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Detroit 3 small cars lay an egg in latest Consumer Reports reliability study

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:31:00 EST

Consumer Reports has released its Annual Auto Reliability Survey and the results are, in a word, interesting. While we already covered the score-damaging effects of infotainment systems, there's another big angle to the data that's getting some attention - the utterly dismal scores of the Detroit Three's small car offerings.
The turbocharged Dodge Dart and Chevrolet Cruze, as well as the Ford Fiesta were their respective brands' lowest-scoring models, a stat that's made worse by the fact that the American automakers finished 25th, 21st and 23rd, respectively.
That's not acceptable for The Detroit Free Press' auto critic, Mark Phelan, who has penned a scathing critique of the D3's small car reliability scores, arguing that GM, Ford and Chrysler are "out of excuses."

Chrysler 200 subtitles performance in latest round of advertising

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:01:00 EST

Every once in a while, we come across a car video narrated in a foreign language and subtitled in English. They usually center on foreign-made automobiles, but this latest series of videos comes straight from Detroit.
Airing for the first time during's NFL broadcasts, these four commercials for the 2015 Chrysler 200 were produced by Wieden + Kennedy Portland - the same advertising firm that created the now-legendary Eminem spot for the last-generation 200.
Each clip in the "Ready to Take on the World" campaign highlights a different aspect of the American sedan and is narrated in Japanese, German or Swedish - each with English subtitles - associating the 200's Japanese level of quality, German performance and Swedish safety standards. But while the clips are ostensibly set in Japan, Germany and Sweden, Automotive News reports that they were actually filmed at home in the US.

Fiat-Chrysler shows its SEMA lineup

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:29:00 EST

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles already previewed its 2014 SEMA show lineup with some slick renders. Now, the automaker has finally showed us the actual cars, and among the group there are definitely some that stand out more than others.
Dodge is really showing off its muscle at this year's show with four concepts that all pump up the power of the brand's models. Perhaps most interesting among them is the Challenger T/A Concept (pictured above) in striking Sublime Green and matte black. It's meant to resemble the classic Trans Am racer from the '70s. Under the hood is a 6.4-liter V8, and to fit the vintage style there's a pistol-grip gearshift inside.
The Charger R/T also gets some attention with the Mopar concept that shows off what FCA's aftermarket performance arm can do. Mods include an updated body kit, cold-air intake for the 5.7-liter V8 and a coil-over suspension kit. Beyond that, the Dart R/T Concept looks a lot meaner with a black hood with duct work that leads straight to the air intake. The rest of the compact sedan is dolled up in O-So-Orange paint and is fitted with upgrades to improve handling like a coil-over suspension and big brake kit from the Mopar catalog.

NHTSA releases updated Takata airbag recalled cars list, but it still has errors

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:31:00 EST



Unfortunately, the government's list still contains errors.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an updated list of vehicle models that it's urging owners to repair under the mushrooming Takata airbag inflator recall. The latest version adds vehicles from new automakers like Subaru and Ford that are missing from the original announcement, and it also removes erroneous entries from General Motors, leaving only the 2005 Saab 9-2X (a reskinned Subaru WRX), and the 2003-2005 Pontiac Vibe, a joint project with Toyota.

Refreshed Chrysler 300 SRT won't be sold in NA

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:01:00 EST

It looks like it might be time to bid farewell to the V8 rumble from the Chrysler 300 SRT - at least if you live in North America. The reported change comes as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reshuffles its ranks with the Dodge brand, re-absorbing SRT and building its muscular reputation with the Challenger and Charger Hellcat models. Meanwhile, Chrysler is taking a more mainstream approach, and that likely means the end of overt high-performance models from the division for now.
According to Automotive News, the 300 SRT will be discontinued in the US for 2015, but it won't be totally dead. Some right-hand drive markets will still get the brawny V8 sedan next year, a distinction that goes a long way toward explaining some spy shots we've seen recently.
The 300 SRT's North American demise probably shouldn't come as a total shock. In FCA's five-year plan, it says that the 300 is destined for a refresh to be unveiled later this year, presumably at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. There's no mention of the SRT model in the document, though, which seems to signal its end.

Has Dodge stepped in it again with Scat Pack lawsuit?

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:28:00 EST

Lawsuits are an unfortunate part of doing business in just about any industry, so the latest complaint filed by a California-based aftermarket firm against Chrysler would seem to be nothing more than business as usual. But this isn't the first time the two companies have sparred over this particular issue.
According to a report from Automotive News, the dispute revolves around the Scat Pack name that Chrysler first offered on the Charger, Coronet, Dart and Super Bee starting in 1968. Scat Enterprises, a manufacturer of crankshafts and other components for Dodges and other vehicles, sued Chrysler for using its name. A few years later the Scat Pack disappeared from the Dodge catalog.
Fast forward to August 2013 when Chrysler applied to register the Scat Pack name anew. The US Patent and Trademark Office turned down Chrysler's application, but the automaker proceeded anyway, unveiling new Scat Packs for the Challenger, Charger and Dart at last year's SEMA show.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalls nearly 750k vehicles in two campaigns

Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling a total of 747,817 vehicles in the US in two separate campaigns recently added to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database.
The first one covers about 434,581 units of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Challenger, Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee from the 2011-2014 model years with electric hydraulic power steering, the 3.6-liter V6 engine and a 160 amp alternator, according to FCA. In the affected vehicles, it's possible for the alternator to fail without warning and possibly cause the car to stall. According to the documentation submitted to NHTSA, the automaker began investigating the problem in August 2014 and has found possible evidence of one crash caused by the failures but no known injuries.
Customers will begin receiving notification about the recall next month, and obviously the repairs will be done at no cost to them.

Chrysler teases upcoming outlay of SEMA cars

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:16:00 EST

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hauling a multitude of modified models to the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas this November, and the company is releasing the first teasing sketches of many of them.
Unfortunately, FCA isn't giving many solid details on any of the concepts other than saying the vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat all benefit from tuning from its Mopar performance brand. The teaser photos include a sinister-looking Chrysler 200S, Fiat 500 Abarth with two-tone paint and a scorpion on the hood, a red and black 500L, seemingly two different takes on the Jeep Renegade, a green Dodge Challenger wearing the T/A badge, an orange and black Dart, a very neon Charger, just the outline of a red and black Viper, a Ram ProMaster in Mopar livery and a Ram pickup called the Outdoorsman.
Take a look through the gallery to see what you think of the sketches for these concepts, and scroll down for the full announcement from FCA.

Chrysler mum on Toledo Wrangler production after meeting Ohio leaders

Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:45:00 EST



"Fiat Chrysler remains committed to producing vehicles in Toledo and anticipates employment to remain at current levels."
The future of the iconic Jeep Wrangler in Toledo, OH, remains uncertain after a meeting Thursday between Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and Ohio government leaders.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles gets officially official this Sunday

Thu, 09 Oct 2014 09:31:00 EST

Want a chunk of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? Shares of the newly joined (technically) Dutch automaker will begin trading on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The company itself will become a single entity on Sunday.
According to The Detroit Free Press, the new FCA will be the world's seventh largest company after Fiat shareholders' chance to oppose the merger expired on October 4. To prevent the merger, shareholders would have needed to exchange at least 500 million euros in shares for cash.
On Monday, current shareholders of both Fiat and Chrysler stock will see their shares converted into an equal number of FCA shares, the Freep reports.