Report: GM Tells Dealers to Stop Selling 1.4-Liter Chevrolet Cruzes

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Kelsey Mays, Cars.com

If you're shopping for a Chevrolet Cruze, you may have to hold on. USA Today reports that GM has ordered dealers to stop delivering 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze sedans with the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. The automaker didn't clarify one particular reason to USA Today. The Cruze offers a 1.8-liter four-cylinder or the turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder; the affected engine makes up about two-thirds of new 2013/2014 Cruze inventory on Cars.com.

2014 Chevrolet Cruze: Family Review Checklist

It's worth noting that temporary stop-sale orders are fairly common, often when automakers detect a safety issue. The exact issue is unclear, but GM recalled the 1.4-liter Cruze in August 2013 because of brake issues. This move comes as the automaker faces multiple investigations over faulty ignition switches in six 2000s-era models, including the Cruze's predecessor, the Chevy Cobalt. The automaker has recalled 1.6 million cars globally, with 1.37 million in the U.S.

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By David Thomas | March 28, 2014 | Comments (15)

2014 Buick Regal Review

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If you're in the market for a near-luxury sedan, Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger says you'd do well to show the classy, respectably performing 2014 Buick Regal the admiration it commands. The compact-to-midsize sedan's lightly refreshed exterior, exemplified by its waterfall grille, lives up to the Regal's name, as does its comfortable, generally well-appointed cabin, nicely isolated from outside noise. You won't exactly find the large turning circle awe-inspiring, but for the price you may be willing to accept some less-than-regal attributes. Read Geiger's review below.

2014 Buick Regal Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Ryan Peterson

By Matt Schmitz | March 26, 2014 | Comments (22)

Senate Bill Targets 'Massive Information Breakdown' in GM Ignition-Switch Issue

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Legislation introduced Tuesday by a pair of U.S. senators would require automakers to automatically submit accident reports or other documents that alerted them to a fatality to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Early Warning Reporting database, the Detroit News reported.

Backed by Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., the bill would provide more road-death info to the federal government in the wake of the massive GM recall for an ignition-switch problem implicated in a dozen deaths. The legislation would mandate NHTSA to make info it receives from automakers publicly available in a searchable, user-friendly format so drivers and safety experts can evaluate potential defects. The measure is aimed at correcting what Markey called "a massive information breakdown" leading to the deadly ignition-switch situation.

Get the full story from the Detroit News here.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

GM Will Insure Loaner Cars for Ignition-Switch Recall

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It didn't take long after GM said it would furnish loaner cars for owners of the 1.6 million recalled small cars — 1.37 million of them in the U.S. — with faulty ignition switches that we wondered whether the automaker would insure all those drivers. It's a significant need: GM CEO Mary Barra told reporters Tuesday that the automaker may not have enough replacement parts for all 1.6 million cars until October. That means some owners may have to wait more than six months before repairs are made.

More on GM's Ignition-Switch Recall

If you opt for the loaner, that's a lot of time behind the wheel to be underinsured. Remember, a typical collision policy on your personal car insurance policy only covers up to the value of your own car, which puts you at a higher risk in a loaner vehicle. "Even if the owners of recalled GM cars have collision insurance, coverage is typically limited to the value of their own cars," Des Toups, managing editor at CarInsurance.com, told us. "That is, if you drive a Cobalt worth $7,000 and the dealer lends you a new Cruze worth $18,000, your collision coverage would only pay the value of the Cobalt."

GM's solution? It will cover the extra insurance.

By Kelsey Mays | March 24, 2014 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: 355 GM Sedans, Crossovers

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Vehicles Affected: About 355 Buick Regal, LaCrosse and Verano sedans and Enclave crossovers; Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze sedans and Traverse crossovers; and GMC Acadia crossovers — all 2014 models equipped with automatic transmissions.

The Problem: The transmission shift cable adjuster may disengage from the transmission shift lever, which could prevent the driver from shifting gear positions, and the indicated shift position may not represent the actual gear position. If disengagement occurs while the vehicle is in motion, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, the driver may be able to shift the lever to the "Park" position, but the vehicle transmission may not be in the correct gear position; if this occurs, the vehicle could roll away, increasing the risk of injury to occupants and bystanders.

The Fix: GM will notify owners starting late this month, and dealers will inspect and replace any affected transmission shift cable adjusters for free.

What Owners Should Do: Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020, Buick owners 800-521-7300 and GMC owners 800-462-8782, or owners can call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

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

GM Taps Rental Companies for Loaner Vehicles

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In the wake of its recall of 1.6 million vehicles because of a problematic ignition switch, GM has offered affected owners free loaner cars. The only problem is that the automaker is forecasting that dealerships will likely have a tough time keeping up with the volume of requests.

More GM Recall News

The Detroit News is reporting that the automaker has turned to rental car agencies for help, specifically Enterprise, Hertz and Avis, and GM is in the process of lining up tens of thousands of available rentals should the need arise. Click here for the full story from The Detroit News.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 21, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Chevrolet Impala Mileage Update: 2,838 Miles

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This month was a relatively mild one for Cars.com's long-term 2014 Chevrolet Impala tester, with the odometer only turning 676 miles since the last update. Filled with the recommended regular octane gasoline since day one, E85 coursed its way through the fuel lines of our flexible-fuel 3.6-liter Impala by mistake and looks to have slightly dinged our fuel economy after burning 5 gallons of the economy-sapping fuel.

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Five gallons is a small amount considering the Impala's 18.5-gallon tank, but our observed fuel economy this month — calculated over the long haul from pump fill-ups — is 0.76 mpg lower than 676 miles ago. EPA ratings for the Impala drop from 19/29/22 mpg city/highway/combined on regular gasoline to 14/20/16 mpg on E85.

By Joe Bruzek | March 21, 2014 | Comments (3)

General Motors Unveils New Engine Family, Coming to U.S. Soon

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General Motors has unveiled a new family of small engines meant to go into GM's small and midsize cars all over the world. The new three- and four-cylinder engines all share a common architecture and replace three separate families of engines, which will help GM reduce costs as it continues to globalize operations.

More GM News

Ranging in displacement from 1.0- to 1.5-liter, the new Ecotec engines will have 11 variants built and used around the world. They range from a naturally aspirated 1.0-liter three-cylinder for the South Korean market up to a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Horsepower ranges from a scant 75 hp in the smallest motor to 165 in the turbocharged 1.5-liter. The company also said there will be a "hybrid" variant as well, suggesting a replacement for the 1.4-liter engine currently used to help power the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR. However, GM offered no details on what engine it will be or its planned application.

By Aaron Bragman | March 20, 2014 | Comments (4)

GM Names Safety Chief Amid Ignition-Switch Recall Debacle

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GM has named a new safety chief to oversee safety development of all vehicle systems, including confirmation and validation of safety performance and post-sale safety activities — particularly recalls. CEO Mary Barra on Tuesday announced that GM veteran Jeff Boyer would take the role, effective immediately. The announcement comes after an intense week for the Detroit automaker as it scrambles to manage a massive recall — and the related scrutiny both public and internal — of vehicles in which faulty ignition switches have been implicated, directly or indirectly, in hundreds of deaths.

More GM Ignition Recall News

Boyer, 58, has spent nearly 40 years in a wide range of engineering and safety positions at GM. He will have global responsibility with full support from the automaker, according to a GM statement.

"This new role elevates and integrates our safety process under a single leader so we can set a new standard for customer safety with more rigorous accountability," Barra said in a statement. "If there are any obstacles in his way, Jeff has the authority to clear them. If he needs any additional resources, he will get them."

By Matt Schmitz | March 19, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana Vans

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Vehicles Affected: About 303,000 model-year 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans with a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds

The Problem: The vehicles do not comply with a head-impact requirement for unrestrained occupants; the resolution will require an overhaul of the passenger instrument panel material. GM announced the recall among a trio of separate actions stemming from a comprehensive internal safety review following the automaker's recent ignition-switch recall.

The Fix: Unsold vehicles have been placed on a stop delivery until a solution has been determined, at which time GM will notify customers, and dealers will fix the problem for free.

What Owners Should Do: Chevrolet owners can call 866-694-6546 and GMC owners can call 866-996-9463 for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 17, 2014 | Comments (3)

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