2015 Ford Fusion: Car Seat Check

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There's a lot to like about the Ford Fusion, from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine to its distinctive looks. However, after installing child-safety seats in the 2015 Fusion equipped with optional inflatable rear seat belts, I can't say that I like the Fusion's lower Latch anchors.

The lower Latch anchors sit nearly 3 inches into the seat cushions. Other automakers place their anchors either out in the open or about an inch into the cushions. Occasionally, I'll encounter anchors that are 2 inches into the cushions; this deep placement makes it difficult to connect to the anchors. Trying to reach the Fusion's anchors was, well, trying, but what made them even more difficult was the lack of space around them, so maneuvering was challenging. While I had some trouble connecting to the 2013 Fusion's Latch anchors because of seat belt buckle interference when I last tested this car, it was nowhere near this difficult. The 2013 Fusion had a traditional rear seat belt, while the 2015 test car had the optional inflatable seat belts. Perhaps that explains the difference.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | October 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Takata: Airbag Fix Will Take Months

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Drivers affected by the giant Takata airbag recall could be waiting months for replacement parts. The Detroit News is reporting that in August, the airbag supplier told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it's produced 132,000 replacement air bag inflator kits and hopes to have a total of 830,000 ready by the end of October.

Related: What Cars Are Included in the Takata Airbag Recall?

But that's not nearly enough. About 7.8 million cars from 10 automakers have been recalled due to faulty inflators that can send metal and plastic shrapnel into occupants if the front passenger airbag deploys. NHTSA recently issued an urgent warning to drivers of the affected vehicles to get their car repaired as quickly as possible, but Takata told NHTSA that the there is a shortage of wire harnesses for the new inflator kits.

Click here to read the full story from our friends at the Detroit News.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Ford Explorer to Debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

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Ford announced this week that a redesigned Explorer will bow next month at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show in advance of the popular SUV's 25th anniversary. The 2016 version of the SUV will make its debut Nov. 19, during the media-only days of the auto show, which opens to the public Nov. 21-30. Ford said the SUV will arrive in U.S. showrooms in 2015 with a new look, added capability and additional driver-assist technology.

Is This the Next Ford Explorer?

There's no official word yet on the extent of the revisions the Explorer will receive. The last time the SUV had a full redesign was in 2011, when it went from a truck-based platform to a unibody one. For the 2014 model year, it received upgrades to its brakes, additional standard equipment and new available exterior colors.

By Matt Schmitz | October 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Subaru Outback Real-World Cargo Space

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Subaru's redesigned 2015 Outback is less quirky than before thanks to its streamlined exterior and classed-up interior, though that doesn't make it any less versatile than the Outback we know and love. In fact, a slightly longer wheelbase and overall length mean there's more interior room for passengers and cargo.

Related: 2015 Subaru Outback Expert Review

"The Outback's cargo area has grown slightly, to 35.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, up from 34.3 cubic feet. Fold the standard 60/40-split backseat down to create 73.3 cubic feet, up from 71.3. There are also new release levers, so one tug folds the spring-tensioned seat flat. It's well-done and, if I had my way, would be mandatory on all cars," Cars.com reviewer Bill Jackson said in his review of the 2015 Outback.

There's also a power liftgate that's newly standard on the highest, Limited, trim and available on the Premium trim.

By Joe Bruzek | October 30, 2014 | Comments (1)

Detroit Electric Reveals First Production Images of SP:01

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Remember Detroit Electric? The startup company, which is resurrecting a brand last seen in 1939, announced plans more than a year ago to build a new electric car by August 2013. The first car — the all-electric SP:01, based on the now-defunct Lotus Exige — debuted in prototype form at the Shanghai auto show in April 2013. Four months later, Detroit Electric pushed back the plans, which involved building the car in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, Mich., citing ongoing business negotiations.

Related: Detroit Electric SP:01: First Look

The saga continued yesterday, when Detroit Electric released more details and production images of the SP:01's exterior. The automaker plans to sell the car on three continents "starting in 2015." But it won't come from Michigan. Rather, the SP:01 will come from Leamington Spa, England, a city some 85 miles northwest of London. Detroit Electric plans to sell it in North America, Asia and Europe. It calls the SP:01 the "world's fastest production electric sports car," with zero-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. (The designation appears to discount the forthcoming Tesla Model S P85D, which is quicker with reportedly the same top speed.)

By Kelsey Mays | October 30, 2014 | Comments (1)

Follow These Tips To Avoid Drowsy Driving

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Have you ever driven home late at night, only to realize that you don't actually recall the details of the drive? I have, and as a result vowed years ago to rearrange my travel schedule to avoid driving myself home from the airport in a late-night post-business-travel stupor. The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Projects calls drowsy driving a "pervasive threat to public health and transportation safety."

Related: AAA: Open Your Eyes to the Dangers of Drowsy Driving

A study in the Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal showed that being awake for 21 hours can decrease the "ability to maintain speed and road position as serious as having a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent." It's no wonder that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 100,000 crashes every year are caused by drowsy drivers.

The Healthy Sleep Awareness Project has recently launched Awake at the Wheel, an initiative aimed at educating drivers on the dangers of driving drowsy. The experts behind the initiative go a few steps beyond simply preaching; here are some warning signs and tips to help you avoid driving drowsy:

By Kristin Varela | October 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2007-2008 Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 205,000 model-year 2007-08 Ford Edge crossovers and Lincoln MKX luxury crossovers manufactured between June 15, 2006, and Sept. 22, 2008, at Ford's Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada, and registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

The Problem: Rust under the reinforcement brackets where the fuel tank is mounted could cause a fuel odor, leak or check engine light, and increases the risk of a fire, according to The Detroit News. Ford said it is aware of one fire related to the condition, but no accidents or injuries have been reported.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fuel tanks and repair or replace them for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 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 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Acura TLX Review

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"The 2015 Acura TLX surpasses the TSX and TL it replaces in every way, but it doesn't take Acura anywhere it hasn't been before," said Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek. Check out Bruzek's review for more.

2015 Acura TLX Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

By Matt Schmitz | October 29, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2010-2014 Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 315,000 model-year 2010-14 Ram 2500, 3500, 4500 and 5500 pickup trucks manufactured between March 27, 2009, and Sept. 5, 2013

The Problem: The electrical connectors of the diesel fuel heater may overheat, which could cause the fuel heater to leak fuel, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Dec. 5, and dealers will replace the harness side connector with a silver-plated beryllium copper terminal service kit and inspect the fuel heater for leaks, replacing it as necessary; all work will be done for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Vehicles Affected: More than 132,000 model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Oct. 3, 2013, and April 11, 2014

The Problem: Due to an issue with the software for the steering column control module, the electronic stability control system may be disabled. If this happens, in certain driving situations the driver may not be able to adequately control the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners Dec. 5, and dealers will update the steering column control module software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

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