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GM recalling 778,000 Cobalts and G5s, six deaths reported

Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:15:00 EST

General Motors has announced that it will be recalling 778,562 compact cars after six people were killed in accidents, partially due to the airbags' failure to deploy. An issue with the ignition switch is causing the airbag issues, as well as causing the engine and other components to shut off without warning. The recall covers the 2005 to 2007 model year Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007 Pontiac G5. (Note that the Cobalt pictured above is a 2009 model.)
According to a report from Automotive News, a number of factors can cause the ignition to switch out of the run position, including weights on the key ring, rough or bumpy roads or other "jarring" events. Any of these situations could lead to some vehicle components not functioning properly.
There have been five fatal front-impact crashes that took the lives of six people, although as a GM spokesman noted, all five of the crashes happened off road and at high speed. In each of these cases, though, the lack of airbags wasn't the only lethal factor - alcohol and failure to wear a seat belt also played a role. Outside of the fatal accidents, there have been 17 other crashes where airbags didn't deploy. It's unclear if any of these crashes were caused by the engine shutting off.

Howard Stern latest in Seinfeld's passenger seat for CiCGC

Thu, 06 Feb 2014 19:58:00 EST

We'll be honest: the actual cars in Jerry Seinfeld's hit internet series, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, typically take a back seat to the celebrities in the front row. Seinfeld usually throws in a few lines about his classic wheels in the first minute or so, and then moves on to the important business of sprightly conversation and pithy one-liners. It's great.
This time around, with legendary motormouth Howard Stern riding shotgun, the 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge that might have been a co-star, gets forgotten about almost completely. Instead, Stern spends a tremendous amount of screen time extolling the virtues of his therapy sessions, attempts to dive into Seinfeld's prowess as a lover and generally makes a nuisance of himself. Pretty much to plan, then.
Scroll below to hear Howard accuse Jerry of acting like Jesus, just before declaring himself the greatest radio personality in the history of the business.

This Auto Aerobics car art ties our brains in knots like pretzels

Sat, 14 Dec 2013 14:01:00 EST

We like cars, and we like art. Naturally, Chris Labrooy's Auto Aerobics series - computer-generated images of some seriously contorted 1968 Pontiac Bonnevilles floating in mid-air - instantly clicked with us. If the Pontiacs weren't floating or hollow, we could be fooled into believing the image is real. But where's the fun in that?
Check out the gallery we included of Labrooy's Bonneville art, and feel free too head over to his website for some Formula One humor.

Lutz says Washington killed Pontiac, next G6 was to be ATS derivative

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 12:58:00 EST

How many people think Buick or GMC should have gotten the axe instead of Pontiac? You can't see it, but I'm raising my hand. Autoweek reports that former Vice Chairman of GM, Bob Lutz, has indicated that things didn't have to end up the way they did.
"The Feds said, 'Yeah, how much money have you made on Pontiac in the last 10 years?' and the answer was, 'Nothing.'"
In a talk given at the Petersen Automotive Museum for the Inside the MotoMan Studio series, Lutz says "The Feds said, 'Yeah, how much money have you made on Pontiac in the last 10 years?' and the answer was, 'Nothing.' So, it goes. And when the guy who is handing you the check for $53 billion says, 'I don't want Pontiac, drop Pontiac or you don't get the money,' it doesn't take you very long to make up your mind." Lutz even added that the next-generation Pontiac G6 would have benefitted from the rear-wheel-drive platform of the Cadillac ATS. How awesome would that have been?

Lutz says GM was working on 5th-gen Pontiac GTO

Thu, 08 Aug 2013 08:45:00 EST

Bob Lutz was one of the forces behind bringing the Holden Monaro to the United States, as the ill-fated Pontiac GTO in 2004. And while that car received critical acclaim, it was a sales disappointment. Now, Road & Track is reporting that our suspicions were correct - Pontiac was working on a two-door, G8-based coupe before it was shuttered.
In that R&T article, which is no longer available online, Lutz explained that the new GTO would solve many of the issues found in the original. Car Advice speculates that the new model would have look like a rebadged version of the Holden Coupe 60 Concept from 2008, a conclusion we also came to.
That car would have been a big departure from the 2004 to 2006 GTO. It has an extremely long hood and short rear deck, with an almost fastback roofline and a wide greenhouse with a tall beltline. The wheel arches were very pronounced, and the chin and rocker panel splitters gave it a race-ready look. Would it have been enough to make the GTO work in the US? We think it might of, but it looks like we'll never know.

Trans Am Depot teases 2014 GTO

Mon, 24 Jun 2013 19:29:00 EST

Here comes the Judge. Court is in session. The verdict is in. How many more tired clichés can we come up with? It hardly seems to matter, because it's happening: Trans Am Depot has announced via the teaser video below that it is launching a 2014 GTO, complete with Carousel Red (bright orange, really) paint and full Judge badging.
The car is based on Trans Am Depot's 6T9 Goat, which, in case you don't get the reverential references, is meant to mimic the look of the 1969 Pontiac GTO. As with the company's other cars -including the 2013 Hurst Edition Trans Am we recently drove - the GTO will be based on the current Chevy Camaro, which means two doors, V8 engines and rear-wheel drive, just like the muscle cars of days past.
As for actual details of what's under the 2014 GTO's hood, we're completely left hanging. We'd expect some sort of power adder (turbo, supercharger or possibly some other form of a highly massaged version of the Camaro's V8), and we certainly know that GM has any number of hi-po crate engines to choose from.

NHTSA investigating 550k Pontiac G6 models, 320k Honda Odysseys

Mon, 10 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST

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.

Watch this garbage truck consume a Pontiac Grand Am

Wed, 15 May 2013 12:30:00 EST

When an old car or truck offers its dying breath in your driveway and you just don't have the financial or mechanical wherewithal to resuscitate it yet again, you traditionally have to go to the trouble of calling a flatbed or a tow truck to come haul it away. That usually helps to put a few bucks in your wallet and helps recycle some of the vehicle's parts, but the transaction doesn't seem as final or perversely satisfying as the dispatch service that this New Way Cobra Magnum garbage truck offers.
Okay, okay, so this refuse hauler isn't actually designed for this sort of thing, but it's oddly comforting to know that a sanitation truck can compact a hapless Pontiac Grand Am into oblivion. Next time, we won't feel so guilty about slipping that rusty charcoal grille onto the curb next to the cans on garbage day. Watch the carnage by scrolling below.

2013 Hurst Edition Trans Am

Mon, 13 May 2013 14:58:00 EST

No, you didn't read our title wrong. This is a 2013 model year Trans Am, and yes, that is a Pontiac logo affixed to the front of the car. But don't bother dialing up your local General Motors dealership just yet. This is the new Hurst Edition Trans Am created by the Trans Am Depot located in Tallahassee, FL. Having spent a number of years restoring early Trans Am models, the crew at Trans Am Depot finally did what many Pontiac enthusiasts wish GM would have done - create a modern Trans Am using the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.
As the former owner of a 1977 model, I've been wanting to check out Trans Am Depot ever since I first saw the company have American Choppers build a trio of motorcycles inspired by its Pontiac remakes. So I jumped at the chance to head to Florida's capital city to visit the shop and drive its latest creation, the new Hurst Edition Trans Am. As a collaboration with Hurst, this car made its debut at the 2012 SEMA Show and then popped up again on our radar with a cheesy yet perfectly fitting video back in March.
Driving Notes

Check out the official 2013 Trans Am Hurst Edition commercial

Sat, 16 Mar 2013 19:01:00 EST


The Poncho is dead. Long live the Poncho. Like certain other reoccurring personal maladies, the aftermarket community simply can't let the Trans Am go without another flare up. The guys at Trans Am Depot have worked up a quick commercial for their newest creation: The 2013 Trans Am Hurst Edition, and it watches pretty much like you'd expect it to. The footage is comprised of just about every TA male fantasy you can conceive of, from Daisy Dukes and white tank tops to tramp stamps, bikinis and ice cream cones. There simply aren't words for what you'll see below.
Of course, we like our T-Tops as much as the next guy. If you like what you see in the videos, you can pick up your very own TA by heading over to the Trans Am Depot site. The guys even have Chevrolet Camaro-based versions of the Pontiac GTO if the '77 TA treatment is too much for your tastes. Enjoy, but don't say we didn't warn you.