Recall Alert: 2014 Volvo S60, S80, XC60 and XC70

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 7,767 model-year 2014 versions of the S60, S80, XC60 and XC70. Only vehicles equipped with keyless ignition are affected.

The Problem: The Central Electronic Control Module may not function correctly, causing the windshield wipers to run continuously and the turn signals, high beams and headlights to malfunction; cruise control may also not work. This could lead to a crash.

By Jennifer Geiger | September 9, 2013 | Comments (1)

Tesla Model S Safest Car Overall? Not So Fast

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On Aug. 19, Tesla announced it had the safest car in America with the 2013 Model S, which earned the top score, five stars, across six different crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Just 1% of cars tested earn five stars across all six grades, Tesla said, and the agency's overall vehicle safety score, which automakers receive from the agency, captures a rating above five stars — in this case, 5.4 stars. That makes the Model S the safest car ever tested by NHTSA under its tougher 2011 standards, Tesla said.

The Model S earns an overall vehicle safety score of 0.42 (lower is better), which beats other five-star cars like the Buick Verano (0.5) and Cadillac ATS (0.53) sedans. Tesla says that translates to 5.4 stars. But NHTSA demurred: "NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond five stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the starred categories," the agency said in a statement to The New York Times. What's more, a number of other cars — from the ATS to the Honda Accord coupe — also get five stars across the board.

Dig into the details, and the stars reflect assessments of specific crash data — the individual readouts from various sensors on a crash-test dummy. Tesla argues, for example, that the Model S beats the Volvo S60 sedan (another car with five NHTSA stars across the board) because it preserved more driver space in NHTSA's side-pole test.

By Kelsey Mays | August 26, 2013 | Comments (3)

Volvo Announces Pricing on 2014 Lineup

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Volvo announced pricing this week for its 2014 lineup, across which exterior updates and technological enhancements have been made. Powertrains carry over from the previous year and include the 250-horsepower T5; 240-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder; 300-hp, turbocharged T6; and the Swedish automaker's most powerful engine, the turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder, which makes 325 hp and 354 pounds-feet of torque. Click on each of the models for details on what’s changed for 2014 on the S60 sedan, S80 sedan, XC70 wagon and XC60 compact SUV; the XC90 SUV continues virtually unchanged.

New offerings for the 2014 model year include the Adaptive Digital TFT Display instrument cluster that allows drivers to choose between three themes — Elegance, Eco and Performance — all with different configurations and functionality, Volvo stated. New paddle shifters, coupled with the automaker's Advanced Quick Shift transmission-optimization software, are said to improve the speed of each gear change, increasing zero-to-60-mph times by as much as 0.4 seconds on some models. Safety equipment debuting for 2014 includes pedestrian and cyclist detection with full auto brake, cross-traffic alert and a new radar-based blind spot monitoring system.

By Matt Schmitz | August 2, 2013 | Comments (1)

The Top 10 Smallest Recalls of 2013

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We recently counted down the top 10 biggest recalls reported by KickingTires in the first half of 2013. This week, we're out to show it's not always size that counts.

As we demonstrated last time out, among the many millions of vehicles for which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues recalls each year, individual actions themselves can number in the millions — as was the case when Chrysler agreed to inspect and repair 2.7 million Jeep SUVs due to a potential fuel-system problem that could cause fires in rear-end collisions.

At the other end of the spectrum are recalls so small — single-digits-small — that in some cases it might be quicker for us just to shoot an email to the individual vehicle owners than it is to report it. Don't get us wrong; safety recalls are serious business and have the potential to save many lives each year. That said, some households have as many cars parked in their driveway right now as are affected by some recalls.

Without further ado, the smallest recalls reported by Cars.com so far in 2013 are:

By Matt Schmitz | July 29, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Volvo XC60: Family Checklist

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The 2013 Volvo XC60 is a stylish compact crossover that can only be described as sensible. While it's a luxurious five-passenger family hauler, it failed to thrill me during my weeklong test drive.

My test car, an XC60 T6, had a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. It didn't have a problem getting up to speed and passing cars on the highway. However, there were moments when the ride felt less than smooth. Maybe it was the endless construction on my local thoroughfares, but I noticed it on roads that weren't littered with construction debris. The XC60 doesn't always offer as comfortable a ride as its minimalist looks might imply.

There were days that I wanted a little more from the XC60. Perhaps I hit the doldrums because fuel economy isn't great in the XC60. The XC60 T6 with all-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway. Its all-wheel-drive competitors, the Lexus RX 350 and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, both best the XC60 with 18/24 and 19/24 mpg, respectively; the Cadillac SRX falls short on city mileage with 16/23 mpg.

By Courtney Messenbaugh | July 3, 2013 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2013 Volvo S60, XC60

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Volvo is recalling just seven model-year 2013 S60 sedans and XC60 crossovers due to identification labels with an incorrect manufacture year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected vehicles were manufactured on Jan. 7. An incorrect date of manufacture on the certification label means the vehicles are noncompliant with regulation requirements, and owners may not be able to determine whether their vehicles are affected by future recalls.

The recall began March 8. Volvo has already quarantined the affected vehicles and will install correct labels before sale; no owner notification letters will be sent. For more info call NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

Related
Recall Alert: 2013 Volvo S60, XC60
Read About Other Recalls
More Safety News on Cars.com
By Matt Schmitz | March 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

Five New Cars Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick+

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Well, that was a quick turnaround. Just seven months after eight of 11 luxury cars blew the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new small-overlap frontal test, all five cars in the latest IIHS small-overlap test scored Acceptable or Good — the top two of four possible scores.

The 2014 Mazda6 sedan, 2013 Honda Civic Coupe and Civic Sedan, 2013 Volvo XC60 SUV and 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan passed IIHS' most challenging frontal test, which simulates a 40-mph impact with a rigid barrier that overlaps just 25% of the front of a car. All five cars earned IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ ("plus") honor, a rank above Top Safety Pick status.

IIHS said in 2012 that some 10,000 annual highway deaths in the U.S. occur from frontal collisions, and nearly a quarter of those occur because of so-called small overlap situations.

The 2013 MKZ is the first car that documents an automaker's improvement in the same test. In August 2012, its predecessor scored poorly, allowing a belted crash-test dummy to careen toward the A-pillar rather than the front airbag. The redesigned MKZ offered better front-airbag protection, earning the car an Acceptable score. The Mazda6 scored Acceptable, too.

By Kelsey Mays | March 7, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Volvo XC60: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: Exterior styling tweaks and a new gauge layout 
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: This summer
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? If you bemoan the loss of traditional gauges to panels and screens, stick with the 2013.

Volvo's smallest crossover is getting a makeover. The updated 2014 XC60 will debut next month at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show with subtle exterior styling tweaks, a new gauge cluster and revised interior materials.

Volvo's best-selling vehicle wears restyled headlamps and a wider hood with a more horizontal grille and a larger badge. The 2014 version is also one body color — no more black trim outside. Gone too are the previously visible washer nozzles; they're now out of sight under the hood. Volvo also says there's newly available 20-inch wheels that keep the same tire profile height as the 19s, so ride shouldn't be impacted.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2013 | Comments (8)

Recall Alert: 2013 Volvo S60, XC60

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Volvo is recalling nine model-year 2013 versions of the S60 sedan and XC60 SUV due to problems with the supplemental restraint system, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A faulty supplemental restraint system control unit could cause the seat belt pretensions and/or side airbags to inadvertently deploy. This could cause an accident.

Volvo claims none of these vehicles have been sold yet, and the issue will be fixed before the cars go on sale. Owners can call Volvo at 800-458-1552 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

Related
Research the 2013 Volvo S60
Research the 2013 Volvo XC60
Check out Other Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | September 17, 2012 | Comments (1)

NHTSA Fines Volvo $1.5 Million

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The automaker who worked to make its name synonymous with "safety" is being fined for not reporting safety recalls in a timely manner. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Volvo Cars North America has agreed to pay a $1.5 million penalty to settle the charge.

NHTSA's investigation found that in 2010 Volvo failed to issue six safety recalls within the amount of time required by law, as was the case with a seventh recall reported in 2012. Under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, automakers have five business days to notify NHTSA after determining a defect exists.

By Jennifer Geiger | July 5, 2012 | Comments (4)

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