Toyota has announced that it plans to recall 95,700 2009 and 2010 model year Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and 2008 and 2009 Scion xD vehicles all equipped with 1.8 liter engines. The company is only notifying owners in states “affected” by extremely low temperatures: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
If you’re planning on taking advantage of the Cash 4 Clunkers program you’d better do it sooner rather than later, says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The program is running out of money and the administration says that in the next two days they will outline a plan to gracefully wind it down.
GM is planning massive layoffs. Shockingly, just asking people to quit for money didn’t work. A job in this economy is apparently worth more than cash payments of $20,000 to $115,000 and $25,000 toward a new-vehicle purchase. [NYT]
Rain water, not fraud or sabotage, is behind the bad gasoline sold at stations near Baltimore early this week. Hess, the supplier, is covering any damage to customers’ cars caused by the diluted fuel. So, how does this happen?
Remember the disgruntled Range Rover owner in England who lettered his complaints on the vehicle and parked it in front of the dealership? Reader M.H. discovered his American counterpart standing in front of a Hyundai dealership in Vancouver, Washington.
Just because there’s a recession on doesn’t mean you can’t have a hobby. Well, ok. It might mean that, but let’s assume for a second that it doesn’t. The NYT asked some collectible car experts to recommend some affordable old cars that, while they may not be considered “an investment,” are still lots of fun.
GM’s debt-for-stock offer to its bondholders expires tonight. The company needs 90% of the bondholders to agree but has a fraction of that, notes CNN, which almost assures a bankruptcy filing in the coming days. We say “almost” because it’s possible the Treasury Department will extend talks with bondholders until June 1st, when GM’s other deadlines hit.
Sorry, Canada. GM is shutting down 42% of their dealerships north of the border. [Bloomberg]
Demand for bigass SUVs just isn’t what it used to be. Ford says it is spending “550 million to convert a plant, which previously produced trucks and SUVs, into a “green” manufacturing complex building small fuel-efficient and electric cars,” says CNN.
Chrysler is offering up to $4,000 in cash rebates for new car purchasers. The world says, “meh.” [CNN]
President Obama announced today that Chrysler would seek bankruptcy protection and enter into an alliance with Fiat. The president told reporters that a “small group of speculators” made up of hedge funds and other investors held out in the hopes that the US government would bail them out. That didn’t happen.
GM released a new plan to avoid bankruptcy today, and the cuts are deep. The U.S. Treasury would own at least 50% of the company and the failing Pontiac brand would be completely eliminated.
Repossessing cars is so old-fashioned. All that driving, locating people’s houses, towing the cars away… with the mess credit markets are currently in, who has time for that? Car lenders don’t.
BusinessWeek did a little math and discovered that if you lined up all the new financing deals, tax incentives and discounts — a new car might actually be cheaper than a late model used one. But do you care?
The IRS just announced that new car buyers can deduct the state and local sales and excise taxes on their 2009 tax returns next year, according to our furry little tax adviser.
$2 Billion For Volvo? Ford Motor Co. may get $1 billion to $2 billion for its Volvo Cars unit, less than a third of what it paid 10 years ago. Yeowch. [Bloomberg]
Here’s a weird symptom of the disease that’s killing the auto industry — empty car dealerships, some of which are still open for business.
Why Does Diesel Cost So Much? In part two of a two-part series on diesel fuel, Consumer Reports finds that there are three main reasons diesel fuel costs so much, according to the petroleum experts they interviewed. The most obvious reason? Higher taxes. [CR]