Recall Alert: 2013-2015 Jaguar XK

2015JaguarXKRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 150 model-year 2013-15 Jaguar XK luxury sports cars, including XKR and XKR-S variants, manufactured between Aug. 24, 2012, and June 10, 2014, and equipped with a 5.0-liter engine

The Problem: The tire placard has incorrect info for the spare tire stating "none" for the inflation pressure of the spare wheel. If the recommended pressure is not provided, the tire may not be properly inflated, which may result in its failure, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Jaguar will begin notifying owners on Aug. 30, and dealers will inspect the vehicles and, if necessary, attach a corrected tire placard label stating the tire size and pressure, for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Jaguar at 800-452-4827, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chevrolette Corvette Stingray Gets New Eight-Speed Transmission; We Drive It

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Chevrolet has been enjoying amazing success with the redesigned Corvette Stingray, delivering 37,000 of the 2014 model to buyers, nearly tripling sales of the iconic two-seat sports car overnight. Now 2014 model production has ended, and the company is ready to begin shipping 2015 models out the door of the Bowling Green, Ky., manufacturing plant. The new model is largely the same as the 2014, with one notable exception: The 2015 Stingray receives a new General Motors-designed eight-speed automatic transmission, joining the seven-speed manual and replacing the old six-speed automatic.

Related: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Review

Why upgrade to a new transmission so soon after launching the popular Stingray? The reason is simple: The upcoming Corvette Z06 and its 650-horsepower, supercharged LT4 engine make more power than the current six-speed can handle without fragging itself. No suitable transmission could be found from a supplier to both handle the Z06's power and fit in the Corvette's unusual packaging, so GM made its own, and buyers of any Corvette variety will now get the eight-speed when they opt for an automatic.

By Aaron Bragman | August 20, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Honda Accord: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: A few small conveniences are now available on lower trims

Price change: $150 across the board

On sale: Now

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

For 2015, the ninth-generation Honda Accord enters its third model year with a handful of minor changes and a $150 price hike across all trims. All the updates involve equipment: A HomeLink universal remote is now standard on four-cylinder EX-L trims, while the four-cylinder EX coupe gets the automaker's LaneWatch camera system, which was previously restricted to higher trims. Finally, an auto-dimming rearview mirror comes on the EX-L coupe.

Related: Honda Accord Continues To Be a Real Steal fo Thieves

Those are minimal changes for a car that won Cars.com's six-car family sedan comparison in late 2012. Honda continues to offer the Accord as a coupe or sedan, with more than a dozen trim levels between the two, including a hybrid sedan. All of them are on sale now for the 2015 model year. In California and New York, Honda also markets an Accord Plug-in Hybrid, which stays in the 2014 model year for the time being. Details on the 2015 Accord Plug-in Hybrid are still forthcoming, spokesman Chris Naughton told us.

Editor's note: This post was updated on Aug. 20 to reflect more details on the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

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By Kelsey Mays | August 20, 2014 | Comments (5)

NHTSA Launches VIN-Searchable Recall Finder

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Used-car shoppers: Want to know if your prospective car has any recalls that haven't been done? After all, about 1 in 4 recalled cars never get their recall work done, which could stick future owners with potential safety hazards.

More Recall Coverage

Now there's a place you can find this information. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just launched a tool on its website where you can look up a car by its vehicle identification number to view its recalls. It's at www.safercar.gov/vinlookup. You can find the VIN at the base of the driver's side of the windshield, just beneath the glass.

It isn't just a tool to see what recalls have been announced on a prospective vehicle; it also shows you if those recalls have been completed or not on that specific car.

By Kelsey Mays | August 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

2015Mercedes-BenzC-Class

"The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is no all-out sport sedan, but it's one hell of an appealing luxury car," said Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. Check out Mays' review for more.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Expert Review

By Matt Schmitz | August 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

How to Keep Your Family Safe When Car Trouble Strikes

CarTrouble

Plenty of us have been there, whether as an adult or a child: You're halfway through your family road trip when the car breaks down. I vividly remember several occasions as a child when our family car died, leaving us stranded for what felt like an eternity waiting for a tow-truck driver. When one finally arrived, my family had to cram into its cab, shoulder to shoulder with the driver (a stranger, no less), without enough seat belts for everyone and me perched precariously on my mom's lap.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

So what should you do when your car breaks down and your kids are in the backseat? Erin Stepp, AAA spokeswoman, has tips to keep you and your family safe and sane when the inevitable happens.

By Kristin Varela | August 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Subaru Legacy, Outback Earn IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Status

2015SubaruLegacyCrashTest

For the third consecutive year since the Top Safety Pick Plus designation was introduced in 2013, the Subaru Legacy sedan and its station-wagon sibling, the Outback, have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top prize. The 2015 Legacy and Outback both improved their ratings to good from their predecessors' acceptable score in the institute's stringent small overlap front crash test, which approximates what happens when a vehicle strikes a tree or utility pole. In addition, the cars earned superior ratings for front crash prevention when equipped with the optional EyeSight forward collision warning system with autobrake, which stopped the vehicle completely at both 12 and 25 mph during testing.

Related: IIHS: These Used Cars Are Safer For Teen Drivers

The IIHS said structural performance improved to a score of good for the 2015 Legacy compared with a marginal rating in 2014. "The driver space was maintained well, with the safety cage preventing excessive intrusion into the occupant compartment," IIHS said in a statement. "The dummy's movement was well-controlled, and the frontal and side curtain airbags worked together to protect the head from contact with interior structures."

The IIHS noted that Subaru has the most 2014 Top Safety Pick awards of any brand; other Subaru recipients include the BRZ, Impreza, Forester, WRX and XV Crosstrek. To earn a Top Safety Pick Plus award, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection, as well as good ratings in the institute's moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a basic, advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 39,000 Recaro ProSport Car Seats

RecaroRecall

Car Seats Affected: More than 39,000 Recaro ProSport model 385 car seats manufactured between June 16, 2010, and Jan. 31, 2013

The Problem: When the seat is installed with the lower Latch anchors only, without the top tether, the child’s head can move excessively, increasing the risk of an injury. In a crash, the seat could fail to protect the child from contacting interior surfaces of the vehicle, increasing the risk of an injury.

The Fix: Recaro will begin notifying registered owners this month and will provide a label to affix over the existing info label, along with a complete set of new instructions informing owners to discontinue use of the Latch system when the weight of the child reaches 40 pounds. The new label will be provided for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Recaro at 888-973-2276, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

More Car Seat Safety Info: Check out Cars.com's Car Seat Checks.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Study: Americans Hit the Highways Again

HighwayTravelUp

Americans went through some hard times in the past few years, and while everyone may not necessarily be on easy street now, a major spike in highway travel suggests that we as a nation are at least on the road to recovery.

Related: Speediest and Slowest States: Where Does Yours Rank?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Traffic Volume Trends report for May — the most recent edition — drivers logged just a tick less than 3 trillion miles between May 2013 and May 2014. It's the highest since 2008 and gaining on 2007 pre-recession levels. Moreover, May 2014 boasted the highest mileage for any May since 2007 — and the second-highest of any May since data collection began in 1936.

"In the first five months of this year, U.S. driving stands at 1.2 trillion miles, or the largest since 2008, and more than 264 billion miles in May alone," the DOT stated in its report.

By Matt Schmitz | August 19, 2014 | Comments (1)

Feds: Car-to-Car Tech Can Save Lives

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A new report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives a sneak peek at the future of accident avoidance. The agency says two technologies, left-turn assist and intersection-movement assist, could prevent as many as 592,000 accidents and 1,083 traffic fatalities a year. They're part of a burgeoning future of V2V, or vehicle-to-vehicle, technology.

Related: U.S. Government Considers Mandatory Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication

The 305-page report, which includes analyses of privacy and security implications, accompanies NHTSA's proposal to issue rules around vehicle-to-vehicle safety technology. The highlighted technologies, LTA and IMA respectively, have yet to be sold on mass-market vehicles. But the study suggests they could help prevent a lot of collisions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 19, 2014 | Comments (3)

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