The 2012-2014 Frontier may have a circuit breaker installed in the wrong direction.
Some 2012-2014 Frontier pickups may have circuit breakers that were installed in the opposite direction, which could allow the main wiring harness to contact a bolt in the truck's A-pillar. If that happens and the wire becomes exposed, "thermal damage" could occur and disable the power seat and sunroof. Or, the battery could go dead when the truck is turned off.
Nissan said it first found the problem in December after a Frontier owner in Mexico reported smoke in the cabin and a damaged circuit breaker and wiring harness. Several days later, Nissan stopped production on all Frontier models with the breaker and realized the problem was due to incorrect installation of the breaker. Nissan said it is not aware of any related injuries or accidents.
Slow-selling hybrid sedan won't be returning.
Let's pour out a kale-kombucha green tea smoothie for the dearly-departed Honda Insight, whose demise was announced back in November. Honda dealers were asked to stop taking new orders for the slow-selling Insight, and production finally ended this month.
How slow is slow-selling? In 2013, Toyota sold 145,172 Prius five-doors. Honda sold 4,802 Insights, or just 3% of Prius sales.
The Insight was the second slowest-selling car in Honda's lineup, in fact. The first is the other dedicated Honda hybrid, the CR-Z -- 4,550 out the door in 2013. CR-Z fans must feel the same way French aristocrats felt when the guillotines sprung up.
EV charging company ChargePoint releases top 10 list of cities with EV growth — and Los Angeles is not number one.
Surprise, greenies: Electric cars are finding new footholds outside their usual places of power.
ChargePoint, the electric vehicle charging station firm based in California, has just released a study tracking the growth of EV sales between the fourth and third quarter of 2013, and it may not be limited to California’s metropolitan areas anymore.
Number one is Atlanta. The 3,000-plus EVs sold in the Atlanta area over the final quarter of 2013 represent a stunning 52 percent increase in electric sales from the third quarter, more than doubling the figure found in Washington, D.C. at number two. At 21 percent, D.C.'s second-place ranking shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has to fill up a tank to sit in the area’s traffic, or has seen the rabbit-like multiplying of Teslas inside the Beltway over the past year. Portland, Ore., an area rife with progressive thinkers and a natural fit for EV popularity, is third at 19.4 percent.
We all like automakers to innovate, but when they change how their cars function for the worse, what's the point?
Despite my constant exposure to new cars, I'm still surprised to find so many luxuries and high-tech features on low-cost models such as the Dodge Dart and Toyota Prius. It's proof that innovative gizmos debuting on today's luxury cars eventually trickle downmarket to future cars, the kind the rest of us can afford.
But just like you get stumped every now and then assembling your Ikea furniture, automakers sometimes get stumped with innovation. It’s hard to come up with new ideas that are also useful every time a model refresh comes around. And it doesn’t help that the stuff that was once state of the art is now commonplace throughout the industry.
Take, for example, the $18,490 Nissan Versa with an around-view monitor, giving the driver a futuristic look of the vehicle from “above.” When you’re at the top of the luxury hierarchy, you not only need to bring something more innovative than your competitors, but you’d better also hope you’re bringing things that the buying masses can’t get on their Nissans.
Powerboat racer builds an insane engine.
Did you know that the FD RX-7, one of the most legendary Mazdas ever, made do with just two rotors? Please. Even the Eunos Cosmo, a car at which we can only gaze from afar, had just one more rotor than that. To match the creation that Tyson Garvin has created, you would have to multiply the Eunos Cosmo's rotors by three, then add three more rotors. Then divide that by four, then add five more rotors. Then take away two, because you've gone too far. And then you'll have a 12-rotor Wankel engine, and quite possibly a nosebleed.
Garvin races endurance powerboats and raced from New York City to Bermuda in a little less than 16 hours, a record for the Bermuda Challenge that he and teammate Chris Fertig have set twice. The boat they used featured twin Cummins 5.9-liter diesels pumping out 480 hp each. It, and the new 12-rotor rotary, both serve to underscore the insanity that is powerboat racing.
Additional cars from a recall earlier this month brings the total to 1.62 million.
In a statement, GM said it found eight additional crashes related to the ignition switch problem for a total of 31 accidents and 13 deaths. A total of 1.37 million cars are affected in the U.S. and about 1.62 million worldwide.
Two weeks ago, GM recalled nearly 780,000 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007 Pontiac G5 sedans and coupes, including 619,122 in the U.S. At the time, the automaker said no other models were affected.
The additional cars include the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion coupe, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR compact SUV and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky 2-seat roadsters.
Add-on ThermalBlades claim to clear ice from a windshield so you don't have to.
This winter's unusual and persistent polar vortex temperatures have meant that more drivers have become acquainted with the morning routine of scraping or running a car’s engine for up to 20 minutes to fully defrost a frozen windshield.
So it’s not surprising that the inventor of the world’s first heated wiper blades, ThermalBlades, comes from a place where this time-intensive and fuel-wasting practice is common: Manitoba, Canada.
When the ambient temperature gets down to 35 degrees, ThermoBlades automatically heat up to between 70 and 90 degrees where the blades touch the windshield to melt ice and keep it from building up while driving in freezing conditions. ThermoBlades look and install just like other wiper blades, but are made of silicone instead of rubber to handle the high temperatures. They require adding a wired electrical connection and fuse under the hood, and they turn on and off with the ignition.
Built by the race team fielding Lotus prototype cars, the motorcycle is everything we'd ever hope for in a superbike.
This superbike isn't entirely what it seems. The British brand of lightweight sports cars makes sense attached to this exotic V-twin, but the C-01 is built and engineered by the German racing team Kodewa, which fields a Lotus-backed Le Mans Prototype car in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Kodewa engineers also have experience in German DTM and Formula One racing, which is quite evident from the expensive materials and handcrafted curves on the C-01. In some ways, it mimics the minimalist shape of the Lotus 49 F1 car from 1967 and echoes its green-and-gold paint livery.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5
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