Category: News Blog

By on July 12, 2019

General Motors is issuing a recall on select Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, including HD models. According to , trucks equipped with a power sliding rear window could have a defroster circuit that can melt itself or, in rare instances, catch fire.

As no fix currently exists, GM is asking owners to bring their vehicles into the dealership so that the fuse for the rear defroster can be disconnected while it works on finding a better solution. The recall encompasses 159,240 trucks from the 2014-2019 model years.  Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019

Just as quickly as small diesel engines in vehicles in North America saw a resurgence, they appear to be going away. Earlier this week we shared the tragic news that Ford wouldn’t be putting the diesel engine in the Transit Connect. Today we’re sad to report that the Chevrolet Equinox diesel is also going away.

reports that the Equinox is going away for the 2020 model year. Chevrolet told them that the canceling of the oil burner is a result of “slow demand.” While we might all think that we want small diesel engines in our cars and crossovers, we’re not actually shelling out the money to buy them. At least not in the quantities required to make them profitable for the automakers.

Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. .


Whether it’s a sports car or snazzy truck, chances are you’ve invested a lot in your ride. If you’re serious about preserving its value, whether for trade-in time or simply for extending the life of its paint, slapping down a few bucks on a car cover falls squarely into the category of a Very Good Idea.

Like most security items in life, a cover isn’t perfect but it certainly acts as a good deterrent. That ne’er-do-well with the keys in his hand will find it more difficult to carve epithets into the paint of a covered car than one which isn’t comfortably ensconced in some form of man-made polypropylene. Same goes for the miscreant who wants to haul open the door and drive away.

We’ve searched Amazon to unearth eight good examples of the breed. As you’d expect, some are cheap while others are uber-expensive. Read on to discover what we found.

Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019

We, very literally, have a bit of a fluff piece for this Friday afternoon. Coming out of Frankfort, KY, a curious little kitten had mistakenly selected the rear subframe of a 2000 Honda Accord as a safe resting place. Little did she know, she was about to have a very tall tale to tell her furry friends.

Earlier this week, over a journey of several hours, the kitten rode from Lexington to Versailles to Frankfort in the undercarriage of the Honda. It wasn’t until the car’s owner was stopped at a Hardee’s restaurant that he finally heard her meowing from within the chassis. By good fortune, they were right next to , which is owned by a fellow racer and friend, Scott Bourne. When the restaurant manager went over and asked Scott if his crew could help, they didn’t pussy foot around and got right to it.  Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019

Portland seems to be a relative hot spot for old, well-maintained Saabs, and Rare Rides covered this Portland-based 99 previously. And while that little blue sedan racked up 195,000 miles, today’s 900 has covered several times more than that. Just how far can an old Saab go?

Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019

After suspending manual background checks to encourage fresh users in April, Daimler subsidiary Car2Go found itself with a problem in Chicago — its new customers were stealing cars by the gross.

On the April 15th, the ride-sharing service notice an uptick in usage that was well above the norm. However, as the day progressed, the company found that a lot of its higher-end vehicles weren’t coming back. Instead, they were convening on Chicago’s West Side. Two days later, the Chicago Police Department announced that it had been notified by Car2Go that some of the company’s vehicles may have been rented by deceptive or fraudulent means and was officially on the prowl for justice.  Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019

After our last installment, I feel nothing but regret for misrepresenting butchering TTAC Commentator Arthur Dailey’s query.  Because people do get in their car to warm it up before beginning the process of rooftop snow removal. And they’d prefer to remove roof snow, not snow that fell into power window switch pods.

So after multiple emails, a promise to try again. To which Mr. Dailey’s reply was:

“OK.  But perhaps you could expand that to explain something related to car design?  Which is why I sent the question to your attention.”

Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019

Developing electric cars for scale in Europe takes time, money, resources and commitment. Volkswagen has the new, advanced MEB architecture designed just for that purpose. There are other automakers, though, who need to have an option. For Ford, that answer was simple. They already are working with VW on several projects, so it makes sense to expand that relationship into platform sharing.

In an that also included VW’s investment into Argo AI, Volkswagen committed to providing 600,000 MEB units to Ford for a new electric vehicle that’ll be manufactured and sold within Europe. That includes all of the electric components, according to Dr. Herbert Diess, VW’s CEO. Ford’s CEO Jim Hackett said that it would be “built Ford proud.”

Find Out >

By on July 12, 2019


As you no doubt already know, we lost a big name this week. The Volkswagen Beetle ⁠— formerly the Volkswagen New Beetle, Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen Type 1, Volkswagen, KdF-Wagen, etc — finally bit the dust in Puebla, Mexico on Wednesday.

A mariachi band was on hand to provide the last production Beetle with an up-tempo swan song, reports. While it’s the end of the line for the historic, Hitler-tainted nameplate, memories remain. Do you have a personal encounter with this model you’d like to share? Find Out >

By on July 11, 2019

If you were waiting for a special-order new GMC Sierra or Jeep Gladiator to show up at a West Coast dealership, you might have to wait a little longer. Unfortunately there was a train derailment in Lincoln County, Nevada, yesterday, and some of the victims were brand-new pickups.

Find Out >

By on July 11, 2019

Making a mistake while trying to remedy an earlier one is a routine part of the human condition. We’re imperfect creatures and sometimes the easiest solution after a string of foulups is to just sweep something under the rug and hope nobody ever bothers to look there — even though they probably will. Incredibly, this logic can spread to an entire organization and with roughly the same effectiveness.

Earlier this week, on select Focuses manufactured within the last decade (1.5 million were ). But not before becoming the subject of a scathing report from the  claiming the automaker knew the cars had bunk transmissions and did everything in its power to keep that under wraps in order to continue selling them.  Find Out >

By on July 11, 2019

Cadillac is hard at work preparing for the next generation of their big bruiser Escalade. Lincoln’s counterpart, the Navigator, makes a healthy 450 horsepower from its Raptor engine. How does Cadillac plan to compete? A new report suggest it’s going to get some help from the Camaro.

According to a posting from , the Escalade is going offer the supercharged V8 that powers the Camaro ZL1 and the Corvette Z06. While details are light on when this engine will go in, or what type of performance to expect, it is apparently going to be a “powerhouse.”  Find Out >

By on July 11, 2019

Volkswagen’s Beetle has officially ended production. The last examples of the brand’s famous model rolled off the assembly line at VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico this week, with the company reserving the final one for display at Volkswagen’s local museum. The automaker said the car would live on as “a lasting tribute to the automobile’s rich and storied heritage.”

As one of the most recognizable and historically important cars ever made, the original Type 1 was manufactured between 1938 and 2003. The “New” Beetle hit the assembly line in 1997 before being replaced by the A5 version in 2011. Technically, that’s the car that’s getting the axe. However, with nothing in line to replace it, Beetle as a whole is going the way of the dodo.  Find Out >

By on July 11, 2019

Fiat Chrysler will invest $788 million to build a production line for the new 500 electric, according to the company’s European CFO Pietro Gorlier. An extension of automaker’s plan to to dump 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) into Italy, the deal makes good on earlier promises that the automaker would establish a dedicated small battery-electric vehicle platform.  Find Out >

By on July 11, 2019

Clear Snow from tops of cars. Image: Ottawa Police Twitter

TTAC Commentator Arthur Dailey writes (and edited to remove confusion):

Sajeev,

Opening my 2011 Hyundai Sonata’s door this morning after a beautiful overnight snowfall (Yes, it takes that long to answer Piston Slap questions – SM), I once again was confronted with a driver’s seat and inside door panel, covered in snow.

Those living in the snow belt will often park their car at the rink, library, ski hill, mall, at work etc. and return to find it covered in snow. You don’t bring your scraper with you in these situations. And even if you use your glove/arm/hand to clear some of the snow, when you open your door, the residue falls. Onto your power window/mirror/door lock mechanisms. And often onto the seat. You get into your car and start it to warm it up and help clear the windshield. And that residue melts.

This is a re-occurring problem: happening in many other vehicles that I have recently rented/owned. With the sloped roofs now common on cars, snow regularly falls into the passenger compartment when you open the door. There used to be gutters/sills along the edges of car rooflines. In fact I believe that up until the 1960’s they might have been an optional extra, as they were often chromed. Later they were just an integrated part of the roof.

I can’t remember exactly when roofline gutters disappeared from cars, but I understand that this was probably due to aerodynamic issues. I also noticed that there are a number of aftermarket options now available, sometimes referred to as ‘rain guards’.

However why can’t auto designers develop a roofline that prevents snow from dropping onto the car seats whenever the door is opened?

Find Out >

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