November 2011

Poll finds most U.S. drivers engage in distracting behaviors

(November 30, 2011) NORWALK, Conn. — Whether it's talking on cell phones, fiddling with food and drink, or doing some last-minute grooming, a large majority of adult drivers in the United States admit to being dangerously distracted while behind the wheel, today's Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found.

Used car shoppers encouraged to buy; prices predicted to rise in early 2012

(November 20, 2011) IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book is  encouraging shoppers to buy their next used vehicle before the end of the year, predicting that values will increase 4 to 6 percent in early 2012.

Used-vehicle values have dropped 2.6 percent overall in October, marking the fifth consecutive month of declines.  Since peaking in June, used-vehicle values overall have dropped 10 percent with the most significant declines coming from fuel-efficient vehicles, falling more than 20 percent. 

Crash experts find car seats protect overweight kids, too

(November 29, 2011) PHILADELPHIA — Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention studied nearly 1,000 1- to 8-year-old children involved in crashes and found no evidence of increased injury risk for children across a broad weight range.

Book review: A journey across the vast Southwest on a motorcycle

By Al Vinikour

(November 27, 2011) Truth-be-told I seldom read a book written in first-person. This is especially true when it’s a mystery novel. What’s the mystery? The narrator is obviously alive so it’s not HIM that’s going to get killed. But, I digress. The obvious exceptions to my non-first-person tomes would be autobiographies and narratives. The latter has been achieved in spades through a personal adventure by Tim Watson, former head of communications for Jaguar Cars North America and a 28-year veteran of the automotive industry.

Retail sales continue to pick up steam, according to TrueCar

(November 27, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- has released its November 2011 sales and incentives forecast showing a seasonally adjusted SAAR of 13.3 million new car sales, up from 13.2 million in October and up from12.3 million in November 2010.

Smoke smell can drop value of car, marketing specialist says

(November 23, 2011) Worried about your car's miles at trade-in time? Perhaps you should be more worried about that smoke smell that permeates the interior, says UK online remarketing specialist Autorola. Autorola says the potential fall in the value of a car can be steep if it has been smoked in.

From its experience of selling vehicles online in 17 European countries, Autorola estimates a car driven by an active smoker can reduce used values by between £250-£500 ($400 to $800) depending on the make and model.

Study finds dissatisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems

(November 23, 2011) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Vehicle owners are continuing to experience a high number of problems with factory-installed navigation systems, primarily with routing quality and system usability, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study released Tuesday.

Now in its 13th year, the study identifies six factors that contribute to overall satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems.

Black Friday expected to be the best day in 2011 to buy a car

(November 22, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Forget the mall or department store, and the long lines that await shoppers on Black Friday and the upcoming weekend. suggests car buyers take advantage of some amazing deals available on 2011 and 2012 models that can save consumers more than 29 percent off a new car.

How not to spill Thanksgiving dinner inside the car

(Chicago 22, 2011) CHICAGO — Almost everyone has faced this dilemma one time or another: how to get their food to Thanksgiving dinner without spilling it all over the inside of their car. Kristin Varela, senior family editor at, has compiled for the holiday season suggestions on how to safely transport Thanksgiving dinner items in the car.

Going to an auto show? Lay out a game plan

(November 19, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Auto shows are a playground for car enthusiasts, but they can also be valuable resource for shoppers in the market for a new car. lays out a game plan that consumers can follow in "A Car Shopper's Guide to Auto Shows."

"The first thing any car shopper should do before attending an auto show is to plan a course of action," says Ronald Montoya, consumer advice associate at