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Articles filed under Autos

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  • Blue Bird recalls school buses Jul 4, 2014 4:39 PM
    Blue Bird is recalling more than 2,500 All American school buses and some transit buses to fix a problem that could make steering more difficult.

  • Subaru recalls 660K vehicles for brake line rust Jul 3, 2014 9:21 AM
    Subaru is recalling more than 660,000 cars and SUVs because the brake lines can rust and leak fluid, and that can mean it will take longer to stop the vehicles. For about half the vehicles, it’s the second recall for the same problem. Affected are 2005 through 2009 Legacy and Outback, the 2008 through 2014 Impreza and the 2009 through 2013 Forester.

  • Pontiac Gran Parisienne shows its Canadian roots Jun 30, 2014 9:21 AM
    Right out of the gate, Tom Mianulli of Rolling Meadows was a full-size car kind of guy. As a child, his parents toted him around in a colossal 1967 Buick LeSabre. So his eyes were drawn to this Canadian-built, 1968 Pontiac Gran Parisienne when he saw it at an auction.

  • Websites can take some hassle out of car-buying Jun 29, 2014 8:00 AM
    Want to take some of the stress and mystery out of the car-buying process? Get on the Internet. Auto Web sites — once filled mostly with reviews and advice — are getting more sophisticated, connecting potential buyers with dealers and offering instant price guarantees.

  • GM crash victim payment plan won’t have limit Jun 28, 2014 7:21 PM
    The GM compensation likely will be limited to victims of crashes of older small cars, of which GM recalled 2.6 million earlier this year because the switches can cause engines to stall, shutting off power steering and brakes. That can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and also disables the air bags. The cars include the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, both of which are no longer made.

  • Feds probe Nissan cars for unwanted acceleration Jun 28, 2014 1:56 PM
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted Saturday on its website that four drivers have complained that a trim panel near the gas pedal can trap the edge of a driver’s shoe. This can stop the driver from releasing the gas pedal quickly and delay braking.

  • GM issues 3 more recalls covering 474,000 vehicles Jun 27, 2014 6:09 PM
    The recalls, part of a top-to-bottom safety review, bring the company’s total for the year to 48, covering more than 20 million cars and trucks. That beats GM’s old full-year record of 10.75 million in 2004.

  • Car club calendar Jun 25, 2014 12:01 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.

  • Honda, Mazda, Nissan issue recalls over airbags Jun 23, 2014 9:18 AM
    Honda, Mazda and Nissan are recalling millions of vehicles globally for defective airbags manufactured by supplier Takata Corp. that could possibly explode. No accidents have been reported related to Monday’s recalls. Honda Motor Co. recalled 2.03 million vehicles for the airbag problem, including 1.02 million in North America and nearly 669,000 in Japan.

  • On rare occasion, old transmission fluid can help Jun 22, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I recall reading somewhere that if the transmission fluid hasn’t been changed for a very long time, replacing it may not be a good idea because the new fluid is thinner and dirt free, compared to the old fluid. The implication was, one might be better off leaving things as they are.

  • The star of this cruise night was storytelling Jun 22, 2014 6:00 AM
    This week we revisited some of the stories and autos previously featured in this Classic Recollections column — and learned about some new ones — at the first of three summer cruise nights being sponsored by the Daily Herald and Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect.

  • Simon to help promote electric vehicles in Illinois Jun 21, 2014 12:24 PM
    Community colleges throughout Illinois are planning a three-day road trip to help promote electric vehicle charging stations. Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon will help kick off the event on Monday, June 23, at John A. Logan College in Carterville.

  • Harley-Davidson introduces electric motorcycle Jun 19, 2014 9:09 AM
    Harley-Davidson will unveil its first electric motorcycle next week, and President Matt Levatich said he expects the company known for its big touring bikes and iconic brand to become a leader in developing technology and standards for electric vehicles.

  • Auto enthusiasts share stories at Daily Herald event Jun 19, 2014 2:05 PM
    Auto enthusiasts got a chance to share stories at a Daily Herald subscriber event held in advance of Randhurst's first Cruise Night, which featured some 100 cars parked near the intersection of Rand and Elmhurst roads. “I love classic cars. I love muscle cars. But the thing that gets me out of bed every morning is that every car has a story,” said the Daily Herald's Matthew Avery, who writes the “Classic Recollections” auto column.

  • Lawmakers press GM on report’s findings Jun 18, 2014 11:52 AM
    House members questioned whether the culture at General Motors could truly change, and whether the dismissal of 15 employees was enough, as they grilled CEO Mary Barra about the actions she’s taken since GM admitted that it failed to act on a deadly safety issue for more than a decade. A House subcommittee heard testimony Wednesday from Barra and attorney Anton Valukas.

  • Lawmakers press GM on car safety Jun 18, 2014 4:39 PM
    Lawmakers at the hearing were skeptical of many of the conclusions in Valukas’s report, which was paid for by GM and released June 5. The report found that a lone engineer, Ray DeGiorgio, was able to approve the use of a switch that didn’t meet company specifications. Years later, he ordered a change to that switch without anyone else at GM being aware.

  • GM recalling 3.4 million more cars for ignition switch problems Jun 16, 2014 4:06 PM
    General Motors says it needs to change or replace the keys for about 3.4 million cars because they could cause the ignition switch to move out of position if they’re carrying too much weight. GM said in a statement Monday that the switches can rotate out of “run” if the key has excess weight and the car “experiences some jarring event,” such as hitting a pothole or crossing a railroad track. That can shut off the engines and disable power steering, causing drivers to lose control. Also, the air bags won’t work. The recall affects seven cars with model years ranging from 2000 to 2014. GM is already recalling 2.6 million older small cars, mostly in the U.S., for a similar problem where the ignition switch slips out of “run” and causes an engine stall. In that case, the problem is with the mechanics of the switch. In this latest recall, GM says the problem is with the design of the key. GM began reviewing ignition switches across its line-up after initiating the earlier recall. GM links that switch problem to 13 deaths. GM says it knows of eight crashes and six injuries tied to the latest ignition switch recall. The company also raised its expected second-quarter charge for recall expenses to $700 million. The latest recall covers the 2005-2009 Buick LaCrosse, 2006-2014 Chevrolet Impala, 2000 to 2005 Cadillac Deville, 2004-2011 Cadillac DTS, the 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne, the 2004 and 2005 Buick Regal LS and GS, and the Chevy Monte Carlo from the 2006 through 2008 model years. GM says dealers will add an insert to the car keys to change the hole from a slot to a circle. The company says that until the repairs are made, owners should remove everything from their keychains and drive with only the key in the ignition. GM also is recalling 166,000 other cars for a series of other problems. The recalls announced Monday bring to 44 the total number of GM recalls this year, covering 17.73 million vehicles in the U.S. and more than 20 million worldwide. The company has surpassed its old U.S. full-year recall record of 10.75 million vehicles set in 2004.

  • 4 months into GM recall, only 7 percent of cars fixed Jun 16, 2014 2:42 PM
    More than four months after General Motors began recalling 2.6 million small cars to fix ignition switches, the company has repaired only 7 percent of the vehicles. Through Thursday, GM had repaired almost 177,000 of the cars and shipped about 423,000 parts kits to dealers worldwide. GM says the repairs have been delayed as Delphi Corp., the switch maker, ramps up production of a part for cars that the company is no longer making. Initially Delphi had only one assembly line building replacement switches, which slowed parts distribution. Now the company has two lines running, and GM expects a third to be operational in late July or early August, spokesman Kevin Kelly said Monday. “This part wasn’t in production anymore. It’s taken time to get production back up,” said Kelly. GM’s stated goal is to have all 2.6 million replacement parts produced by late October. Also complicating the ignition switch recall was a separate ignition lock cylinder recall affecting the same vehicles. GM suppliers have had to make both parts, then the company ships them to dealers in a single repair kit. GM has offered free loaner cars to those afraid to drive their own vehicles. So far it has paid for almost 67,000. GM began recalling the cars, mainly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions from the 2004 through 2010 model years, in February. The ignition switches can unexpectedly slip from the “run” to “accessory” position, shutting off the engine. That shuts off the power steering and power brakes, making cars harder to control. It also disables the air bags, which won’t inflate in a crash. GM says the problem has caused at least 54 crashes and 13 deaths, but trial lawyers suing GM say the death toll is more than 60. GM has acknowledged knowing about the problem for more than a decade, yet the cars weren’t recalled until this year. GM CEO Mary Barra will testify in front of a House subcommittee about the matter for a second time on Wednesday.

  • Anniversary Trans Am is icing on the cake Jun 16, 2014 5:43 AM
    Turning 30 is a big deal. Pontiac's storied Trans Am model made it to three decades in 1999 and the company decided to commemorate the occasion. Rick Giovannini of Arlington heights encountered part of that four-wheeled celebration at the 1999 Chicago Auto Show.

  • Randhurst to host its first Cruise Night Jun 15, 2014 4:48 PM
    Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect is about to launch its first Cruise Night series, showcasing vintage cars at the shopping center. The first one will take place Wednesday, June 18. Randhurst officials believe the shows will generate interest and buzz for the shopping center. “These kinds of shows are extremely popular in this market,” Randhurst spokeswoman Cindy Bohde said.

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