2015 Toyota Camry: Car Seat Check

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Redesigned for 2015, the Toyota Camry has a new look that will likely cause shoppers to love it or hate it, thanks mostly to its wide-mouth grille. This midsize sedan seats five, but in our tests it only fits two child-safety seats across the backseat.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Ford Adds Auto-Braking, Pedestrian Detection to Collision-Warning System

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Ford plans to add pedestrian detection and auto-braking to its forward-collision warning system with a network of radars and windshield-mounted cameras. Dubbed Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, the technology debuts on the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe and will roll out to "other Ford and Lincoln products around the world," the company said Thursday in a press release.

Related: Ford's Driving Skills for Life Makes Big Impression on My Teen

Pre-Collision Assist reads a lot like Subaru's EyeSight system, which uses a pair of windshield-mounted cameras to detect pedestrians, lane markings and other obstructions. EyeSight, which includes auto-braking, scored the highest in a 2013 test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of various collision-warning systems for the 2013 and 2014 model years.

At the time, IIHS also tested the optional forward-collision warning systems in the Ford Edge, Explorer, Flex and Fusion, as well as the Lincoln MKT, MKX and MKZ. Since then, the institute tested systems in the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS, but without auto-braking capabilities, all nine cars earned a basic rating — the lowest of three grades — under IIHS' frontal-crash prevention scores. Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker confirmed to Cars.com that Ford's forward-collision warning system today still lacks auto-braking.

PCA will change that.

By Kelsey Mays | October 24, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 900 model-year 2015 Chevrolet Corvette sports cars in two separate actions, one involving about 800 vehicles manufactured between Aug. 20 and Sept. 4, and the other recalling nearly 100 vehicles manufactured between Aug. 20 and Aug. 27

The Problem: In the larger recall, only one of the rear parking-brake cables may be fully seated and engaged, resulting in the parking brake only operating on one of the rear park brake drums. Without the parking brake functioning on both rear wheels, the vehicle may roll away if parked on steep gradient, increasing the risk of a crash. In the smaller action, the driver-side frontal airbag module back plate may fracture upon deployment, allowing the front-impact airbag to separate from the steering wheel, increasing the risk of an injury or a crash.

The Fix: GM will notify owners affected by both recalls. In the larger action, dealers will inspect and correct the park brake cable installation, and in the smaller action, dealers will replace the driver-side front-impact airbag; repairs in both cases will be made for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule for either recall.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or 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 | October 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

Video: Parents: Doing This Is Sabotaging Your Teen

What is "this"? Driving while texting, after drinking alcohol, making or taking phone calls and not wearing a seat belt. In the video above, Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder explains that, when it comes to teen drivers, the "monkey see, monkey do" rule is in effect, so always lead by example behind the wheel. Watch the video for more.

By Matt Schmitz | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2015 Audi A4, S4

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 102,000 model-year 2013-15 Audi A4 and S4 sedans

The Problem: The front-impact airbags may not deploy as designed in a crash due to improper algorithm/coding within the airbag control module, according to The Detroit News. Front-seat occupants may not have the intended protection from the frontal airbag system in a secondary impact, putting them at risk for an injury, the newspaper reported. The automaker discovered the problem during routine quality-assurance testing, and no accidents or injuries have been reported; the issue is not related to the massive ongoing Takata airbag recall.

The Fix: Audi will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the airbag software for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Audi at 800-253-2834 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 | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: Evenflo Embrace Child-Safety Seats

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Car Seats Affected: 202,346 Evenflo Embrace rear-facing infant-safety seats equipped with an AmSafe QT1 buckle with the following model numbers: 30711365, 31511040, 31511323, 31511400, 3151198, 3151953, 31521138, 46811205, 46811237, 48111200, 48111215, 48111215A, 48111218, 48111234, 48111235, 48111235A, 48111462, 48411391, 48411391D, 48411392, 48411504, 48411504D, 52911307A, 52921040, 55311138, 55311238, and 55311292. The affected seats were manufactured between December 2011 and May 2013.

The Problem: The seat's harness buckle could become difficult to unlatch due to prolonged exposure to food and drink spills. If the buckle becomes stuck, it could be challenging to quickly remove the child from the seat in the event of a crash or other emergency. "None of the complaints Evenflo has received involved a child injury or an emergency exit from the vehicle," the manufacturer said in a statement.

The Fix: Evenflo will notify registered owners and send a newly designed buckle and instructions for installing the replacement buckle. Click here for a tutorial on how to clean your buckle. If your car seat is not registered, register it here.

What Owners Should Do: Evenflo began notifying owners earlier this week. Owners can contact Evenflo at 800-490-7591, or visit their website.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Gas Prices Motor Toward Four-Year Low

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Gas prices fell for the 28th straight day on Thursday, and the national average of $3.08 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is the lowest it's been in nearly 45 months, according to data from the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The average price fell 8 cents nationally in the past week, and if the recent trend continues, the average could soon fall below $3 for the first time since December 2010.

Could National Average for Gas Prices Fall Below $3?

On several recent days the average price fell by only fractions of a penny, but the steady slide adds up to 26 cents over the past month and nearly 60 cents since the July 4th weekend. The last time gas prices were this low was January 2011. Regular unleaded costs 26 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA's national average, and diesel fuel is 24 cents less at $3.63.

By Rick Popely | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

NICB Report Totals Up Luxury-Vehicle Thefts

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Luxury vehicles are probably as enticing to those who steal them as they are to those who buy them, but the overwhelming majority of stolen cars in the U.S. each year continue to be from nonluxury brands. A new report by the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau shows that thefts of newer luxury vehicles stolen between 2010 and 2013 totaled 5,570, a small fraction of the millions of vehicles stolen across that same four-year timeframe. In addition to being a smaller percentage of total cars on the road, NICB spokesman Frank Scafidi said the cars are just getting harder to swipe.

Related: Thieves Still Favor the Honda Accord

"The numbers show that the improved antitheft technology on these luxury vehicles has made them very difficult to steal despite being attractive targets," Scafidi told Cars.com.

By Matt Schmitz | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Mini Lowers Cooper Hardtop MPG Ratings After EPA Audit

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The redesigned 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop is one of those rare cars that puts a grin on your face and keeps it there even after refueling. The Cooper's window sticker lists highway fuel economy ratings near or above 40 mpg, depending on model, but it turns out that's not the case. According to the EPA, the frugal, fun 2014 Cooper isn't as frugal as Mini originally reported, and the agency is dinging both the Cooper's turbocharged three-cylinder engine and high-performance turbocharged four-cylinder Cooper S after auditing the cars in its own facility.

Related: 2014 Mini Cooper S Expert Review

What happened? "This adjustment was made as the result of retesting models following notification by the EPA that road load testing for one model had delivered different results. Engineers worked closely with the EPA to incorporate these findings into Mini's computer simulation testing," Mini said in a statement.

Combined ratings are down 1 mpg across the board for the Cooper and Cooper S Hardtop. See a complete list of before and after ratings below.

By Joe Bruzek | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Ford's Driving Skills for Life Makes Big Impression on My Teen

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While my 14-year-old daughter isn't old enough to drive yet, I jumped at the opportunity to take her to Ford's Driving Skills for Life, an internationally touring program that teaches teen drivers and their parents about road perils that may not be addressed in traditional driver's education programs. I figured there was no better time to start exposing her to some life-saving lessons.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

There was one lesson in particular that my daughter learned at the event, and it wasn't even a lesson the program intended to teach: Among the modules that teens rotate through in this half-day program, drivers get behind the wheel wearing "fatal-vision" goggles. They're designed to simulate the effects of impaired driving, and participants wear them while attempting to navigate at low speeds through a driving course. Since my daughter couldn't drive the course, she got into the backseat while I drove.

By Kristin Varela | October 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

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