Automotive News Breaking News Feed News, blogs and commentary from the leader in North American automotive news en-us Thu, 27 Nov 2014 06:00:00 EST Secretive Lexus LFA workshop now makes Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan Thu, 27 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Toyota has struggled until now to fill the void at the secretive workshop in Japan where the Lexus LFA was assembled ever since the last $375,000 sports car rolled off a line in December 2012. Halla mulls buying back Visteon stake in climate control unit Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:34:21 EST Halla CEO Im Kee Young said he's still considering buying back the group's former automotive heater and air conditioner maker after a buyout fund agreed to acquire a stake in the business, Halla Visteon Climate Control. Senate panel plans Dec. 3 hearing on NHTSA nominee Rosekind Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:09:45 EST A U.S. Senate panel will hold a hearing next week to consider the nomination of Mark Rosekind, a human fatigue and pilot-alertness expert, to become the head of NHTSA. Mini to reduce lineup to 5 'Superhero' cars Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:04:21 EST BMW has decided that Mini has gotten too big and will shrink the compact brand's lineup to five models from eight. The move reverses course after Mini rolled out a series of quirky derivatives like the coupe and roadster two-seaters in recent years. GM ordered to produce ex-CEO Wagoner's 2009 performance review Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:34:20 EST A U.S. judge ordered GM to give customers any portions of former CEO Rick Wagoner's 2009 performance evaluation that relate to recalls and ignition-switch issues. UAW members rally in Toledo to keep Wrangler output; city urged to buy land Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:05:54 EST UAW members rallied before Toledo's city council Tuesday asking the city to approve the purchase of industrial land needed for the potential expansion of the assembly plant that makes the hot-selling Jeep Wrangler. Toyota says RAV4 improves in key overlap front crash test Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:48:21 EST A year after Toyota's RAV4 crossover was denied an influential top safety rating, an updated design underwent new crash testing this week that engineers promise will deliver high honors and redeem the nameplate's reputation. Honda recalled cars with Takata airbags in 2002, documents show Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:40:01 EST Honda recalled a small number of cars equipped with Takata airbags in March 2002, two years before the first known injury that Honda and Takata have linked to a defective airbag inflator. NHTSA orders Takata to undertake national airbag recall Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:34:22 EST U.S. regulators formally demanded Takata take part in a nationwide recall of defective airbags, saying the company's piecemeal approach to fixing a potentially deadly flaw in millions of cars is insufficient. Chrysler says airbag recall to start earlier than planned Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:17:58 EST Chrysler Group will send recall notifications to owners of vehicles equipped with potentially defective Takata airbags nearly two weeks earlier than planned, the company said late Wednesday. Toyota brings active safety to masses in 2015 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:05:58 EST Toyota will step closer to autonomously driving cars next year when it begins to deploy a range of advanced active-safety systems across its mass-market lineup. Tony Johnson, backer of Saleen and major suppliers, dies at 74 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:30:20 EST Tony Johnson, co-founder of Hidden Creek Industries, a private company that acquired, sold and backed some of the auto industry's biggest suppliers and boutique car builders, died Nov. 16. He was 74. Delphi's Korean partner complicating sale of thermal unit Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:15:56 EST Delphi Automotive's sale of its air conditioning business is being complicated by potential problems with one of its South Korean joint venture partners, three people familiar with the deal said. Takata airbag rupture in Japan signals more automaker recalls Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:36:25 EST Japan's transportation ministry said a Takata airbag ruptured in a model not covered by existing recalls, suggesting automakers may have to expand safety campaigns to replace the devices linked to five deaths. Ferrari spin-off to reduce Fiat Chrysler debt by $894 million Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:57:50 EST Fiat Chrysler Automobiles expects its net industrial debt to drop by about $894 million thanks to a planned Ferrari spin-off, a regulatory filing showed on Wednesday. Land Rover blasts Evoque look-alike from China Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:53:50 EST Land Rover plans to complain to Chinese officials about a close copy of its Evoque SUV that broke cover at the Guangzhou Motor Show in China late last week. U.S. auto loan originations at highest level in 9 years, N.Y. Fed says Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:14:59 EST Americans took out the most auto loans in nine years during the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's quarterly Household Debt and Credit Report. Chrysler pressed by NHTSA to move faster on Takata airbag recall Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:50:32 EST U.S. regulators told Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to speed up its recall of airbags with faulty inflators linked to at least five deaths. NHTSA said in a letter Tuesday to the company that it should begin its recall of cars with Takata airbags Dec. Cars and concepts that glowed in the L.A. spotlight Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST These four concepts and one production model are ready for their close-ups. Visteon confirms discussions to sell stake in climate control joint venture Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:16:06 EST Visteon Corp. confirmed this morning that it's in discussions with a private equity firm to sell its stake in South Korean joint venture Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp. Japanese regulators to oversee Takata recalls, investigate Honda's recall errors in U.S. Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:30:47 EST Japan's transport ministry will form groups to oversee airbag recalls tied to Takata Corp. and probe Honda Motor Co. for underreporting faults in the U.S., adding to regulatory scrutiny of the two companies. Discounts, falling gas prices driving Nov. sales higher Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:30:00 EST The U.S. auto industry may post its highest November sales volume since 2001, and one forecaster says light-vehicle transaction prices are on pace to reach the highest level ever for a second consecutive month. Canada helped bail out GM, Chrysler with incomplete information, auditor finds Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:19:22 EST Canada had limited information about the restructuring plans of GM and Chrysler Group when the government approved a $12.1 billion bailout for the automakers in 2009, federal auditors said. NHTSA closes probes into 600,000 Ford, GM vehicles Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:41:43 EST Safety regulators have closed investigations into about 500,000 Ford Motor and about 100,000 General Motors vehicles without calling for recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today. Scion nixes convertible, turbocharged FR-S Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:45:24 EST Toyota says there will be no convertible version of the Scion FR-S sports car and -- in a blow to power-seeking enthusiasts everywhere -- no turbocharged engine. 100,000 Mazda6 sedans recalled for tire-monitoring systems Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:17:53 EST Mazda is recalling about 100,000 of its Mazda6 sedans from the 2014 and 2015 model years because the tire monitoring system may not alert drivers to low tire pressure, U.S. regulators said today. Ford Mustang goes to Dubai Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Ford is rolling out all the stops for the international debut of its pony car. Continental's electronics, Korea units to plead guilty to price fixing Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:16:59 EST South Korean suppliers Continental Automotive Electronics and Continental Automotive Korea will plead guilty to rigging the prices of instrument panel clusters and pay a criminal fine of $4 million, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Lexus' Bracken says 300,000 U.S. sales 'is within our grasp' this year Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:35:41 EST Lexus is raising its U.S. sales target to 300,000 vehicles this year, General Manager Jeff Bracken said. 'We started the year with a sales goal of 290,000 units,' Bracken told Automotive News. 'Now 300,000 is within our grasp. Honda admits under-reporting serious U.S. accidents since 2003 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:00:00 EST American Honda failed to tell federal safety regulators about more than 1,700 claims of deaths or injuries linked to possible safety defects in its vehicles since 2003, when the law requiring the reports took effect, the automaker said today. Buffalo dealers dig out while Ford restarts stamping plant Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:44:28 EST Auto dealers in the Buffalo region are reopening this week after digging out from the massive snowstorm that dumped up to 7 feet of snow in some areas. Takata to face U.S. House hearing into airbag crisis Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST Takata and Honda executives will return to Capitol Hill next week to testify about the growing safety crisis surrounding Takata airbag inflators that may explode in a crash. GM executives help scour social media to spot vehicle flaws Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:15:00 EST GM executives and other staff members have taken to social media to find customer complaints and identify quality issues long before they become a crisis. '18 Wrangler to get 8-speed automatic Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST The long-awaited Jeep Wrangler redesign planned for 2018 will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission that promises to dramatically improve the off-roader's fuel economy. Ford to keep base price stable on Explorer, but raises top trim level Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:58:56 EST Ford has held the line on prices for the refreshed 2016 Explorer crossover, but a new top-of-the-line Platinum trim raises the ceiling on what a customer can spend for the hot-selling full-size crossover to well above $50,000. Fiat takes on 'Fix It Again, Tony' in spot for the 500X Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:30:03 EST Fiat global brand head Olivier Francois calls Tony 'the elephant in the room.' And for more than five years, Fiat has tried to run away from him, even though Tony does not exist, but no more. Conviction of Saturn Ion driver thrown out after 10 years Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:00:13 EST A Texas judge today overturned a 7-year-old negligent homicide conviction against a woman whose boyfriend died when her Saturn Ion -- now known to have had a defective ignition switch -- crashed, her lawyer said. Fuel cell cars steal spotlight Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Automakers are beginning to nudge the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle out of the illusion factory that is Southern California and into the broader conversation about the future of clean transportation. Airbag inflator shortage plagues industry Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Honda and other automakers that have recalled vehicles equipped with Takata airbags are trapped in a nasty dilemma. Toyota's fuel cell goal: Big cost cutting Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Toyota Motor Corp.'s top fuel cell engineer predicts the automaker will slash the cost of the next hydrogen-fueled powertrain to between one-third and one-fourth the cost of the current system. Ford F-150 rivals: Let's rumble Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Ford Motor Co. began shipping finished 2015 F-150 pickups to dealers last week as it announced the new aluminum-body truck will get up to 29 percent better fuel economy than the outgoing steel-body F-150. SGL sees rising interest in carbon fiber parts Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST SGL Group, the materials supplier for carbon fiber reinforced parts in BMW's electric cars, is in talks with Audi, Porsche, GM and other carmakers to supply carbon fiber for a wider range of automotive components, its CEO said. BMW, Mercedes gain in once-impregnable Korea Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST South Korea's car imports have leapt from 3 percent of sales a decade ago to 14 percent today as foreign brands led by Germany's BMW and Mercedes take advantage of a free trade deal to grow sales in a once impregnable market. Korean buyout fund considers buying Halla Visteon Climate Control stake Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:43:07 EST South Korean buyout fund Hahn and Co. is considering purchasing shares in Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp. from Visteon Corp., a person familiar with the matter said. Hyundai-Kia says it will sell record 8 million vehicles globally in 2014 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:22:43 EST Hyundai and Kia said better-than-expected sales in Brazil, China and India will help them sell a record 8 million vehicles this year, even as a stronger won erodes profitability. Ghosn: Nissan will fill gaps with Japanese imports Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST As Nissan Motor Corp. pushes to boost U.S. market share and cut reliance on Japanese imports, it's clear which goal takes priority: selling more vehicles. Even if it takes more imports to do it. Audi tests car sharing for the wealthy Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Audi is dipping its toe into car sharing, but with a premium twist. Audi has quietly begun two pilot luxury car sharing programs in Europe - one in Stockholm and another in Berlin. GM's savvy new face to suppliers Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Addressing an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich., this summer, General Motors' global powertrain boss Steve Kiefer asked a room packed with about 500 people how many owned a GM vehicle. As Ford spends big, GM joins aluminum with simple welds Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST General Motors is adding more lightweight aluminum to its vehicles. But unlike Ford Motor Co., GM is not spending hundreds of millions of dollars to retool its assembly plants for the metal. M-B exec: S class 'is now our flagship platform' Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Mercedes-Benz thinks there's a new, hot niche in the global auto industry: $100,000-plus cars. %]