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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Safety Crash Ratings: The Best And The Worst 2014 And 2015 Models

If safety is of concern to you, especially if you have precious cargo like children to transport, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts vehicle tests to help consumers determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash. IIHS also rates vehicles for front crash prevention, systems like what is featured in the video that warn the driver or brake automatically to avoid or mitigate a frontal collision. To see which 2014 and 2015 model year vehicles scored at the top of the list, click here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Recall Mondays: Ford Announcing Two Major Recalls Affecting 200,000 Vehicles

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Escape vehicles manufactured October 5, 2011, to April 1, 2013, and equipped with 2.0 liter engines and Focus ST vehicles manufactured February 14, 2012, to October 14, 2013, and equipped with 2.0 liter engines. Insufficient compression in the engine wiring harness splices to the Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor may provide incorrect signals to the powertrain control module (PCM).
The incorrect signals could cause the vehicle to hesitate or the engine to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the current crimped splices with new splices, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 29, 2014. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14S17.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 Lexus ES350: The Original Standard For Entry-Level Luxury

Highlight: The ES350 is now available as the 300h, a fuel-efficient hybrid.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $44,202 (Base Model starts at $37,350)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags (dual front, dual front knees, rear seated mounted and side-curtain); vehicle stability control; traction control; ABS; electronic brake distribution; a tire pressure monitoring system; a first aid kit; daytime running lamps; and Lexus’ Safety Connect System (similar to GM’s OnStar System without the concierge system)

Standard Equipment: 17-inch wheels; a push-button keyless starter system; leather seats; power front seats; auto dimming rearview mirror; a power sunroof; driving mode selections (economy, normal and sport); and carpeted floormats

Monday, September 8, 2014

Recall Mondays: Saturn's Vue Recalled For Rollaway Concerns

General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2002-2004 Saturn Vue vehicles manufactured September 11, 2001, to April 6, 2004. In the affected vehicles, it may be possible for the key to be removed from the ignition when the ignition is not in the "Off" position.
If the key can be removed from the ignition when the ignition is not in the "off" position, the vehicle could roll away: (a) for an automatic transmission, if the transmission is not in the "Park" position; or (b) for a manual transmission, if the parking brake is not engaged and the transmission is not in the "Reverse" position. This potential for rollaway increases the risk for a crash and occupant or pedestrian injuries.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Latest Auto Trends: Driving Facts About Car Loans, Leases And Credit

Auto Loan Analysis: Comparing the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014

For those in the market to purchase a vehicle and have plans on either financing or leasing a vehicle, check out these stats.

  1. The percentage of subprime and deep subprime new car loans being approved by lenders decreased by 7 percent over the last year. During the second quarter of  2013, 22 percent of loans were approved as opposed to 15 percent for the same period in 2014. Subprime credit are those with credit scores below 650, where as deep subprime are those with credit scores in the 500 range or lower.
  2. The percentage of used car loans to subprime and deep subprime loans also dipped from 50.6 percent in 2013 to 40.2 percent this year.
  3. The average new vehicle loan extended to subprime consumers dropped from $27,563 during the second quarter of 2013 to $27,347 during the same period in 2014. 
  4. For used cars, the average deep subprime loan was $15,113 in the second quarter of 2013, as opposed to $14,358, during the same period in 2014.
  5. Leases, which are typically extended to those with high credit scores, accounted for 25.6 percent of new car sales during the second quarter of this year, up from 23.4 during the second quarter of 2013.