What Are the Most Damage-Prone Cars?

DamageProneCars

In August, we reported Allstate's ranking of America's worst and best drivers by city, which concluded that Worcester, Mass., had the most dangerous drivers while Fort Collins, Colo., drivers were the safest behind the wheel. That got us to thinking: If certain drivers get in more crashes, which cars tend to incur the most damage?

Related: City Drivers Versus Country Drivers: Who's More Dangerous?

According to a 2014 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comparing different categories of cars and individual models by their relative "damage susceptibility," some cars are indeed more likely to incur damage or, at least, costly damage — some way more costly — while others are far less so. The report uses data compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute in its December 2013 Insurance Collision Report, and it "reflects the collision loss experience of passenger cars, station wagons, passenger vans, pickups and utility vehicles sold in the United States in terms of the average loss payment per insured vehicle year for model years 2011-2013," NHTSA stated.

By Matt Schmitz | November 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

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By Matt Schmitz | November 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

After Dip, New Vehicle Fuel Economy Holds Steady in October

FuelEconomyTrendsOctober

The average fuel economy for all new cars sold in the U.S. in October held fast at 25.3 mpg following a 0.5 mpg dip the previous month, the biggest for that period in nearly three years. The study, conducted by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, calculates the sales-weighted fuel economy through monthly sales of individual new models of light-duty vehicles, including cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks, and is based on "window-sticker value" as opposed to real-world mileage.

Related: Gas Prices Dip Below $3 a Gallon

While the nation's fuel economy did stabilize last month, it's also the first time mileage failed to make a month-to-month improvement between September and October in at least seven years. The October trend from 2008 to 2013 was for fuel economy to go up by an average of 0.63 mpg, with the greatest improvement by a full 1 mpg coming in 2009, and the smallest upward increment of 0.4 in 2008 and 2010; those rebounds followed an average August-to-September decline of 0.33 mpg during the six-year period.

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

Recall Alert: 2001-2006 Honda, Acura Vehicles

2005HondaCivicRecall

Vehicles Affected: An unspecified number of model-year 2001-05 Honda Civic cars; 2003-04 Civic compressed natural gas cars and Element crossovers; 2002-05 CR-V crossovers; 2002-04 Odyssey minivans; 2003-05 Accord cars, Pilot crossovers, Civic Hybrid cars and Acura MDX luxury crossovers; 2005 Acura RL luxury sedans; and 2006 Honda Ridgeline pickup trucks, all originally sold or registered at any time in areas with high absolute humidity, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Saipan, Guam and American Samoa

The Problem: Upon deployment of the passenger-side frontal airbag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. In a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger-side frontal airbag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and seriously injuring occupants. The action is part of the massive ongoing Takata airbag recall that has affected nearly 7.8 million vehicles and 10 automakers.

The Fix: Honda will begin notifying owners Nov. 24, and dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. Honda said most of the vehicles covered by this formal recall were included in a June 2014 "safety improvement campaign." The automaker said the same repair required in that previous campaign — replacement of the passenger-side frontal airbag inflator — applies to all of the vehicles now included in the formal recall; vehicles in which the passenger-side airbag inflator already was replaced under the previous safety campaign are not included in the recall. Honda said the number of vehicles affected has yet to be determined; a call to the automaker for clarification was not immediately returned.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Honda at 800-999-1009, 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | November 7, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford Flex, 2009-2014 F-150

2014FordFlexRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 113,000 model-year 2014 Ford Flex SUVs manufactured between March 1 and May 31 at the Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, 2014 F-150 pickup trucks manufactured between March 1 and May 31 at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan, 2014 F-150 pickup trucks manufactured between March 1 and May 31 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri, and 2009-14 F-150 pickup trucks serviced with a suspect seat track assembly between Feb. 17 and Oct. 31

The Problem: A passenger seat sensing issue could result in non-deployment of the passenger-side airbag in certain frontal crashes if an adult is in the passenger seat, increasing the risk of an injury. Ford said it is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will widen the gap between the manual seat frame seat track assembly, then calibrate the seat occupant classification system for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info. Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford F-150

2014FordF-150Recall

Vehicles Affected: More than 600 model-year 2014 Ford F-150 pickup trucks manufactured between March 1 and March 13 at the automaker's Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan, and between March 3 and March 13 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri

The Problem: A brake pedal position switch may be incorrectly adjusted, possibly resulting in a delay or a non-illumination of the brake lights when the brake pedal is depressed, increasing the risk of an accident. Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the condition.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will remove and reinstall the brake pedal position switch for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info. The automaker noted that additional brake pressure may be necessary to disengage the cruise-control system, so customers are advised not to use cruise control until the vehicle is repaired. The cruise-control system off switch on the steering wheel will continue to disengage the system, Ford said.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2010-2014 Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500

2014Ram2500Recall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 315,000 model-year 2010-14 Ram 2500, 3500, 4500 and 5500 pickup trucks manufactured between March 27, 2009, and Sept. 5, 2013

The Problem: The electrical connectors of the diesel fuel heater may overheat, which could cause the fuel heater to leak fuel, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Dec. 5, and dealers will replace the harness side connector with a silver-plated beryllium copper terminal service kit and inspect the fuel heater for leaks, replacing it as necessary; all work will be done for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2002-2005 Lexus, Toyota and Pontiac Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUVs

2005ToyotaSequoiaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 250,000 model-year 2002-05 Lexus SC luxury coupes and Toyota Sequoia SUVs, and 2003-05 Tundra pickup trucks, Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks, and Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, all originally sold or currently registered in high-humidity areas of southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa

The Problem: The front passenger airbag inflators are susceptible to rupture in a crash, necessitating the deployment of the front passenger airbag. The inflator could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike and seriously injure the passenger-seat occupant or others.

The Fix: Toyota will notify owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and GM will notify owners of Pontiac vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. As an interim measure if a replacement is not available, the dealer will disable the front passenger airbag and advise owners not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin notifying owners around Oct. 25; GM has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, and owners of Pontiac Vibes can call GM at 800-521-7300. Owners can also call 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 GM Sedans, SUVs, Pickup Trucks, Vans

2014CadillacCTSRecall
Vehicles Affected:
Nearly 100,000 model-year 2013-14 GM vehicles, including Cadillac CTS sedans, Escalade and Escalade ESV SUVs; Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs, Express vans, Impala sedans, Silverado heavy-duty pickup trucks and Traverse crossovers; and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs, Acadia crossovers, Savana vans and Sierra HD pickups

The Problem: The chassis electronic module may be internally contaminated, resulting in an electrical short, which could cause the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the chassis electronic module for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Cadillac at 800-458-8006, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, GMC at 800-462-8782 and 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

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