Fully autonomous cars will be available to consumers someday, but not yet. After consumer advocates, including our own parent organization, Consumer Reports, complained to Mercedes and to the Federal Trade Commission about the misleading nature of an ad that shows off a new model’s driver-assist features. The car isn’t autonomous, but advocates were concerned that the ads imply that it is. [More]
Another auto parts maker has kicked off a massive recall thanks to potentially defective airbags. This time, it’s Continental Automotive Systems, which has alerted federal regulators that some 5 million vehicles produced by a half-dozen car companies may contain airbags that could deploy inadvertently or fail to deploy in a crash.
Volkswagen may not be the only carmaker with diesel engines that pass emissions tests in the garage but would fail if tested on the open road. A new report claims that several other manufacturers have diesel vehicles that test well until you put them in real world driving situations. [More]
While you’d like to think you can’t go wrong with a middle-of-the-road vehicle from a well-known car company, sometimes you’re still not getting the most for your car-buying dollar. [More]
If you bought or leased a new car in the Toyota family from Jan 1, 2001 to April 30, 2003, you could get some cash in a new class action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy between Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and the Canadian Automobile Dealer’s Association (CADA) to keep Canadian car exports out of the states and raise prices for American consumers.
Wisconsin’s lemon law for cars is pretty strict. If a customer demands a refund on a newly bought car that won’t run and can’t be repaired, the manufacturer has to comply within 30 days or pay double the purchase price plus legal fees. Marco Marquez has been fighting Mercedes-Benz for 4 years now over a $56,000 E 320 he bought in 2005 that immediately stopped working. He says the company deliberately stalled on giving him the refund in time, and last week a judge awarded him $482,000.
Last week, Mercedes showed a bunch of journalists some new safety features it’s working on to prevent deaths in the event of a car crash, and BNET describes them. I hope you like air bags going off all around you–the demo even has air bags for the car. Sadly, the people-scooper feature–something about when you hit a pedestrian, the car “scoops” the body onto the hood and keeps the person there, probably so that his screaming can alert you that you’ve been in an accident–will only be available in Europe.
If you’re looking for a photograph to illustrate how our economy has changed over the past few months, take a look at this. No, that’s not a parking lot in a town where everyone has the same taste. It’s the Port of Long Beach, where “thousands of cars worth tens of millions of dollars are being warehoused,” unwanted by the dealers who used to sell them. They’re imports — Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Nissan orphans.
Here’s a roundup of some relevant Comsumer-type urban legends from Snopes’s Hottest Urban Legends Page: