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Auto News Digest

Acura raises CL prices

LOS ANGELES - Acura Division has increased the price of the 2002 3.2 CL luxury performance coupe and the high-performance 3.2 CL Type-S by $50 over 2001-model prices.

The 2002 3.2 CL is priced at $28,510, including a $480 destination charge.

The Type-S model is $30,860, including the destination charge.

The 2002 CL models went on sale last week nationwide.

Acura charges $2,000 for its optional Acura Navigation System.

Ford recalls Windstars

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. said Thursday, Sept 6., that it had recalled more than 1.1 million Windstar minivans, Mercury Cougar coupes and Contour and Mystique sedans because of possible fire hazards.

Ford said it sent recall letters to owners of about 778,000 1999-2001 Windstars after 10 reports of the windshield wiper motor catching fire.

About 525,000 of the 1999-2001 Windstars also were recalled because of a potential fire hazard in the rear seat air conditioning/heating system.

Reports of 27 fires resulting from a similar problem in the air conditioning/heating systems of 1996-1999 Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique and the 1999 Cougar prompted the recall of more than 342,000 of those cars, a spokesman said.

Surf's up on automaker sites

NEW YORK - Web surfers are driving a lot of traffic to auto manufacturer sites, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, an Internet audience measurement service.

American car manufacturers captured the top two rankings in July.

Ford reached 1.4 million unique visitors, followed by Chevrolet, which attracted 905,000 unique visitors.

Toyota drew 809,000 unique visitors, while Honda lured 782,000 unique visitors.

General Motors' rounded out the top five rankings with 734,000 unique visitors.

Nielsen/NetRatings measures and reports Internet audience behavior based on data collected from 62,000 home users and 8,000 at-work users in the United States as well as 155,000 international users.

CarMax sells 9 properties

RICHMOND, Va. - CarMax Superstores Inc. sold nine of its dealership properties to Capital Automotive REIT, a publicly held real estate investment trust based in McLean, Va., for $102.4 million.

Under the agreement, Capital Automotive will lease the properties back to CarMax for 15 years with two 10-year renewal options.

CarMax will continue to run its business on the sites.

The nine CarMax locations involved in the deal are in California, Florida, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

CarMax is owned by retailer Circuit City and operates 33 used-car superstores and 20 new-car franchises.

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