Articles filed under Autos

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  • GM recalls 92K trucks, SUVs for ignition lock defect Jan 2, 2015 9:16 AM
    General Motors is recalling 92,221 full-size trucks and SUVs for a defect in ignition lock systems that can cause safety problems in hot conditions. Thursday’s recall covers certain 2011-2012-models and certain 2007-2014-models that were repaired with defective parts. The recall is for U.S., Canadian, Mexican and exported vehicles.

  • Chrysler recalls 67,000 pickup trucks Dec 30, 2014 8:56 AM
    Fiat Chrysler is recalling about 67,000 model year 2006 and 2007 pickups because of a problem that could allow the trucks to be started without the clutch being depressed. Chrysler said one death is associated with the problem. The company is recalling Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 and Mitsubishi Raider pickups that were made between July 2005 and June 2006. Nearly 55,000 of them are in the U.S.

  • Alluring peek sparks love of 1968 Firebird Dec 29, 2014 6:19 AM
    Chet Kumm of Huntley ordered his 1968 Pontiac Firebird new, but only because he was “late to the game.” His 1960 Pontiac Ventura had recently died and he needed wheels in the fall of 1967.

  • Cruise control acceleration should not differ Dec 28, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. On occasion I would be driving along and try to accelerate by pressing the cruise control button. My engine would rev up but the car did not go faster.

  • Gas under $2 a gallon at some suburban pumps Dec 27, 2014 9:33 PM
    Drivers, fill ‘er up. As average prices slide across the country, some suburban gas stations are offering under $2 a gallon. In Bensenville, drivers were paying $1.99 at the pump Saturday afternoon.

  • Car dealer Al Piemonte dies at 83 Dec 26, 2014 5:03 PM
    Al Piemonte, the car dealer well-known in the Chicago area for decades as a result of his TV commercials in which he talked with constant double hand gestures, has died, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

  • Volo museum to unveil rare Elvis find Dec 26, 2014 6:00 AM
    It’s no secret that Elvis Presley had a thing for big, beautiful Cadillacs. The rock ’n’ roll legend purchased dozens of them; some he kept, a few were customized and others he gave away.

  • Auto industry acts globally — except on recalls Dec 24, 2014 5:04 PM
    When it comes to making and selling cars, the auto industry thinks and acts globally: There is near-seamless coordination between parts suppliers, factories and dealerships. But when an unsafe car needs to be recalled, that global coordination breaks down — in part because governments do not demand it. There are no international standards for determining what’s unsafe and should be recalled, or how car owners should be notified. The consequences can sometimes be deadly.

  • BMW to replace air bags nationwide, joining other automakers Dec 22, 2014 2:03 PM
    BMW has agreed to demands from the government to replace driver’s-side air bags across the entire U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pushing companies to recall older cars with air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. They can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least five deaths have been blamed on Takata inflators. The decision affects 140,000 BMW 3 Series cars made between January 2004 and August 2006. It says no problems with BMW vehicles have been reported. Earlier this year the company took about 574,000 cars off the market in the U.S. Several automakers have been slow to expand the recall. Ford Motor Co. joined the list last week, and was quickly followed by Chrysler. BMW is the last automaker to agree to replace air bags in all affected cars nationwide. About 15 million cars have been recalled in the U.S. in total. Initial recalls were limited to states with high levels of humidity, as the NHTSA says the air bag inflator propellant, ammonium nitrate, can burn faster than designed if exposed to prolonged airborne moisture. When that happens, the propellant can blow apart a metal canister meant to contain the explosion. Takata has refused the agency’s request for a nationwide recall of driver’s side inflators, about 8 million in total, and it says it has tested more than 1,000 air bag inflators from other regions without a single failure. But the company will still make replacement parts for the automakers that are expanding their recalls. It hasn’t been decided whether Takata or the automakers will pay the extra costs involved. In total, 10 automakers have models with Takata driver and passenger air bags. There could be as many as 30 million with the air bags nationwide.

  • 1939 Ford custom truck completed just in time Dec 22, 2014 6:00 AM
    The story of Dawn and Fred Castro’s custom 1939 Ford cab-over-engine truck begins with Dawn’s dad, Jim DeMars of Elmhurst. “He saw a feature on a similar truck in a magazine in 2004,” Dawn said. “He set out to re-create everything he saw.”

  • Volvo cuts back auto show glitz in marketing strategy shift Dec 21, 2014 7:45 AM
    Volvo Car Group is shifting its focus from auto shows, where carmakers vie for influential eyeballs in an atmosphere of glamour and glitz, to market more directly to buyers instead.

  • Chrysler to recall about 288,000 Ram pickups Dec 19, 2014 4:25 PM
    The recall covers Ram 1500 pickups from the 2005 model year.

  • Ford expands driver’s-side air bag recall nationwide Dec 18, 2014 10:16 AM
    Ford Motor Co. has agreed to government demands to expand a driver’s-side air bag inflator recall to the entire U.S. The move announced Thursday adds 447,000 Ford vehicles to the list of those recalled due to driver’s inflators made by Japan’s Takata Corp. The inflators can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

  • Fiat’s Chrysler Group changes its name to FCA US Dec 16, 2014 8:18 AM
    Chrysler Group LLC has changed its name to FCA US LLC, effective immediately. The automaker said Tuesday that the name change follows the naming convention of its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., which adopted its name in October when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Thunderbird reminiscent of youthful 1960s Dec 15, 2014 6:00 AM
    Dennis Roxworthy has his mother to thank for his extreme love of Thunderbirds. His father was a staunch supporter of practical family transportation but she forbid the purchase of anything that wasn't sporty.

  • 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car Dec 14, 2014 7:00 AM
    Although gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in years, if you’re renting a car, increased demand during the season means you’ll likely encounter higher prices — especially if you haven’t already locked in a rate. And that’s not counting the extras rental companies try to get you to sign up for.

  • A privacy policy for cars: What automakers know about you Dec 14, 2014 7:41 AM
    Little “black boxes” akin to the flight recorders on airplanes monitor your braking habits, whether you use a seat belt and how fast you go. Your car may be one of millions. But in its electronics is a unique profile of you and your decisions as a driver. Some fear that this automotive data could someday be seized by government spy agencies or used against helpless drivers by insurers or worse.

  • Barrington man to lead Packard club Dec 11, 2014 4:19 PM
    A Barrington man, Bruce Grabenkort, has been elected regional director of Packards of Chicagoland, the club of more than 100 owners of classic Packard automobiles.

  • Firebird is an every-man’s car with Hollywood charisma Dec 8, 2014 10:43 AM
    While actor James Garner had charm enough to draw in many fans of his 1970s TV show, "The Rockford Files," Jim Suva of Westchester tuned in to watch the actor’s four-wheeled co-star, a Pontiac Firebird Espirit.

  • Faulty early warning system could hide next exploding air bag Dec 7, 2014 7:44 AM
    An early-warning system set up by the U.S. government is designed to protect drivers from auto defects. Narrow industry reporting requirements mean regulators could miss the nex exploding air bag. Under a 2000 law, automakers are legally obligated to file reports of deaths and injuries from the public so safety officials can spot the kind of defects that require recalls. Data compiled by Bloomberg show some companies are more forthcoming than others.

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