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102000 Audi A4s Recalled in US for Airbags that May Not Deploy

2013 Audi A4 2.0T

2013 Audi A4 2.0T

The VW Group is recalling roughly 101,900 late-model Audi A4 models in the U.S. to fix a software error that can prevent the front airbags from deploying in a crash, according to the company.

The recall, first reported by German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, involves 850,000 A4s globally from the 2013–2015 model years. All sedan, Avant, Allroad, and S4 models are included, and only those built following the car’s mid-cycle face lift first introduced for 2013. The problem affects both driver and passenger frontal airbags and resides with a faulty sensing and diagnostic module (SDM). An Audi statement said the problem was discovered during “routine quality testing” and that there have been no injuries or accidents within the U.S.

It is not related to the Takata shrapnel-shooting airbag recalls affecting 20 different brands (no Volkswagen Group cars are included in those recalls). In many other recent airbag recalls, automakers have had to either reprogram SDMs or passenger-side weight sensors in the seat—a common problem that can incorrectly shut off an airbag or have it deploy with the incorrect force in a crash.

The recall has not been posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, although the agency was notified earlier today (the agency is typically late by several days or even weeks to post recalls on its public database). According to Audi, notification letters will start hitting owner mailboxes as early as Friday and dealers are ready to perform a 20-minute software update. Audi said the cars were safe to drive since there is no risk of the airbags deploying inadvertently while driving; the only risk is of them not deploying upon an actual impact.

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Montreal “Batmobile” Police Car Spotted In The City

Juvenile and deluded as it may sound, yet still entirely true and something everyone knows in their heart of hearts, is that no citizen of Montreal would ever choose the SPVM to protect the city over the one and only Dark Knight Detective, better known as Batman. Yes, Batman doesn’t exist, but if he did, you can bet everyone would want him on the streets of Montreal over cops, fighting crime and corruption while being the ultimate badass. Apparently the SPVM think so too, at least a little.

Getting even more creative with the stickers protesting the Bill 3 pension reforms, one SPVM cruiser was playfully outfitted with a few red stickies outlined to look like the Batman insignia. Uber-batfans like myself will note this is the bat-logo best known from the Nolan trilogy of Batman films, and not the classic rounded-wings insignia of the comics.

The Montreal Police Batmobile is probably the best form of protest we’ve seen yet, much cooler than the camo pants the police are sporting. We can’t say who nabbed this epic pic of the coolest cruiser around (pulled from Facebook) but if anyone knows we’d be happy to give ‘em full cred for sharing all things Batman with the rest of the city.

Putting the bat-logo on a Montreal police car automatically assumes the Bats would be on the side of the cops, which is putting a lot of words in the Dark Knight’s mouth. Still, we’re inclined to believe Batman would support the protest. Wayne/Batman may have a complicated history with the Gotham police force, but he always respected them as peacekeepers and would support their cause.

Besides, Bats wouldn’t want Commissioner Gordon to retire without a solid pension-income…nor is he really a big fan of the government anyway. Sorry, couldn’t help but get geeky with it, this is Batman stuff we’re talking about here.

Looking for more? Click here for 10 Reasons Why Batman Would Protect Montreal

For more on all things Batman-y and Montreal-ish, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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Reports: Car slams into Dublin taqueria, injuring 6

A car crashed through the front of a Dublin taqueria Thursday night, injuring six people, two of them severely, NBC Bay Area reported.

Emergency crews arrived on the scene at Taqueria Los Pericos on the 7000 block of Village Parkway just after 6 p.m., an Alameda County Fire Department official said. Six people were transported to the hospital, two of them with serious injuries.

Daniel Villareal, a photographer for KRON4 News, tweeted this photo of the car, which appears to be a late-model Ford Mustang, where it came to rest in the storefront.

The conditions of those injured or the cause of the crash were not immediately clear.


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2015 Green Car Of The Year finalists announced, run alt-fuel gamut


Green Car Journal to Reveal Winner of 10th Annual Award at LA Auto Show” Press Trade Days, November 20

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 21, 2014) – Green Car Journal has announced its five finalists for the magazine’s high-profile 2015 Green Car of the Year® program. The 2015 models include the Audi A3 TDI, BMW i3, Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel, Honda Fit, and VW Golf. The Green Car of the Year® award, an honor widely recognized as the auto industry’s most important environmental accolade, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

An increasing number of vehicle models are considered for the Green Car of the Year® program each year, a reflection of the auto industry’s expanding efforts in offering new vehicles with higher efficiency and improved environmental impact. Green Car Journal has been honoring the most important “green” vehicles every year at the LA Auto Show, since its inaugural award announced at the show in 2005.

“These five exceptional vehicles reflect an expanding ‘green’ car field that embraces diverse fuels and technologies as answers to a more efficient and low carbon future,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and “Each offers a distinctly different approach to driving ‘green’ that appeals to buyers with varying needs and perspectives on how best to lessen environmental impact, while maintaining the joy of driving.”

The Finalists:

Audi A3 TDI

Audi’s all-new A3 TDI presents an exciting choice for those looking to go upscale and ‘green,’ appearing for the first time as a stylish four-door sedan featuring the automaker’s new fuel-efficient, 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel power plant.

BMW i3

Offering a lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body on an aluminum space frame, BMW’s innovative i3 offers environment-conscious drivers all-electric drive with an optional internal combustion range extender.

Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel

The Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel sedan breaks new ground by offering the comfort and functionality of a popular mid-size four-door sedan with the ability to drive on affordable clean natural gas or conventional gasoline.

Honda Fit

Honda’s third-generation Fit features a new space-efficient body and flexible seating configuration to bring class-leading interior room, combined with 41 highway mpg from a new 1.5-liter Earth Dreams gasoline engine.

Volkswagen Golf

VW’s seventh-generation Golf offers something for everyone in a stylish and fun package, with new 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel, efficient four-cylinder gasoline, and in some areas of the country, all-electric drive.

The Green Car of the Year® is selected through a majority vote by an esteemed jury that includes celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno, plus leaders of noted environmental and efficiency organizations including Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, board member of Global Green USA; Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy.

During the award’s vetting process, Green Car Journal editors consider all vehicles, fuels, and technologies as an expansive field of potential candidates is narrowed down to a final five. Finalists are selected for their achievements in raising the bar in environmental performance. Availability to the mass market is a factor to ensure honored models have the potential to make a real difference in environmental impact, and finalists must be available for sale by January 1st of the award year.

About Green Car of the Year®

The GCOY award is an important part of Green Car Journal’s mission to showcase environmental progress in the auto industry. Since 1992, Green Car Journal has focused on the intersection of automobiles, energy, and environment. Today, the magazine is considered the premier source of information on high fuel efficiency, low emission, advanced technology, and alternative fuel vehicles. presents ‘green car’ articles online along with a focus on infotainment and connectivity. Green Car of the Year® is a registered trademark of Green Car Journal and RJ Cogan Specialty Publications Group, Inc.

About the Los Angeles Auto Show and Connected Car Expo

The Los Angeles Auto Show was founded in 1907, and is the first major North American auto show of the season each year. Press and Trade show days for the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show will be held on Nov. 18-20. The show will be open to the public Nov. 21 – Nov. 30. The Connected Car Expo (CCE) is the automotive industry’s most comprehensive showcase of new mobility solutions and will take place on November 18, and continue in conjunction with the 2014 LA Auto Show® Press Trade Days. The LA Auto Show is endorsed by the Greater L.A. New Car Dealer Association and is operated by ANSA Productions. To receive the latest show news and information, follow the Los Angeles Auto Show on Twitter at or via Facebook at and sign up for alerts at For more information on CCE please visit

Hashtag: #LAAutoShow

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Tesla blog calls Michigan bill "a raw deal"

Electric car-maker Tesla Motors Inc. called a Michigan bill that would prevent automakers from selling vehicles directly to customers a “raw deal” in a blog post Thursday.

The bill — originally intended to address a separate issue before an 11th-hour amendment was made containing the direct deal language — is awaiting Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature or veto. He has until Oct. 21 to make a decision.

It stops automakers from selling cars “directly to a retail customer other than through franchised dealers,” with exceptions for nonprofits and government agencies. It does not specifically name Tesla, although the California-based electric-car maker is the only one looking to sell vehicles directly.

“This anti-competitive behavior mirrors similar tactics in New Jersey and Missouri, where dealers have resorted to backroom political maneuvers to shore up their monopolies,” Tesla said in the blog. “The dark-of-night tactics highlight the dealers’ concerns that their arguments don’t stand up well to public scrutiny.”

The blog post urged supporters to contact Snyder about the bill. Synder’s deputy press secretary said Thursday Snyder’s office was looking at the bill “very closely” before making a decision.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted a link to the blog to his 1.1 million Twitter followers early Friday morning.

Tesla executives told The Detroit News Thursday that the bill, if signed, would stymie their efforts to open retail locations and service centers in the Great Lakes State.

The bill originally was introduced in May by State Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, to deal with an unrelated issue: standardizing how much new-car dealers charge customers for documentation fees detailing the car-buying process. The maximum Michigan dealers now can charge is 5 percent of a car’s price, with a $200 cap. The new law would prevent automakers from telling dealers to charge less, and would require them to charge all customers the standardized rate — or nothing at all.

Nesbitt told The News he has nothing against Tesla. He said the language around Tesla was added by the Senate, but doesn’t change current law.

“That was already there for decades,” he said.

Nesbitt said someone could introduce a bill to change the dealer franchise law.

“If someone wants to debate the franchise laws in Michigan regulating dealers, that’s what the legislative process is for,” he said.

Michigan Automobile Dealers Association Executive Vice President Terry Burns, whose organization initiated the original bill, said the amendment is simply a “clarification” that the law applies to all manufacturers who “sell, service, display or advertise vehicles in the state.”

“There’s no attempt to back-door anything here,” he said. “It’s just a clarification to make sure that there’s no ambiguity.”

Burns said the amendment was added to avoid future litigation as to who the law applies to. Current law allows manufacturers’ dealers to sell its vehicles; the amendment specifies they must be “franchised” dealers.

Tesla argues it would be allowed to sell directly in Michigan under the current law, since it doesn’t already have franchised dealers in the state.

“The current law is ambiguous,” said Todd Maron, Tesla’s general consul. “That ambiguity is why the dealers, through these last-minute tactics, have gone to change the law.”

Tesla has clashed with dealer groups in other states, including New Jersey, New York and Ohio, before reaching agreements.

“People have asked me is this an attempt to keep Tesla out. No,” said Burns, adding he’d welcome the electric car manufacturer into the state’s dealer system. “We would expect if Tesla wanted to operate in the state of Michigan that they would follow the laws.”

Staff writers Melissa Burden and Michael Wayland contributed.

(313) 222-2401

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Better Hurry—Porsche’s Sublime 918 Spyder Is Nearly Sold Out

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

Are you a multimillionaire mulling over whether to buy Porsche’s neck-snapping 918 Spyder? Better make up your mind—Porsche says that the ultralimited hybrid hypercar is nearly sold out. Thirty of the planned 918-unit run have already been delivered globally to customers, too, although one of the cars has already been written off.

Porsche’s über-hybrid, which requires a minimum buy-in of $847,975 and which recently set the overall record for fastest lap at our Lightning Lap event, will only be in production until July 2015. As of right now, every slot is spoken for through early April. Porsche won’t say officially exactly how many 918 Spyders are produced every month, but the company’s Andre Oosthuizen told Automotive News that the production run is “probably in the last and the final straight.”

So if you’ve got an open spot in your garage where a 918 Spyder might fit nicely, better hustle up and get your name on the list.

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Mustang Party at the LV Corral: Ford Previews First Two Modified 2015 …

Galpin Auto Sports 50th Anniversary Ford Mustang

Galpin Auto Sports 50th Anniversary Ford Mustang
Were you even surprised? Yes, Ford Motor Company is bringing a veritable “stampede”—its word, not ours—of modified 2015 Mustangs to this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. Given that last year, Ford stuffed something like 7000 cars into its Las Vegas Convention Center display area, the idea that it’s bringing “over a dozen” tuned-up Mustangs seems almost tame. The sheer number of cars might seem manageable, but these Stangs will be anything but broken-in show ponies.

So far, Ford is previewing just two of the cars, one tuned by Galpin Auto Sports and the other massaged by Petty’s Garage. The Galpin car features a striking gold-flecked black paint job that celebrates the Mustang’s 50-year anniversary, and it will boast a 725-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. The Petty car, of course, will wear Richard Petty’s signature blue paint and subtle “43″ numbers (representing the NASCAR legend’s car number). Power comes from a Roush-supercharged V-8 of unspecified output, and we sure hope it’s been given a stock-car exhaust note, because Petty. That car will be auctioned off for charity by Barrett-Jackson.

Petty's Garage Roush Ford Mustang

Petty's Garage Roush Ford Mustang

Look for more details on the other SEMA-bound Mustangs in the coming weeks. Ford promises that there will be plenty of modded EcoBoost models—protip: Don’t ever get Ford started on EcoBoost anything, it won’t ever let up—and well-known tuners like Roush, Steeda, and others will be in on the action.

2014 SEMA Show full coverage2014 SEMA Show full coverage

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Bringing Pony Back: 2015 Ford Mustang Recalled

2015 Ford Mustang GT

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Continuing the recall parade that’s marked this automotive year—including dozens of GM recalls, the Takata airbag fiasco, and many more—Ford has issued an action for the brand-spankin’-new 2015 Mustang.

The good news (if there can be any concerning a recall) is that just 50 ponies in the U.S. and three in Canada are affected by the issue, which concerns the passenger seatbelt.

The manufacturer says the Mustangs in question may have a problem with the passenger-side safety-belt tension sensor. The sensors may not have been calibrated by the supplier, which could potentially lead to improper passenger-airbag function based on inaccurate passenger classification. Ford says it is not aware of any injuries or accidents associated with the component. The issue involves 2015 Mustangs built between August 18 and October 2.

Ford dealers will replace the buckle assembly at no cost. So if you’re one of the very first people in North America to get your hands on Ford’s new pony car, go ahead and curb your gloating—for the few hours it takes to repair your car, you’ll be Mustangless just like the rest of us schmucks.

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Is Buying a Program Car a Good Deal

Buyers with less than perfect credit might want to take advantage of a special type of used car known as a program vehicle or executive car.

Buying a Program Car

Most borrowers with bad credit will choose to finance a used car because they’re more affordable. But even in this case buyers can be given choices. In addition to regular used cars as well as certified used cars that come with a manufacturer-backed extended service contract, there’s also a third type of used car.

Is Buying a Program Car a Good Deal

What is a Program or Executive Car?

Called program, factory executive or “brass hat” vehicles, these are used cars that have been owned by the manufacturer and either leased or provided to executives and other employees for a very short term. In most cases, these vehicles have been driven for 6-12 months and have less than 10,000 miles on them. And like buying a demonstrator car, program cars are fairly rare to find.

Unlike regular used cars or even certified used cars, however, neither Kelley Blue Book nor NADA Guide list used car values for program cars mainly because, unlike used and certified vehicles there aren’t a lot of them out there. Since these vehicles will still have at least a portion of the manufacturer’s new car warranty, a good place to begin might be a value somewhere between a used car and a certified used car.

But a word of caution: some dealers also classify rental cars as program cars. These vehicles should be easy to identify, as most will have more than 10,000 miles. But like any used vehicle, buyers should request a vehicle history report on any car they are considering (if it’s truly a program car, the manufacturer will be listed on the VHR). If the vehicle history report is clean, then the next step before signing on the dotted line is to have it inspected by an ASE Certified Master Mechanic as well as a frame specialist to make sure there is no hidden damage.

The Bottom Line

Although there typically aren’t many of them available, executive-driven program cars offer a third viable option for credit- challenged borrowers wishing to finance a slightly used car. Buyers should be sure to verify this with a vehicle history report as well as have any vehicle they’re considering buying inspected by an ASE Certified Master Mechanic as well as a frame specialist.

One more tip: Auto Credit Express matches applicants with auto credit issues to dealers that can offer them their best chances for approved car loans.

So if you’re ready to establish your car credit, you can begin now by filling out our online car loan application.

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Buying a Demo Car

Credit challenged consumers can sometimes save even more money when choosing a new car simply by picking out one the dealer has used as a demonstrator

Is Buying a Demo Car a Good Deal?

Here at Auto Credit Express we realize that the high cost of a subprime auto loan means that borrowers with bad credit need to get the very best deal possible – especially if they plan on financing a new car.

While few in number, one way new car buyers can sometimes save money is by choosing a demo vehicle.

What Does Buying a Demo Car Mean?

Buying a Demo Car

Demonstrator cars – more commonly called demos – are vehicles used by car dealerships for test drives. In many cases, the dealership’s managers (and, in a few cases, salespeople) also use demo vehicles for driving to and from work.

These vehicles also usually come from a dealership’s own inventory because, typically, they haven’t been sold or titled yet. This means they are still classified as “new” cars.

Since these vehicles are still new, they should still qualify for all manufacturer rebates and incentives. We say “should”, because some manufacturers place limits on the number of miles a vehicle can have – even one that hasn’t been titled – in order to qualify for certain incentives and rebates.

What to Look For in a Demo Vehicle

With that in mind, here are some tips when considering a demo car:

  • Don’t confuse a “program car” for a demo. Program cars have already been titled and are used by the manufacturer for everything from press vehicles to “brass hats” – those driven by higher-level employees. These vehicles can have as many as 10,000 miles or more.
  • Be sure to verify the history of the vehicle with the salesperson the same as you would a used car. Request a vehicle history report and, before buying, have it inspected by an ASE Certified Master Mechanic and a body repair specialist to be sure there is no hidden damage.
  • Check the in-service to be sure it will start when you take delivery, otherwise you could lose out on months of warranty coverage if the in-service date coincides when it was placed in demo service.
  • Although there is no policy for compensating for the number of miles already on the vehicle, in 2014 the IRS uses 23.4 cents per mile driven to calculate the cost of using a vehicle for medical or moving purposes – so deduct at least 20.0 to 25.0 cents for each mile driven (in most cases, the more expensive the car, the higher the per mile deduction should be, since, generally, the more expensive a vehicle is, the greater its depreciation will be).
  • Be sure the vehicle hasn’t been titled. If it has, it’s a used car.
  • If the vehicle is new, in addition to the lower price due to mileage, it should also qualify for any manufacturer new car rebates and incentives.

The Bottom Line

Purchasing a demo car is a great way to save even more on a new vehicle. Just be sure it hasn’t been titled or damaged and that the additional discount for mileage is fair.

One more tip: Auto Credit Express matches consumers with past credit issues with the dealers that work with bad credit near you that can offer them their best opportunities for approved car loans.

So if you’re ready to establish your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loan application.

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