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2008-2009 Pontiac G8 recalled over airbag concern

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 13:30:00 EST

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.
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.

GM doing fine at retaining Pontiac owners

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 09:29:00 EST

This isn't the first time we've reported positive news about General Motors retaining former Pontiac owners. Get a few more stories like this latest report from Edmund's Auto Observer, and it will mark an ongoing positive trend for GM. Edmunds.com crunched the numbers to see how well the General is hanging on to customers after shutting out the lights at Pontiac, and it found that nearly 40 percent of Pontiac owners stayed with a vehicle from a General Motors brand.
The numbers are a little lower than an earlier R.L. Polk & Company study, but Edmunds says General Motors is keeping more former Pontiac buyers than it has since 2007. Most are turning to vehicles from Chevrolet, especially during January and February of 2011, when GM incentivized Pontiac owners to stay under the umbrella. Those moves seem to have worked, and 28.1 percent of Pontiac owners trading up made the jump into a Bowtie.
Buyers that have gone elsewhere have largely stayed loyal to Domestic automakers, with Ford picking up the most conquests from Pontiac, with 9.4 percent switching. Toyota and Honda picked up 7.4 percent of the pool of former Pontiac drivers. The numbers are defying any predictions that Pontiac buyers would completely exit the General Motors fold, and have climbed up closer to parity with the retention figures of other GM brands from a 2009 low of only 16 percent retention.

General Lee takes on Bandit T/A in classic Hollywood car showdown [w/poll]

Fri, 26 Aug 2011 12:31:00 EST

You don't have to be born in the 1960s or 1970s to be able to recognize the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard and the Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit. These old school four-wheeled stars seem to transcend demographics thanks to the miles of film that show the orange 1969 Dodge Charger and the jet-black 1977 Pontiac Trans Am performing seemingly impossible stunts.
The folks at Hot Rod magazine are obviously hip to this fact, and they put together a fun video in tribute of the instantly recognizable duo. Hit the jump to watch on as Sam Young and James Smith replace Bo Duke and The Bandit for a bit of dirt-road shenanigans in a pair of otherwise well cared for classics. We're not so sure we'd call it the best chase scene ever, but it sure looks like a lot of fun.
More importantly, which of these two cars would you rather own? Have your say in our poll below.

1939 Pontiac Ghost Car commands $308,000 at auction

Mon, 01 Aug 2011 17:58:00 EST

For the 1939 World's Fair, Pontiac built a Deluxe Six bodied in Plexiglass. Part of the Previews of Progress pavilion in which General Motors' Futurama showed off what was to come in the world of autos, the 'invisible' Pontiac is credited as the first transparent car in America. And there were no shortcuts taken with its body: the Plexiglass form was fabricated by the company that brought the material to market in 1933, Rohm & Haas.
The see-through sedan was sold at RM Auctions' St. John's auction in Michigan on July 30, fetching $308,000. Not bad appreciation for a domestic oddity that cost $25,000 to build when new. You can check out the high-res gallery of its innards, including copper and chrome metalwork and white moldings and wheels, and get the exhaustive details on it after the jump.

Lutz dishes dirt on GM in latest Autoline Detroit

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 19:57:00 EST

Bob Lutz sits down for Autoline Detroit - Click above to watch video after the jump
Autoline Detroit recently played host to Bob Lutz, and, as is always the case, the former General Motors vice chairman dished out some great commentary. Lutz was promoting his new book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business, and talk quickly turned to his role as it related to product development and high-level decision making at GM. While on the topic of brand management, Lutz revealed a few rather interesting tidbits about his former employer:
All Chevrolet vehicles were required to have five-spoke aluminum wheels and a chrome band up front, as part of the Bowtie brand's overall image.

STUDY: Ford owns brand loyalty in 2009; Scorned Saturn, Pontiac buyers will look outside of GM

Fri, 16 Oct 2009 10:55:00 EST

Ford buyers appear to love their cars more than customers of any other automotive brand, returning back to the American automaker when it comes time to purchase their next vehicle. According to a study by Experian Automotive, six of the top 10 vehicles for customer brand loyalty wear badges from the Blue Oval. That includes the Ford Fusion (62.4 percent), Ford Edge (57.9 percent), Ford Five Hundred/Taurus (56 percent), Ford Freestyle (51.9 percent), Ford Escape (49.4 percent) and the Ford Focus (47.57 percent).
Other vehicles making up the top 10 include the Toyota Prius (52 percent), Chevy Impala (51.7 percent), Toyota Camry (47.8 percent) and Toyota Corolla (47.56 percent). This brings up an interesting question: With the closing of automotive brands like Saturn and Pontiac, where are those buyers to turn for their next automotive purchase?
Apparently, not back to General Motors. According to Experian, Pontiac owners are most likely to look to the Ford lineup for their next car or truck and Saturn shoppers will switch to Toyota or Honda - not particularly surprising given that Saturn was meant to compete with import brands. Experian predicts that GM's overall market share will fall from 20 percent to about 17.5 percent, with most of the slack being picked up by Ford, Honda and Toyota.

Rumormill: DeLorean Motor Company considering rescuing Pontiac Solstice?

Wed, 07 Oct 2009 10:59:00 EST

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.