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Mark Phelan: GM leads chase for vehicle of the year honors

Automotive / Automotive News /

General Motors placed an industry-leading eight vehicles among the semifinalists for the North American Car, Truck and Utility vehicle of the year.

The 30 semifinalists for the three awards range from compact economy cars to electric vehicles, luxury sedans, pickups and one minivan.

I'm the president of the jury that presents the awards, and I...Read more

Consumers aren't as excited as the auto industry about self-driving cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- If Ford, Volvo, GM and Uber are to be believed, self-driving cars will soon dominate our roads and car ownership will be a thing of the past.

If regular consumers are to be believed, automakers need to hold their horses, because people aren't ready for a self-driving future. Those are the findings from a new survey commissioned...Read more

Fiat Chrysler reveals totally revamped Jeep Compass

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Jeep on Monday night revealed that an overhauled Jeep Compass will replace the brand's current Compass model as well as its Patriot SUV. The auto brand made the announcement during an event at its plant in Pernambuco, Brazil, and released three images of the vehicle.

The new vehicle looks more aerodynamic than the outgoing Compass ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler receives state grant, pledges to create 700 jobs at Detroit-area plant

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Michigan officials on Tuesday signed off on a $4.5 million grant for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and the automaker pledged to create 700 new jobs at a suburban Detroit plant where it plans a big investment that will see the facility transformed into a truck-building operation.

The grant, issued by the Michigan Strategic Fund, comes in...Read more

Under the Hood: What to do about a stinky air conditioning system

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: The air conditioning in our Equinox really stinks when I fire it up, though the smell does goes away after a few minutes. What can be done to fix this?

--Alicia O.

A: Alicia, what you're smelling is likely microbial growth on the air conditioning system's evaporator core. When the air conditioner is in use, condensation forms on the ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Check your power steering pump

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2006 Honda Accord V-6 with 158,000 miles. I'm now having a problem with the power steering. When I first start the car and turn the steering wheel left or right with the car not moving, it's fine. Each cycle after that, at rest or low speed, the steering wheel is more difficult to turn. On the road at normal speed, the steering seems...Read more

Auto review: An impressive debut for Mirai

Automotive / Automotive News /

The world's car companies are all reaching for the same holy grail: a good-running, zero-emissions vehicle that has long driving range. And is affordable. And can be refueled quickly.

Toyota's latest entry is an electric-motor vehicle that boasts a range of 312 miles and can be refueled in three to five minutes.

The catch: It's the Mirai, ...Read more

Mark Phelan: A failure, the Dodge Dart will die this month

Automotive / Automotive News /

What went wrong with the Dodge Dart? Born with fanfare and optimism in June 2012, the compact sedan will die this month in virtual anonymity, a failure that never came close to meeting Fiat Chrysler Automobile's expectations.

The Dart was supposed to signal a fresh start for Fiat Chrysler, the newly created automaker risen from the rubble of ...Read more

Drivers over 85 are the fastest-growing group on the road

Automotive / Automotive News /

Not sure that driverless cars are safer than cars driven by humans?

Consider this: Drivers over the age of 85 represent the fastest-growing segment of American automobile users. Their numbers doubled between 1998 and 2013, to 3.48 million drivers -- the highest number ever on record -- and the number is rising, according to the U.S. Department ...Read more

Tesla sues to sell cars in Michigan

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Electric automaker Tesla filed a lawsuit Thursday against Michigan officials, escalating its multi-year battle to sell vehicles directly to consumers in the state.

Tesla named Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Gov. Rick Snyder in its lawsuit filed in federal court.

The action ...Read more

Auto review: Capable Alltrack offers alternative to crossover boredom

Automotive / Automotive News /

It seems like everyone drives a crossover these days. And while automakers advertise the vehicles with scenes of attractive millennials engaging in outdoor activities, it's more likely the average crossover driver is much like the average American: overweight and fearful of getting stuck on an icy road while commuting to their 9-to-5.

So, if ...Read more

Larry Printz: It's officially autumn, so get your car ready for winter

Automotive / Automotive News /

With autumn's arrival made official by the September equinox on Thursday, we know old man winter will be rearing his ugly head soon enough. And even if you're not ready to pull out your sweaters, coats, hats, gloves and boots, now is the time to ready your ride for the upcoming onslaught.

Here's what should be inspected:

--Tires: Nothing ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Home-brewed remedies for keeping your windshield clean

Automotive / Automotive News /

Readers from around the country sent in tips, techniques and recipes for cleaning automotive glass. Here are several of the better ideas.

From Bill Byrnes: "I had issues with my 2001 Sable and 2003 Ranger, especially in the summer when I use one of those reflective shields to keep the interior cooler. What I have been using to get rid of the ...Read more

Tesla to release Autopilot update under shadow of security hack

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hacking into a phone is unlikely to physically hurt the victim. But hacking into a car?

A security research team in China hacked into a Tesla Model S and said they took over the car's brakes from 12 miles away. A video released this week shows members of the research team being thrust forward as the remote hacker slammed the ...Read more

Auto review: 2016 BMW 340i fends off competition with better engine, sublime stick

Automotive / Automotive News /

The Lake of the Ozarks winds through old oak forests and carves out limestone bluffs in endless rolling dells. Missouri's massive man-made reservoir, which at its construction in 1931 was considered one of the largest in the world, has been called the Magic Dragon due to its long serpentine body.

Accessing the vast shoreline can be as fun as ...Read more

Uber finds a partner with some public transit systems

Automotive / Automotive News /

PITTSBURGH -- Public transit agencies across the country are entering into partnerships with ride-sharing service Uber to supplement their service.

The partnerships range from direct subsidies for Uber riders heading to transit stops in the St. Petersburg, Fla., area to joint marketing in Philadelphia and North Carolina's Research Triangle. The...Read more

The self-driving revolution will be mostly electric

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- As our urban transportation landscape becomes automated over the next decade, it could spark an electric car revolution that for some has been overdue.

Spend enough time around these early self-driving vehicles and you notice that nearly all are hybrids or purely electric -- Ford's automated Fusion, the similarly equipped Fusion ...Read more

US guidelines on driverless cars offer some direction on future policy

Automotive / Automotive News /

The U.S. Department of Transportation released long-awaited guidelines Tuesday for the testing and deployment of self-driving vehicles, giving manufacturers and researchers some clarity for the future, but providing only a vague sense of the federal government's exact responsibilities.

At a Tuesday morning news conference, U.S. Transportation ...Read more

Premium gas provides no benefit to cars that use regular, AAA study finds

Automotive / Automotive News /

Research by AAA has found that motorists wasted $2.1 billion in 2015 buying premium gasoline for cars that don't require it.

Using tests designed to evaluate vehicle performance, fuel economy and emissions, AAA researchers said they found no benefit to using premium gasoline in a vehicle that only requires regular-grade fuel.

"Drivers see the ...Read more

Under the Hood: Getting to know your gauges

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: With our help, our daughter just purchased her first car. It's a bit different than our family car in that it uses a variety of gauges, rather than lights, to display key information. Can you explain the importance of these gauges and what they represent? She understands the tachometer, but I think she'd be more receptive to additional ...Read more