Massive Takata airbag recall

At the latest count more than 17 million vehicles from ten manufacturers have been recalled for frontal airbags in the United States alone and another seven million vehicles worldwide may also impacted by faulty airbags from the same manufacturer. Airbags are made by the Japanese parts manufacturer Takata and installed in vehicles starting model year 2002 through 2008. Among the recall are vehicles made by Acura, more than 765,000 vehicles from BMW, 2.88 million vehicles from Chrysler including Dodge and Ram, Over 500,000 vehicles from Ford, 5.5 million vehicles from Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Subaru, and 877,000 vehicles from Toyota.

The issue is defective inflator and propellant deterioration over time and may deploy improperly during an accident causing severe damage to the driver and passengers. Metal fragments from the airbag housing structure can also be released throughout the cabin adding more harm to occupants.

First sign of faults started with Infiniti in April 2013 and it took couple more years to realize the true impact of the problem. Toyota started to recall its vehicles in June 2014. Takata was slow to admit the problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the problem is acute under humidity and forced regional recalls starting with Florida, Hawaii and the rest of the US.

Tire maintenance for better vehicle performance

When the weather changes from winter to summer, it is time for you to think about vehicle maintenance more specifically tires. Tire pressure changes according to the weather. Warmer weather causes tires to lose air pressure by one to two pounds for every 10 degree increase in temperature. Since you tend to travel more under better weather conditions vehicle maintenance require your attention. You and your family’s safety depend on well-maintained vehicle.

An under-inflated tire could cause a tire blowout. You can easily recognize the condition due to bulging of the tire and noise it generates when you take a sharp turn at lower speeds. Noise also an indication of alignment problem and you need to get it checked by a certified auto maintenance specialist. An over-inflated tire poorly hugs the road and under wet conditions could cause hydroplaning. A worn out tire is similarly spell danger. Perform the penny test to see whether the tire is worn out or not. If you can’t see the Lincoln’s head when you insert a penny into the grove, the tire is still good. Tire inspection for cuts, nail and other inserts can be done visually. Make it a habit to inspect your tires each time you pump gas into the vehicle.

See similar article: Simple Tire Maintenance Tips.

A true hot rod from BMW

You can take any ordinary car and turn it into a hot rod by adding more horsepower, replace suspension, add sports seats, add a new dynamic sounding exhaust system and few others. This is exactly what BMW did to make a new M235i. The 2 Series BMW is a new name for its replacement of its 1 Series.

The 3.0-liter in-line 6 that generates 320 horsepower comes with 8-speed automatic and rear wheel drive. It delivers 22 city, 32 highway and 25 combined miles per gallon. The M235i comes with a variable-ratio steering, electronically controlled suspensions, upgraded brakes, new air intake system in front and yes, a 6-cylinder engine that generates 320 horsepower. All these add to quick acceleration and generate much loved exhaust noise expect from a hot rod.

With a manufacturer’s suggested retail base price of $44,050 its price is not slump change. But you will love the balance it provides due to rear wheel drive. Some critics say it should have come with an oil pressure gauge and a water temperature measurement indicator to make it true hot rod. Don’t worry, it is a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ and comes with a good rating from IIHS.

Are you in the market for fuel efficient SUV?


Gas prices are at reasonably low prices in recent months. That doesn’t stop people looking for automobiles that deliver better MPG at affordable prices. Many are especially looking for SUVs for various reasons. Some SUVs deliver more than 30 MPG while most of them claim more than 25 MPG.

People with large families or carry many things around prefer full-size SUVs. Let’s take a look at full-size SUVs that deliver good gas mileage. Among the top tier Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento claims that they deliver more than 25 MPG on highway. They provide ample cargo space and seat up to seven people comfortably. A crossover, Subaru XV Crosstrek, deliver 30 MPG on highway.

Many manufacturers are coming out with more fuel efficient SUVs. Yet to be introduced version of Nissan Rogue claim that it can deliver 48 MPG for around $25,000 price tag. 2016 RAV4 hybrid on the other hand deliver 40 MPG for about $30,000 MSRP. Its 2015 model has been named the most-fuel efficient in the class. If you are in the market for a SUV, clearly understand what you are looking for whether it is gas mileage or one that fits your budget, you are in luck.

Remote access security issues to highlight cyber security for the auto industry

Cyber security has been a primary concern for the Internet for several years. With more and more vehicles are equipped with Internet capable devices in cars, now it has become a concern for car manufacturers. A recent security breach in BMW’s Connected Drive remote-services system by researchers highlights the need to do more to protect the safety and security of drivers. Researchers found holes in the telematics system that allowed them to remotely get into the BMW’s cars and unlock doors and an opportunity to manipulate vehicle’s critical functions.

A possibility of remote security breach is a real problem for the auto industry. Fortunately for vehicle owners, so far breach can occur only within a close proximity to a vehicle. But hackers are hard at work and are coming up with new devices for true remote hacking of systems in vehicles without entering the vehicle or within a close proximity of a vehicle. More and more vehicles are providing and accommodating Internet access for smartphones, gaming devices and tablets inside cars while driving. Additionally, most of the vehicles today get updates over-the-air. These strengthen the need to address cyber security issues for vehicles sooner than later.

2014 BMW i3 with range extender

You may be wondering what the buss about the new BMW i3 commercial on TV. Dubbed as the city car of the future, stylish carbon-fiber/aluminum body helps the new i3 to take BMW driving experience to another level. Its low center of gravity allows it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. It will give you a range of 81 miles just from one charge which takes only three hours from a regular home 220-volt outlet. If you prefer, a two cylinder gasoline fueled range-extending gas engine can give up to a range of 150 miles. Yet it will be limited to a top speed of 56 miles per hour. BMW claims that i3 braking system can slowdown it from 70 mph to a stop within 160 feet.

The rear-wheel drive BMW i3 provides seating for four and comes as a four-door hatchback. Loaded with Bluetooth and heated seat. But if you are looking for an air conditioned car, this is not for you. It blows only unconditioned outside air. Its drive is similar to electric cars from Nissan, Ford, and Chevrolet. But it is the ideal car for city dweller with a knack for quality and style.

Be aware of toll roads when you rent a car

Have you driven on a toll road lately? More than 75 percent of toll roads have cash free lanes. Sometimes it is even harder to find a toll booth on a toll road. Many are using electronic transponders. If you are living in Florida, North Carolina, Texas and some parts of California you may have noticed that these states removed toll booths altogether. Toll road operators argue that it increase the efficiency and flow of traffic. What will happen if you are unaware of toll roads and new to the area or driving a rented car?

Rental car companies either require you to pay a flat fee to cover tolls or charge an administrative fee to forward correspondence for any unpaid tolls to you. Either way it is going to cost you more than you think. An unpaid $5 toll could cost you over $60. These outrageous fees resulted in complaints to Attorney Generals in many states and law suits against rental car agencies. In 2013, Hertz agreed to pay $11 million to settle a class action law suit where customers were charged a daily fee regardless they drove through toll roads or not.

High-quality package wrapped in 2015 Acura RDX

Acura is known for making reliable and efficient luxury cars and the 2015 Acura RDX is no exception. Its sharp styling and high-quality high-tech features make it one of the most sort after SUVs in the market. It carries five passengers and grabs the road with such a grace that passengers can ride on comfort. Don’t forget the excellent resale value of the SUV.

The 2015 Acura RDX comes with a V6 engine with six-speed automatic transmission. Shifting between gears is very smooth and seamless. It delivers 20 city and 28 highway miles per gallon that is comparable to similar SUVs in the market. Its braking system is one of the strongest in the class. As usual, the RDX comes with standard features including rearview camera, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, high quality leather upholstery, heated front seats, a USB port, Bluetooth, and satellite radio.

The cabin comes with premium materials, easy to use audio system and navigation, and climate control. The roomy backseat provides ample legroom and its front seats are very supportive of the driver and the passenger. Many other similar vehicles provide latest features such as blind spot monitoring, collision warning, and the RDX is lagging behind in this area.

Affordable Mazda CX-5

Starting around $28,000, the Mazda CX-5 comes in several designs to please the car lovers. Mazda CX-5 line of vehicles includes Mazda CX-5 Sport FWD, Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD, and Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. This affordable compact cross-over ranks on the top of similar SUVs. It is fun to drive, give you lots of fuel economy, and provides plenty of passenger space.

Its 2.0-liter, four cylinder engine or the 2.5-liter, four cylinder engine can provide acceleration options for the power hungry drivers. Six-speed manual transmission is standard while a six-speed automatic is also available. CX-5 delivers 26 city and 35 highway miles per gallon making it one of the highest among the comparable SUVs. Drivers prefer its agile handling and responsive steering and brakes that make it a fun to drive SUV.

Its cabin provides a clean design that comes with high quality material. Front seats are comfortable and provide side support. Many complain about its slower acceleration, smaller navigation screen, and its display quality. However, four speaker stereo, USB port, and Bluetooth capability are standard and one can upgrade to Bose stereo, HD radio, navigation, blind spot monitoring, low speed automatic braking, rearview camera and moon roof.

BMW make improvements to its M6 power house

BMW M6 is going through a makeover for 2015 and the newly enhanced car will be shown at the Detroit motor show in January 2015 and will go on sale in March 2015. Its entire line of M6 sport cars that comes in hardtops, convertibles, coupe and Gran Coupe now comes in a redesign kidney grille that has nine opposed to previous ten slats, forged 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear aprons with LED-headlights in the front sitting slightly above, bigger air intake, and redesign carbon fiber roof for the hard top. Some of these improvements further improves its center of gravity which is the M6 is best known for. BMW did not stop there; it has improved the interior by offering a range of options from which new car owners can choose from. But for some these changes are minor in nature.

M6 petrol comes with a 4.4-liter V8 twin-turbocharged engine. It can reach 0 to 62 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds. The maximum speed is limited at 155 mph. But options are available to further improve the top speed. M6 comes in 6-cylinder as well as 8-cylinder, rear wheel drive. But for those who prefer all-wheel drive are in luck with XDrive. The diesel option comes in 6-cylinder with a 464 turbocharged engine.