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Auto blogWed, 03 Jul 2013
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.
The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost represents a huge change for the Blue Oval as the first pony car in decades to be available with a four-cylinder engine. But a recent tweet (below) from Road & Track raised our curiosity about the new vehicle. Editor Jason Cammisa pulled a fuse while driving the latest 'Stang with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, and he found that both the stereo and engine went quiet in the cabin. That indicated the coupe might have some form of artificial engine sound being piped in - a feature not previously heavily reported for the model. Autoblog spoke with Ford engineer Shawn Carney who confirmed that only the turbocharged four-cylinder Mustang comes with this system, called Active Noise Control.
@jasoncammisa pulls fuse 27 on 4cyl #2015mustang EcoBoost. Both stereo & engine go quiet. #FakeEngineNoise #busted! pic.twitter.com/WNzQefCbtQ
- Road & Track (@RoadandTrack) September 17, 2014
Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.
As we reported a few days ago, the Solar concept makes use of a "concentrator lens" that focuses sunlight onto the Ford's roof-mounted solar panels. The special lens follows the rays of the sun to maximize the amount of charge being fed to the batteries of the car, taking about a day to fully charge the 21-mile, all-electric range of the C-Max Energi. Ford data suggests that combination might be enough to power 75 percent of all trips made by a statistically average driver. In turn, using the sun to power a vehicle could reduce yearly C02 emissions by up to four metric tons when compared with the driver of an average gasoline-powered sedan.
We've got live images of the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, jauntily tilted on its display to best present it's signature solar panels, straight from the CES floor.