Recall Alert: 2013-2015 Audi A4, S4

2015AudiA4Recall

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)

2015 Chrysler 200 Earns NHTSA Five-Star Rating

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Chrysler's midsize sedan underwent a dramatic update for 2015, and so too did the 200's safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the redesigned car its top honor: a five-star overall safety rating. The front-wheel-drive sedan earned five stars out of five in front- and side-crash tests as well as a four stars in the rollover test. In all-wheel-drive trim, it earned five stars in the side-impact crash test and four stars in rollover testing; it was not front crash tested.

Related: Research the 2015 Chrysler 200

The 2014 model received an overall score of four stars, comprised of four stars in the frontal impact test, three stars in the side-impact test and four stars in the rollover evaluation. Chrysler says the new model's body is stronger than the outgoing car; approximately 65 percent of the sedan consists of high-strength steel, the automaker reported.

NHTSA's award comes on the heels of the 2015 Chrysler 200 earning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top honor, the Top Safety Pick Plus designation.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

What Cars Are Included in the Takata Airbag Recall?

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This week saw the latest expansion of airbag recalls that began 18 months ago from Japanese supplier Takata Corp. and is now linked to at least four deaths. As of today, the recall affects some 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. from 10 automakers based in three continents. The bulk of them — 5 million — are from Honda. Takata issued a statement earlier this year that noted the incidents of airbag malfunction — where a faulty inflator can send metal and plastic shrapnel into occupants if the front passenger airbag deploys in a crash — have occurred in warm areas like Florida and Puerto Rico, and it suspects that high humidity plays a role in the problem. Returned airbags from Toyota confirmed as much, USA Today reports.

Related: NHTSA Urges Quick Fix of Defective Airbags

USA Today reports most owners should have already received recall notices by now, and some automakers — namely, Toyota and BMW — have advised keeping the front passenger seat clear of occupants until a dealer inspects the car for a faulty inflator and, if there is one, replaces it.

What cars have been recalled? And what should you do if you get a notice? We've compiled everything we know so far below:

By Kelsey Mays | October 23, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Toyota Camry Review

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"The redesigned 2015 Toyota Camry looks a little different but feels and performs the same as the old one — meaning the best reason to buy a new one is because you like the one you already have," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman's review for more.

2015 Toyota Camry Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Matt Schmitz | October 23, 2014 | Comments (5)

Subaru Updates XV Crosstrek for 2015

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Subaru continues to roll out its camera- and radar-based safety system; the XV Crosstrek is next in line to get the automaker's EyeSight safety system for 2015. The driver-assistance package integrates adaptive cruise control, precollision braking and lane departure warning. Subaru also updated the wagon's multimedia system this year, replacing the small, outdated touch-screen unit with a choice of two larger, freshly designed systems. 

Related: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

Model-year 2015 XV Crosstrek 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited and XV Crosstrek Hybrid base and Touring trims are again available for 2015; EyeSight is available on the 2.0i Premium model. A new 6.2-inch touch-screen multimedia system and backup camera join the cabin in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and XV Crosstrek Hybrid models. It integrates Subaru's Starlink smartphone system with Aha, Pandora and iHeart Radio apps. 

By Jennifer Geiger | October 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

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