Thieves Still Favor the Honda Accord

2013HondaAccord

As is often the case in these "most-stolen" lists, the vehicles that are most popular with those who buy cars are commensurately popular with those who steal them. Of the top 10 popularly pilfered vehicles on the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual "Hot Wheels" list, seven are also mainstays among the nation's top 10 best-selling cars each month.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car for 2014

Topping the list is the consistently beloved Honda Accord, with nearly 54,000 thefts in the 2013 counting period, followed by the Honda Civic (45,000) and full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks (28,000). Moreover, while No. 8 combines the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee into one listing, it should be noted that these are two entirely separate vehicles, one a crossover and the other a full-size SUV.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

Ram 'Man of Steel': Photo Gallery

Ram-superman
It's not a bird or a plane — it's a Ram. Actually, it's not just any old Ram; it's the Man of Steel Power Wagon. Chrysler teamed up with Warner Brothers to create the truck to promote the "Man of Steel" Superman movie opening in theaters this Friday.

The Dark Ceramic Gray truck wears a high-gloss black roof and a red-accented grille and rides on satin-black forged-aluminum 17-inch off-road wheels. Superman's S shield is front and center on the grille, and Man of Steel badges are peppered inside and out.

Oddly, the Power Wagon doesn't have a role in the film; rather, Chrysler said that several vintage Ram trucks make cameos. You can put your wallet away, however. The one-of-a-kind truck isn't for sale. Chrysler says it'll be auctioned for charity. Check out the gallery below for more pictures.  

By Jennifer Geiger | June 12, 2013 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: 278,222 Ram and Dodge Pickups, SUVs

2012Ram1500Recalls

Chrysler is recalling 278,222 Ram pickup trucks and Dodge and Chrysler SUVs due to a problem with the rear axle that could cause it to lock up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall affects model-year 2009-12 Ram 1500 pickup trucks manufactured between Feb. 27, 2008, and June 30, 2009, and between Dec. 1, 2009, and Oct. 20, 2011; model-year 2009-11 Dodge Dakota pickup trucks manufactured from Feb. 27, 2007, through June 30, 2009, and from Dec. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2011; model-year 2009 Chrysler Aspen SUVs manufactured between Jan. 3 and Dec. 18, 2008; and model-year 2009 Dodge Durango SUVs manufactured from Jan. 3 through Dec. 18, 2008.

The rear axle pinion could loosen due to the omission of an adhesive patch. If this happens, the axle could lockup and cause a loss of vehicle control with little warning, increasing the likelihood of a crash, NHTSA stated.

Chrysler will begin notifying owners in March, and dealers will install a pinion nut retainer for free. Owners with questions may contact Chrysler at 800-247-9753 or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236; for more information go to www.safercar.gov.

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By Matt Schmitz | February 14, 2013 | Comments (2)

Hurricane Sandy Recovery: Automakers Pitch In

SandyHelp

Million-dollar donations to Hurricane Sandy-relief efforts from high-wattage celebrities like Lady Gaga are guaranteed to make headlines, but automakers are also making major contributions to help those impacted by the storm. Many automakers have made contributions of as much as $1 million, started payment-relief programs and donated vehicles for use in disaster areas. That's in addition to varied discounts, cash-back bonuses and other programs aimed at helping storm victims replace damaged and destroyed cars.

Car-Payment Relief
For the scores of disaster victims facing with massive personal-property losses, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota are offering some leeway with regard to car payments. 

By Matt Schmitz | November 12, 2012 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2009-2010 Ram 1500, Dodge Dakota

Ram1500

Chrysler is recalling 44,300 Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota pickup trucks from the 2009 and 2010 model years because the rear axle could lock up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the affected vehicles, which were built between July 1, 2009, and Nov. 30, 2009, the rear axle pinion nut may loosen because it lacks adhesive. If that happens, the axle may lock up, and the driver could suddenly lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Chrysler will start notifying owners next month, and dealers will install a pinion nut retainer for free. Owners can call Chrysler at 800-247-9753 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Dave Lee | October 8, 2012 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2012 Ram 1500

IMG_3499
Chrysler is recalling 129 model-year 2012 versions of the Ram 1500 pickup truck due to an incorrectly sized spare tire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured on Jan. 5 and 6, 2012, and have a spare tire that doesn’t match the size listed on the tire placard. Installing the wrong size tire could cause the electronic stability system to engage unexpectedly, increasing the risk of injury. You can check your vehicle’s build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb.

Chrysler will notify owners later this month, and dealers will inspect and replace the spare tire free of charge. Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 11, 2012 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: January 2012

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After capping 2011 with four decent months, the auto industry hit 2012 running. Analysts expect auto sales to outpace 2011 figures anywhere from 6% to 10%, which could make 2012 the best sales year since 2007.

January enticed consumers with total incentives — including financing offers, automaker and dealer cash, and trade-in bonuses — amounting to 16% off the average car’s MSRP, CNW Marketing Research reports. That beats January 2011, when shoppers saw only 13.5% off the average MSRP.

Shoppers took advantage. January sales jumped 11%, beating Tuesday’s expectations. This marks the best annualized month since 2009, Automotive News reports. Chrysler, Nissan and Hyundai-Kia saw double-digit sales gains, with GM the only top-seven automaker to post a loss.

By Kelsey Mays | February 1, 2012 | Comments (13)

Honda Accord, Civic Most Popular Stolen Vehicles

94HondasThe most popular stolen vehicle last year was the 1994 Honda Accord, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Of the 52,000 Honda Accords stolen in 2010, some 44,000 of them were models made in the ’90s, the non-profit group said. Older cars and models are typically stolen for the value of their parts, while newer cars are typically stolen and then resold, the bureau says.

The 1995 Honda Civic and 1994 Acura Integra — which placed second and eighth, respectively — are popular among car thieves because their engines are easily swappable. You can place the more powerful Integra powertrain into a more lightweight Civic, for example. Both models are popular with street racers and car remodeling enthusiasts, so demand for parts is strong.

By Colin Bird | August 5, 2011 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 242,780 Dodge Ram Pickups

Dodgeram2500
Dodge is recalling nearly a quarter of a million Ram pickups for a bad tie rod assembly in the front steering system. The company says the part may fracture, and it often occurs during low-speed turning maneuvers, like in parking lots. If a fracture happens, drivers could notice a loss in directional stability, increasing the risk of a crash.

The affected vehicles include a wide range of models and years, including:

  • 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4x4 built between Feb. 14, 2008, through Aug. 15, 2008
  • 2008-2011 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 4x4 built between Feb. 14, 2008, through March 28, 2011
  • 2008-2011 Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis 4x2 built between Feb. 14, 2008, through March 28, 2011
  • 2003-2008 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 may have received part during routine service

There is no date for the start of the recall, but dealers will inspect the affected vehicles and replace the left tie rod as needed for free. Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 800-327-4236.

By David Thomas | July 13, 2011 | Comments (0)

Pickup Truck Segment at a 31-Year Low

2011 Chevrolet Silverado

As high gas prices continue to rock the auto industry, pickup truck sales are taking it on the chin: Total sales as a segment are at their lowest point since 1980, according to Wards Automotive.

Six years ago, pickups were nearly twice as popular as they are today versus all vehicles sold. Full-size and small pickups made up 22.9% of all new-car sales in July 2005, instead of the 11.8% share the utility vehicles garnered last month.

The main culprits behind the drop in the popularity, besides high gas prices, include high unemployment and a lull in housing construction — those figures typically run parallel to the rise and fall of demand for pickups, Wards says.

The decline affects domestic automakers more than Japanese automakers; Korean and German automakers don’t even build pickups. Only two pickups landed on the top 10 best-sellers list for April: the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado. The Silverado, whose sales declined 0.9% for the month, fell from its typical second-place spot to fourth. When you look at the top 20 best-sellers in April, the only other truck on the list is the Ram, in 14th place, with sales up 29.4%.

Keep in mind that pickup truck sales are actually up in 2011 compared with 2010, but the increase is less than other vehicle segments — small cars, midsize cars and midsize SUVs are growing much more quickly — which is reducing the segment’s market share. Most of the drop-off in truck sales as a percentage of all vehicles comes from a lack of demand for small pickups, which haven't seen much innovation or new models since 2005 as manufacturers shifted focus to building profitable large trucks.

U.S. Pickup Segment Hits 3-Decade Low (Wards Auto)

By Colin Bird | May 10, 2011 | Comments (2)

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