Recall Alert: 2013 Infiniti QX56, 2014 QX80

2013InfinitiQX56Recall

Vehicles Affected: More than 1,800 model-year 2013 Infiniti QX56 SUVs manufactured between Sept. 1, 2012, and April 26, 2013, and model-year 2014 Infiniti QX80 SUVs manufactured between June 18, 2013, and Feb. 11, 2014

The Problem: The driver's frontal airbag inflator may have been manufactured with an incorrect part. In a crash necessitating the deployment of the driver's airbag, the incorrect part may block the flow of propellant to the airbag and the inflator may rupture, which could cause metal fragments to strike and potentially seriously injure vehicle occupants. This latest action is part of the massive ongoing Takata airbag recall affecting nearly 8 million vehicles from 10 automakers.

The Fix: Infiniti manufacturer Nissan will begin notifying owners in late December, and dealers will replace the front driver airbag inflator for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or to go 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 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Toyota Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Highlander and 2015 Lexus RX 350

2014ToyotaAvalonRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 20,000 model-year 2014 Toyota Avalon and Camry sedans, Sienna minivans and Highlander SUVs, and model-year 2015 Lexus RX 350 luxury crossovers

The Problem: Fuel may leak from one of the fuel delivery pipes in the engine compartment; in the presence of an ignition source, this increases the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Toyota will begin notifying owners Monday, and dealers will replace any of the suspect fuel delivery pipes for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 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 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M: First Look

M-pair

Competes with: Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne S

Looks like: The new X5 and X6 with more aggressive scoops, wheels and colors

Drivetrains: 567-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Spring 2015

MSRP: X5 M starts at $99,650; X6 M at $103,050, both prices include a $950 destination fee.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

After a one-model-year absence from the U.S., German luxury automaker BMW has unveiled the latest versions of its two 'bahn-burning sport utility vehicles, the X5 M and X6 M. These are hotter versions of the standard X5 "sport activity vehicle" and X6 "sport activity coupe" that share common components and serve upscale neighborhood carpools throughout the world. BMW let its M Division loose on the expensive family haulers and came up with versions that are faster, more powerful and more expensive than the models they replace.

By Aaron Bragman | October 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

National Gas Prices Drop to $3

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By Rick Popely

The average national price for regular unleaded gas today was poised to drop below $3 a gallon for the first time in nearly four years, falling nearly 8 cents the past week to $3. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said the average price was under $3 in 22 states. The last time the national average was below $3 was in December 2010.

Related: Study: Mileage Improvements Save Nation a Month's Worth of Gas

AAA noted that gas prices typically decline this time of year but have fallen faster and further than usual because of the declining price of crude oil. Crude oil accounts for about two-thirds of the price consumers pay for gasoline. U.S. oil was trading at around $81 per barrel as of Thursday, some 22 percent below the 52-week high set June 25.

By Matt Schmitz | October 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi Q3 Review

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"The 2015 Audi Q3 looks like an Audi, drives like an Audi and has the real-deal Audi experience on the inside — and it drinks gas more like its larger Audi brethren," said Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek. Check out Bruzek's review for more.

2015 Audi Q3 Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | October 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Video: Driving Like This Is As Dangerous As Driving Drunk

Did you know that studies show going 21 hours without sleep is the same for motorists as being legally drunk? Or that 100,000 accidents a year are attributable to insufficient rest? Watch the video above for a wakeup call from Cars.com’s Kelsey Mays with some tips on how to avoid the dangers of drowsy driving.

By Matt Schmitz | October 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Study: Mileage Improvements Save Nation a Month's Worth of Gas

CumulativeFuelEconomy

Since October 2007, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute have been tracking the month-to-month progress of the fuel economy for new vehicles sold in the U.S. In that time, this overall "window sticker" average mileage — as opposed to the actual real-world mileage vehicles get — has risen steadily from 20.1 mpg to 25.3, a 26 percent improvement. That percentage may or may not impress you, but it's indisputably a far cry from 1973, when fuel economy was measured at less than 12 mpg, having actually worsened in the preceding 50 years.

Related: New-Car Fuel Economy Sees Uncommonly Big Drop

So as those monthly gains have added up to some substantial improvement over the past seven years, it led researchers to ask this cumulative question: "How much fuel have we saved by driving these new vehicles with improved fuel economy, as opposed to driving vehicles that would have experienced no improvements in fuel economy?"

By Matt Schmitz | October 31, 2014 | Comments (3)

Stop Halloween Car Thieves in Their Tricks: Treat Yourself to These Tips

HalloweenCarTheft

Halloween is Friday, and among all those candy-collecting ghosts, goblins and ghouls, there will be much scarier trick-or-treaters on the prowl for a certain type of goodie that won't fit in a pillowcase — your car. According to the Des Plaines, Ill.-based National Insurance Crime Bureau, Halloween is the top holiday in the U.S. for vehicle theft, with 2,328 incidents reported in NICB's most-recent Holiday Theft Report. That's over a quarter more car thefts than the average for all other holidays measured.

Related: Vehicle Thieves Don't Take a Holiday

Vehicle-recovery device manufacturer LoJack offers the following tips to help keep you from becoming the victim of car theft this Halloween:

  • Even if you're just traveling around the neighborhood, never leave valuables in the car.
  • If you leave your car, never leave your keys inside, or the car running.
  • Park in well-lit, populated areas, as thieves are inclined to target cars in dark, unattended areas.
  • Protect your car with an alarm and recovery system.

FelixRenaud/iStock/Thinkstock

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

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

More Car Seat Checks

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.

Thinkstock/iStock

By Jennifer Geiger | October 30, 2014 | Comments (1)

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