Model: Other Pickups
Ford and Hyundai are out from under the scrutinizing eyes of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the government agency said it was closing investigations against both automakers over vehicle safety concerns.
Ford was being investigated for reported damaged speed control cables on Ford Taurus (shown above) and Mercury Sable models, both built between 2000 and 2003. Vehicles with the company's Duratec engines allegedly failed to allow owners to brake as expected. Owners lodged 100 complaints and were involved in five accidents, according to NHTSA records. The American automaker responded to the reports, and on June 21 of this year, said that it would inspect and repair all affected vehicles, regardless of the mileage.
Hyundai was under investigation for a reported loose fastener on the steering shaft of its 2011 Santa Fe (shown in the gallery below). After NHTSA launched its inquiry, the Korean automaker responded with its own investigation that yielded four affected vehicles. Following the inspection of 680 vehicles at its assembly plant, Hyundai said the issue was due to employee error and that no further defects have been found.
Lincoln fans might want to give incoming Ford CEO Mark Fields a pat on the back for having a hand in saving the brand from the chopping block last year. He's among the people spearheading the rejuvenation of the division away from its stodgy image to appeal to younger customers.
According to two unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg, CEO Alan Mulally was ready to kill Lincoln last year. Following the slow production ramp-up of the MKZ combined a with a costly ad campaign, Mulally was frustrated and openly suggested dropping the brand. However, Fields and Jim Farley, Ford's marketing boss, convinced the CEO that the brand was worth saving. They also created a plan to prevent similar problems for new models in the future.
It seems that one part of the strategy may involve waiting until new models are at dealers before starting a big ad campaign for them. Lincoln global director, Matt VanDyke, recently told Autoblog that the division is holding off on a full marketing push behind the new MKC crossover to prevent the supply problems that plagued the MKZ last year. Its big offensive begins in the fall when the CUVs are at all of the dealers and consumers are at home watching more TV. VanDyke also told Bloomberg that Fields, Farley and Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, have more direct oversight over new product launches now.
The changes happening at the Petersen Museum have been making the rounds in major press, but it probably won't be until August 18, during Pebble Beach, when we get the full story on what's happening; that's where and when museum reps plan on announcing the way forward for the SoCal institution. In the meantime, the museum is still reorganizing its collection, and that means auctioning some of its showpieces at this weekend's Auctions America event in Burbank.
Three of the stars are a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289, one of less than 20 produced with a three-speed C-4 automatic transmission, a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL owned by actor Robert Stack and the last 1948 Ford Sportsman 'Woodie' ever produced. The Cobra, now restored to its original white exterior and red leather interior, was a factory demonstrator that first sold for $5,250. Showing just 38,950 miles on the odometer, its pre-sale estimate is $800,000 to $1 million.
The 300SL is actually a 1957 model but wasn't titled until Robert Stack took possession in 1960. The lead actor in the The Untouchables TV series used to drive by the Sunset Boulevard Mercedes dealership to ogle the car, but couldn't justify spending the money to buy it. When he and the producer of The Untouchables won Emmys for the show, the producer, who happened to be Desi Arnaz, bought the car for Stack. He owned it his whole life, it has been left as Stack drove it and still bears the California license plate "UNTCHBL."