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FCA to pay buyers $1,700 to swap out of scandal-mired VWs

Tue, Oct 6 2015

FCA is trying to gain some sales from arch-rival VW in the competitive European market by offering potential buyers in Italy up to $1,700 to swap into an FCA group car. While the promotion isn't specifically targeted at TDI owners affected by the emissions scandal, it is clearly intended to turn dissatisfaction with VW's defeat device cheat into additional sales, Bloomberg reports. The 500-1,500 euro incentive (roughly $560-1,700, depending on vehicle) stacks on top of any other rebates or deals applicable, and applies if a buyer brings in any of Volkswagen Group's cars including Audi, Skoda, and SEAT, among (many) others. As Bloomberg notes, it's normal for automakers to offer "conquest" deals – giving a buyer cash for trading in a competitor's vehicle. Those deals aren't usually limited to one company's products, however; FCA's program looks specifically to take advantage of VW's legal and public relations nightmare. FCA isn't the only automaker trying this trick in Italy. Automotive News Europe also reported that Ford is offering approximately $840 in incentives across its entire range to owners of VW vehicles seeking to trade in for a Ford. No word of yet as to whether these incentives will spread beyond Italy or to other automakers.Related Video:

2015 Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival

Thu, Aug 13 2015

Considered the big kick off of the major festivities surrounding Monterey Car Week, this year's Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival certainly didn't disappoint. For those unable to make it to the California coast, our own Drew Phillips was on hand to snap some of the beautiful vehicles on display for this gorgeous gallery. Held annually at the Monterey Jet Center, the event is always a feast for the eyes by collecting planes, a gang of exotic supercars, and some the top cars crossing the auction block over the coming days, like a Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda convertible. The Ford GT both new and old was a major attendee at this year's party. Among them, the Petersen Museum brought along an original racecar and a GT40 MKIII to promote an upcoming exhibit. The classics were complimented by the latest version that has continued to keep tongues wagging. The GT wasn't the only classic with a modern update there. Singer used the posh event for the North American debut of its stunning restoration of the Porsche 911 Targa. Shelby American was also at the revival for the public unveiling of the 50th Anniversary Daytona Coupe. On the more modern front, Honda was in attendance with the future NSX and one of the McLaren F1 cars that the company's engine powers. For further proof of the ritzy folks that attend this soiree, Pagani and Koenigsegg both had stands to show off their extremely quick wares.

NHTSA investigating Ford's solution to May 2014 power steering recall

Tue, Apr 7 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a complaint that Ford's response to a May 2014 recall of the 2008 to 2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner doesn't quite go far enough to solve a troubling power-steering problem. Roughly a year ago, Ford recalled nearly a million vehicles after it was found that a problem with the torque sensor's communication with the power steering control module could cut steering assistance for drivers. While manual steering would still be available, the problem was enough to ask drivers to report in to have the PSCM inspected, and if necessary, replaced (along with the torque sensor, or in dramatic cases, the entire steering column). That would only happen, though, if trouble codes were being thrown. If there weren't any problems, dealers were told to simply update the PSCM's software so that any issues between it and the torque sensor would simply throw a visual and audio warning power steering would still be maintained. The petitioner claimed that following the recall work, he still experienced a problem with the torque sensor. According to NHTSA, a claim was made that Ford didn't go far enough in its solution to the problem, and that "the software update itself may in fact cause further issues with the affected vehicle's power steering, causing it to fail, and ultimately requiring replacement of the torque sensor or entire steering column." The petition was filed in early February and is now officially being looked into by NHTSA.

NHTSA investigating 500k Ford and Mercury cars for lighting failures

Mon, Apr 6 2015

The Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis might be long gone as new models in showrooms, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration might check them out yet again for a potential problem. At the urging of North Carolina Consumers Council, the agency may open another investigation into the front lighting control module on vehicles from the 2003-2005 model years, and NHTSA estimates the issue could affect 517,945 vehicles. If the module stops working, it can cause a complete failure of all forward lighting, including the headlights. NHTSA previously investigated the issue in 2008 and 2009 but found no need for a recall, according to Bloomberg. Ford also extended the warranty on the part to 15 years or 250,000 miles. To prompt this new request, the North Carolina Consumers Council received a letter from a woman experiencing the module's failure. Upon further investigation, the council found 604 complaints of this problem on NHTSA's website, including seven crashes. Furthermore, the group has alleged that dealers told customers that the parts to perform the replacement weren't available, despite the extended warranty. According to the government agency, "A defect petition has been opened to evaluate the issue and make a grant or deny decision." Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker tells Autoblog via email, "We will cooperate with NHTSA, as we always do." You can read the council's complete letter to the Feds in PDF format, here. INVESTIGATION Subject : Loss of headlamp/exterior lighting Date Investigation Opened: APR 01, 2015 Date Investigation Closed: Open NHTSA Action Number: DP15002 Component(s): EXTERIOR LIGHTING All Products Associated with this Investigation Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s) FORD CROWN VICTORIA 2003-2005 MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS 2003-2005 Details Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company SUMMARY: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received a petition from the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. requesting a defect investigation of an alleged defect condition resulting in headlight and/or exterior lighting failure on 2003-2005 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis vehicles. The petition letter is attached for review. The petitioner alleges a defect in the lighting control module that powers the headlights which can result in the loss of vehicle headlights and/or all exterior lighting while driving. ODI has previously investigated this issue under PE08-066 which was closed without a defect finding.

Autoblog's guilty pleasure cars

Tue, Mar 10 2015

Guilty pleasures are part of life don't even try to pretend like you don't have one (or two, or six). In the non-automotive space, this could come down to that secret playlist in your iPhone of songs you'll only listen to when you're alone; or think of that one TV show you really do love, but won't admit to your friends. I've got plenty, and so do you. Going back to cars, here's a particularly juicy one for me: several years ago, I had a mad crush on the very last iteration of the Cadillac DTS. Oh yes, the front-wheel-drive, Northstar V8-powered sofa-on-wheels that was the last remaining shred of the elderly-swooning days of Cadillac's past. Every time I had the chance to drive one, I was secretly giddy. Don't hate me, okay? These days, the DTS is gone, but I've still got a mess of other cars that hold a special place in my heart. And in the spirit of camaraderie, I've asked my other Autoblog editors to tell me some of their guilty pleasure cars, as well – Seyth Miersma, as you can see above, has a few choice emotions to share about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Read on to find out what cars make us secretly happy. Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG This decadent convertible is the epitome of the guilty pleasure. It's big, powerful, fairly heavy and it's richly appointed inside and out. It's a chocolate eclair with the three-pointed star on the hood. Given my druthers, I'd take the SL65 AMG, which delivers 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. That output is borderline absurd for this laid-back convertible. I don't care. You don't need dessert. Sometimes you just crave it. The SL line is about the feel you get on the road. The roof is open. The air, sun and engine sounds all embrace you. It's the same dynamic you could have experienced in a Mercedes a century ago, yet the SL gives you the most modern of luxuries. An Airscarf feature that warms my neck and shoulders through a vent embedded in the seat? Yes, please. Sure, it's an old-guy car. Mr. Burns and Lord Grantham are probably too young and hip for an SL65. I don't care. This is my guilty pleasure. Release the hounds. – Greg Migliore Senior Editor Ford Flex I drove my first Flex in 2009 when my mother let me borrow hers for the summer while I was away at college. The incredibly spacious interior made moving twice that summer a breeze, and the 200-mile trips up north were quite comfortable.

Time to catch up with Jay Leno's Garage, including his Lamborghini Espada restoration

Tue, Dec 23 2014

If you're already jealous of the time, effort and money that Jay Leno can devote to his massive car collection, prepare to get a little greener with envy with this latest video from Jay Leno's Garage. Instead of the usual format of discussing a model for about ten minutes and then taking it out for a test drive, this week Leno gives viewers on a tour of over a dozen projects concurrently happening in his stable. The breadth of the vehicles shown and the things being done to them run the entire span of the automotive hobby. At the same time, Jay's shop is working on just a simple restoration of his 1969 Lamborghini Espada (pictured), and at the other side of the building, the team is rebuilding a wood-bodied 1914 Detroit Electric from scratch. He eventually plans to slot a more modern electric drivetrain into it. If bikes are more your interest, there's a freshly completed Brough Superior just waiting for a ride, and if American models are your thing, a Ford Bronco is getting a Coyote V8 installed into it. You have some very specific tastes if you can't watch this clip and start wishing at least one of these vehicles could be in your own garage. Other than the personal projects his mechanics are working on in the shop, Jay gets to have them all, plus plenty more.

European jury picks finalists for 2015 Car of the Year

Tue, Dec 16 2014

There are countless Car of the Year awards handed out each year, and naturally, Europe has its own way of doing things. Every year, a panel of jurists representing seven publications in seven different languages and seven different countries get together to name their joint Car of the Year. The panel released a list of 32 candidates back in July, and it has now whittled that list down to seven nominees. The list consists of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the Citroen C4 Cactus (shown), the Ford Mondeo, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Nissan Qashqai, the Renault Twingo and the Volkswagen Passat. Of those seven, only two are available in the US those being the Mondeo (sold Stateside as the Fusion) and the C-Class. The Passat is an entirely different model in North America, the Qashqai isn't offered here, Citroen and Renault don't even participate in our market and the BMW 2 Series is represented here only by the completely different coupe and convertible. Expect the one and only recipient of the 2015 Car of the Year award to be announced at the Geneva Motor Show this coming March, and while you're waiting, you can place your guesses for the eventual winner in Comments. Featured Gallery 2015 European Car of the Year: Nominees News Source: BMW Ford Mercedes-Benz Nissan Volkswagen Citroen Renault car of the year nissan qashqai citroen c4 cactus bmw 2 series active tourer

Ford 1.0L EcoBoost 3-Cylinder: Autoblog Technology of the Year award finalist

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

As the old saying goes, "There's no replacement for displacement." But these days, many automakers are launching powerful, downsized engines that offer similar or better power output than their predecessors, all while offering improvements in fuel economy and emissions. These days, we're seeing automakers replacing eight-cylinder engines with turbocharged sixes, and the naturally aspirated six-cylinder motors are being phased out in favor of potent turbo fours. But Ford has gone even smaller, offering a three-cylinder, turbocharged engine with one single liter of displacement.
Sure, three-cylinder engines aren't anything new - they've been offered around the globe for ages. But Ford's EcoBoost 1.0L powerplant is perhaps the best application the Autoblog team has tested. Gone are the triple-cylinder complaints of yore - this engine doesn't sound anemic or buzzy, and there's healthy power output on tap. In fact, compared to the 1.6-liter inline-four that Ford also offers in the Fiesta, the 1.0-liter is more powerful, while boasting an impressive 45 miles per gallon on the highway.
This engine has already received numerous accolades, including winning the International Engine of the Year award in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The 1.0L EcoBoost will be available in the refreshed 2015 Ford Focus here in the US.

2016 Ford Explorer revealed with new 2.3-liter EcoBoost

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

A 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder takes over where the old 2.0 left off, making 270 hp and 300 lb-ft.
Right now, around 23 percent of all Ford vehicles sold in the United States is a utility vehicle. By 2020, Ford expects that figure to increase all the way to 29 percent. Put simply, SUVs and crossovers are very big business at Ford. So, when it comes time to update the Explorer, Ford's original sport utility vehicle, you can be sure that a whole heck of a lot of effort goes into the process.

FL man fatally shot after urging driver not to do donuts in a Mustang

Tue, 18 Nov 2014

Bradley Holt (pictured), the older half-brother of University of South Florida freshman quarterback Quinton Flowers, was killed in a random act of violence last week.
The 24-year-old Holt was throwing a football around with local kids in Allapattah, a neighborhood in Miami, when a yellow Mustang showed up and started doing donuts in the street. Holt, worried about kids playing in front his apartment complex, walked over to the driver and asked him why he was "driving so crazy with so many kids out here?"
The driver left. Holt's sister said the driver came back "about 15 to 20 minutes later" and fired two shots at Holt. One of them hit Holt in the back of the head, killing him.