Is Driving a Certain Car Your Ticket to Traffic Court?

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Look, just because you drive a Subaru WRX doesn't mean you're more likely to be the type of person who exceeds the speed limit or breaks other traffic laws. OK, it actually does mean that, but we're not the ones saying it, Insurance.com is. The auto-insurance rate-comparison website analyzed online quote info from more than half a million drivers and more than 500 car models between January 2013 and July 2014, and identified the cars most likely to be used in the commission of a traffic offense. Coincidentally, a fifth of the list is composed of competitors in Cars.com's $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge in which the WRX scored the fastest times.

Related: The $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge

According to the study, one in three drivers of the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX compact performance sedan has had a traffic violation for an offense such as speeding, failure to yield or drunken driving in the past three years, making it the No. 1 most-ticketed car.

By Matt Schmitz | September 30, 2014 | Comments (5)

Recall Alert: 2005-2008 Ford Escape, 2006-2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrids

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Vehicles Affected: More than 70,000 hybrid crossovers, including model-year 2005-08 Ford Escape hybrids manufactured between Oct. 13, 2003, and June 20, 2008, and 2006-08 Mercury Mariner hybrids manufactured between June 10, 2005, and June 20, 2008

The Problem: The coolant pump for the hybrid system may fail, resulting in the hybrid electronics overheating; if this happens it may shut down the powertrain, resulting in a stall-like condition and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Ford will begin notifying owners Oct. 27, and dealers will inspect and replace the original motor electronics coolant pump with an improved, brushless pump for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332, 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.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2006-2011 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ

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Vehicles Affected: About 82,500 driver's-side all-weather floormats in model-year 2006-11 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ sedans

The Problem: If improperly installed, the floormats may come in contact with the accelerator pedal, causing interference and increasing the risk of a crash, according to the Detroit News. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of 52 reports of problems related to this issue.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will exchange the driver's-side all-weather floormats for a new set for free; some owners will get as many as four new mats.

What Owners Should Do: Ford has not yet issued an owner notification schedule. Owners can call the automaker at 800-392-3673 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 | May 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2008-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 740,000 model-year 2008-11 versions of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs; no word yet if the related Mazda Tribute is involved.

The Problem: The Detroit News is reporting that a faulty torque sensor could cause the power steering system to shut off. If this happens, manual steering mode will engage and the SUV will be more difficult to steer, increasing the risk of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of five crashes and six injuries related to the issue.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts and update the related software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Ford will notify owners by July 25. Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673 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 | May 29, 2014 | Comments (9)

Ford Updates Escape Software Amid NHTSA Investigation

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Ford's Escape is no stranger to recalls, but despite a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation of sudden loss of engine power on certain versions of the Escape and Fusion and Mercury Mariner and Milan, the agency is not issuing a recall.

According to the Detroit News, more than 10,000 vehicle owners complained about the loss of power on model-year 2009-13 vehicles equipped with 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter engines. Ford issued a "Customer Satisfaction Program" and sent notices to affected owners in January instructing them to bring their vehicles in for a software recalibration. NHTSA opened its investigation in February, and although an official recall wasn't issued, Ford said it will update the software in 1.6 million affected vehicles as well as extend the warranty coverage on the affected parts to up to 10 years and 150,000 miles.

Check out the full story from the Detroit News here.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2005-2011 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Sedans

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Ford is recalling 370,000 model-year 2005-2011 versions of the Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car sedans due to a steering problem, the Detroit News is reporting.

In the affected vehicles, the lower intermediate steering shaft could corrode, resulting in a possible loss of steering. Ford said it's not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recall, the paper reported.

States where corrosion is more likely to occur include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332.

Related
Ford recalling 370,000 discontinued vehicles (The Detroit News)
Safety News
Check Out Other Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | August 30, 2013 | Comments (6)

NHTSA: Chrysler Has Until June 18 to Recall Jeeps

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given Chrysler a deadline of June 18 to formally respond to its request for the recall of 2.7 million model-year 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Liberty SUVs, according to the Detroit News. The recall request, due to a problem in the fuel system that could lead to a fire in rear-end crashes, initially was refused by Chrysler; the automaker insists the vehicles meet federal safety standards for fuel-system integrity.

Depending on the automaker's response, NHTSA will decide whether to issue a formal finding and then convene a public hearing, a final step before ordering a recall, the Detroit News reported. The safety agency says Chrysler "contravened industry trends," as well as its own practices in non-Jeep vehicles by placing the fuel tanks in a vulnerable location behind the rear axle. The resulting fires were caused by gas leaking from punctured fuel tanks in rear-end crashes, causing the deaths of 51 people, the Detroit News reported.

By Matt Schmitz | June 10, 2013 | Comments (1)

Ford Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Unintended Acceleration

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Consumers in 14 states have filed a class-action lawsuit against Ford over unintended acceleration in cars built between 2002 and 2010. The suit, which was filed in a West Virginia U.S. District Court on March 28, alleges that Ford models built between 2002 and 2010 with electronic throttles can allow unintended acceleration. The vehicles in question, which include nearly three-dozen Ford, Lincoln and Mercury nameplates, lack a brake override system. Ford began installing the system in its U.S. cars in 2010.

Plaintiffs want compensation for lost resale value as well as brake-override retrofits, according to one of several law firms representing the plaintiffs. Ford began installing brake-override systems in certain European vehicles as early as 2005, the suit claimed via the Detroit News.

Unintended acceleration from electronic throttles raises a familiar storyline. From September 2009 through December 2010, Toyota recalled some 12 million cars over unintended acceleration, eventually spending well over $1 billion to settle lawsuits and pay civil fees associated with the recalls. The automaker's electronic throttles encountered heavy scrutiny, but a government panel later found that driver error, stuck gas pedals and bad floormats were to blame.

By Kelsey Mays | April 1, 2013 | Comments (39)

Recall Alert: 2004-07 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey

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Ford is recalling 196,500 model-year 2004-06 versions of the Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans due to a third-row corrosion issue, according to a Reuters report.

In the affected vehicles, corrosion could prevent the third row from locking into place. Ford told Reuters that the recall only applies to vehicles sold or registered in the District of Columbia and the following Salt Belt states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Ford dealers will install a new third-row-seat mounting bracket for free. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more information. To look up your VIN on Ford’s recall site, click here.

Related
Ford recalls 230,000 minivans for corrosion issues (Reuters)
More Recalls on Cars.com
More Safety News on Cars.com

By Jennifer Geiger | March 7, 2013 | Comments (1)

Mitsubishi Galant Prices Tumble in January

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Late-model used-car prices dipped slightly in January 2013, dropping about one-half of a percentage point ($101) from December 2012 to $22,662. However, a number of models saw significantly steeper declines. Leading the way was the Mitsubishi Galant.

The now-discontinued family sedan saw its average asking price drop 12% to $13,993, a decrease of nearly $2,000. Other models that have recently met the chopping block — the Mercury Milan and Mazda CX-7 — also saw some of the largest price drops of the month with declines of 4%.

Another Mitsubishi model, the Lancer compact car, saw the biggest price increase of the month with a 5% ($841) jump to $17,672. The Chevrolet Corvette saw the second-largest increase with a 4% rise but the largest dollar jump of $2,528 to $59,017.

The chart below details the top 10 used cars from the 2010 to 2012 model years with the biggest price drops — as well as the 10 with the biggest increases. To be eligible for the list, a model had to have 500 cars in Cars.com's national inventory.

By Mike Hanley | January 28, 2013 | Comments (3)

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