Convertibles' aural assault
According to a new study in the Journal of Laryngology and Otology -- don't worry, this will be brief and simple -- driving with a convertible top down at speeds of 55 mph and above can be detrimental to one's hearing. The research, undertaken by the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and The Ear Institute of Texas, involved the use of a sound-level meter by a passenger in each of five different makes and models of car operated by drivers in various road scenarios.
By Jamie Lareau, Automotive News
Consumer Reports said Monday it will not recommend the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV and Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers because of low scores in the magazine's tests, and panned Ford Motor Co.'s MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch technology.
The magazine also said it will not recommend the Infiniti QX56, a V8 version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Porsche Cayenne. Those SUVs performed well in testing but were too new for the magazine to have adequate reliability data to recommend, it said.
The Tahoe, Edge and MKX scored too low in testing to be recommended, the magazine, published by Consumers Union, said in a press release.
Toyota debuts new smart-phone-based multimedia infotainment system.
"Toyota Entune leverages the customer's mobile phone to create a rich in-vehicle experience that offers fully integrated and upgradeable entertainment, navigation and information services. By utilizing conversational voice recognition and in-vehicle controls, the driver doesn't have to touch their mobile phone, allowing for safer connectivity. Toyota Entune simplifies the interaction for customers and will be available in select vehicles this year."Entune is a downloadable mobile application that, when paired with a Bluetooth-capable phone synced to the vehicle, allows customers to access content and service features. The system is also wirelessly upgradable, which should allay those non-early adopters who live in fear of imminent obsolescence.
New lawsuit brought against the manufacturer.
Shortly after it was reported that Toyota paid approximately $10 million to the families of several people killed in a crash that started with a runaway Lexus -- the crash that prompted the first wave of unintended-acceleration reports -- seven insurance companies are suing Toyota to recover the money they paid out to cover claims related to unintended acceleration, according to the Detroit Free Press.
By Automotive News
Fiat SpA, the Italian carmaker that owns 20 percent of Chrysler Group LLC, may boost the holding to more than 50 percent before an initial public offering by the U.S. automaker, the companies' chief executive officer said.
“I think it is possible. I don't know whether it is likely, but it is possible that we'll go over the 50 percent mark if Chrysler decides to go to the markets in 2011,” Sergio Marchionne, 58, told reporters at the Milan stock exchange on Monday. “It will be advantageous if that happens.”
Fiat received the stake as part of Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy reorganization under government supervision. It expects to receive an additional 15 percent this year when Chrysler makes a small engine in the U.S. and meets sales objectives outside of North America. Fiat has an option to increase the holding to 51 percent, by buying an additional 16 percent, after Chrysler repays U.S. and Canadian government loans.
Crossover joins a crowd of 2010 kill-offs.
But the SRX Turbo isn’t alone as a vehicle that won’t see the light of 2011. The luxury crossover finds itself in the good company of vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, Kia Borrego and Honda Element, all of which have had their last hurrah thanks either to lagging sales or the likelihood of an upcoming successor.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
We're off to start the celebratin'. Hope you are, too.
Off on Monday, see you on Tuesday.
Mercedes patents new-look Smart car, but for unknown purposes.
As you can see, the vehicle has no doors, no roof, and no windshield. What it does have is a dose of attitude, which is something Smart has been lacking in a big way of late, especially in light of its well-documented sales struggles in the U.S. and elsewhere.
(Found at Jalopnik.)
Explore New Cars
More on MSN Autos
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
About Exhaust Notes
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.