Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:02:00 EST
Every few a decades, the folks running General Motors lose their minds briefly try to market a car that public doesn't see coming and often aren't ready for. In the '60s there was the rear-engine, air-cooled Chevrolet Corvair, then the mid-engine Pontiac Fiero in the '80s and the completely bizarre Chevy SSR in the 2000s. What all of these had in common was that they bucked the trend for American models of their era, for better or worse. The latest episode of Generation Gap tasked the hosts with finding two cult classic vehicles to choose between; they came come up with two of these quirky products from The General.
Mon, 07 Nov 2011 13:30:00 EST
On the classic side, there's a 1967 Chevy Corvair Monza convertible. Being from later in the production run, it wears slightly more aerodynamic styling than the earlier, boxier examples. Hanging out back is an air-cooled, 2.7-liter flat-six pumping out a robust 95 horsepower. In the other corner is the somewhat more modern 1986 Pontiac Fiero SE with a mid-mounted, 2.5-liter "Iron Duke" four-cylinder, an engine nearly ubiquitous in GM cars of the '80s.
Judging by when they were new, the Corvair was far more successful than the Fiero with over 1.8 million sold. Of course, Ralph Nader's book Unsafe at Any Speed kind of poisoned the well, even if the poor safety reputation wasn't entirely deserved. The Fiero on the other hand only lasted for a few model years before shuffling off, but it eventually got its own performance boost with the V6 version and rather attractive GT models. Check them both out in the video and tell us in Comments which you want in your garage.
General Motors is recalling around 38,000 Pontiac G8 sedans from its 2008 and 2009 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the cars may have a passenger-side airbag flaw that might prevent proper deployment in certain scenarios.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 09:12:00 EST
According to NHTSA, the airbag might not adequately protect a fifth percentile woman - that is, a woman around four-foot, 11-inches weighing 108 pounds. The New York Times indicates that the anomaly was found during a crash test conducted by GM's Australian branch, Holden, which was testing the G8's twin (read: Commodore) for head injuries. According to that report, the test in question is specifically tailored to simulate injuries to females, so the results do not apply to men or children.
The issue has been blamed on a seat position sensor that governs airbag deployment rates. NHTSA indicates that when the front passenger seat is moved all the way forward, the faulty sensor may inappropriately trigger a 30-millisecond delay between airbag stages, potentially leading to greater injuries.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may expand a recall campaign for faulty brake lamps. The agency is currently looking into complaints that certain 2004-2011 Chevrolet Malibu models as well as some 2007-2009 Saturn Aura sedans may have brake lights that do not illuminate when the driver presses the pedal. Alternatively, the lamps may also illuminate without input from the driver. General Motors recalled 8,000 Pontiac G6 models from the 2005 model year for the same problem, and NHTSA is currently investigating whether to add 550,000 more G6 models built between 2005 and 2009 to the list for the same issue.
In addition, investigators are currently examining 97 complaints from Malibu and Aura owners with the same trouble. If NHTSA adds those models to the recall campaign, more than one million units could be covered. GM, meanwhile, says there have been no accidents or injuries as a result of the problem.