October 2014

Toyota recalls 247,000 vehicles over airbag issue

(October 21, 2014) Toyota has recalled 247,000 cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in the United States because of potentially defective front passenger airbag inflators from Japan's Takata Corp. that can rupture and spray metal shrapnel, according to U.S. safety regulators, according to Reuters news service.

Truck design requires insight into the future

(October 21, 2014) The process of developing a new truck starts many years before it is launched. During that time a lot can change, which requires insight into the future to develop a design that is not only timely on its arrival, but is also considered innovative.

"We started working with the new Volvo FH back in 2006," says Rikard Orell, Design Director at Volvo Trucks. "Back then no-one had heard of an iPhone, yet when the Volvo FH was launched in 2012, smart-phones were suddenly an integral part of society. We must be able to predict this kind of change."

Grand Prix legend takes a more gentle pace in 1904 car

(October 21, 2014) LONDON — Grand Prix legend takes life at a more gentle pace as he attempts the Bonhams London to Brighton Run in his 1904 veteran car. Motor racing star Ross Brawn OBE, has swapped the high-octane world of Formula 1 for a rather more leisurely form of transport.

Brawn, architect of countless F1 and sportscar world titles for Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Ferrari, Benetton, Jaguar and his own Brawn GB team, is taking part in his first London to Brighton Run Veteran Car Run. He will be driving his own veteran car and it will, he says, be “a real challenge.”

Ford and Hard Rock Hotels celebrate 50 years of Mustang and music

(October 21, 2014) To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mustang and its influence on popular culture, Ford and Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos have teamed up through the ICON50 program to name 10 up-and-coming artists who are breaking new ground and setting the stage for the future in the music industry.

Like music, which has the power to transcend generations, help define popular culture and ignite movement, Ford Mustang inspires a sense of freedom, independence and adventure.

Acura to show 'substantially updated' ILX at L.A. Auto Show

(October 20, 2014) TORRANCE, Calif. — Acura will unveil a substantially new 2016 ILX at the L.A. Auto Show next month as the brand aims to raise the stakes again in the entry-premium sedan segment. Already bringing in more buyers under the age of 35 to the segment than any other entry-premium model, the new 2016 ILX stands to solidify and broaden its appeal with a comprehensive update that includes a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling, and substantially upgraded interior design.

Honda to unveil all-new HR-V crossover at L.A. Auto Show

(October 21, 2014) The all-new Honda HR-V entry crossover will make its North American debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 19. Previously seen only in pictures, the HR-V will serve as the entry point to the Honda light truck lineup, positioned below the CR-V in both price and size and competing in an all-new segment for the brand.

Four engines, four doors, eight-speeds — Dodge introduces 2015 Charger

(October 20, 2014) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Once again the Dodge brand is breaking the rules. With power, precision and performance once reserved for premium brands and exotic supercars, the 2015 Dodge Charger lineup is single handedly shifting the paradigm of what a full-size sedan can be.

Volkswagen issues recall for suspension system fix in Jetta, Beetle

(October 20, 2014) HERNDON, Va. — Volkswagen of America on Friday notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it will be issuing a voluntary safety recall affecting the trailing arms on the torsion beam rear suspension of certain 2011-2013 model year Volkswagen Jetta, and certain 2012-2013 model year Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle Convertible vehicles.

The recall affects approximately 400,602 model year 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta, and 41,663 model year 2012-2013 Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle Convertible vehicles.

Tricked-out all-new F-150 pickups seek 'hottest truck' award at SEMA

(October 20, 2014) DEARBORN, Mich. — From off-road prowess to street performance, custom versions of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 will vie this November for the “Hottest Truck” award at the Specialty Equipment Market Association tradeshow in Las Vegas.

2014 Kia Soul: So much better and yet…

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(October 19, 2014) In the year that has elapsed since we last had a Kia Soul in or test fleet, many things have happened to Kia’s funkiest vehicle. The most important of which is that the second generation Soul launched not long after we tested the 2013 model. Despite having similar styling and being about the same size, the latest Soul is a big step up in terms of fit and finish, materials, equipment and driving dynamics.