NHTSA Tells Chrysler to Expand Its Takata Airbag Recall

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put Chrysler in the hot seat Tuesday, telling the automaker to expand its June recall of vehicles with defective Takata airbags and to report the problem to affected owners by Dec. 1, according to The Detroit News. This comes on top of NHTSA telling Chrysler to speed up its fix of 1.56 million Jeep SUVs that have been recalled for rear fires.

Related: Takata Airbag Fix Will Take Months

"Chrysler's delay in notifying consumers and taking other actions necessary to address the safety defect identified is unacceptable and exacerbates the risk to motorists' safety,” NHTSA Deputy Chief David Friedman wrote in a letter to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Chrysler limited its initial Takata-related recall to cars sold or registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are high-humidity areas, but NHTSA contends that the recall should include southern Georgia, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa and coastal areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Get the full story from The Detroit News.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Newman | November 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chrysler 300: Up Close

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I wasn't wild about the 2011 redesign of the big sedan, which smoothed out the Chrysler 300's classic (if derivative) front end, reflecting what was described at the time as an aftermarket influence. The 2015 tweaks recess the headlights, giving the bumper more presence and returning some of the original's boldness. The big-ass grille handles the rest.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

If anything, I wish Chrysler had taken the opportunity to tone down the prominent wheel arches, especially in front where they rise above the character line almost to the hood and recall a Mazda RX-8. It just doesn't work for me. Beyond that, what's great about the 2015 300s, at least as evidenced by three versions here at the show, is that they put not a single foot astray.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | November 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chrysler 300 Photo Gallery (64 Photos)

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Chrysler's flagship sedan gets a face-lift for 2015, but luckily the updates to the 300 — an already stylish sedan — are subtle and only heighten its classiness. The 300's large grille takes on a more aggressive, snoutlike look this year bordered by available adaptive high-intensity-discharge headlights and LED fog lights. New LED taillights, updated rear bumper styling and rectangular exhaust outlets round out the changes to the back end.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

A new upscale Platinum trim level joins the lineup this year with premium interior features like hand-sanded low-gloss wood trim, Nappa leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped instrument panel and center console.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | November 19, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Chrysler 300: First Look

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Competes with: Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon, Kia Cadenza

Looks like: The new 300 reclaims much of the swagger of its now decade-old forebear

Drivetrain: 292- or 300-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 or 363-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with eight-speed automatic transmission; rear- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: First quarter of 2015

Starting price: $32,390, including a destination charge

The Chrysler 300 was a smash hit when it debuted as a 2005 model and now, a decade later, the sedan has a new boldness that harkens back to that of the original model. The 2015 Chrysler 300 is offered with V-6 or V-8 power and rear- or all-wheel drive, and besides its new styling and features, there's a new high-end Platinum trim level with upscale appointments. The 300 arrives early next year with the same starting price as before: $32,390, including the destination charge.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

By Mike Hanley | November 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

What Are the Most Damage-Prone Cars?

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In August, we reported Allstate's ranking of America's worst and best drivers by city, which concluded that Worcester, Mass., had the most dangerous drivers while Fort Collins, Colo., drivers were the safest behind the wheel. That got us to thinking: If certain drivers get in more crashes, which cars tend to incur the most damage?

Related: City Drivers Versus Country Drivers: Who's More Dangerous?

According to a 2014 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comparing different categories of cars and individual models by their relative "damage susceptibility," some cars are indeed more likely to incur damage or, at least, costly damage — some way more costly — while others are far less so. The report uses data compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute in its December 2013 Insurance Collision Report, and it "reflects the collision loss experience of passenger cars, station wagons, passenger vans, pickups and utility vehicles sold in the United States in terms of the average loss payment per insured vehicle year for model years 2011-2013," NHTSA stated.

By Matt Schmitz | November 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chrysler 200 Photo Gallery

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The 2015 Chrysler 200 finished seventh in our $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge. "The 200 has all the pieces in place to be a great midsize sedan, but until it gets the basics — transmission and brakes — right, it's not going to make a lot of headway in this segment," said one of our judges. Check out our 200 photo gallery below.

Click on any image for a larger version.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

By David Thomas | November 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 L.A. Auto Show: What to Expect

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If you like luxury vehicles, SUVs or sports cars — and even luxury SUVs that perform like sports cars — you're gonna love the lineup of debuts at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. Organizers say there will be 60 premieres, 30 of them global and nearly two-thirds will be luxury and performance offerings.

More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show News

Set to bow at the 107-year-old event — the last major auto show of the calendar year and the first of the new auto-show season — are a host of SUVs, from compact crossovers to midsize models. Performance coupes, convertibles and sedans also abound from automakers ranging from Scion to Cadillac.

And perhaps fitting for the Southern California city famed for its air of affluence, nearly half of the anticipated entrees on our list of what to watch for are from luxury automakers. Among those are SUVs and sports cars from the likes of Audi and BMW. Moreover, during the Connected Car Expo on Nov. 18, Volvo's "Drive Me" autonomous vehicle will make its North American debut, at which time executives will discuss the automaker's driverless technology.

Here's what we'll be looking for as Cars.com covers the L.A. auto show from the event floor:

By Matt Schmitz | November 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Chrysler 200 Video

Of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan, Cars.com reviewer Patrick Olsen says our editors "found it to be refined, comfortable and affordable — but even with a slew of new features and nice touches, it isn't perfect." To learn more about those improvements and imperfections, watch the video.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | November 3, 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)

Toyota Leads, Fiat-Chrysler Disappoints in Consumer Reports' Latest Reliability Study

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Toyota and its Lexus subsidiary earned the top two spots in Consumer Reports' 2014 Auto Survey (subscription required), which rates reliability from consumer surveys of some 1.1 million vehicles over the past 12 months. Of the 28 brands ranked in terms of predicted reliability, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Fiat, Jeep, Ram and Dodge brands landed in the bottom four slots. At the top and bottom of the survey, those results played out similarly to Consumer Reports' study a year ago.

Related: Porsche Flies, Fiat Flails in 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Buggy multimedia systems, including navigation systems, Bluetooth and smartphone compatibility, garnered the most complaints. It's a recurring trend, Consumer Reports notes, and respondents to J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study have expressed similar frustrations.

But rankings between the two have otherwise limited correlation. Consumer Reports says its reliability study surveys subscribers for malfunctions on existing cars, whether recently purchased or older. J.D. Power says its IQS surveys those who recently bought a new car for objective malfunctions and subjective dislikes in the first 90 days of ownership. J.D. Power ranked 32 brands in its IQS this year; Consumer Reports ranked 28. Five brands made the top 10 in both studies: Honda, Kia, Lexus, Porsche and Toyota. Just three brands made the bottom 10 in both: Fiat, Infiniti and Jeep. To some degree, that cements the reliability — or lack thereof — for those eight.

By Kelsey Mays | October 27, 2014 | Comments (8)

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