Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Acura ILX, ILX Hybrid

2014AcuraILXRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 14,100 model-year 2013 Acura ILX sedans manufactured between Jan. 16, 2012, and March 1, 2013, and model-year 2013 ILX Hybrids manufactured between Jan. 12, 2012, and Feb. 7, 2013, and model-year 2014 ILX sedans manufactured between May 2, 2013, and May 31, 2014, as well as model-year 2014 ILX Hybrids manufactured between Oct. 18, 2013, and Feb. 19, 2014

The Problem: Excessive heat around the headlight bulb and reflector unit may diminish the output of the headlight and cause smoke, melting and fire. The diminished light output may decrease the driver's visibility, increasing the risk of a crash, while excessive heat coming from around the bulb and reflector could cause the headlights to overheat, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: The automaker will notify owners starting July 28, and dealers will replace the headlights for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Acura at 800-862-2872, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit 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 | July 8, 2014 | Comments (1)

Confounded by Car Technology? It's Time to Embrace It

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Today's technology-laden cars, SUVs and even trucks can be challenging for older drivers as well as car buyers who have been out of the market for several years. I'm among the many mature drivers who don't replace vehicles until they've been driven into the ground — my husband and I often go a decade or more between car purchases. Our current vehicles are of 2004 and 2006 vintage, and they lack much of the technology that's rapidly becoming common, often standard, on today's new cars.

Related: AAA Recommends Car Features for Older Drivers

As a Cars.com's copy editor, I'm encouraged to drive the test vehicles we receive at our Chicago offices so that I can experience the things I read about when I edit articles. I enjoy this part of the job, but it's proven to be a challenge due to unfamiliar technology. I often find myself communing with the owner's manual before I can leave the parking garage with one of our test cars.

Here are a few things other potentially overwhelmed car shoppers of any vintage should prepare to encounter:

By Jen Burklow | July 7, 2014 | Comments (11)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014

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The broken record continues. Another sales month, and all eyes are on GM. When the automaker's 2014 recall total long-jumped past the 20 million mark, we thought there was no way new-car sales could remain unaffected. Yes, we heard from industry experts that shoppers don't pay attention to recalls like they used to, and anyone who owns a Chevy Cobalt isn't in the market for a new car anyway. But given congressional testimonies and lawsuits galore, we expected shoppers to deal the General a sales defeat in June.

Related: 2014 American-Made Index

It didn't happen. GM sales increased 1 percent, beating out Ford and Honda, each down 5.8 percent. A sales stoppage in late June on the Chevrolet Cruze, which GM recalled shortly thereafter, contributed toward a 20.9 percent decline for the popular compact, as did lower inventory for the car. Still, GM's Buick and GMC divisions lifted overall sales for the automaker. And with half of 2014 now in the books, U.S. sales operations head Kurt McNeil said in a sales statement that GM saw its best half-year of retail sales (that's sales to individuals, as opposed to commercial fleets) since 2008.

By Kelsey Mays | July 1, 2014 | Comments (2)

Google Unveils Android Auto

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Last week, we told you of Google's plans for a vehicle operating system to rival Apple's CarPlay; at today's Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco, the tech giant unveiled the details of its new Android Auto system.

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The operating system runs on a smartphone, and after connecting the phone to the car, it projects its interface to a vehicle's touch-screen, allowing the user to interact with the system's functions via vehicle screen or voice command. Users can access and control Google maps and Google Play Music, as well as their phone's contacts and messages; third-party apps like Spotify and iHeartRadio will also be compatible.

Android Auto is the first system to come from the Open Automotive Alliance, a coalition of tech and auto companies working toward bringing the Android platform to cars. The group consists of more than 40 members, including Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia, a tech company. Honda, Hyundai and Audi have announced that Android Auto will be available in select model-year 2015 vehicles, but specific models and trims will be announced at a later date.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

BMW, Chrysler, Ford Join Ever-Expanding Airbag Recall

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Three more major automakers have joined the massive expansion of the recall action involving airbags that could deploy with too much pressure and cause injury. BMW, Chrysler and Ford added their names to the roster of automakers — which already includes Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota — that are recalling millions of vehicles equipped with a faulty airbag inflator, manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp. As we reported Monday, Honda, Mazda and Nissan announced they are recalling millions of vehicles to fix the airbag problem that was supposedly addressed last year; that followed Toyota's June 11 recall announcement of its expansion of the initial April 2013 recall. Today's announcement comes as 2014 reaches a new record for U.S. recalls, now topping 31 million — well over half of which are from GM, beleaguered by its ignition-switch debacle.

Get the full story from the Detroit News, here.

Melissa Brandes/Hemera/Thinkstock

By Matt Schmitz | June 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

Honda, Mazda and Nissan Join Airbag Recall Expansion

AirbagRecall

Three Japanese automakers are recalling millions more vehicles worldwide — including more than a million in the U.S. — due to an inflator defect in airbags manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp., NBC reported. This latest announcement by Honda, Mazda and Nissan follows the June 11 announcement by Toyota of a massive expansion of a 2013 recall of vehicles equipped with airbags that could deploy with too much pressure, increasing the risk of an injury. Hot on the heels of the Toyota news earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it was reopening its investigation into the matter.

Get the full story from NBC here.

Melissa Brandes/Hemera/Thinkstock

By Matt Schmitz | June 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Google to Unveil Apple CarPlay Rival

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Well, that didn't take long. Less than four months after Apple unveiled its CarPlay operating system that brings apps and maps galore to a car's multimedia system, Google is reportedly launching an in-car operating system of its own.

Apple Unveils CarPlay for Volvo, Mercedes, Ferrari at 2014 Geneva Motor Show

Automotive News reports (subscription required) that Google's internal designation for the system is Google Auto Link. It's the product of Google's Open Automotive Alliance, a group that includes Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and tech company Nvidia. The consortium, formed in January 2014, promised to bring Google's Android platform to the car by year's end.

The schedule appears on track.

By Kelsey Mays | June 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013 Honda Fit

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1,038 model-year 2013 Honda Fit hatchbacks manufactured May 24 through July 5, 2013, and equipped with a manual transmission

The Problem: Due to a manufacturing error, the passenger-side driveshaft may break. If this happens while driving, the vehicle would lose power and coast to a stop, increasing the risk of a crash. Honda says no crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect the passenger-side driveshaft and replace it, if necessary, for free.

What Owners Should Do: Honda will notify owners starting June 15. Owners can call Honda at 800-999-1009 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 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 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Honda Pilot: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: New Special Edition model slots between the EX and EX-L

Price change: $200 increase on returning models

On sale: Now

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

Once Honda slaps a "Special Edition" label on one of its vehicles, a redesigned model can't be far behind. Honda historically introduces SE models a year or so before it launches a new generation. Because the Pilot's upscale cousin, the Acura MDX, was redesigned for 2014, expect a new version of the Pilot SUV for 2016.

More Honda News

The Special Edition adds to the EX trim level's equipment with pewter gray aluminum wheels, a power moonroof, satellite radio and a DVD rear entertainment system. SE base prices are $33,120 with front-wheel drive and $34,720 with all-wheel drive, not including the $830 destination charge, or $1,000 more than an EX.

By Rick Popely | June 11, 2014 | Comments (8)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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After what seemed like an eternity at No. 1, the 2014 Nissan Rogue crossover finally toppled as the 2014 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck climbed to the mountaintop on our list of most-read reviews. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Honda Ridgeline
2. 2014 Nissan Rogue
3. 2014 Mini Hardtop
4. 2015 Subaru WRX STI
5. 2014 Honda CR-V
6. 2014 BMW 328d
7. 2014 Subaru Outback
8. 2014 Cadillac ELR
9. 2014 Subaru Forester
10. 2014 Infiniti Q50

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

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

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