Report: GM Cars in Ignition-Cylinder Recall Selling for Less

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A new report by iSeeCars.com says cars involved in the most serious of GM's ignition-related recalls have lower prices on the used-car market. The Woburn, Mass.-based automotive site, and Cars.com partner, analyzed more than 11 million cars for sale and found the listed price of recalled cars has dropped more than double the rate of non-luxury used cars in general.

More on GM's Ignition Recalls

The website looked at listed prices for the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Saturn Sky and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice. All six models were among the 2.2 million cars recalled in the U.S. between Feb. 25 and April 9 for faulty ignition switches and then, ultimately, faulty ignition cylinders.

By Kelsey Mays | July 25, 2014 | Comments (3)

Porsche, Hyundai Top New J.D. Power Study, Volvo and Mitsubishi Sink

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Porsche and Hyundai topped their respective luxury and nonluxury peers in J.D. Power and Associates' 2014 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study. Volvo and Mitsubishi, respectively, placed last in each group.

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

APEAL tries to assess what people like in their cars. This differs from J.D. Power's other major automotive studies, the 90-day Initial Quality Study and three-year Vehicle Dependability Study, which both rate things that went wrong.

For the APEAL study, new-car owners rate their vehicles across 77 areas, and the results give a composite rating on a 1,000-point scale. Not surprisingly, premium brands beat their mass-market counterparts with an average score of 840 points among the study's 12 premium brands while the 20 nonpremium brands average 785 points.

Overall results slipped one point between the 2014 and 2013 APEAL studies, however; J.D. Power notes that in-car technology left some owners less than thrilled.

By Kelsey Mays | July 23, 2014 | Comments (2)

New Study Breaks Down Traffic Fatalities State by State

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When it comes to U.S. traffic fatalities, coastal states have the lowest rates, according to a new study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. By contrast, Montana, North Dakota and a number of Southern states have the highest rates.

Related: Sobering Stats on Summer Driving Dangers

UMTRI's July 2014 study by professor Michael Sivak is called "Road Safety in the Individual U.S. States: Current Status and Recent Changes." It compared traffic fatality rates in every U.S. state plus the District of Columbia between 2005 and 2012, the last available year of data. Taken as a whole, the data gives a snapshot of traffic fatalities — which claimed 33,561 lives in 2012 — across a broad spectrum of America.

By Kelsey Mays | July 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Consumer, Environmental Groups Call for MPG Regulation in Car Ads

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Ever get annoyed when car ads hype pie-in-the-sky mpg figures? Well, you aren't alone. Advertisements are notorious for shilling highway-only mpg, sometimes for specific trims that aren't widely available. Witness a Mazda commercial from 2012 that blared 35 mpg highway for the 2013 CX-5 SUV — an EPA figure only achieved by a front-wheel-drive, manual-transmission model. Or one of Ford's 2011 Fiesta ads that rolled "40 mpg" across the backdrop, which only the automatic SE with the Super Fuel Economy package received in EPA highway ratings.

Related: Gas Prices Continue Upward Climb

Both ads clarified the details in the small print, but you'd have to pause the DVR and get out a magnifying glass to read it. If a group of consumer, environmental and safety advocates get their way, such practices could change.

By Kelsey Mays | July 14, 2014 | Comments (7)

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)

More Details on GM's Latest -- and Largest -- Ignition-Related Recall

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Today's GM recall encompassed 7.55 million cars in the U.S. and another 893,547 cars outside the country. About 97 percent stem from inadvertent rotation of the ignition key across a slew of 1997-2014 models, which sounds similar to the ignition-switch defects that spurred the recall of 2.19 million small cars between February and April.
 
Recall Alert: 6.8 Million Additional GM Vehicles for Ignition Key Fix

It's not, GM claims. The problem — and GM's solution — is closer to the automaker's more recent ignition-related recalls: 464,712 Chevrolet Camaros in the U.S. on June 13 and 3.16 million larger cars in the U.S. on June 16. Confused? That's because GM's ignition-related recalls, which are now responsible for more than half the automaker's 2014 U.S. recall total, are three separate, albeit related, categories:

GM says this latest recall stems from the second and third problems.

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (3)

GM Recalls 7.6 Million More Vehicles

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In the largest single day of announcements since its 2014 recall crisis began, GM announced a recall of approximately 7.6 million vehicles in the U.S. today, the majority for inadvertent rotation of the ignition key. The recalled models span the 1997 to 2014 model years; most of the cars that exhibit the unintended key rotation are late-'90s and early-2000s midsize and large sedans from Chevrolet and GM's now-discontinued Oldsmobile and Pontiac brands; also in the ignition group are newer Cadillac CTS and SRX models. In total, about 97 percent of today's recalls are ignition-related.

See the list below. We'll update you as we learn more.

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 American-Made Index: Fewest Cars Ever

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A steady decline in cars with high domestic-parts content had us wondering when the American-Made Index would have fewer than 10 cars. This year, that nearly happened. For the 2014 model year, there are no "honorable mentions"; all 10 that were eligible made the list. In fact, just 13 models built in the U.S. reported domestic-parts content of 75 percent or higher, but three of those are going to be discontinued, meaning they're disqualified from our list. Three model years ago, 30 cars met the 75 percent threshold.

Cars.com Releases the 2014 American-Made Index

It's a clear trend, and it comes despite increased domestic car production. In 2013, automakers built 11.14 million vehicles in the U.S., including passenger cars and medium/heavy-duty trucks, according to Automotive News. That's up 7 percent over 2012, and it came as production stayed roughly flat in Mexico and fell 3.7 percent in Canada. Through the first five months of 2014, production increased 4.4 percent in the U.S.

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (4)

Cars.com Releases the 2014 American-Made Index

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Cars.com released its 2014 American-Made Index, which rates cars built and bought in the U.S. This year's group includes models from five automakers. They're built in seven states, from Texas to Ohio.

Cars.com 2014 American-Made Index

The AMI uses two data points that consumers can find on all new cars: final assembly point and the vehicle's domestic-parts content; these can be found either together on one label, or on separate labels, on all new light-duty cars and trucks. The labels show the percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts. (By congressional mandate, the American Automobile Labeling Act lumps Canada into the same "domestic" pool.) In addition to showing where the car was built, the label will tell you where its engine and transmission came from.

This marks the ninth year for the AMI. The top two finishers had a clear lead, but the last four finishers are newcomers, and this year saw the list hit a record low for eligible models. Read our related story to see why the pickings this year were so slim.

Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Less Than Halfway Through the Year, U.S. Breaks Auto-Recall Record

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Yep, it's June 24 — 48 percent of the way through 2014 — and there have been more automotive recalls in the U.S. than in any full year. Ever. The Detroit News reports that with this week's latest airbag recall, the auto industry has logged "at least 30.7 million" recalls; motorcycle and smaller vehicle manufacturers push that total past 31 million.

BMW, Chrysler, Ford Join Ever-Expanding Airbag Recall

GM is responsible for more than half the total, with 17.7 million recalls in the U.S. so far. Some 5.8 million of those involve the key or ignition — whether a faulty ignition switch, a key that can be knocked out of position by a bump or a key that your knee can bump out of position — in more than a dozen 2000-2014 models.

The recall total tops the previous record of 30.8 million set in 2004. Incidentally, GM contributed to that total with its infamous pickup-tailgate recall, which affected 3.66 million vehicles.

It's important to note that 2014 figure means there have been more than 31 million recalls issued, not more than 31 million vehicles recalled. Many cars (including, for example, the Chevrolet Cobalt) were recalled more than once in separate campaigns.

See the Detroit News' full story here.

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By Kelsey Mays | June 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

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