VW RECALLS '99 Golfs, Jettas
DETROIT - Volkswagen of America Inc. is recalling 11,585 of its 1999 Golfs and Jettas because of possible problems with sound-absorbing insulation.
The insulation is housed in the B-pillar, near the seat-belt pretensioners. If the insulation is installed incorrectly, it can ignite when the pretensioner is activated, said VW spokesman Tony Fouladpour.
No fires or injuries have been reported. VW caught the problem during in-house tests, he said. VW will remove the insulation, Fouladpour said, resulting in a nominal increase in cabin noise levels at high speeds.
The recall affects 11,095 Jettas that were built in Mexico and went on sale in the United States last November. It also affects 490 Golfs built in Germany and available for sale in the United States last month.
Sonic buys 5 dealerships
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sonic Automotive Inc. has agreed to acquire five new-car dealerships for about $14.3 million in cash and $3.4 million in Sonic stock.
The dealerships are: Lloyd Pontiac-Cadillac-GMC and Lloyd Nissan in Panama City, Fla.; Fred Bondeses Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac in DeLand, Fla.; Superior Oldsmobile-Cadillac-GMC in Cleveland, Tenn.; and Fitzgerald Chevrolet in Monroe, N.C. Their combined revenue last year was $156 million.
Holloway: Give us respect
SAN FRANCISCO - The National Automobile Dealers Association wants some respect, says outgoing NADA Chairman Paul Holloway. According to a Gallup poll, 76 percent of new-car buyers are satisfied with the buying experience. Yet, the public has a negative image of car dealers, Holloway noted during a speech that was to be delivered Saturday, Feb. 6, at the NADA convention here.
Audi redesigns A4 brake linings
INGOLSTADT, Germany - Audi AG has redesigned the brake linings of its A4 models to avoid corrosion by road salt. The salt appears to slow the braking system's reaction time, Audi said. According to Bloomberg News Service, customers have complained about slow brake response since mid-December. Audi said it will install the new brake linings on new A4s and will retrofit vehicles already sold.
Low-sulfur fuel gains support
WASHINGTON - Evidence mounted late last week that the auto industry is winning its argument with oil companies over the need for low-sulfur gasoline nationwide.
A high-ranking EPA official, reacting to automaker requests that low-sulfur fuel requirements be part of upcoming new clean-air rules, said: 'They have convinced me to do that.'
The EPA official, who asked not to be named, is among those at the agency putting finishing touches on proposed new-vehicle emission rules, called Tier 2.