Headlines for Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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Consumers likely to pay cost of replacing counterfeit airbags, dealers say

Now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has uncovered a counterfeit airbag ring that distributed potentially dangerous parts, some in the dealer community are worried that consumers will have to pay the replacement costs. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Counterfeit-airbag alert

U.S. refers worried owners to factory; Chrysler commercial Marchionne finds most pivotal; plus, Lexus print ad that moves. Read More »

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Q&A:

F&I winner prefers paper and pen to iPad

Dina Wilson is director of finance for the Cumberland, Md., dealerships of Timbrook Automotive, with Buick-GMC, Kia and Nissan new-car stores, plus a used-car store, Timbrook Auto Outlet. Read More »

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Toyota to recall 7.4 million vehicles globally on power window glitch

Toyota plans to recall 7.43 million vehicles worldwide -- including 2.47 million units in the United States -- in the single biggest automotive recall since 1996 to fix faulty power window switches. Read More »

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First Shift: Massive Toyota recall

Automaker calling in 7.4M vehicles worldwide for power-window switch glitch, U.S. airbag warning, iPhone and car colors. Read More »

PSA, Fiat debt ratings cut by Moody's on Europe concerns

PSA and Fiat had their debt ratings lowered to three levels below investment grade by Moody's Investors Service as slumping European car markets take a toll on the automakers' finances. Read More »

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Toyota to recall 7.4 million vehicles globally on power window glitch

Toyota announced the biggest single automotive recall since 1996 to fix malfunctioning power window switches, saying it will pull back 7.43 million vehicles worldwide, including 1.39 million in Europe. No injuries or accidents were reported from the faulty parts. Read More »

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Sirius hikes forecast for 2012 subscriber growth on auto sales

Sirius XM Radio, the satellite-radio broadcaster, boosted its forecast for 2012 subscriber gains to 1.8 million from 1.6 million, helped by growth in auto sales. Read More »

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White, silver top list of most popular car colors again, PPG says

Conservative paint colors were the most popular globally during the 2012 model year, with white again taking the top spot in PPG Industries' annual color survey. Natural colors such as brown, orange and gold rose slightly in popularity. Read More »

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U.S. safety regulators warn about counterfeit airbags

Federal safety regulators today issued a warning to consumers with repaired vehicles that they may have air bags that don't inflate in an accident. Read More »

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GUEST COMMENTARY:

Toyota's latest recall narrows recovery window

It may take just 40 minutes to replace the gizmo responsible for Toyota's latest embarrassment, but with 7.4 million cars to fix, that's 565 years of mechanic time. Actually it is neither the first nor the most serious of Toyota's recent difficulties. Read More »

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Acura to drop ZDX crossover after 2013 model year

American Honda said it will cancel the Acura ZDX five-door crossover after the 2013 model year. Production of the ZDX, which shares its platform with the Acura MDX crossover, will cease in early 2013 when the automaker transfers MDX production from Alliston, Ontario, to Lincoln, Ala. Read More »

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Fiat, Peugeot debt ratings cut by Moody's on Europe woes

Peugeot and Fiat had their debt ratings lowered to three levels below investment grade by Moody's Investors Service as slumping European car markets take a toll on the automakers' finances. Read More »

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HANS GREIMEL:

Tokyo Motor Show rebranded as technology show

The beleaguered Tokyo Motor Show, beset by fading importance and falling attendance, has taken a beating in recent years from bigger, brighter shows in China and beyond. Read More »

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Lutz joins board of steel materials supplier

Former GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz has joined the board of a private steel materials design company in which the U.S. automaker has invested. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

Think you're good? Try selling F&I to Justin Bieber

Imagine your favorite Hollywood actor sitting across from you as you pitch the benefits of an extended-service contract. Or picture batting around the benefits of paint and fabric protection to the prince of darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Read More »

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Q&A:

Honda Finance's next big job: Take dealers digital

Consistency has helped American Honda Finance Corp. become a powerhouse in leasing. David Paul, vice president, American Honda Finance, has spent 27 years at the company. He took the helm July 1. Read More »

California fine-print case could shake up dealers, auto lenders

If the California Supreme Court lets a ruling on arbitration stand against an auto dealership in Santa Clarita, dealerships and lenders in the state could be more vulnerable to litigation, including class-action lawsuits, the American Financial Services Association says. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Losing your car key is no small matter

It’s shocking that replacing a smart car key -- one with an embedded computer chip -- is so expensive, running as much as $400, consumer advocates and dealership F&I managers say. Read More »

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U.S. Fidelis co-founders get prison terms for service-contract fraud

The two brothers who founded U.S. Fidelis Inc. received prison terms and were ordered to pay more than $4 million apiece in restitution stemming from their defunct company's aggressive marketing of bogus extended-service contracts directly to consumers. Read More »

TIMELINE: Major global recalls in the auto industry

Toyota said it would recall more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide as a faulty power window switch was a potential fire hazard, the latest in a series of setbacks for Japan's biggest automaker. Read More »

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Russian car sales rise 10% in September as market cools

Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia grew 10 percent year-on-year in September to 259,582 units, but the market is showing signs of a slowdown, the Association of European Businesses said in a statement. Read More »

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Mercedes falters in bid to retake premium crown

Mercedes-Benz is falling further behind in the global luxury-sales contest with rivals BMW and Audi. A disjointed strategy in China, sluggish expansion of entry-level models and an aging S-class sedan, have all helped push the once-dominant upscale nameplate firmly into third place. Read More »

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Lithium ion battery breakthrough could cut costs, U.S. researchers say

University of California, San Diego researchers say they have developed a way to better estimate what goes on inside lithium ion batteries -- a breakthrough that could lead to lower battery costs and faster charging times for electric vehicles. Read More »

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Porsche names VW executive Blume as production chief

Porsche named Volkswagen's production planning head, Oliver Blume, as its new executive board member in charge of production and logistics. Read More »

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BorgWarner CEO sees 'difficult' fourth quarter on Europe slowdown

Supplier BorgWarner, which makes turbochargers, is concerned the fourth quarter may be “more difficult” for companies as a slowdown in Europe widens, CEO Tim Manganello said in an interview. Read More »

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How tech pitches boost service plans

"You're driving a spaceship." That's what Megan Jacoby tells customers when she pitches an extended-service contract to them. And when Jacoby, the finance director at Bob Smith BMW in Calabasas, Calif. Read More »

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, 5th-generation dealer Jamie Richter, acting on his dad's advice, has taken luxury-hotel touches and applied them to his newly built showroom. Mon., December 15
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