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 (1)

What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

2014MitsubishiMirage

Shoppers may face legitimate sticker shock when they're shopping for a new car. TV and radio advertisements may lead them to believe that new cars all get at least 35 mpg for less than $15,000, but the price of entry for even a modestly equipped new car is well above that.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Compact SUV for 2014?

That's why we've taken the cars with the lowest sticker prices and added a dose of reality. A vast majority of buyers never consider buying a car with a manual transmission (often the standard equipment on inexpensive new cars), so right out of the gate the car they're shopping for costs significantly more than they thought it would. Opting for an automatic transmission can cost $1,000 or more.

By David Thomas | July 21, 2014 | Comments (8)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Chevrolet Spark, 2013 Buick Encore

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 61 model-year 2013-2014 Chevrolet Spark cars and 2013 Buick Encore crossovers manufactured in Changwon, Korea, from Dec. 30, 2012 through May 8, 2013

The Problem: GM is reporting that the front passenger airbag end cap could separate from the airbag inflator, which could prevent the airbag from deploying in a crash. The automaker is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: General Motors has not yet provided an owner notification schedule but did say courtesy transportation would be provided as needed. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300 or Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (9)

More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Where the electric cars are

As more manufacturers introduce electric cars, these battery-powered vehicles are becoming something people see on the road every day. At least in some parts of the country, they are.

More Alternative Fuel News

The number of purely electric vehicles offered in the U.S. will grow to a dozen by the end of this year. Many of those EVs are available only in a small number of states, however, with California being the epicenter of electric-car sales.

By Rick Popely | March 11, 2014 | Comments (4)

IIHS: Chevrolet Spark is Safest Microcar

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This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise, but microcars just aren't as safe as larger vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new round of crash tests. Of the 11 model-year 2013 and 2014 microcars and subcompacts evaluated, the agency reported that only the Chevrolet Spark earned an acceptable rating in the challenging small overlap front crash test. The 10 others in the group earned marginal and poor scores, the two lowest ratings. "Minicars are the worst performing group so far in this test," IIHS said in a statement.

22 Cars Earn IIHS' Revised Top Safety Pick Plus Award

The 40 mph crash test simulates the front corner of a vehicle striking a smaller-diameter object like a tree or a telephone pole. The Honda Fit and Fiat 500 got the lowest scores of the group. "In both the 2013 Honda Fit and the 2014 Fiat 500, intruding structure seriously compromised the driver space, and the dummy's head didn't stay in contact with the frontal airbag. The 500's driver door tore open at the hinges," IIHS said in a statement. The agency also reported that the side-curtain airbag failed to deploy in the Toyota Yaris (pictured below), leading to its low score.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 22, 2014 | Comments (20)

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Cars.com Review

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The Chevrolet Spark EV offers all you'd expect from a short-range electric commuter car — including some of the drawbacks but also some pleasant surprises. Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman says the impressive 130 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque from the subcompact's zero-emissions powertrain propel it briskly to highway speeds, while an EPA-estimated 82-mile range falls on the low end of what you may actually get. And while Spark EV drivers need not sacrifice interior comfort for 128-mpg-equivalent fuel economy, handling isn't what you’d call nimble. Read Bragman's review below.

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Review

By Matt Schmitz | January 8, 2014 | Comments (3)

Chevrolet Helps Drivers Pull Fast One With Corvette Data Recorder, 4G Wireless

CorvettePerformanceDataRecorder

Whether your need for speed manifests itself on the track or online, GM is offering two new ways to get a quick fix. This past weekend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the automaker announced a first-of-its-kind performance data recorder for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which allows drivers to record video and audio of their hot laps and then use telemetry technology to analyze and improve their times. Meanwhile, the Stingray and a host of other 2015 Chevrolet models will also be available soon with an accelerated data connection to AT&T's high-speed 4G LTE network.

GM developed the performance data recorder with British motorsports-engineering firm Cosworth, and the system will be available on the 2015 Corvette; pricing will be announced later. The PDR's three major components are a high-definition camera mounted in the windshield header to record the driver’s point of view, a self-contained telemetry recorder that uses a GPS receiver to record performance data and a 32-gigabyte memory-card slot in the glove box for recording and transferring video and vehicle data of up to 13 hours.

By Matt Schmitz | January 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

Study: Most Clueless About Electric Vehicle Subsidies

PlugInHybridIncentives

Similar to the old "if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods" question, if government incentives to encourage the purchase of plug-in vehicles are offered, but no one knows about them, do they make a difference? A research team at Indiana University conducted a survey that shows not only are consumers unaware of available subsidies, rebates and other benefits — financial and otherwise — to owning a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, that disconnect could be keeping sales of the zero-emissions electric vehicles from reaching White House goals.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV: Quick Drive

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Zero-emissions vehicle mandates in California and several other states have brought about a smattering of specialty electric cars, and GM has obliged with the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV — a punchy runabout that ought to sell on its own strengths, not regulatory mandates.

Based on the Spark hatchback that hit U.S. dealers 15 months ago, the electric version is on sale in California and Oregon. We took a brief spin at a Midwest Automotive Media Association event near our Chicago offices, and GM ought to expand availability like Ford has done with the Focus Electric. The electric Spark has all the inherent issues that limit EV popularity, but as the class goes, this one's impressive.

By Kelsey Mays | November 1, 2013 | Comments (0)

GM Offers Siri Eyes Free Integration on Six More Vehicles

SparkStereo

Look for Siri Eyes Free Integration on a host of 2014 GM vehicles. Previously offered on the Chevrolet Sonic and Spark, Apple's voice-activated "intelligent assistant" — requiring neither the driver's hands nor eyes for use — will now be available on the Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze, Equinox, Malibu, SS and Volt, the automaker announced Monday.

Through the vehicles' available Chevrolet MyLink multimedia system, users with a compatible iPhone running the iOS 6 or iOS 7 operating systems can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. To use the feature, motorists connect their iPhone with the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, pair with the system and use the steering-wheel voice-activation button to begin and end sessions. In addition to the feature's no-look use, it prevents the iPhone's screen from lighting up, further mitigating distraction.

By Matt Schmitz | October 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

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