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Articles filed under Autos

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  • Rare, historic autos come to Geneva Aug 24, 2014 9:56 PM
    More than 200 of the finest and rarest antique, classic and exotic automobiles from around the Midwest lined Third Street in Geneva on Sunday for the 10th annual Geneva Concours d’Elegance car show. Among them was a shiny black car with not only a historic link to Elgin, but to the development of modern day stock car racing.

  • Cars talking to cars could cut crashes Aug 23, 2014 7:39 AM
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has unveiled a plan to require vehicle-to-vehicle communications technologies in all new passenger cars. Adopting these technologies, the agency says, could prevent nearly 600,000 car crashes every year once the rollout is complete.

  • Car club calendar Sep 11, 2014 11:52 AM
    The Chicago suburbs are home to many car lovers and clubs devoted to models ranging from the Alfa Romeo to Volkswagen. The Daily Herald has compiled a list of monthly meetings for area car clubs, as well as several local motorcycling groups.

  • Geneva Concours d’Elegance celebrates ‘the art of the car’ Aug 20, 2014 8:01 AM
    This Sunday, the streets of downtown Geneva will be filled with cars and car lovers, when the 10th annual Concours d’Elegance rolls into town. The event will showcase 175 invitational cars from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free. Car clubs are expected to display about 100 more cars in the Kane County Courthouse parking area as well.

  • Final classic car show tonight at Randhurst Aug 20, 2014 10:29 AM
    Tonight is the last Cruise Night of the summer at Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect. The free show features classic cars and their owners, plus a Q&A with Daily Herald auto columnist Matt Avery and special exhibits. To correct earlier reporters, there is no free concert tonight.

  • Loose wire remains elusive for a decade Aug 17, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I purchased a new 2000 Lincoln Cartier Town Car. Within a few years, the whole system just stopped; no air, no heat, no blower.

  • Kane sheriff wants final charity car show to finish strong Aug 12, 2014 5:37 PM
    Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez will host his eighth and final car show Aug. 30 in Elburn. This year, he's chosen the Make A Wish Foundation as the charity to benefit and also enlisted support from sheriffs in Kendall and DeKalb counties.

  • Rebuilt 1970 Cadillac ambulance revives memories Aug 11, 2014 6:15 AM
    Wailing sirens, flashing lights and cool vintage iron could be seen and heard in North Aurora at the annual Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show. One vehicle on display was a 1970 cadillac ambulance once owned by the Romeoville Fire Department.

  • Brakes ‘thump’ when backing out of garage Aug 10, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I recently had my rear brakes changed on 2002 Toyota Camry XLE. When I back up every morning, they make “stump, thump, thump” sound.

  • GM issues third recall on SUVs that can catch fire Aug 8, 2014 11:18 AM
    General Motors’ troubles with safety recalls has surfaced in another case, this time with the company recalling a group of SUVs for a third time to fix power window switches that can catch fire. The problem, revealed in documents posted by federal safety regulators this week, is so serious that GM is telling customers to park the SUVs outdoors until they are repaired because they could catch fire when left unattended.

  • Chrysler 2Q profit up 22 pct. on rising US sales Aug 7, 2014 5:45 AM
    Chrysler Group’s second-quarter net profit rose 22 percent, fueled by rising sales in the U.S. The company on Wednesday reported that it made $619 million in the April-through-June quarter, compared with $507 million a year ago.

  • Batavia Green Fair aims to inspire eco-friendly lifestyles Aug 6, 2014 2:27 PM
    The Batavia Green Fair on the Fox, formerly known as the Batavia Green Walk, is returning for its seventh annual event with more than just a new name. Fair co-chairman Keith Line said this year, the fair will be more interactive and will reach a wider audience with various new activities, events and entertainment.

  • Car club calendar Aug 7, 2014 11:40 AM
    The Chicago suburbs are home to many car lovers and clubs devoted to models ranging from the Alfa Romeo to Volkswagen. The Daily Herald has compiled a list of monthly meetings for area car clubs, as well as several local motorcycling groups.

  • Arlington Toyota/Scion takes a different approach Aug 4, 2014 9:46 AM
    As president of Arlington Automotive Group Inc., Gary Vicari is responsible for the 15-acre campus that is home to Arlington Toyota/Scion in Palatine. Vicari attributes his way of running the company to the long route he took getting to this point. He wants to reach out to the community through ancillary services, all with an eye toward having customers come in and check out the vehicles for themselves.

  • What is the deal with fuzzy dice? Aug 4, 2014 5:01 PM
    A walk around any suburban cruise night or local car show will reveal a common auto accessory: fuzzy dice. These fun, retro throwbacks have been swinging from rearview mirrors for decades.

  • 'Tame' pony still pleasing to original owner Aug 4, 2014 10:25 AM
    By his own admittance, Lou Vassos of Mount Prospect is a “practical guy.” He sees no reason to upgrade his beige Ford Mustang. After all, it drives just as well as the day he bought it in 1967.

  • Car owner frustrated with string of alternators Aug 3, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I have a 1992 Toyota Corolla with 105,000 miles on it. The concern I have is that I have replaced the alternator three times with an aftermarket alternator in the last 5 years.

  • Hyundai recalls more than 419K vehicles Aug 1, 2014 10:16 AM
    Hyundai is recalling more than 419,000 cars and SUVs to fix suspension, brake and oil leak problems. The biggest of three recalls posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators is of 225,000 Santa Fe SUVs from 2001-2006 to replace front coil springs that can rust and crack in cold-weather states. The springs can fracture and make contact with a tire, potentially causing a crash. The recall covers Santa Fes originally sold in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear snow and ice from roadways. States affected are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Hyundai said in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that dealers will replace the springs for free. Owners will be notified by the end of September. The company received 1,200 warranty claims for the problem, including 90 in which the springs came in contact with a tire. No crashes or injuries were reported. The Korean automaker also is recalling 133,075 Sonata midsize cars from 2011 because brake fluid can leak and cause increased stopping distances. The leaks are caused by an inadequate seal between brake hoses and calipers. Dealers will replace the hoses free of charge starting by the end of September. No crashes or injuries have been reported. And Hyundai recalling 61,122 Veracruz SUVs from 2007 through 2012 because oil can leak from a valve cover gasket onto the alternator, causing it to fail. That could cause the engine to stall, and the driver wouldn’t be able to restart it. No crashes or injuries were reported. Dealers will inspect and replace or repair the alternator and front valve cover gasket starting by the end of September, at no cost to owners. So far this year automakers have recalled more than 40 million vehicles in the U.S., passing the old full-year record of 30.8 million set in 2004. General Motors leads all companies with recalls of nearly 30 million vehicles. The company’s recall crisis was touched off by the bungled recall of 2.6 million small cars for faulty ignition switches. GM has admitted knowing about the problem for more than a decade, yet it didn’t start any recalls until this year. The company blames the defective switches for at least 13 deaths.

  • Fiat shareholders vote in favor of Chrysler merger Aug 1, 2014 10:09 AM
    TURIN, Italy — Fiat shareholders have voted in favor of a merger with Chrysler that has been five years in the works and will shift the 115-year-old carmaker’s center of gravity abroad. The shareholder approval Friday paves the way for a U.S. listing of the new company, to be called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, expected by mid-October. It will be legally based in the Netherlands with its fiscal home in Britain. A caveat to the merger remains. Dissenting shareholders have 15 days to opt out, cashing in their shares at 7.727 euros ($10.35), about 7-percent above current share price. If the request exceeds 500 million euros, CEO Sergio Marchionne says the merger would be off — for now.

  • GM boosted June sales with discounts to dealers Aug 1, 2014 10:09 AM
    As General Motors tackles a safety crisis, a look its numbers from June show just how intent the company is on keeping new-car sales on the rise during a record spate of safety recalls. The Detroit automaker has recalled nearly 30 million cars and trucks this year, including some models that had barely rolled off the assembly line. Yet sales have been resilient, up 3.5 percent through the first seven months of the year. In mid-June, however, the automaker was headed for a year-over-year monthly sales decline, according to data compiled by automotive research firms. Then, on June 20, GM asked dealers to buy more cars, and it threw in another $1,000 in discounts per vehicle, five dealership representatives told The Associated Press. The company finished the month with a 1 percent gain. The dealers said they were asked to buy the cars for a rental program, one that provides loaner cars for people whose vehicles are being serviced. When they buy the cars for the program, GM counts them as a retail sale. It’s a long-standing practice used by nearly all automakers to boost sales results. At GM, though, the incentive was unusually generous and came as GM executives try to steer the company through the worst safety crisis in its history, including the recall of 2.6 million small cars with defective ignition switches tied to at least 13 deaths. The company has allayed investor fears by saying that recalls have actually helped sales by bringing in customers who see vastly improved new models. “Clearly the timing seems a little suspicious,” said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for the website who predicted on June 22 that GM sales would be down 7 percent for the month, compared with a 2 percent decline for the rest of the industry. “Retail numbers at that point did not show any kind of strength.” The industry eked out a 1.2 percent gain for the month. GM didn’t need the added incentives in July. The company on Friday reported a 9.4 percent sales increase for the month. GM spokesman Jim Cain confirmed that offers were made to dealers in June, but wouldn’t give details. He said GM needed to make more models available as loaners for those whose cars are being recalled. As part of its small-car ignition switch recall, GM is offering free loaners to owners. But dealers have run short of cars for the program and have been forced to rely on rental car companies, which can loan out cars from competing brands. GM has issued more than 83,000 loaner cars since the recalls started in February. But CEO Mary Barra said last week that it had fixed about 550,000 of the small cars, so the need for loaners was waning. The automaker won’t say how many vehicles were purchased by dealers in June. After about two months, the loaners are resold as used cars because of the miles on them, but buyers get low-interest financing and other incentives offered to new-car buyers, said the dealers, most of whom asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals from the company. “There was a heavy push on an incentive program that increased sales,” one dealer said. “If they don’t have the volume they want, they’ll come out to the dealers.” GM’s U.S. sales rose 2.5 percent in the first half of the year, lagging the overall market’s 4.3 percent gain. Some dealers downplayed the importance of the discounts. Mike Maroone, chief operating officer of AutoNation Inc., the country’s largest dealership chain, said AutoNation bought a small number of discounted vehicles for its loaner fleet. But he didn’t think the sales had a large impact on GM’s numbers. “I don’t think it’s as big a deal as it may sound,” he said. Maroone and other dealers said other automakers also offer similar late-month discounts in order to juice sales and improve monthly numbers. Some make the offers every few months. Some dealers worry that if GM continues to make similar end-of-the-month offers, the influx of used cars into the market will hurt resale values and new-car sales. GM’s Cain said that even without the sales to dealers, GM would have beaten analysts’ sales expectations in June. Before the month ended, many analysts predicted GM sales would fall at least 6 percent. The loaner program, he said, has helped boost GM’s reputation for customer service. “That has been very important during the recalls that we have had, to be able to put customers into new GM vehicles and not have to force people into a Ford Focus,” Cain said. Industry are expected to improve in July. expects an 11.1 percent jump in total U.S. auto sales. When all the numbers are in late Friday, it may wind up being the industry’s best July in eight years, Edmunds predicted. GM’s stock price has dropped nearly 16 percent since the start of the year. It had been trading around $37 recently, but began falling last week as GM announced that recall costs had dramatically cut into earnings. The shares closed Thursday at $33.82.

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