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Oh Thank Hydraulic! Infiniti Q50S to Get G37-Derived Steering System for 2016

2014 Infiniti Q50S2014 Infiniti Q50S
If you, like us, have been disappointed in Infiniti’s aloof Q50 sedan as the ostensible replacement for the sporty G37—which, incidentally, Infiniti still sells as the “Q40″ for 2015—we have good news. The Q50S model is set to get considerably more sporty for 2016, thanks to a retro revision headed where the car needs it most: the steering rack.

You see, the Q50′s base steering setup is an electrically assisted unit. Although some manufacturers have coaxed decent feedback from these systems, making them nearly as talkative as the hydraulically assisted racks we’re always reminiscing about, Infiniti is still chasing that bogey. At least the Q50S’s EPS marks an improvement over Infiniti’s wonky Direct Active Steer (DAS) option, which offers zero road feel and lacks precision. Happily, Infiniti got enthusiasts’ message and is looking to the past to cure its current sins. Speaking with Infiniti’s head of product planning, Keith St. Clair, we’ve learned that the brand is working on ditching the Q50S’s base electric power steering in favor of a rack derived from the G sedan’s heavenly hydraulic-boosted setup.

“Some members of the enthusiast community, including the media, suggested the car could benefit with enhanced steering feel, as in more engagement similar to the former G Sedan Sport,” St. Clair said. He told us development engineers built a prototype from one of its pool cars, with the steering system of an old G, along with some tweaks to the exhaust system to bring the Q50′s sound closer to that of earlier Infinitis.

“The results were very clear and pronounced. The car is a blast to drive,” said St. Clair, who noted that his team subsequently presented the car to the powers that be in Japan. He added that Infiniti is “now looking into the fastest path for adopting these into regular production.”

The revised Q50S is likely to appear sometime in the 2016 model year, St. Clair said, and would be accompanied by amped-up styling and chassis upgrades. It isn’t clear what the proposed changes mean for the Q50S Hybrid or for regular, non-S Q50 models, but needless to say, we can’t wait.



2014 Infiniti Q50S2014 Infiniti Q50S

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/oh-thank-hydraulic-infiniti-q50s-to-get-g37-derived-steering-system-for-2016/

Car crashes into historic Columbia City building


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)


The Carol Cobb Hair Salon and The Grecian Delight building is shown after an SUV crashed into the historic Columbia City building. The crash injured 7 people. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seattle police and fire personnel are investigating a Columbia City scene where an SUV drove into a hair salon in a historic building, injuring seven people. The structural integrity of the historic building may be compromised after a concrete support pillar was demolished, said Seattle firefighters on the scene.

Rainier Avenue South and South Ferdinand Street were closed near the scene. Most lanes opened up again about 90 minutes after the crash. The closure affects traffic in the heart of the Columbia City neighborhood.

The incident occurred about 1:20 p.m. The hair salon, the Carol Cobb Salon, is neighbored by two restaurants in the same building —Grecian Delight and La Teranga. They were also damaged in the crash with the car largely coming to rest inside Grecian Delight.

The driver, a woman believed to be in her 40s, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Harborview Medical Center as a precautionary measure, Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said.

Three people in the Greek restaurant – a mother, a father and their 10-year-old daughter – were trapped by the SUV and extricated by crews. They, too, suffered minor injuries and some burns and were taken to Harborview.

Inside and near the salon, two women and a boy believed to be 6 to 8 years old were struck by the SUV. The boy and his mother suffered burns and were taken to Harborview, while the third person was hit by debris, but declined aid, Moore said.

The woman who declined aid said she works next door at Bikeworks and had just picked up lunch when the SUV went careening into the building. She heard screaming immediately after the crash.

Salon owner Carol Versey-Cobb, who has owned her corner business for 20 years, said she just finished a significant remodel of the building. The same thing happened to the building about 10 years ago when a car drove into the business, she said while surveying the damage. However, this time the damage was much more significant, she said.

Crews are assessing the structural integrity of the building; the crash caused two large cracks, reports say. Hydraulic bracing from the fire department is currently supporting the building, Moore said. Meanwhile, the building was turned over to the owner, who must bring in an independent engineer to examine the structure.

The SUV remains inside the building.

Authorities have not announced what caused the SUV to veer into the structure.

Article source: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/2014/08/28/car-crashes-into-columbia-city-hair-salon/

Checklist for Labor Day Car Shopping

Labor Day is a federally-recognized
holiday which celebrates hardworking Americans with a day off from work.
Unofficially, this day also marks the end of summer and is considered one of
the best times to buy a new car.

TrueCar.com estimated that Labor Day weekend last year would boast 1.13 million unit sales among the
country’s leading automotive manufacturers. With
the car-buying trend likely to pick up at a similar speed from the last Labor
Day weekend, it’s clear that now is the best time to buy a car for those in the
market. But like any other major purchase – particularly purchases that require
haggling – it’s important to know the obstacles you’ll face at the dealership.

Whether you’re goal is to drive off
your local dealership lot in a new car or you’re waiting for incentives at the
end of the year, it’s important do a bit of reconnaissance about your target
vehicle, and be armed with the right approach to secure the best deal.

Here are 10 must-dos before signing
on the dotted line: 

1. Know your budget.

Calculate your monthly or recurring
financial obligations before coming up with a price you’re willing to spend on
a car. Once you’ve determined how much your output is for bills and other regular
expenses such as groceries and personal care items, consider your income after
taxes. As a guide, a conservative range for a monthly car payment is within 10 to 15 percent of your available discretionary budget. A mistake that many rookie car buyers make
is filling up the remainder of their available money stores with a massive car
loan payment, without breathing room for essentials such as gas, annual
registration, car insurance and maintenance.

2. Check your credit report.

Purchasing a car involves a two-way
negotiation, particularly when you’re financing a car instead of buying it
outright. The reality is that loan lenders use your credit report and credit
score as a basis for determining whether to even approve you for a new line of
credit, what financing percentage of the vehicle purchase to offer, as well as
what interest rate to charge on the loan. All of these factors affect the
overall affordability of the car you’re eyeing.

Before the test drive, know where
your credit stands. Request a copy of your credit report to make sure there aren’t any errors
casting your financial reputation in a negative light. If your credit score
seems unusually low, and you’ve identified a mistake on your report, contact
the three credit bureaus immediately to correct the issue.

3. Test drive ahead of time.

Cast a wide net by feeling out a
variety of car models within your price point – before you decide you’re ready
to buy. The car you’ve dreamed about may not handle as well on the road as
you’d have hoped, and there may be features you were expecting that the
manufacturer doesn’t offer for that model. Test driving a car on the day you’re
expecting to buy can add undue pressure on you at the dealership and cause
anxiety because you’re unprepared.

4. Identify the trim level you want.

Besides locking in your
budget and deciding the make and model of the car you want, make sure you know the
features and upgrades you need, are indifferent about and simply do not want.
Make these granular details known to the sales associate you’re working with,
and be firm about what you want. This way there isn’t a question about whether
you’d be OK with paying more
for a moonroof and 18-inch wheels when you walked in wanting a base model at
$2,000 less.

5. Research average price points.

At this stage in the game you’ve
identified how much you realistically can afford and what you want in a car,
but what’s equally important is knowing what price points are available for the
car specifications you want. Using online tools like TrueCar.com can help
demystify how much of a deal you’re really getting.

Car-buying sites can reveal a wealth
of information about pricing, which you can use when negotiating a car purchase. When walking into a dealership, it’s
important to know the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), the invoice
price (how much the dealer pays for the car) and the average amount paid in
your area.

6. Seek out manufacturer or dealer promotions.

High car-sale periods of the year,
like Labor Day weekend, are a good time to buy a new car because dealerships
are looking to push current year inventory out to make room on the lot for 2015
vehicle models. Some manufacturers also recognize these holidays are a good
opportunity to encourage more purchases, so keep a lookout for discounts or
rebates for 2014 stock
.

7. Get a preapproved auto loan.

Probably the most vital – and
effective – item on this checklist is securing preapproved financing from your
bank or credit union. Preapproval shows dealerships you’re serious about
purchasing a car now, so you can cut some of the back-and-forth haggling from
the get-go. Also, it keeps your budget defined, helping you avoid up-sells, and
likely keeps your auto loan rate as low as can be, as dealership-based loans
are often not highly competitive compared to local bank and credit union
interest rates.

8. Watch out for add-on features.

Despite all the measures you’ve
taken thus far to avoid getting charged more money out the door, it’s always
important to ask for an itemized cost list when discussing pricing. Sometimes
tricky financing managers try to sneak in extras like an extended warranty that
increases your price overall.

9. Beware of negotiating with four-squares.

If for whatever reason you found
your way to a dealership without getting preapproved and you’re, in fact,
interested in financing through the dealership, make sure you stay mindful of
the overall picture. Often car buyers will be shown a four-square worksheet that is used to distract them from how the numbers are
being shifted around. The squares are used to identify any trade-in credit,
vehicle price, down payment and monthly payment. 

Throughout the negotiations, you’ll
notice the notes in the squares become a lot more cluttered, disorganized and
confusing. The goal of this tactic is to make you think the dealership is
actually working with any pricing hesitations you may have and to get you to
focus solely on the monthly payment instead of out-the-door pricing.

10. Take the pressure off.

At the end of the day, you have more
leverage over the car-buying experience than you realize. Even if you spend
three hours trying to get to your ideal price point, you can still walk away
and give yourself the week to think about the purchase if you’re feeling
pressured. 

Article source: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2014/08/28/10-step-checklist-for-labor-day-car-shopping

BLOG: Car dealers miss tire education opportunities

DETROIT (Aug. 28, 2014) — As a teen, I didn’t know how to change a tire. Neither did my girlfriends.

In fact, I don’t know how to change a tire now. My plan is to call roadside assistance if I ever have a problem.

But that could be a long wait and, depending on the neighborhood, a scary one. So I should learn. And this is where savvy car dealers have an opportunity to do community outreach and get consumers in their doors for new or repeat business.

A recent survey, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, says 52 percent of American teens ages 15 to 17 do not know how to change a tire. It also says 44 percent don’t know how to check tire tread depth, and 32 percent do not know how to check tire pressure.

The study, paid for by Michelin North America Inc. and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), surveyed 1,001 teens in late June.

If the study is accurate, the need for education in car maintenance is clear.

I believe a lot of people take basic car care for granted given the technology upgrades that now allow for such conveniences as run-flat tires and computer warning systems to alert you to problems.

I have written about auto dealerships that offer service clinics to customers. They teach some of the service basics, educate consumers on how an engine works and introduce them to local service technicians. Some clinics also teach customers how to use the technology on their cars.

But I don’t know of any car dealership that offers a car maintenance clinic to teach youths, or anyone else, the hands-on basics of car care: how to check the oil level, check tire pressure and troubleshoot vehicle problems that might arise on the road.

Such a clinic would be a community service and build customer loyalty and satisfaction. It also would allow some of us a chance, finally, to learn how to change a tire.

Jamie LaReau covers the automotive retail beat for Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business. This piece appeared on its website. Ms. LaReau can be reached at jlareau@crain.com.

Article source: http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/20140828/NEWS/140829928/blog-car-dealers-miss-tire-education-opportunities

LIVE TRAFFIC BLOG: Multi-car crash on Outer Loop

Sky 9 flew over this scene where an accident has traffic stopped on I-495 on Thursday morning.

Article source: http://www.wusa9.com/story/traffic/2014/08/28/traffic-accident-crash-outer-loop-dc-md-va/14724971/

Suspect arrested, jailed in West Seattle theft of SUV with baby inside

Update: Suspect arrested, jailed in West Seattle theft of SUV with baby inside

August 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 52 Comments

3:25 PM: Just tweeted by Seattle Police: “Officers searching for black SUV near 16SW/SW Holden after suspect steals car w/ 10-month-old child inside.” Suspect/vehicle description from SPD: “Hispanic male, 20s, 5’7, very short hair driving black Ford Edge w/ 22″ rims.” Please call 911 if you think you’ve seen it or know anything about it.

3:34 PM UPDATE: Baby and vehicle have been found in White Center. Police are now trying to find the thief.

3:42 PM UPDATE: If you are in south West Seattle or White Center, you’re probably noticing at least one helicopter – this is what it’s related to – TV chopper for now, law-enforcement chopper Guardian One expected too. One of the choppers belongs to Channel 7, which tweeted an aerial view of the recovered SUV:

4:03 PM: According to radio discussion, police do know who they are looking for. Meantime, commenter Rachel reports what happened when the SUV turned up in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood:

I was in Dubsea Coffee when this was occurring. I noticed the black Edge parked in the middle of the road. People were honking at it as they tried to drive down the road. I thought it was bizarre that someone would park right in the middle of the street, but went back to working. About 10 minutes later, I decided to leave Dubsea and that’s when I saw a few people trying to look into the car. Someone realized that there was a baby in the car and opened the front door. That’s when the car started rolling backwards and everyone was scrambling to get out of the way. Finally, a woman jumped in and put the emergency brake on. A few seconds later, the police showed up and got a description of the perpetrator. A few minutes after that, another patrol car showed up with the father of the baby. It was so incredibly heartbreaking to watch him grab his baby out of the car. I am so very glad that there were people around who noticed the baby on this hot day. The people who called 911 and acted quickly to report this should absolutely be commended.

4:19 PM UPDATE: SPD reports a suspect is in custody.

9:31 PM UPDATE: As noted in comments, TV reports included surveillance video of the theft – here’s one version of the clip. The man who was arrested was booked into King County Jail just after 7 pm and is being held for investigation of kidnapping and vehicle theft; three domestic-violence cases are listed in his entry on the jail register – one listed as violation of a no-contact order. and the other two as fourth-degree assault. We’re checking if he has a record beyond that.

9:54 PM UPDATE: The suspect, who turns 25 years old tomorrow, has a home less than a block away from today’s incident, according to court documents from the June case involving the no-contact-order violation. The case involved an incident in June at the home of the suspect’s girlfriend, in the Puget Ridge area – he allegedly took her car without permission, and, according to the documents, almost left with the girlfriend’s 7-year-old daughter in the car. The girlfriend tried to stop him from driving it away; the court documents say, he used a Taser-type device to hurt her. Her daughter got out of the car before he left with it; he later abandoned it, the court papers say, after crashing it into a utility pole.

52 Comments
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  1. Holy Crap

    Comment by alki Resident — 3:32 pm August 27, 2014 #

  2. I guess that explains the helicopter right over head! I live right off of 16th Holden.

    Comment by AmyB — 3:37 pm August 27, 2014 #

  3. Why was the baby left in the car?

    Comment by West Seattle Mom — 3:37 pm August 27, 2014 #

  4. I’m glad the baby was found safe!!

    Comment by Westgirl — 3:39 pm August 27, 2014 #

  5. WSMom, no idea about the circumstances. Nor whether the thief was known or unknown to the car’s owner. Right now they’re focused on trying to find him.

    Comment by WSB — 3:41 pm August 27, 2014 #

  6. Yikes! Weapon involved? . I’m on 15th and Barton and the helicopter is overhead. Maybe I’ll lock the doors.

    Comment by Michele R. — 3:43 pm August 27, 2014 #

  7. Live on 13th and Caimbridge and have 2 news copters overhead and plenty of sirens coming from Roxbury. Hope they find this POS!!!

    Comment by J — 3:49 pm August 27, 2014 #

  8. This makes my stomach churn. I have a nine-month-old. This is exactly why if I have to run back into the house for something I forgot after I’ve already put her in the car – even if it’s only for 30 seconds – I ALWYS lock the car door.

    So glad the child was found safe!

    Comment by Amie — 3:58 pm August 27, 2014 #

  9. Just in case I needed another really solid reason never to leave my kids in a car. So scary! Very glad the child was rescued!

    Comment by ConcernedMama — 3:59 pm August 27, 2014 #

  10. They are still circling white center at 16th ave s and sw 104th 3 coppers guess they have not found guy.

    Comment by h — 4:00 pm August 27, 2014 #

  11. Just drove right by the park near there and SPD and King County officers were running around with tactical rifles and shotguns and more police vehicles on the way. I got out of there quick.

    Comment by Bradley — 4:00 pm August 27, 2014 #

  12. I was in Dubsea Coffee when this was occurring. I noticed the black Edge parked in the middle of the road. People were honking at it as they tried to drive down the road. I thought it was bizarre that someone would park right in the middle of the street, but went back to working. About 10 minutes later, I decided to leave Dubsea and that’s when I saw a few people trying to look into the car. Someone realized that there was a baby in the car and opened the front door. That’s when the car started rolling backwards and everyone was scrambling to get out of the way. Finally, a woman jumped in and put the emergency brake on. A few seconds later, the police showed up and got a description of the perpetrator. A few minutes after that, another patrol car showed up with the father of the baby. It was so incredibly heartbreaking to watch him grab his baby out of the car. I am so very glad that there were people around who noticed the baby on this hot day. The people who called 911 and acted quickly to report this should absolutely be commended.

    Comment by Rachel — 4:03 pm August 27, 2014 #

  13. wow – glad baby is safe, no matter the reason he/she was left alone!

    Comment by BMC — 4:03 pm August 27, 2014 #

  14. Whenever I see a story like this one, I am so thankful to live in a neighborhood where people intervene in a crisis. So glad the baby is safe!

    Comment by Whew! — 4:07 pm August 27, 2014 #

  15. It’s still a very active search. As just added to the story, police believe they know who they are looking for. Also please note before assuming the baby was left inside the car alone – we don’t know if that was the circumstance, or if it was more of a carjacking or what.

    Comment by WSB — 4:08 pm August 27, 2014 #

  16. He probably hopped at bus by now.

    Comment by alki Resident — 4:15 pm August 27, 2014 #

  17. My heart breaks hearing how the father embraced his baby when he got to him. Gave me chills.

    Comment by alki Resident — 4:26 pm August 27, 2014 #

  18. If you didn’t see the update, suspect’s in custody. Less than an hour after the baby and SUV were found in Greenbridge. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:29 pm August 27, 2014 #

  19. There is a blue and white helicopter hovering. With binoculars I can’t make out if it is Komo or sheriffs.

    Comment by tim — 4:29 pm August 27, 2014 #

  20. Guardian One has been involved, as was at least one TV chopper. Since it’s news time you’ll likely see helicopter(s) for a while even though the suspect is in custody, baby is safe, etc. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:31 pm August 27, 2014 #

  21. So happy this has turned out well. For those of you already condemning the parents, just STOP IT! Even if the baby was left in the car this does not give anyone the right to steal the car!!!! These people are the victims, not the criminals.

    Comment by Lolapop — 4:32 pm August 27, 2014 #

  22. That was pretty cool watching it all on the Channel 7 streaming from the chopper. Caught the guy at 17th and Roxbury in the Mexican restaurant on the corner.

    Comment by JB — 4:33 pm August 27, 2014 #

  23. They pulled the suspect from the Mexican Restaurant on 17th and Roxbury. Glad to see they caught this POS and the child is safe

    Comment by J — 4:34 pm August 27, 2014 #

  24. Having been monitoring the scanner as the wide-ranging search unfolded, it sounded like officers were getting lots of tips, so kudos to everyone helping. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:36 pm August 27, 2014 #

  25. Why do people ask questions of us readers such as; “Why was the baby left in the car?” Now…approximately 30 min after capture/arrest… much more police activity in W.C. again.

    Comment by Markb — 4:40 pm August 27, 2014 #

  26. 4:46 pm, another helicopter hovering at about 16th SW/SW Roxbury….

    Comment by sally — 4:46 pm August 27, 2014 #

  27. I can’t say enough about Seattle and King County police who came together and found this guy within and hour. This is an amazing event and hopefully a lesson to all of us parents and grandparents who need to think twice about leaving our kids unattended for a second. This could’ve easily happened to any one of us. This father will never look at his baby the same way.
    This guy who stole the suv ,WILL be out of jail eventually and back at it stealing cars. Please be safe out there.
    In times like this,Thank God for our blog so we all can watch for these type of situations and help locate people.

    Comment by alki Resident — 4:50 pm August 27, 2014 #

  28. I was at 16th and Holden light when what had to have been the father was running frantically to the fire station across the street. He was on the phone, but the look in his eyes and expression was one I won’t forget–sheer terror. Sooo glad the baby is ok!

    Comment by Ldr — 4:55 pm August 27, 2014 #

  29. Yes….Helicopters are BACK OVER WHITE CENTER AGAIN.!!! Perhaps wrong suspect?

    Comment by Markb — 4:59 pm August 27, 2014 #

  30. I was there when this happened and the person was parked right in front of a store in front of a huge amount of people and all of a sudden this man runs from out of nowhere and jumps in car. The owner was holding his keys and standing there in shock and screaming at the guy when he started taking off. I was so surprised on the quick response of the police. The owner of the store has video and was going to watch and see if he had anything to help with crime. Alot of people were at the bus stop and in the parking lot which holds a espresso stand and food joint, lot’s of witnesses and I am glad they found this man

    Comment by christine drake — 5:01 pm August 27, 2014 #

  31. The suspect was reported to have been positively ID’d by victim and/or witnesses. Obviously that doesn’t equal a conviction – he has yet to have his day in court. As for the helicopters – unless something new has broken out that we haven’t heard of yet, keep in mind, it’s 5 pm TV news time.

    Comment by WSB — 5:04 pm August 27, 2014 #

  32. This is also why I have all doors locked at all times while driving.

    If the car owner had his keys in his hand, how was the suspect able to drive off?

    Comment by Amie — 5:10 pm August 27, 2014 #

  33. Wow, so glad the baby is alright, so scary to think about that.

    Comment by Jason — 5:49 pm August 27, 2014 #

  34. There was something else, I am guessing, going on around the same time (4:15ish). I drove by a house near 17th and 107th and there were multiple police/sheriff vehicles plus a fire engine outside a home on 107th. Shortly after turning south onto Ambaum, I had to pull over for an ambulance headed in that direction.

    Comment by Graham Morgan — 5:54 pm August 27, 2014 #

  35. … minor point, but in my last post, I should have noted I turned south on 16th, not Ambaum.

    Comment by Graham Morgan — 6:21 pm August 27, 2014 #

  36. Amie…keyless start? It’s a new car. And, yes, why do people always blame the victim? He may have strapped his child in the back seat, walking around to his side, and suspect takes car? Think about it…and don’t blame before you have the whole story. Geez.

    Comment by JanS — 6:37 pm August 27, 2014 #

  37. JanS – I wasn’t blaming anyone. I was asking a simple question. Chill out.

    Comment by Amie — 7:33 pm August 27, 2014 #

  38. This could have very easily happened without some derelict parent screwing up again. I JUST today, pulled my car around my alley, pulled up right in front of my garage to load the baby stroller into my car. The drivers door was left ajar and while I was inches from my car (baby strapped in car seat) if some scumbag with a weapon approached me (and I didn’t kill him first) could have easily joked in my car, with my child. The other scenario would be, dad gets out of car- walks around the other side to get baby out and someone jumps in during that walk around. People need to stop always blaming parents for everything that goes wrong. It’s a hard enough job and even those who strive for perfection will never provide the perfect and safe upbringing for their kids. Give us all a break and show some compassion that this poor baby has his daddy back.

    Comment by Wsrez — 8:50 pm August 27, 2014 #

  39. I saw the video on the news and it happened very quickly and the dad was just steps away from the car. The thief acted almost as soon as the dad got out of the car. It could’ve literally been as fast as the dad walking around to his side as JanS said. I can see the same thing happening to me at some point when my kids were little. How terrifying for the dad and thank goodness the baby was recovered swiftly and unharmed! Also very glad they caught the creep who did this. I assume kidnapping will be a much more severe punishment than car theft so hopefully he will actually be locked up for a while.

    Comment by kayo — 9:11 pm August 27, 2014 #

  40. Very glad this ended the way it did and this baby is home safely. Such an incredible, quick response from so many people in West Seattle and White Center. Thank you, neighbors!

    Comment by m — 9:17 pm August 27, 2014 #

  41. The story is updated with information we just found about the suspect’s criminal history; he was booked into jail a few hours ago and likely will have a bail hearing tomorrow.

    Comment by WSB — 10:00 pm August 27, 2014 #

  42. Go easy on those asking about the circumstances. When faced with random acts of violence, it’s normal for people to try to find something that would distance them from the victims. It’s fear. And empathy. If a person can grasp on to some fact that separates them from the crime and the victim, it makes that person feel safer. It’s not being mean or judgmental, it’s fear. It helps people sleep at night to think that something like this couldn’t happen to them. Of course they’re wrong. Random acts of violence happen. But fear is powerful.

    Comment by D — 10:44 pm August 27, 2014 #

  43. I drove my in-laws new Ford Taurus ALL THE WAY HOME FROM THE AIRPORT without the keys because it has the fancy push start thing and we never turned the car off when dropping them off. Luckily I realized it before I turned the car off! He could have been standing within a few feet of the car with the keys when this guy jumped in and could have pressed the on button. Very, very scary!

    Comment by AJP — 12:04 am August 28, 2014 #

  44. Is this going to be the incident that finally breaks the camels back? When is this neighborhood going to stop being neglected in the crime fighting dept. Every day SOMETHING happens around here.The attitude seems to be ” Oh well its down there in Westwood/ White Center,they don’t matter as much as OTHER sections of West Seattle”.What type of heinous crime is it going to take before something is done about this. A crime a day keeps gentrification away, maybe thats the attitude that will change perspectives.

    Comment by sophista-tiki — 7:16 am August 28, 2014 #

  45. Just yesterday I left my kids inside my car with keys in the ignition while I walked back to my house to retrieve the mail. This could happen to me. I will be more careful

    Comment by Guilty — 7:21 am August 28, 2014 #

  46. If the father had been armed, would it have been legal to shoot the thief? The justification being that he was stealing a child, the counter argument being that the thief didn’t know the child was in the vehicle. Does it matter what the thief knew or didn’t know about the extent of damage he was doing during the act of committing a crime? I am not implying that a weapon would have made a better outcome,or a worse outcome with the possibility of innocent people getting shot,the question isn’t about guns just the legality of the scenario.

    Comment by thistle stairs — 7:55 am August 28, 2014 #

  47. My heart aches picturing the man embracing his baby after such a horrific ordeal. Absolutely terrifying. I will pray for them. It’s going to take a long time to emotionally recover from such trauma. God bless.

    Comment by lox — 8:25 am August 28, 2014 #

  48. This seems like a good time to remind folks about how vulnerable we can be while we pump gas – I am guilty of leaving my keys, purse phone while I pump gas into my (unlocked) car. Bad idea this is why.
    I appreciate the last comment too – my kids are older now but in sure I did that 100 times while they were little; I guess I just wasn’t thinking about this possibility!

    Comment by DBurns — 10:32 am August 28, 2014 #

  49. Asking questions is neither rude, un-compassionate, nor blaming the victim. It’s how we ascertain facts and progress in our vigilance as a society in thwarting cavalier criminals and keeping our loved ones safe. While my heart races when I even think of being in the father’s shoes yesterday, it doesn’t mean pausing, reflecting, asking questions, and thinking of ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again is off the table. So many are so quick to judge these days, instead of just getting the facts, our thin skins will leave us vulnerable if we don’t pay heed to lessons learned. I’m sure the father will not repeat the same steps ever again, and I’m in no way condemning him when I say that. It’s sad we can’t trust those around us in our own communities, but there’s a reason we heard “better safe than sorry” a lot growing up. Viewing the video, it looks like the car might even have been left running, which a concerned parent might do to keep the AC running on a hot day, so the baby is comfortable, while having no idea that a brazen criminal might steal the car – even with a kid inside! None of this makes the Dad a bad guy in any way. Probably just a parent with multiple tasks at hand and things on his mind, who let his guard down for a few seconds right where a shark he didn’t see was circling. We can all learn from this and should.

    Comment by pjmanley — 12:29 pm August 28, 2014 #

  50. @sophista-tiki: We’re stuck in a rut over the crime issues, because almost any time they are brought up, accusations of class-warfare, better/well-heeled neighborhoods, etc. arise and thwart the discussion. Personally, I don’t live in Westwood, but I’m there all the time, for shopping, sports, dining out, etc., and to me, West Seattle is West Seattle, and at times I’m a lot more scared of what’s happening at Alki Beach than Westwood. We’ve also got a “stand-down” protest among some of our police force, politicians who worry more about leafy boulevards than public safety and buses that run on time, etc., etc. I see lots of stuff that concerns me all over West Seattle, but if I mention it, I’ve got the homeless lobby, the mental illness lobby, the various neighborhood lobbies, etc., jumping my insensitivity, callousness, heartlessness, etc. That said, the level of crime, filth, and anti-social behavior we are currently tolerating in West Seattle is atrocious. I overheard a Jefferson Square Safeway employee telling a customer that they are not to confront liquor thieves for fear of causing a big scene, getting hurt or hurting someone. So instead they have an employee posted in the liquor aisle almost all day long. Which means, all concerns aside, we’ve surrendered the fight on some levels, and I don’t think things are going to get better until people stand up and push-back as hard against thugs and criminals as they push for bike lanes and tree-lined streets. Priorities.

    Comment by pjmanley — 12:56 pm August 28, 2014 #

  51. Yes we assumed he had a keyless start because he was frantically pushing on his key button

    Comment by christine drake — 1:16 pm August 28, 2014 #

  52. and it was pointed out to me by a new mother I know (daughter – lol), that no amount of punishing this guy for leaving his child unattended will be as much as the punishment he gives himself. (or his wife gives him !).

    Comment by JanS — 5:56 pm August 28, 2014 #

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Article source: http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/seattle-police-searching-for-stolen-car-with-child-inside/

Footloose and Fancy Three: Mazda 3 Refresh, Mazdaspeed 3 Coming for 2017

2017 Mazdaspeed3 artist's rendering2017 Mazdaspeed3 artist's rendering

Ever since the hairy-chested Mazdaspeed 3 left the automaker’s lineup after the 2013 model year, we’ve been pining for its return. Adding to our anticipation is the great platform that underpins the all-around-excellent Mazda 3, a car that landed on our most recent 10Best list and handily swept the fine Ford Focus under the rug in a recent comparo.

On a product tear that began with the CX-5 crossover, Mazda has since dished the wholly redone 3 and 6, we’re about to experience the great-looking new B-segment Mazda 2, and, of course, the much-anticipated fourth-generation Miata is nigh.

With so much in the pipe, has Mazda forgotten to warm up the 3 for its high-performance partisans? Not exactly. In our “25 Cars Worth Waiting For” issue, we predicted that the next Mazdaspeed 3 wouldn’t see the light of day until the 2018 model year. A new, comprehensive report from Automotive News suggests that the timeline has been pushed up a year.



AN reports that the 3 is due for a late-cycle re-engineering in mid-2016, at which time we’ll likely see the return of the Mazdaspeed 3 as a 2017 model. Just a year later, a new 3 is due, which means that this iteration of the Speed 3 could be short-lived, not unlike the second-generation Mazdaspeed Miata, which ran for only two years.

Officially, Mazda will comment on none of this, but the new car will almost certainly be turbocharged, offering output somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 horsepower. All-wheel drive is a possibility. The starting price should be somewhere around $30,000, suggesting Volkswagen Golf R levels of performance for loaded–GTI money. You know how when you really have to make use of the restroom and with every step toward the facilities, the urge to relieve yourself intensifies? Yeah, it’s like that. Finding out that the new 3 is even closer just makes our anticipatory pangs that much worse.

2014 Mazda 3 2.5L hatchback2014 Mazda 3 2.5L hatchback

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/footloose-and-fancy-three-mazda-3-refresh-mazdaspeed-3-coming-for-2017/

Tesla to Implement Car Changes Suggested in Open Letter – Analyst Blog

Tesla Motors, Inc.

(
TSLA

) CEO Elon Musk has revealed on a social networking site that the
company will make changes in its Model S cars, based on the
suggestions made by a couple in a newspaper advertisement. The
Southold, NY-based couple, who are Tesla car owners, wrote an open
letter to Musk in a newspaper last week, requesting the addition of
various safety and convenience-related features to its cars.

Some of the safety features requested include blind spot
monitor, cross-traffic monitor and front and rear sound sensors.
The couple also asked for a larger spot for receiving calls on the
touch screen and the ability to make calls by speaking out the
phone number. Among the convenience features, they requested that
the cup holders be brought forward, the sun visor be resized for
shorter drivers and the center console be redesigned. Additionally,
they stated that automatic closing of the power charging cap on
removal of the power cord would be a convenient option for Model S
owners.

The couple also suggested that Tesla should start advertising
its car to attract more customers. In response, Musk said that the
company would incorporate some of the suggested changes. However,
he did not clarify which of the suggestions would be implemented.
The time-frame of the implementation is also not known.

Nevertheless, Musk’s response to the advertisment and openness
in taking suggestions once again exhibits Tesla’s consumer-centered
approach. The electric carmaker aims to facilitate the transition
of the automobile market to environment-friendly electric
vehicles.

Currently, Tesla sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other auto
stocks worth considering include CarMax Inc. (
KMX

), O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (
ORLY

) and Fox Factory Holding Corp (
FOXF

). While CarMax sports a Zacks Rank #1, O’Reilly and Fox Factory
have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment
Research

Article source: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/tesla-to-implement-car-changes-suggested-in-open-letter-analyst-blog-cm384233

Honda Extends Carfax Certified Used Car Program

Honda helps credit challenged buyers by continuing to offer a Carfax vehicle history report with all Honda certified used cars

What we see

Honda Extends Carfax Certified Used Car Program

Here at Auto Credit Express we see that Honda has extended its contract with Carfax to supply vehicle history reports for all Honda certified used cars – a step we see as continuing to offer peace of mind to car buyers with bad credit.

Honda Certified Used Cars

That’s because most consumers with credit issues tend to finance used cars because they’re more affordable. But once they receive an approval and decide a used car is the best way to go, they may then be given the choice of either aregular or certified used car.

Certified used cars (called certified pre-owned or CPO) are used cars of the same make as the new cars sold at the dealership received as a trade in, off-lease, or from an auction that meet certain mileage and age requirements that qualify for a program inspection.

Following the required replacement of specific worn, broken or defective parts it can be sold under the manufacturer’s certified used car program with a manufacturer-backed used car service contract. CPO cars are also sold at a premium, because of the added costs, over similar non-certified used cars.

Earlier this month, Carfax announced that it would be extending its ten year relationship with Honda.

About the Honda Certified Used Car Program

Certified pre-owned Hondas must be 6 years old or newer with fewer than 80,000 miles, and the program includes

  • 150-point mechanical and appearance inspection
  • 7-year/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty from the vehicle’s original in-service date
  • 12 months/12,000 miles (whichever comes first) non-powertrain warranty from the original warranty expiration date or, if the original warranty has expired, from the Honda Certified Used Cars purchase date.
  • $0 deductible
  • Carfax Vehicle History Report
  • Warranty is transferable
  • Roadside Assistance
  • XM Satellite Radio 3 month trial service (on vehicles so equipped)

The Bottom Line

By offering certified used cars with a free vehicle history report, Honda continues to give consumers with less than perfect credit even more peace of mind – which is always a good thing when it comes to buying a vehicle from a dealership, bad credit or no.

Another good thing: Auto Credit Express matches applicants with credit issues to those franchised new car dealers that can offer them their best opportunities for approved car loans.

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

Article source: http://www.autocreditexpress.com/blog/2014/08/25/honda-extends-carfax-certified-used-car-program/

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR



2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

Instrumented Test

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All dressed up, unwilling to go.

We’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of car buyers are letting spreadsheets dictate their purchase decisions for them. We see no other explanation for what Nissan calls a “record” number of buyers this summer lining up to buy the Versa. Its low MSRP means it swims in the inexpensive end of the automotive gene pool, alongside Mitsubishi’s Mirage and Honda’s Fit.

The Note is the five-door hatchback version of the Versa sedan. Nissan’s diminutive hatch debuted last year with a distinct advantage over the Mitsubishi: an exterior that actually looks like it was designed. Seriously, it looks handsome, one of the more stylish B-segment hatches out there. For 2015, Nissan adds two trim levels at the higher end of the range, the SR and SL, for a total of five. Carrying over are the base S, the only one offered with a stick and at under $15,000, the S Plus that gets you the shiftless Xtronic continuously variable transmission and active grille shutters, and the SV, which adds power windows and locks plus a lot of dress-up items such as a leather-clad steering wheel and interior plastics of a higher grade than those found in toys from Dollar General.


Sportier Duds

The new-for-2015 SR, tested here, gets sportier looks but no hardware to actually make it sportier to drive. The SL? It seems to be an exercise in loading enough features onto a $15,000 car to justify a five-figure price tag that begins with a numeral 2. So the SR tested here strives to emphasize the car’s design strength while the SL throws away the “at least it didn’t cost much” excuse for its lackluster road behavior.

We’re already on record as not being impressed with the Versa’s CVT when we tested a 2012 sedan, and the entry-level Versa Note S with a row-your-own five-speed, both of which elicited a distinct “meh.”

So you’d not expect much different from this car, even after learning that the 2015 Versa SR has new front and rear fascias and grille, darkened headlights, body-color sills, a rear spoiler, and side mirrors incorporating turn signals. The same 109-hp, 107-lb-ft, 1.6-liter four grinds away against the same recalcitrant CVT to generate sounds all out of proportion to the actual acceleration taking place. That’d be zero to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds and the quarter-mile in 17.6, at which time you’ll be doing only 80 mph. Our track-tester wryly summarized the Nissan as, “So slow and plodding.”

Inside the Versa Note SR, you’ll find some suedelike trim and what Nissan says is a steering wheel inspired by the 370Z, but it’s not connected to anything that would otherwise inspire the mention. The 16-inch wheels that help dress up the SR’s exterior wear Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 195/55 rubber tuned for low rolling resistance more than grip. The SR circled the skidpad at an okay 0.80 g, but it took a disappointing 188 feet to stop from 70 mph.


No Vices in the Prices

So the Versa’s vices are evident in a test drive. But what about those spreadsheets? Well, here, too, the SR doesn’t quite add up. The sporty looks and CVT together inflate the SR model’s base MSRP to $18,340. This one had floor mats ($180) and a Convenience package ($660) with NissanConnect mobile apps, SiriusXM radio, hands-free text messaging (via voice recognition), a rearview monitor, and the clever Divide-N-Hide adjustable cargo floor. The latter will give you a big, flat cargo area with the rear seats folded and a space below to hide your valuables, or it can be configured to allow a deeper floor for tall items. The options bumped the bottom line to $19,180. If you need all the telecommunication toys and you don’t bother test-driving more interesting competitors such as the Honda Fit or the Mazda 2, that might still sound reasonable.

The spreadsheet folks probably take the EPA fuel-economy figures seriously, though. In this case, they’re loading the cells with the EPA’s 31-mpg city/40-mpg highway numbers. We’ve learned to be especially suspicious of EPA estimates on cars with CVTs, though, since this transmission type seems to invite manufacturers to tune to the test, as they occasionally do with hybrids. In this case, we averaged only 29 mpg during our time with the car, likely a consequence of trying to get the Versa Note SR to accelerate away from a stop at a pace quicker than the EPA demands (so, basically a zombie walk).

As we’ve said in other Versa tests, then, you can do better. If life demands a new-car warranty, the Mazda 2, Honda Fit, and even the taller Kia Soul all bear a look. And $20,000 will get you into a pretty nice certified used car, for that matter, including many that can top 29 mpg with a manual transmission.

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Article source: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-nissan-versa-note-sr-cvt-test-review