Drive Type: Auto
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Lagrange, Wyoming, United States
DeLorean Motor Company Pontiac Solstice renderings - Click above for high-res image gallery
General Motors has made a science out of sharing platforms. So when the company's Kappa platform was introduced for a new rear-drive roadster to be distributed across three different motor divisions, you'd have figured the program was pretty safe, right? Unfortunately for the workers at the Wilmington Assembly Plant which manufactured the Kappa roadsters, those three divisions were Pontiac, Saturn and Opel - three units which the General has either sold or shut down. Which is a shame, because a perfectly good rear-drive roadster platform is a heck of a thing to waste.
In one of the strangest rumors we've heard recently, however, our compatriots over at Jalopnik report that the DeLorean Motor Company (yes, that DeLorean Motor Company) is considering buying the plant and the platform from GM and putting it back into production as a new DMC.
When General Motors put down several of its brands in recent years, it also let loose thousands of brand-loyal customers who will eventually need another car.
R.L. Polk Associates estimates there are more than 18 million cars from 16 discontinued makes on the road today. Those "orphan owners" have sales-hungry competitors seeing dollar signs. GM is offering Saturn owners $1,000 cash toward a Chevy Cruze, Cadillac CTS or a GMC Acadia. Ford is giving its Mercury lease customers a chance to get out of their contracts with no early-termination penalty and offering to waive six remaining payments if they drive off in a Ford or Lincoln.
Edmunds.com research shows the efforts are paying off somewhat for GM, with 39 percent of Pontiac owners, 37 percent of Hummer owners and 31 percent of Saturn owners taking delivery of another GM-branded vehicle. But that leaves as much as 69 percent of owners going elsewhere. Ford, Honda and Toyota seem to be attracting many former GM owners.
According to two separate reports in The Detroit News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching investigations into 550,000 Pontiac G6 (pictured above) and 320,000 Honda Odyssey (pictured right) models. The G6 models are all from the 2005 to 2007 model years, while the Odyssey minivans are from the 2003 and 2004 model years. The two NHTSA probes are not related.
In the case of the G6, this is an upgrade to an original investigation that started in February after NHTSA received "hundreds of reports" that the brake lights on these cars may malfunction. According to The Detroit News, the lights may come on when the brake pedal is not depressed, and likewise, the brake lights may not illuminate when the pedal has been pushed. General Motors was able to provide NHTSA with a significant number of warranty claims, including 1,100 reports that could potentially relate to this problem, one of which indicates a vehicle crash.
For Honda, the NHTSA probe concerns airbags that may deploy unexpectedly. The government agency received six complaints from 2003-04 Odyssey owners saying that the front airbags suddenly went off without a crash. The Detroit News reports that three of the six owners sustained injuries from these incidents. Additionally, NHTSA has received 41 complaints from owners saying the vehicle's airbag warning light had illuminated.