowest, at 694. The highest rate of borrowers was at Toyota, with 14 percent of the market, followed by Ford with 13.1 percent and Chevrolet at 11.1.