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Articles filed under Autos

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  • GM recalls 221,558 sedans for fire risk Sep 20, 2014 7:55 PM
    General Motors is recalling 221,558 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans because the brake pads can stay partially engaged even when they’re not needed, increasing the risk of a fire.

  • Household wealth increases in U.S. Sep 18, 2014 1:59 PM
    Household wealth in the U.S. climbed in the second quarter, reflecting stock-market gains that are mostly benefiting upper-income Americans. Net worth for households and non-profit groups increased by $1.39 trillion from April through June, or 1.7 percent from the previous three months, to $81.5 trillion, the Federal Reserve’s financial accounts report showed today in Washington. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s longest streak of quarterly gains since 1998 combined with home-price appreciation helped to bolster Americans’ finances last quarter. A strengthening job market also is giving households the means to sustain their purchases, which make up about 70 percent of the economy. “Things are getting better for households,” said Paul Edelstein, director of U.S. financial economics at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Consumers are getting a little more optimistic, a little more willing to take on debt.” The value of financial assets owned by American households, including stocks and pension-fund holdings, increased by $1.27 trillion in the second quarter, today’s Fed report showed. The S&P 500 index completed a sixth quarterly gain in the April through June period, climbing 4.7 percent. The gauge has advanced further since then. Household real-estate assets climbed by $202 billion, according to today’s flow of funds data. Owners’ equity as a share of total household real-estate holdings increased to 53.6 percent last quarter from 53.2 percent in the previous three months. A cooling housing market may limit the gains in household wealth. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values rose 8.1 percent in the year ended in June, the smallest 12-month increase since January 2013, an Aug. 26 report from the group showed. A strengthening labor market will help provide an offset. Unemployment in August fell to 6.1 percent, matching the lowest level since September 2008. Monthly payrolls have grown an average 215,000 so far this year, up from 197,000 for the same period in 2013. Gains in household wealth are giving Americans more confidence to borrow, today’s flow of funds report showed. Household debt increased at a 3.6 percent annualized rate from April through June. Consumer credit, including auto and student loans, climbed at an 8.1 percent pace, while mortgage borrowing increased at a 0.4 percent rate. Some of the wealth is going toward vehicle purchases. Sales of cars and light trucks rose to a 17.5 million annualized rate in August, the highest since January 2006, from a 16.4 million pace a month earlier, according to data from Ward’s Automotive Group. Today’s report also showed that total non-financial debt advanced at a 3.8 percent annualized pace last quarter, with a 6.3 percent gain in business borrowing. State and local government debt increased at a 1.2 percent pace and obligations of federal agencies climbed 2.5 percent. Household net worth also is getting help from the Federal Reserve’s accommodative stance. Policy makers, who finished a two-day meeting yesterday, maintained a commitment to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after asset purchases are completed, saying the economy is expanding at a moderate pace and inflation is below its goal.

  • House panel: Safety agency mishandled GM recall Sep 16, 2014 11:18 AM
    The government’s auto safety agency should have discovered General Motors’ faulty ignition switches seven years before the company recalled 2.6 million cars to fix the deadly problem, a House committee majority charged Tuesday in a new report. The report by Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee raised serious questions about the agency’s ability to keep the public safe as cars become more complex.

  • Triumph owner follows in his father’s footsteps Sep 15, 2014 12:35 PM
    From bonnet to boot, each of the unique motorcars at the British Car Festival in Palatine had a story to tell, just like Ridge Howard and his 1972 Triumph GT6 Mark 3. “My dad bought it new,” theWisconsin resident said.

  • Austin 1300 may be slower, but still stylish Sep 15, 2014 5:45 AM
    Kids can have a certain persuasiveness over their parents and Dennis DeLap, now of Barrington, used it to his advantage. As an 18-year-old, he convinced Mom and Dad to buy a new 1967 Austin.

  • 5 smart things coming to your car that make life safer Sep 14, 2014 7:41 AM
    5 smart things coming to your car: Cellphones that warn drivers when people are crossing in front of them. Bicycles and cars that communicate with traffic lights. Sensors in cars that quickly alert other drivers to black ice, potholes or other hazards. A low-priced camera system that brings high-tech automatic braking to the masses.

  • Hundreds of workers on strike at Hammond Lear Corp. plant Sep 13, 2014 2:31 PM
    Saturday’s strike shut down the Lear plant, according to a statement from the United Auto Workers. All the plant’s workers walked off the job after two months of contract negotiations. About 200 workers wearing jackets and scarves or caps to ward off the chilly Midwest breeze were walking the picket line Saturday.

  • Buffalo Grove board OKs sales tax split with Rohrman car dealership Sep 9, 2014 2:15 PM
    Buffalo Grove village board members agreed to provide economic incentives to bring a Bob Rohrman car dealership to town, despite the protest of resident Brian Costin that “there should be one set of rules for businesses.” Trustee Jeffrey Berman said, “We are not somehow immune from ... competition between us and our neighboring communities."

  • Owner's 1959 El Camino experiences half good, half bad Sep 8, 2014 10:12 AM
    Given some decades, Chuck Pertile of Arlington heights has gone from loathing to loving Chevy's unique hauler, the El Camino. As a 21 year old in 1975, he purchased his first “half car, half truck” from a high school buddy, out of practicality, rather than passion.

  • An electrical component may draw battery down as car sits Sep 7, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My wife’s car is a 2011 Nissan Juke, purchased new. The problem first started last year when, after sitting for about six or seven days in the garage, the car would not start because of a low battery.

  • Why some fear auto industry is returning to bad habits Sep 7, 2014 7:35 AM
    Big discounts. Six- or seven-year loans, in some cases to buyers who would have been turned down in the past. As the auto industry strives to sustain its post-recession comeback, car companies are resorting to tactics that some experts warn will lead to trouble down the road.

  • Fans, owners have jolly-good time at Palatine car fest Sep 7, 2014 7:03 PM
    Ron Geibel of Schaumburg has a simple explanation for why he never puts a cover on his 1987 Morgan Plus 8 when it’s parked in his garage. “I consider it to be a work of art,” Geibel said. That was the prevailing sentiment among those who attended the 28th annual British Car Festival, held Sunday at Harper College in Palatine. Dozens of cars and motorcycles from across the pond were on display, including Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, TVRs and Morgans.

  • Driverless cars hijacked by hackers signal risk in Google push Sep 6, 2014 7:39 AM
    While the idea of robo-cars whisking us off to our destinations may sound like science fiction, the technology exists and is largely ready for the real world. What’s harder to determine is the risk associated with the emergence of these vehicles. If automakers effectively take the wheel, that puts them in the firing line for liability suits stemming from accidents. The vehicles would also be exposed to threats from hackers who could hijack cars and potentially control them remotely, turning them into mules for criminal purposes or even using them as weapons.

  • Rohrman dealership could give Buffalo Grove shot in the arm Sep 6, 2014 8:02 AM
    Buffalo Grove’s once vibrant corridor of auto dealerships along Dundee Road may come roaring back with at least one Bob Rohrman dealership and possibly three. On Monday, the Buffalo Grove village board will consider a sales tax sharing agreement that would bring a Rohr-Max to the former Toyota dealership at 935 W. Dundee Road.

  • Checker cab is nearing 60 and is built to last Sep 1, 2014 6:00 AM
    “I’ve loved Checkers ever since I was a little kid,” Joe Fay says. The Naperville resident isn’t referring to the board game. Fay has a passion for the Kalamazoo, Michigan, taxi-building company. In 2000 he purchased a 1957 Model A8 from a collector in Ohio.

  • No words for 1961 LeSabre found through indescript ad Sep 2, 2014 10:52 AM
    It was a touch of discontentment that led Andy Demco to his 1961 Buick. He put his underperforming 1968 Ford up for sale in 2010 when his sister alerted him to an ad that simply read "Old Buick for sale." He found a rare, low-mileage LeSabre.

  • Engine oil supplement may reduce noisy valves Aug 31, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. This is my third Mercury Grand Marquis, a 2005 with 78,000 miles bought new. Last winter, after the car had been sitting over night, when I started it up in the morning the valve lifters were very noisy.

  • Sheriff’s car show in Elburn raises thousands for Make-A-Wish Foundation Aug 30, 2014 4:37 PM
    Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez is not running in the upcoming election so Saturday’s Eighth Annual Car and Motorcycle Show in Elburn will be the last he organizes as sheriff. “It is a good way for the sheriff’s office to work hand-in-hand with the community to help people less fortunate,” he said Saturday.

  • ‘Jurassic’ Jeep produces dinosaur-size enjoyment Aug 25, 2014 1:36 PM
    “Jurassic Park” was released in 1993. One look at Bob Hattenhauer’s Jeep and you would assume he was a fan from Day One. You’d be wrong. He just got around to watching the film in 2007.

  • Randhurst Village caps successful cruise season Aug 25, 2014 6:00 AM
    Every car has a story and nowhere was that more evident than at Wednesday’s final 2014 Randhurst Village Cruise Night. One such four-wheeled star that readily stood out was Ron Barclay’s 1958 Pontiac Bonneville.

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