Ford recalling 370,000 Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car models

Filed under: Recalls, Safety, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury

2005 Ford Crown Victoria

The Detroit News is reporting that Ford will recall some 370,000 Crown Victoria (pictured), Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car vehicles from model years 2005 through 2011, for an issue regarding the lower intermediate steering shaft. 355,000 of the vehicles in question were sold in the US, with the other 15,000 sold in Canada.

The report indicates that corrosion of the lower intermediate steering shaft could cause a “loss of steering,” presumably because of a partial or complete failure of the part. The report points out the dealers will inspect and replace the offending steering component for recalled cars, and may also secure a lower steering column bearing and replace the upper intermediate steering shaft as needed. The company is unaware of any reports of the faulty part causing any accidents or injuries.

Ford helpfully lists states in which corrosion is more likely to have taken place, mostly in the Snow Belt, as you might guess. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia are listed.

The Detroit News also quotes a Ford spokeswoman saying, “Customers located in other states who routinely operate their vehicles in one of these areas, or customers who have concerns regarding their steering, will also be able to have their vehicles inspected and repaired if necessary.”

Ford recalling 370,000 Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car models originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Official trailer for Grand Theft Auto V steals our attention

Filed under: Videos, Toys/Games

Grand Theft Auto V Trailer

If there was any doubt that the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto franchise wouldn’t be good, we’re pretty certain the game’s official trailer, just released by Rockstar Games, will be enough to erase it from the collective minds of the public. We’ve got the one-minute launch trailer for Grand Theft Auto V, and it shows everything from the cinematic sequences and arguments among the crew to some of the heists that players will be able to undertake.

We’ve followed GTAV rather obsessively since word of the game first broke out, and every piece of it that we see gets us more and more excited for the eventual product. The game’s three protagonists get plenty of face time in this trailer, which shows that they’ll all have some actual depth, rather than the recyclable, generic backstories of previous GTA heroes.

Just in case you need another reminder, Grand Theft Auto V will hit stores on September 17, and will be available on both Microsoft and Sony gaming consoles. Take a scroll down below for the official launch trailer.

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Official trailer for Grand Theft Auto V steals our attention originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorsports: Race Recap: Belgian Grand Prix is new skirmishes, same war [spoilers]

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, McLaren

It’s been four weeks since we last saw a Formula One race, when Lewis Hamilton improbably put his Mercedes-AMG Petronas in P1 in Hungary. Even more improbably, he held onto the first spot at the finish of the race, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen in the Lotus and Sebastian Vettel in the Infiniti Red Bull.

Resuming the season at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend, Hamilton picked up his recent – and just as improbable – pole-setting form by putting the Mercedes in P1 for the fourth time in a row. The effort came during a qualifying session visited by intermittent rains and dry spells, his 54th trip to the front of the pack, tying Niki Lauda.

But neither the fireworks and surprises, the mid-field full of backmarkers, nor the tire strategies and timing choices changed the mission for the drivers in with a chance at the title: finish in front of Vettel.

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Race Recap: Belgian Grand Prix is new skirmishes, same war [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ecclestone says 2014 Grand Prix of America is dead

Filed under: Motorsports

FILE - In this Monday, June 11, 2012 file photograph, the race car belonging to defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel is on display with the Manhattan skyline in the background during a news conference in Weehawken, N.J. Vettel drove a 3.2-mile course to demonstrate the planned route for the 2013 Grand Prix of America race in the F1 series. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, it was announced that Formula One's inaugural Grand Prix of America slated to be run in New Jersey has been postponed until 2014. Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says

The United States of America will not be getting a second Formula One race next year. The troubled Grand Prix of America, which was slated to run on a street circuit on the shores of the Hudson river and in the shadow of the New York City skyline has been shelved, following the failure of the race’s organizers to come up with the requisite $100 million in funds demanded by F1’s tempestuous maestro, Bernie Ecclestone. The problematic Grand Prix was already pushed back once, from the 2013 season to 2014, and Ecclestone has also torn up at least one contract.

At the helm of the US race is Leo Hindrey, a multi-billionaire and a managing partner at InterMedia Partners, and Chris Pook, an ally of Ecclestone’s and the former boss of the CART. The two placed Swiss financier and bank UBS in charge of putting together the $100 million. While UBS has only been on the case since June, according to the CNN report, that’s apparently long enough for Ecclestone, who told the news channel, “It’s not on the cards for next year. They haven’t got any money.”

Ecclestone followed up, saying the GPoA “is like Donington all over again,” referring to the race at the UK’s Donington Park. The UK track was meant to take the British Grand Prix from Silverstone in 2010, but was dropped before a single race could be ran, due to its failure to come up with the $210-million race fee. Despite the lack of funds, the organizers of US race remain confident that they’ll still be on the finalized calendar to be released by the FIA at the end of the year.

Ecclestone’s decision regarding this second US race is a telling one, though, as CNN points out. Running a race with the NYC skyline has been a dream of the F1 boss for year, and while that dream may be in tatters, there’s still a spot on the F1 calendar that will need to be filled. It’s unclear what will happen if the US race organizers can come up with the money before the end of the year. Click over to CNN for the detailed rundown of the Grand Prix of American and its rocky history.

Ecclestone says 2014 Grand Prix of America is dead originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Jeep Grand Cherokee in headliner fire probe

Filed under: SUV, Safety, Jeep

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching an investigation into 146,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs from the 2012 model year, The Detroit News reports. This comes as the result of the government safety agency receiving three complaints from owners who cited fires inside the Jeep’s cabin.

According to the report, NHTSA says:

The customers reported a burning odor and visible smoke coming from the headliner while the vehicle was being driven. This was followed by flames from the headliner itself. Customers lowered the windows in an effort to clear the smoke but this increased the fire’s intensity. All three vehicles had to be extinguished with a fire extinguisher or by the fire department as they continued to burn after the vehicle was turned off.”

And it gets worse. In one incident, the fire apparently caused the sunroof to shatter, and in another, the fire spread to the passenger seat because the burning sun visor fell from the headliner. A Chrysler spokesperson tells The Detroit News that the automaker will be fully cooperating with NHTSA’s investigation of these Grand Cherokee models. Chrysler is reportedly investigating this problem itself, as well.

Depending on the results of the investigation, a recall may be issued to prevent future fires from occurring in other Grand Cherokees. If that happens, hopefully it won’t create as much controversy as the last time NHTSA requested that Jeep vehicles be recalled.

Jeep Grand Cherokee in headliner fire probe originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy?

Filed under: Motorsports, Government/Legal, India

2011 Indian Grand Prix first corner

BBC Sport is reporting that Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One boss and indicted briber, has said the Indian Grand Prix will “probably not” happen in 2014. The race, which takes place at the purpose-built Buddh International Circuit, is in danger due to a combination of reasons, including Ecclestone’s desire to move India from its current slot in October to the beginning of the season, in March or April.

According to the BBC, this is to accommodate a schedule envisioned by Ecclestone that adds races in Austria, New Jersey and Russia, in addition to the current 19-race calendar. Why the shuffle, though? The teams aren’t too excited about a longer season, and Ecclestone is hoping that by moving India to the start of the season, with China, Malaysia and the season opener in Australia, he can knock out four of the seven Asia-Pacific-region races in one fell swoop.

This poses a problem for India, though, as it’d be forced to run a race in October of 2014 and then do the whole thing over again in six or seven months. According to the head of India’s motorsports federation, Vicky Chandhok, that doesn’t give the country enough recovery time, with Chandhok going so far as to say the early season date “would be impossible for us in terms of finances and resources.”

There’s also a dustup over India’s import tax, that could hamper this year’s race. The Indian government is attempting to tax teams on their Indian earnings rather than on their profits, which would result in teams having to paying considerably more in taxes.

2013 marks only the third F1 race at the Buddh Circuit. But if Bernie doesn’t get his way, and the tax issues aren’t sorted, the track could go the way of Turkey’s Istanbul Park, another circuit built solely to attract F1, that lasted a mere six seasons before being dropped from the calendar.

Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Sedan, SUV, Plants/Manufacturing, Dodge, Jeep

2013 Dodge Avenger - front three-quarter view

Are you hesitant to pull the trigger on a brand new Dodge Avenger in hopes that a new one will be coming? Well, don’t hold your breath. According to The Detroit News, Chrysler will be extending production of the current Avenger sedan through the end of 2015.

Originally, we heard that the company would kill the Avenger to better focus its midsize sedan efforts on the Chrysler 200 replacement. But then new reports stated there would indeed be an Avenger successor, and that we could see it as early as next January. This Detroit News report cites supplier sources confirming the extension of Avenger production, though Chrysler has not released an official statement on the matter.

These same suppliers say that the current Jeep Wrangler will live on through mid-2018 – that’s right, another five years. The Detroit News reports that a replacement for the iconic, go-anywhere Jeep was due in mid-2016.

Lastly, the report mentions that the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan will remain in production through late 2017, though its Chrysler Town & Country counterpart will be replaced by an all-new vehicle for the 2016 model year. This only further backs reports that the Grand Caravan will be killed from the Chrysler Group portfolio, with the T&C remaining the only minivan in production at the company’s Windsor facility.

Chrysler extending production of current Dodge Avenger, Jeep Wrangler, Grand Caravan originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Bugatti to debut special Grand Sport Vitesse ‘Legend Jean-Pierre Wimille’ during Monterey Car Week

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Bugatti, Misc. Auto Shows, Design/Style, Luxury

Bugatti has announced that it will offer the Legend, a special-edition run of the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse that pays homage to six heroes of the carmaker’s long, storied past. Officially the world’s fastest car with its top down (try keeping your toupee on at 254 miles per hour), Bugatti will enhance the special Vitesses visually with design cues from the cars that its heroes drove.

The first Legend honors Jean-Pierre Wimille, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice for Bugatti and was one of the company’s longest-serving test drivers. He won in 1937, co-driving a 57G Tank with Robert Benoist, and in 1939, co-driving a 57C Tank with Pierre Veyron. Fittingly, the Veyron Legend dedicated to Wimille is blue, just like the 57G that he drove at Le Mans in 1937. In Bugatti’s own words, it “now shines in blue clear-coated carbon fiber and a light Wimille Bleu paintwork.” The 57G-based design language continues into the interior, with numerous details, such as materials and colors, that represent what Wimille would have experienced driving the Bugatti.

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. It also should be noted that the Wimille edition Legend will be limited to a production run of three. As for the other five Legend editions? All we know is that they’ll be launched over the next 12 months. Look for the Wimille Legend on display next month in Monterey, Calif., at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

In the meantime, scroll down to check out the history-heavy Bugatti press release. No photos of the Veyron Legend were provided, so feel free to visit the gallery we included of the Grand Sport Vitesse’s record-setting open-top run.

Continue reading Bugatti to debut special Grand Sport Vitesse ‘Legend Jean-Pierre Wimille’ during Monterey Car Week

Bugatti to debut special Grand Sport Vitesse ‘Legend Jean-Pierre Wimille’ during Monterey Car Week originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 05:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler recalls 2013 Ram pickups, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Filed under: SUV, Truck, Recalls, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram

2013 Dodge Ram 1500 - front three-quarter view

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee - dead-on front viewChrysler’s spate of successful products is about to be marred by a trio of recalls. The Pentastar is recalling 51,477 Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been no reported accidents, injuries or deaths related to the affected vehicles.

The largest action covers the Ram 1500, which is seeing 45,961 trucks being recalled. Models built between June 26, 2012 and February 5, 2013 are being recalled due to a potential software issue in the electronic stability control. Apparently, the system can be randomly deactivated upon vehicle startup.

Chrysler is also recalling 4,458 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models. Covering everything but the SRT models, the potentially defective SUVs were built between January 14 and March 20, 2013. This recall focuses on “premium headlights,” which means cars equipped with LED running lights. During the switch from the bright daytime running lamp setting to the low-intensity parking light setting, an electrical spike can cause one of the Jeep’s computers to go into a safe mode, turning off the LEDs. This violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Finally, Chrysler is recalling 1,058 Ram 4500 and 5500 heavy-duty pickups. The action covers vehicles manufactured between January 22 and March 8, 2013 due to an incorrect bolt attaching the track bar to the frame. If the bolt breaks or falls off while driving, drivers may lose control of the vehicle.

Owners of effected models will be notified to report to their dealers for free repairs or retrofits, with all three recalls kicking off in August.

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Chrysler recalls 2013 Ram pickups, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Monaco Grand Prix is as tight as it gets [spoilers]

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

2011 Monaco Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery

The funny thing about speed is that it’s relative, at least in a cognitive sense. Sure, you can measure the pace at which a moving object travels over ground, water, air, or even space. But place a Formula One race car on a wide-open track-say, Turkey’s Istanbul Park, for example-and it doesn’t look or feel like it’s going nearly as fast as the same car does along the tight, winding streets of Monte Carlo. That’s what makes the Monaco Grand Prix so exciting. This year’s especially, packed as it was with nail-biting action. Follow the jump to read how it went down.

Gallery: 2011 Monaco Grand Prix

Continue reading 2011 Monaco Grand Prix is as tight as it gets [spoilers]

2011 Monaco Grand Prix is as tight as it gets [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 13:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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