Recall Alert: 193,000 GM SUVs

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GM is voluntarily recalling 193,000 SUVs due to an electrical problem that could cause power windows and door locks to malfunction and possibly cause a fire, the Detroit News reported. Affected vehicles include model-year 2006-07 Chevrolet Trailblazers, GMC Envoys, Buick Rainiers, Saab 9-7x's and Isuzu Ascenders, as well as model-year 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXTs and GMC Envoy XLs.

This latest recall is an expansion of an action that started last August and now includes 443,000 SUVs in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the issue in February 2012 and has received 83 complaints, with 66 alleging that the door module had melted or burned, the Detroit News stated.

In the recalled vehicles, fluid may enter the driver's door, resulting in rust that could cause the circuit board to short. The problem could cause the power door-lock and window switches to function intermittently or become inoperable; it could also cause overheating, which could melt components of the door module, producing odor, smoke or fire, the newspaper reported.

By Matt Schmitz | June 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

Spyker B6 Venator Concept: First Look

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  • Looks like: Newest Spyker loses some of the brand's trademark outlandishness
  • Defining characteristics: Aluminum and carbon-fiber construction, expansive glass roof, mid-mounted V-6 engine
  • Ridiculous features: Spyker went a bit overboard on the aircraft-inspired design cues
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Expected in the U.S. in fall 2014

For the last few years, Spyker's cars have been overshadowed by the automaker's struggle to revive the now-bankrupt Saab brand, but exotic cars are again at the forefront with the debut of the B6 Venator concept. Though technically a concept car, the mid-engine sports car is destined for production and is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in fall 2014 with an expected price in the range of $125,000 to $150,000.

More 2013 Geneva Motor Show Coverage

Spyker sports cars have had a certain outlandishness, with the various C8 models sporting turbine-style vents aplenty and an extravagant interior design. The new B6 Venator concept's appearance is relatively conventional in comparison. There's a large oval mesh grille and the two-door's profile and roofline recall Lotus' Evora sports car. There are enough similarities with the Evora that we suspect the cars share a platform, but a Spyker spokeswoman wouldn't say.

By Mike Hanley | March 5, 2013 | Comments (3)

Saab, GM Set New Agreement on Warranties

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Brave souls who purchased a Saab over the last few years as General Motors wound down the brand and eventually sold it off will be pleased to hear that their cars' warranties will be serviced through a new agreement between the two companies.

GM and Saab Automobile Parts North America have announced a new cooperative arrangement which will see Saab owners' warranties honored at 179 registered Warranty Service Providers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The agreement initially covers vehicles from 2009 and earlier, which were covered under a GM warranty.

By Aaron Bragman | December 27, 2012 | Comments (1)

Saab Could Reappear in 2014

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A Hong Kong-based consortium has finished acquiring bankrupt carmaker Saab, including tooling and platforms for the Saab 9-3 and Saab's facilities in Trollhättan, Sweden. The consortium, National Electric Vehicle Sweden, announced plans on Monday to introduce an electric vehicle based on the 9-3 in around 18 months. Reuters reports the car won't have Saab's iconic griffin logo, however, because of an agreement with former owners, Scania and a Saab aerospace group.

Saab's bumpy past includes ownership under GM and Dutch automaker Spyker, with last-minute attempts before liquidation to find Chinese investors. What remains and who owns it gets complicated. Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings owns National Electric Vehicle Sweden, but NMEH is itself a subsidiary of another entity, China Dragon Base Holdings.

The new EV will primarily target the Chinese market, Reuters reports. Would anyone here buy the next Saab? Though shuttered, the brand still has plenty of faithful: The U.S. has some 300,000 Saabs on the road, the Detroit News reports.

We'll keep you posted on more news of the eventual car.

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By Kelsey Mays | September 6, 2012 | Comments (17)

Recall Alert: 249,260 GM vehicles

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GM is recalling 249,260 vehicles because the driver's door module may corrode and cause an electrical short, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recalled vehicles — which affects 2006 models of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL, and 2006 and 2007 models of the TrailBlazer, Envoy, Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7x and Isuzu Ascender — were originally sold or are currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

In the affected vehicles, fluid may enter the driver's door module, leading to corrosion that could result in an electrical short in the circuit board. A short may cause the power door locks and window switches to function intermittently or become inoperative. A short may also lead to overheating and melt components of the door module, increasing the risk of a fire.

A notification schedule has not been determined yet, NHTSA says. For more info, Buick owners can call 800-521-7300; Chevrolet owners can call 866-694-6546; GMC owners can call 866-996-9463; Isuzu owners can call 800-255-6727; and Saab owners can call 855-880-0808. Or you can call NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.

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By Dave Lee | August 20, 2012 | Comments (4)

Daily News Briefs: Aug. 6, 2012

Saab_grille

Onetime Saab owner Spyker filed a $3 billion lawsuit against GM for blocking the sale of the Swedish automaker to Chinese companies Pang Da Automobile Trade and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile last December, Reuters reports. Spyker contends GM "had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy." A GM spokesman told Reuters the news was "hard to believe," and GM wouldn't comment until it examined the lawsuit. At the time, GM still contracted technology and manufacturing for Saab — like the short-lived 9-4X crossover — and threatened to withhold assets from either Chinese company on grounds it would create competition with GM's operations in the country. The deal fell through, and Saab liquidated shortly thereafter. Its remnants eventually landed with to a consortium called National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

In other news:

By Kelsey Mays | August 6, 2012 | Comments (0)

Daily News Briefs: June 14, 2012

Saab

More details have emerged on the potential Saab asset sell, according to Automotive News. The deal, devised by a Japan-Hong Kong partnership, so far only includes the purchasing rights to the current Saab 9-3 vehicle and a platform Saab was developing called "Phoenix," which was supposed to be the next-generation 9-3. The firm also wants to buy the old Saab factory, but it plans to hire only 200 employees instead of the 3,500 that used to work there. The new Saab company, called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, aims to become the world’s largest purveyor of electric vehicles, turning Saab exclusively into an EV maker. The new company won’t have the rights to build the Saab 9-5 or the Saab 9-4x, according to GM, which owns the technology rights to those vehicles. The company won’t own Saab’s spare parts company, either. The biggest omission to the deal is the rights to the Saab brand name; those discussions are still ongoing, according to the company. If the deal goes through, the new company aims to build EVs using Japanese technology on the Saab platform by 2013 or 2014.

In other news:

By Colin Bird | June 14, 2012 | Comments (0)

Daily News Briefs: June 13, 2012

Saabrange2011

Bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab has found a new suitor; a Chinese-Japanese investment group wants to buy the brand and turn it into a builder of electric vehicles, according to sources who spoke with Reuters and Bloomberg News. The group formed a new company in Sweden, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, and has agreed to buy Saab's assets, according to reports. The companies that have invested to buy Saab's assets include Japanese-based Sun Investment and Hong Kong-based renewable-energy power plant builder National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., according to Automotive News. The first vehicle the new company plans to build will be an electric version of the Saab 9-3, which it expects to start selling in early 2014.

In other news:

By Colin Bird | June 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

Daily News Briefs: June 7, 2012

Dodge Durango

Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne has decided to keep the number of offerings at Dodge and Chrysler brands to no more than five models, according to Automobile Magazine. The Chrysler brand is already below that level at four models, but Dodge has seven models. Primed for the chopping block are the Dodge Avenger and, over time, the Dodge Durango SUV, the magazine reports. The Durango will be replaced by a seven-passenger Jeep model, says the magazine.

In other news:

By Colin Bird | June 7, 2012 | Comments (0)

Saved: The Last Saab 9-3

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Although loyalist group Saabs United wasn't able to save the brand, it was able to rescue the bankrupt Swedish automaker's last vehicle when it rolled off the production line.

Saabs United raised enough money to purchase the last 9-3 sedan ever built: a 9-3 Aero Griffin in Arctic White. The vehicle was taken off the production line in February, and the group raised enough funds through its website to purchase the 9-3 and donate it to the Saab museum in Trollhattan, Sweden.

According to the group, the cost of this specific model was $48,672, and the group's members raised extra funds to support the museum. The names of more than 450 people who chipped in for the 9-3 are listed on the group's site.

"We set out to do something that has never been done by any enthusiast group for any auto-brand in the world. We, the fans set out on a mission to buy a car, and not just any car, we set out to buy the last of a production series, the last Saab 9-3 Griffin," the group said on its website.

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Saving the last Saab 9-3: Mission Accomplished (Saabs United)

By Jennifer Geiger | May 10, 2012 | Comments (0)

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