Fisker Karma Breakdown Leads to Lesson in Recalls

Fisker Karma Breakdown Leads to Lesson in Recalls

Like many auto writers, I was quick to jump on the recent story of the Fisker Karma breaking down during a Consumer Reports test. Yes, it was big news and a huge embarrassment to Fisker. Yes, the timing was terrible, and it was an incredibly hurtful public introduction to the Karma. But the breakdown might not have been Fisker’s fault. Automotive News reported...

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Unintended Acceleration’s New Victim: Ford Taurus

Unintended Acceleration’s New Victim: Ford Taurus

I’ve never been in a car that accelerated on its own. Well, this one time, I was in a Dodge Viperthat leaped to 100 miles per hour faster than I could buckle my seat belt, but I was a passenger. The driver giggled in glee as I tried to hide my panic. Yes, that was an episode of unintended acceleration from my point of view, but not one that would cause any...

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Fisker Karma Belonging to Consumer Reports Breaks Down

Fisker Karma Belonging to Consumer Reports Breaks Down

List of things you don’t want to happen: Have spinach stuck in your teeth for the duration of a first date. Buy a new car and have it break down on the way home. Have the car you built and sold to Consumer Reports break down even before it’s checked in. A positive Consumer Reports review can make or break a new car. Even established cars can suffer when the...

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Bill Ford Says Car Networks Are Coming

Bill Ford Says Car Networks Are Coming

At a speech before the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Ford Motor Co.’s Executive Chairman Bill Ford (Henry’s great-grandson) made some notable remarks about how the future will need to accommodate 4 billion cars on the road by mid-century. (We already have about a billion.) While people around the world keep buying cars at a rapid pace, traffic jams are...

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What Should Be Done About Teen Driver Deaths?

What Should Be Done About Teen Driver Deaths?

“Lane ends. Merge right.” The sign gave plenty of notice that the two-lane arterial merged into a single lane ahead. The speed limit was 35 miles per hour. I travelled in the right lane, doing about 40. My girlfriend sat in the passenger seat. To my left, I could tell the driver of a car behind me wanted to pass before his lane ended. “No way.” I stepped on the...

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Useless, Redundant and Dangerous Car Tech

Useless, Redundant and Dangerous Car Tech

BMW’s iPhone MOG app *UPDATE: On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation released voluntary anti-distraction guidelines for carmakers. These call for disabling all electronic devices that access the Web and social media or send text messages—any in-car technology that causes drivers to take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road for more...

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The 6 Best Ways to Beat Range Anxiety

The 6 Best Ways to Beat Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is treatable. While I’m not sold on the serious need for electric vehicles, I acknowledge that we’re likely to see more gas-less motor cars swishing through our cities in the coming years. I see three big problems with EVs: They have an extremely limited range (which varies according to many factors, including temperature, traffic conditions and...

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Our Fuel Economy Standards and Tradeoffs

Our Fuel Economy Standards and Tradeoffs

Honda CRX: the next economy car? As fuel economy becomes a top concern of car buyers, confusion predominates over how it’s measured and how best to achieve it. I don’t know a way through this morass (who does?), but a return to some basic principles of physics in auto design might help. The EPA over time has developed a complex set of rules and testing...

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LEDs: Lights of the Future or Just Another Driving Distraction?

LEDs: Lights of the Future or Just Another Driving Distraction?

The image that started the LED revolution Audi changed the automotive world. It didn’t do it with a revolutionary new engine or by using a new lighter-than-steel chassis. It did it with light. A glaring, menacing light that etched its way into our psyches after emerging from a darkened room on an Audi R8. From the instant those LED strips lit up, the...

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Keyless Entry: Convenience or Invitation to Hackers?

Keyless Entry: Convenience or Invitation to Hackers?

The following thoughts are occasioned by a recent trip to Boston, during which I drove my nephew’s Mazda CX-9. Beautiful car, with all the goodies, including keyless entry and auto-start. My first thought was how hackable that thing was. Hacking keyless entry to unlock and start cars has become all the rage, even in Africa. A rash ofcar thefts in Rustenburg,...

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Man Wins Lamborghini, Man Crashes Lamborghini

Man Wins Lamborghini, Man Crashes Lamborghini

Regular people shouldn’t have access to supercars. The reason supercars cost so much is so regular Joe Schmo can never afford to buy one. Ever. Because everyone knows that if Mr. Schmo ever got his foot into the accelerator pedal of a supercar, there’s a high likelihood that he’d kill himself. Or someone else. Or spin out, fall off a roadway and end up stranded...

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Look Out for 100,000 Pounds of Cheese on U.S. Highways

Look Out for 100,000 Pounds of Cheese on U.S. Highways

Can U.S. bridges handle 100,000-pound trucks? Cheese doesn’t often make it into the headlines on these pages. However, this cheese is different, because it has plans to hit the country’s highways. If that happens, “The entire country’s motoring public will be put in grave danger.” Those are the words of John Lannen, executive director of The Truck Safety...

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