Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mazda Recalling Tribute SUVs for Faulty Gas Pedal

Mazda announced that it is recalling 217,500 Tribute SUVs because of accelerators that can stick and cause unintended surging, news reports said.

The recall follows Ford's announcement that it is recalling 485,000 Escape SUVs that face the same defect.  The Tribute, which no longer is in production, was nearly identical to the Escape and both were buit at Ford's Kansas City plant.
Mazda said its new recall covers the 2001-2006 and 2008 Mazda Tributes equipped with the 3.0-liter V6 engine and cruise control. The Mazda Tribute was not produced in the 2007 model year.

The Ford recall covers 423,000 2001-04 Escape SUVs with 3.0-liter V-6 engines with cruise control sold in the U.S., and 60,000 outside the U.S. Around 10,000 of the vehicles were sold as the Maverick outside the U.S.

Information from the Detroit News was used in this report.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Volvo C70: This Hardtop Might Find a Soft Spot in Your Heart

It seems as if at some point in their lives, many drivers ponder the prospect of buying a convertible. Which inevitably leads to the question, “But which one should I get?”

If you’re at your “convertible might be for me” stage, take a look at the 2012 Volvo C70.

This hardtop convertible comes with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that makes 227 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque. It has a five-speed automatic transmission that you can put into manual mode if you wish.

Read More

Friday, July 27, 2012

Step Up, Metro Atlanta, And Fix What's Broken

Rob Douthit

No, it’s not perfect. But the regional T-SPLOST transportation referendum is metro Atlanta’s best and only hope for the foreseeable future to address this region’s transit woes.

The mere fact that the area’s voters get to head to the polls to decide this issue is somewhat of a minor miracle.

It took a bipartisan effort to put the referendum on the ballot, and in Georgia, almost nothing is bipartisan anymore.

Whether at the federal or state level, bipartisan solutions are rarely lovable in their entirety, as they involve serious compromises.

But if we’re ever going to get anything done in this hyper-partisan political environment that we inhabit these days, we need to hold our noses and swallow the imperfect medicine that well-meaning elected officials (yes, there are a few left) craft when they work together.

The opposition to this referendum is led by those who say they are sick of paying taxes.


And you’re not sick of sitting in traffic?

And you think things that we depend upon to live in an organized society, like schools, police and fire departments and, yes, roads, are given to us by the tooth fairy?

Sorry, they come from tax revenue.

Those who say they love America, and sometimes say they love their state and their town, seem to sometimes forget that a lot of what stirs their passion came to them from, brace yourselves, the government.

Horrors, the government?

Yes, the government.

In America, the government is us, folks.

Don’t vilify the government unless you are willing to vilify yourself, your neighbor, your family members, your co-workers and so-on.

That’s who’s responsible for the government.

And in order for the government to function and provide the things that give us such wonderful lives, it has to collect, brace yourselves again, taxes.

Horrors, taxes?

Yep. We need ‘em to pay for schools we send our kids to, roads we drive on and police and fire departments and national defense.

And, when it comes to metro Atlanta, the region has grown tremendously over the past couple of decades, which means it has more needs.

More needs means we need to collect more money.

The T-SPLOST is an opportunity for the region to show that it has grown not only in size, but in its thinking.

It’s an opportunity to say that we’re going to do something that will cause some pain now, so that we can realize a substantial gain later.

Other opponents say that this plan leaves out too many areas, or leaves too many needs unmet.

Yep, that’s correct.

But again, we’re dealing with a compromise here, not the fulfillment of a fantasy.

Let this T-SPLOST complete the projects that are included in this package, then let’s take another look at what more we could do to make things better later.

Atlanta is one of the nation’s best metropolitan regions because of all of its positive attributes – low cost of living, vital business and social communities and a pleasant climate.

Let’s not let something like an inadequate transportation system be the region’s downfall.

It very well could be, if this referendum fails.

Please vote Yes on July 31.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nissan Makes It Easier Than Ever to Stay Properly Inflated

Nissan announced recently that it will include its Easy-Fill Tire Alert system in  all new and updated vehicles introduced to the market as of next year.

The system takes the guesswork or the trickier-than-it-should-be skill of using a tire gauge out of the process of inflating a tire. The car will tell you when a tire needs air, then, as you fill it, it will tell you when the tire has enough air. As you are filling a tire with air, the vehicle's lights will flash. When the tire has enough, the vehicle's horn will beep. It's that simple.

Yet, if you still manage to overfill, the lights will blink more quickly as air is let out of the tire, then the horn will once again beep when it hits the proper level of inflation.

Couldn't be much easier.

The system made its debut with the latest version of the Quest minivan, and next will be featured in the revamped Altima sedan, set to hit showrooms very soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Audi TTS Packs Pounds of Driving Pleasure in a Small Package

The Audi TT has always been favored among many as a cute yet sporty offering from the German luxury brand. But if you turn the sportiness up a couple of notches and throw in some additional standard features, you get the 2012 Audi TTS.

This model, available as a coupe or a roadster, packs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes 265 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. That horsepower number beats the regular TT by 54 ponies, and the impressive torque figure gives the TTS a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds, according to Audi.

There’s a six-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission that can be switched to manual mode with paddle shifters on the steering wheel or the gear lever on the center console. The TTS has Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and offers a Sport mode button that can be pressed to really enhance the driving experience.
Read more

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Honda Recalling Pilot SUVs

Honda announced recently that it is recalling more than 300,000 Pilot SUVs purchased by U.S. consumers because of defective or nonexistent seatbelt stitching. The model years affected are 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Honda says that no injuries have been reported because of this flaw, but that it has the potential to render the seatbelts ineffective in a crash.
Honda says it will inspect vehicles and fix the defect at no charge if needed. Owners are being notified.
For more information, visit recalls.honda.com or call (800) 999-1009.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You Think It's Hot? Your Car Does Too

This has been a really hot summer so far, with temperatures that can pose problems to the health of humans and their cars. Specifically, engines can overheat when vehicles are in traffic jams or when they're being taxed by having to climb steep upgrades.  To lessen the possibility of overheating, follow a few simple steps:

- Periodically check and replenish your engine coolant level, making sure it's at the full line.

- Watch the temperature gauge on your dashboard. If it goes beyond the midpoint or if notice steam arising from under the hood, pull over immediately. Driving an overheating vehicle can cause serious engine damage. 

- After pulling over, call your roadside assistance service to have the car towed to a service station.

- If you check the engine, wait until the vehicle has completely cooled before opening the hood.
- Add coolant if the vehicle's container indicates that it is not full. If you don't have coolant, you can use water in an emergency. 

- If the temperature gauge indicates the car has cooled, you may resume driving, but keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't overheat again.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Small and Cute Fiat 500

You might have seen TV ads for the 2012 Fiat 500, or maybe you’ve actually seen one rolling down the streets. The cars certainly capture attention for their unusual styling and hipness.

However, the question we had was whether there’s substance to go along with that style.

The answer?

Some, but not a lot.

There has been an explosion of popularity in the last few years, especially among young hipsters, of very small, European-looking cars. The wave was started by the Mini Cooper, continued (albeit tepidly) by the Smart cars and has now been sustained by the Fiat.

But among that group, we have found that only the Mini offers a truly sensible, solid, overall rendering that’s suitable to a range of drivers.

The Fiat has cool looks, to be sure.

It’s got retro styling, a high stance and good color schemes.