Recall Alert: 2014 Chevrolet Spark

2014ChevroletSparkRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 1,900 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Spark hatchbacks manufactured between May 7, 2014, and May 26, 2014. You can check your vehicle's manufacture date by locating a sticker on the driver's-side doorjamb.

The Problem: The left and right lower control arm attaching bolts in the front suspension may not be tightened to specification. This could cause the lower control arm to separate from the steering knuckle while driving, causing a loss of steering and increasing the risk of a crash. We first reported on the recall on July 23.

The Fix: GM will begin notifying owners today, and dealers will inspect the left and right lower control arm attaching bolts to make sure they are tightened to the proper specification for free.

What Owners Should Do: GM is advising owners not to drive their vehicles until the recall remedy is completed; they should call a Chevrolet dealer immediately to arrange for their vehicle to be transported for servicing for free. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, 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 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2001-2006 Hyundai Santa Fe

2006HyundaiSantaFeRecall

Vehicle Affected: About 225,000 model-year 2001-06 Hyundai Santa Fe crossovers manufactured between March 31, 2000, and Feb. 15, 2006, and registered and operated or originally sold and registered in the following 20 "salt belt" states plus the District of Columbia: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin

The Problem: The vehicles may experience front coil spring corrosion from road salt, causing the coil spring to fracture and make contact with the tire. If this happens, it could cause the coil spring to make contact with the tire, possibly puncturing the tire and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Hyundai will begin notifying owners by the end of September, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, repair the coil spring for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Hyundai at 800-633-5151, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

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 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Mercedes Prices New 2015 GLA-Class Under $33,000

Do you like the style of the Mercedes-Benz CLA four-door coupe but need a little more headroom and a hatchback? The GLA-Class might just be for you. Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing for the subcompact, front- and all-wheel-drive car-based luxury SUV, and it's just $1,400 more than the starting price for the smaller CLA.

Related: 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA250 Photo Gallery (28 Photos)

The new 2015 GLA250 will start at $32,225 (including destination charge) for a front-wheel drive, four-cylinder-powered model, rising to $34,225 for the 4Matic all-wheel-drive model. If the normal turbocharged four-cylinder isn't quite powerful enough for you, you can upgrade to the fire-breathing GLA45 AMG for $49,225 — quite a premium over a regular GLA250, but given the amount of additional go-fast equipment the AMG treatment brings, it could very well be worth it.

The GLA250 4Matic and GLA45 AMG both go on sale in September 2014, with the base GLA250 front-wheel-drive model going on sale the following year, sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Aaron Bragman | August 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Small Spike Breaks 33-Day Downward Trend in Gas Prices

GasPrices

By Rick Popely

Gas prices ticked up a fraction of a penny Thursday, ending a 33-day streak of declines at the pump, but the news on the fuel front for motorists was otherwise positive during the month of July. AAA said the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded fell 16 cents during the month to $3.52 on Thursday, the largest July decline in six years. Motorists are now paying the lowest prices for gas since mid-March. Moreover, domestic refineries processed a record amount of crude oil during July, averaging 16.5 million barrels a day, and the boost to the gas supply helped push down pump prices at a time of year when they usually go up.

Related: Gas Prices Approach Month of Daily Decreases

"Falling gas prices are nearly the opposite to what we usually see this time of year," AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in a statement. "Refineries are running at full tilt, and there is more than enough gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite multiple overseas conflicts."

By Matt Schmitz | August 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Jaguar Releases New Photo of 3 Series-Fighter XE

Jaguar XE

Jaguar is whetting people's appetites for the all-new midsize XE with a glimpse of the 3 Series fighter poking its nose out of a building — the rest of the car is still under wraps. The recently released image isn't a very different angle from what we've already seen, though it shows a flesh and blood (aluminum and composite?) depiction instead of a heavily disguised rendering.

Related: Jaguar's 3 Series-Fighter Finally Announced, Named

When it goes on sale in 2016, the aluminum-chassis XE will use a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, plus offer a full range of engine choices with enough juice for one particular XE to top 186 mph.

By Joe Bruzek | July 31, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2014-2015 Fiat 500L

2014Fiat500LRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 26,000 model-year 2014-15 Fiat 500L small crossovers

The Problem: The driver's knee airbag may not deploy in the proper position if the driver is not wearing a seat belt. Chrysler said in a statement that it discovered the problem during routine testing and is unaware of any related injuries.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners and advise them when they can schedule service; repairs will be made for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 for more info. The automaker advises owners to wear their seat belts at all times.

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 | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: Car Seat Check

2014HyundaiSantaFeSport

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport earned Cars.com's Family Car of the Year award for 2014, and it's easy to understand why after spending some time in it. With roomy backseat, sizable cargo area and family-friendly touches such as an optional panoramic sunroof and rear sunshades for the side windows, the Santa Fe Sport has a winning combination of features that appeal to families.

We found this two-row crossover easy to work with in terms of child-safety-seat installation. While we have some gripes with the seat belt bases, we seemed to have less trouble with our car seats' impact on front passenger legroom with this year's model as compared to the 2013. Read on to find out how the current model measured up.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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

Social Media Campaign Aims to Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars

ChildHeatstrokePrevention

Children dying in hot cars are gruesome headlines we're unfortunately confronted with every summer. Just a week ago, according to the Los Angeles Times, the 18th child this year in the U.S., a 10-month-old girl in Kansas, died after being left behind in a car.

Related: Never Leave Kids in Cars Unattended

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatalities for children younger than 14, occurring about once every 10 days, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last year alone, 44 children in the U.S. lost their lives after being left unattended in vehicles. More than half of children who have died from vehicular heatstroke were left in the car by their parent or caregiver, NHTSA said. These tragedies often occur because harried parents forget that their child is in the car, whether because of a change in routine or the child is sleeping.

To help raise awareness, NHTSA is partnering with Safe Kids and the Administration for Children and Families on an all-day social-media event today, and is calling on the public to participate.

By Matt Schmitz | July 31, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Toyota 4Runner Real-World Cargo Space

IMG_7463

The off-road-ready 2014 Toyota 4Runner packs a fair amount of cargo room for an SUV geared toward rugged dirt duty. The five- or seven-occupant 4Runner's maximum 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space is actually a wee bit more than the family-focused eight-person 2014 Toyota Highlander's 83.7 cubic feet.

Related: 2014 Toyota 4Runner Expert Review

Though redesigned for 2014, the changes are mostly cosmetic and a number of the 4Runner's interesting cargo features carry over, including the available sliding rear cargo deck on five-person 4Runners that supports more than 400 pounds and slides out of the rear hatch area. The sliding cargo floor makes it easier to cope with the tall off-road-friendly ride height. See how well common items fit into the 4Runner's cargo area, below.

By Joe Bruzek | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Toyota Prius Gains Special Edition

2015_Prius

Toyota is adding a little extra spark to its hybrid Prius for 2015. The Persona Series Special Edition ties in a few unique interior and exterior components to the midlevel Prius Three trim, including 17-inch wheels with a dark metallic finish — 15-inchers are only available otherwise — plus the special edition adds a new Absolutely Red exterior color and the front occupants' footwells feature blue lighting.

Related: 2014 Toyota Prius: Car Seat Check

The Persona Series tacks on $1,235 to a Prius Three, so it starts at $27,810 with destination for the Absolutely Red exterior. Prius Three trims come equipped with navigation, a 6.1-inch touch-screen and keyless access. Add an additional $395 for the available Blizzard White exterior, which is the only other color option in the Persona Series. On the inside, this special edition pairs Toyota's black imitation leather SofTex with gray accent stitching along with chrome highlights on the shift knob ring and door handles.

The 2015 Prius Persona Series goes on sale in September. Information on updates to the rest of the Prius lineup will be released later this week.

Manufacturer image

By Joe Bruzek | July 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

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