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Chrysler minivans under investigation for stalling after fuel refill

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:16:00 EST

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least one man has reported that his 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan stalled unexpectedly on the highway shortly after being refueled. The unidentified man who contacted NHTSA regarding the issue cited as many as eight similar instances reported by other drivers.
NHTSA has announced that it will launch an inquiry into this issue, which could affect as many as 160,000 minivans from Dodge and Chrysler that were sold in 2007 (or more, if a problem is found that extends to additional models years, we'd assume). As of yet, there's no formal investigation, let alone a recall, on these vans, as the agency is merely determining if further action is needed.
Two months ago, Chrysler recalled nearly 700,000 vehicles, the majority of which were minivans, from the 2008-2010 model years to replace ignition switches after an investigation found that their weak springs and detent positions could fool a driver into thinking the car was in the "Run" position, when it's actually in the "Accessory" position.

2015 Dodge Challenger configurator has all the Hellcat you can dream of

Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:00:00 EST

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has sucked up a lot of air in the automotive news world this summer, so it's good to know that you can actually go out and, you know, buy the sucker. With 2015 models headed for your local showroom, Dodge has seen fit to also pull the wraps off it's latest Challenger configurator, complete with the supercharged Hemi V8 option that we just can't seem to get enough of.
We're still enamored of the $58,995 starting price for the 707-horsepower SRT, but the online tool finally gives us a chance to see just how optioned up our dream super-muscle coupe can get.
Buyers can choose from three interior treatments and nine paint colors, with two hues (Ivory White and Phantom Black tri-coats) coming for a $500 premium. For $1,795 Laguna Leather SRT bucket seats can be added in place of the (very nice) stock chairs, and a fancier infotaiment system with navigation and HD radio runs $695.

2015 Dodge Viper price drops $15k for 2015

Mon, 08 Sep 2014 09:35:00 EST

We recently saw updated specs and new trims of the 2015 Viper, but it looks like the folks at Dodge were saving the biggest surprise for last. Prices on all levels of the American sports car are seeing an immediate, across-the-board price cut of $15,000; even 2014 models still remaining on dealer lots.
The new MSRP for the 2015 Viper in its base SRT trim now starts at $84,995, and when the TA and GTS come to the lineup later next year, they start at $100,995 and $107,995, respectively. The move seems like a swing for the fences that might help to quell slow sales.
Obviously, current Viper owners might be somewhat peeved that their investment was just re-priced by the company. However, to assuage some of their concerns, Dodge is giving all fifth-gen owners a certificate worth $15,000 towards the purchase of a new one, which comes in addition to the price reduction.

Subaru Legacy pitted against Roadkill project cars

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:04:00 EST

There's an evergreen debate among auto enthusiasts about whether they would prefer to have the latest and greatest car of today or a certified classic from yesteryear. What if you had to further define that, though, and the choice was between a brand new 2015 Subaru Legacy or a turbocharged Datsun 240Z with a hatch that wouldn't close? Roadkill aimed to find out that and more in one of its best videos to date.
According to the hosts, Subaru came to them, handed over some money and challenged Roadkill's project cars against its latest Legacy. The result is every bit as good (or better) than any automotive-themed show you could find on television.
Things start simple with a figure-eight race in a rodeo arena with the Subaru taking on Roadkill's 1968 Ford Ranchero, originally built for ice racing. From there the Legacy races a 1968 Dodge Charger with no windows around and off-road rally stage. Finally, the Subie goes head-to-head against the Rotsun, the aforementioned turbocharged 240Z, through an abandoned neighborhood. Plus, there's a bonus drag race challenging them all.

Dodge gives 2015 Viper slight power increase, new GT model

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:44:00 EST

With its troubling sales figures, the newly rechristened SRT Dodge Viper needs to come out swinging for 2015. To do that, Dodge has made a number of tweaks and changes that will hopefully carry the V10-powered sports car into more successful days.
First up for 2015 is a new GT model, which aims to marry the reasonable price of the base car with the adjustable suspension and trick stability control program of the GTS model. The GT also sports a cabin that's covered in Alcantara suede and Nappa leather as standard.
Also new for 2015 is the SRT TA 2.0 Special Edition, which expands on last year's Viper TA by adding new aerodynamic bits and bobs, including a larger rear wing, which ups downforce at 150 miles per hour from 278 pounds to 400 pounds.

2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak previewed

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:27:00 EST

Dodge and Mopar have never strayed far from success in drag racing, be it on run-what-you-brung nights at the local strip or at the highest levels of the sport. Hoping to both add to that heritage and capitalize on some of the media spotlight that's shown so brightly on the brand of late, Dodge has given us our first look at the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak test car.
Though this first iteration doesn't make use of the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine, it seems to be a pretty formidable racing package. Starting with a stock '15 Challenger, Mopar adds a full roll cage built to National Hot Rod Association specs. Rubber front and back is drag racing-ready as well, with 28x4.5-inch tires in the front, and fat 30x9-inch tires out back - all from Hoosier.
Powering the beast is a massive 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi Race V8, with output levels that are still unspecified. A Chrysler 727 automatic transmission connects up to a racing style shift lever, with integral line lock.

Challenger A/T Unlimited Concept could be your next Hellcat-powered ORV

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:32:00 EST

This past June I spent an excellent day hanging out with Joey Ruiter, driving and discussing his Reboot Buggy project. Before heading home, I let him know that he was more than welcome to keep me abreast of whichever new automotive project he'd get into. You can never have too many car designers and one-off fabricators in your Rolodex, right?
Ruiter recently made good with the follow-up, emailing me with details on this Dodge Challenger A/T Untamed Concept that pushes a lot of hot buttons for the muscle car and off-roading enthusiasts.
This all-terrain Mopar is a lot more than a Challenger body dropped on a truck chassis, too. A materialized version of the A/T would included a completely new, long-travel suspension, skid plates, body armor and rock sliders, and obviously flared fenders to help accommodate a hellacious set of off-road-ready tires. The dramatically revised underpinnings would be topped with a slick graphics package and a killer lower light bar, all making the A/T look quite cohesive in its own, radical way. And the result would be a car no longer limited to mere road-driving.

Chrysler investigating complaints of vehicles with faulty power modules

Sun, 24 Aug 2014 15:09:00 EST

Chrysler owners are hopping mad after experiencing a series of electrical gremlins in some of the company's vehicles. Issues range from mere annoyances - windows rolling down and radios turning off of their own accord - to serious safety issues, with headlights that randomly shut off at night and cars that stall and refuse to start.
The issues are being blamed on the total integrated power module, which can cost up to $1,000 for customers to replace. This, of course, has led to a hefty batch of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with 240 owners expressing their displeasure so far. Another site, CarComplaints.com, has registered over 300 complaints relating to the 2010 to 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, alone, according to The New York Times.
Chrysler has acknowledged that it's investigating the complaints and is analyzing the faulty TIPMs, but that isn't quite enough for customers of the affected vehicles. The newspaper has snagged a few of the more harrowing tales with the electrically challenged Chrysler products, culled from the NHTSA complaints.

Thieves still love older Hondas and pickups most, says NICB [w/video]

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:00:00 EST

No one wants to have their car stolen, but a new study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau has some bad news for older Honda owners and pickup drivers. Fortunately, it has better news for drivers overall. The group is reporting that according to preliminary data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, thefts were down 3.2 percent in 2013 (versus 2012) to fewer than 700,000 cars. That's the lowest figure since 1967. That's also less than half of the peak of over 1.66 million thefts in 1991. "The drop in thefts is good news for all of us," says NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. "But it still amounts to a vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds and losses of over $4 billion a year."
Honda drivers might not find it such good news with older Accord and Civic models topping this year's theft study. Toyota and Dodge can't really celebrate, either, with two models each on the list, as well. Overall, this year's list was split evenly between foreign and domestic models, which were mostly pickups.
The 10 most likely vehicles to be stolen in 2013 were:

Dodge Viper to out-Hell the Hellcat with supercharged V10?

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:30:00 EST

The Viper wouldn't be the Viper if it wasn't the most powerful model under the Chrysler umbrella. But with the arrival of the Hellcat engine in the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper has fallen behind in the bragging rights department: where the new supercharged V8 produces 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the naturally aspirated V10 offers "only" 640 hp and 600 lb-ft - gargantuan output figures by almost any other standard, but crucially behind on the SRT power scale. Conner Avenue is going to have to do something about that.
Although the Hellcat's engine reportedly won't fit under the Viper's hood, SRT is now rumored to have another trick up its sleeve: supercharge the existing V10. According to the Pentastar performance enthusiasts at allpar.com, Chrysler has already taken delivery of the first such prototype engines so that it can begin the process of fitting it into an upgraded Viper.
The spooled ten-pot is tipped to produce around 800 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. More than that and the Viper's drivetrain, chassis and bodywork would have to be substantially reworked. Though beefier transmissions are available, fitting them would reportedly set off a domino-game of changes required to handle the added torque. Which may be something Chrysler would be prepared to do for the next-generation model, but in the meantime, 800 hp could prove enough to put the Viper back atop the Mopar performance ladder where it belongs, and give it an edge against the new Corvette Z06 to rekindle sales.