Mixed bag from CU
WASHINGTON - Some popular new cars and trucks are not living up to owners' expectations for reliability, says Consumer Reports.
The magazine said these vehicles performed well in Consumers Union tests last year but now rank high in owner complaints: the Volkswagen New Beetle, electrical problems; Mercedes-Benz M class and Jeep Grand Cherokee, miscellaneous troubles; Volvo S80, transmission woes; and Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, squeaks and rattles.
The magazine crowned these vehicles best in class for 2000: Volkswagen Passat and Toyota Camry, family cars; Mazda Protege, small sedan; Mazda MX-5 Miata, sports car; Audi A6, upscale sedan; Subaru Forester, small sport-utility; Lexus RX 300, conventional sport-utility; Toyota Tundra, full-sized pickup; Ford Ranger, compact pickup; Honda Odyssey, minivan; and Mercedes-Benz E320, best overall.
FEDERAL-MOGUL STOCK OFF
DETROIT - Federal-Mogul Corp. shares fell again last week despite announcing plans to close or downsize dozens of plants and eliminate 3 percent of its work force to cut costs. The supplier's shares closed at $15.37 Friday, March 17, after starting the week above $15.
FORD, GM RAISE FREIGHT
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. and General Motors raised freight charges this month. For Ford, it was the second across-the-board boost of the 2000 model year. GM also has raised the destination charge twice on several vehicle lines.
Each of Ford's increases was $25, so Ford dealers and customers now are paying $50 more for freight than they were at the end of the 1999 model year. GM's March increases in destination charges ranged from $10 to $45. The first disclosures affected Chevrolet and Buick cars and Oldsmobile cars and trucks.