The automaker launches a new Web initiative soliciting product improvement ideas from you, the consumer
Yesterday, Ford’s president of the Americas, Mark Fields, announced a new online initiative designed to solicit ideas and spark debate about automotive technology. The “Your Ideas” social media portal will be part of the Ford Story Web site, which launched in December 2008. Ford Story already gives people a platform to post their favorite stories, photos and videos related to their blue oval vehicles and to converse with other Ford owners and company management about the problems and concerns they have about their cars. The Your Ideas section will take that managerial commitment to collaboration with consumers and other auto-industry outsiders to the next level, in hopes of building better products that people want -- and need.
Your Ideas will allow consumers to “submit, share and suggest ideas and technologies they believe fit in the automotive space.”
By Greg Migliore
The recall stems from a dashboard material that was cut wrong, which would cause the airbag to deploy improperly. About two percent of the vehicles recalled are likely affected, spokesman Gary Robinson said.
Insure.com examines the cost of car insurance, and ranks them based on cost by state.
Do you want to save on your car insurance? Then you should move to Maine or Vermont, according to a recent survey by Insure.com. Those states have the lowest average car-insurance rates in the nation -- $902.85 and $968.58, respectively. Low commuter miles and uncrowded highways were credited with keeping the rates low.
Those who live in Louisiana ($2,510.87) and Michigan ($2,098.29) pay the most for insurance.
In the survey, average rates were calculated for more than 2,400 vehicles in 2010. Rates were based on a 40-year-old male driver who commutes 12 miles to work, has a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage and carries limits of 100/300/50, meaning a $100,000 maximum injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 property damage per collision.
Click through to see what the average driver pays in your state for car insurance.
The BMW 1-Series is one hot potato -- everywhere else but here in America
BMW took the time to blow its own horn by announcing that the company has produced more than 1 million 1-Series models. Believe it or not, buyers around the globe have found reason enough to snap the car up over healthy competition from other manufacturers. It’s kind of hard to believe BMW has had that much success with the 1-Series, given the model’s less-than-stellar sales here in the United States.
U.S. consumers can have their tiny BMW in either coupe or convertible, with a choice of two powerful engines -- which all sounds good until you start eyeing the price tag. Start choosing your options and before long, you can easily justify the jump to the much larger and more costly 3-Series.
The bad news keeps on coming for Toyota; now its luxury brand takes a major hit
When it rains it pours. But the folks in the Toyota camp have to be saying to themselves: When will it stop? For the first time in nearly a decade, Consumer Reports, a widely respected authority on automotive quality and reliability, is urging its readers not to buy an automobile: the Lexus GX 460. Why has the magazine slapped a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk” label on the 7-passenger SUV? It could potentially roll over in real-world driving situations, such as when a driver enters a highway exit ramp or powers through a sweeping turn and encounters an obstacle or finds he has entered the turn with too much speed for the vehicle to stay firmly on the asphalt.
The roll out of this game changing electric vehicle remains on track
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt continues to rack up test miles as it streaks toward launching in the United States late this year.
Engineers said they have put 250,000 miles collectively on test Volts since November, and have flogged the extended range electric vehicle in extreme cold weather conditions. Some individual test cars have more than 20,000 miles on the clock. The Volt, the most anticipated General Motors vehicle in years, remains on track for its rollout in some parts of the nation, officials said.
The Mini E Race hit a top speed of 115.9 mph while running a hot lap of the Nurburgring.
We don't think it broke any lap records but it is impressive--an electric-powered Mini has lapped the 12.9-mile North Course of Germany's Nurburgring race track in 9 minutes, 51.45 seconds.
With former German Touring Car driver Thomas Jaeger at the wheel, the electric Mini hit a top speed of 115.9 mph.
Jaeger said: "The power of the electric motor has an incredible effect, as you can access its full reserves of torque at all times. Another element of this fascinating experience is the lack of noise from the drivetrain. All in all, that was certainly the cleanest and quietest race lap I've ever driven."
Dodge Viper is headed toward extinction.
The Dodge Viper is being placed in mothballs -- for now anyway -- as the 50 "Final Edition" Viper SRT-10 coupes, convertibles and race-ready ACRs get ready to roll off their Motown assembly line this summer.
All will feature a slick graphite-and-black color scheme, and be stuffed with a 600-horsepower 8.4-liter version of the 10-cylinder engine that’s been one of the Viper’s high-decibel calling cards since it first blew away crowds as a concept car at the 1989 Auto Show in Detroit. However, we can't pronounce the legendary nameplate dead yet; there are rumors a new Viper will hit the streets in 2013 that will have just as sharp fangs but be a bit more domesticated than current models.
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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