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Toyota recalling 342k Tacomas due to faulty seatbelt pretensioners

Filed under: Truck, Recalls, Safety, Toyota Toyota is voluntarily recalling 342,000 Tacoma Access Cab pickups, produced between 2004 and 2011. The wide-ranging recall is due to faults in the screws that attach the belt pre-tensioner to the belt retractor. There are concerns that the screws can loosen themselves over time, especially if the access door …

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Report: Chrysler to idle three plants early for summer shutdown due to parts shortage

Filed under: SUV, Truck, Plants/Manufacturing, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep 2011 Ram 1500 Tradesman – Click above for high-res image gallery Other than the temporary shut down of General Motors’ Shreveport, Louisiana plant and the loss of some paint colors, domestic automakers haven’t yet felt the brunt of parts shortages due to the March 11 earthquake in …

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WRC Jordan Rally delayed due to political unrest, stormy seas and engine trouble

Filed under: Motorsports, Middle East Sebastien Loeb drives the 2010 Jordan Rally Mounting a rally is never easy to begin with. Organizing one in the Middle East amidst the greatest popular upheaval in the region’s considerable history, however, is another matter entirely. We recently reported on the potential effects which demonstrations and revolutions across the …

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2011 Dodge Challenger torched on assembly line due to unattended heat lamp?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Plants/Manufacturing, Dodge In March, Chrysler served up a smoking-hot 31 percent sales increase in compared to the same month in 2010. Unfortunately for the automaker, the “heat and serve” theme continued this week, as there were two stories about flaming Chrysler products Monday alone. First we told you about a Dodge …

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Report: Kia Optima Hybrid delayed due to Hyundai Sonata Hybrid pushback

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, Hyundai, Kia 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid – Click here for high-res image gallery The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was supposed to go on sale in December, but at the eleventh hour, the company decided on a last-minute engineering change to enhance safety. When the automaker learned that President Obama planned …

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Study: Worldwide auto production could drop 30% due to quake in Japan

Filed under: Japan, Plants/Manufacturing You’ve likely seen plenty of news lately about how Japanese automakers have been affected by the March 11 earthquake in Japan, but what about the rest of the industry? The Detroit News reports that research firm IHS Automotive thinks that global auto production could drop by 30 percent, and nearly every …

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Report: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delay due to modifications of virtual engine sound

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Government/Legal, Hyundai 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery In mid-October, Hyundai announced that its 2011 Sonata Hybrid would be eligible for a $1,300 tax credit. The electrified midsize sedan was scheduled to hit dealerships in late 2010 and the first 60,000 buyers in line to plop …

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