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The Saga Of The "Lemon 911" And One Man’s Quest For Justice

The Saga Of The Lemon 911 And One Man's Quest For JusticeS

Nick Murray is a guy like many of us. He has a dream car, and he’s worked hard to finally get it. In Nick’s case, that car is a Porsche 911, and he managed to realize his dream. Well, with only one small catch: He says his Porsche 911 is a total lemon. Here’s everything wrong with this sad, sick 911.

Nick’s been documenting the saga of his painfully-citrus flavored 911 in a series of videos that outline and show the issues he’s having: strange error messages on the dash, whistling sounds from the windows, self-dropping mirrors, battery depletion, water leaks through the dash, the entire car cutting off for no reason on the highway or the whole dash fritzing out over bumps, and, most alarmingly, acrid smoke coming out of the dash. There’s so many gremlins in this thing that you probably can’t eat in it after midnight.

Most of these issues seem to point to comprehensive and widespread electrical issues throughout the car — maybe this was a special one-off collaboration with Lucas electrics? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the issues are, because he claims there’s so many and so many systems are interconnected.

So far, Porsche has repaired the car numerous time, replaced many parts, but to no avail. Nick wants Porsche to either buy back his car, or replace it with a comparable vehicle. He says Porsche has not offered to do either of these things, and has, in Nick’s words, issued “thinly veiled threats” if he does not accept their settlements and goes into arbitration.

These videos have been racking up huge numbers of views, we’ve been sent this by multiple readers, and it’s getting lots of attention on Reddit right now. Many gearheads are very willing to sympathize with someone — a not particularly wealthy someone —who saved up for five years to buy the car they’ve always wanted. To have the realization of that dream spoiled by what appears to be a deeply and profoundly fucked car is downright tragic.

You can see in Nick’s eyes as he speaks an intense sense of frustration and helplessness. He seems exasperated, desperately trying to retain his composure. And who could blame him?

I would think the smartest thing Porsche could do right now would be to get this man a new 911 and take his old one back and tear it apart and try and figure out what the hell went wrong. It’d cost them money, sure, but it’s not like they’re hurting for it, and there’s a genuinely important lesson to be learned here.

Porsches are relevant because of men like this man, who genuinely love the car. If people like Nick can’t be made happy in the purchase of a car they already love, something is considerably wrong.

We’ll keep you updated on the story, and here’s hoping everything works out. We’ve spoken to Porsche North America, who said that their “customer relations team is in contact with the customer and we are working to resolve the issues with his car.” Here’s to hoping for a speedy resolution.

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Jeep Debuts 2014 Easter Safari Concepts: Yes, They’re Burly as Hell

Jeep MOAB conceptsJeep MOAB concepts
For the Jeep faithful, springtime means one thing: The annual Easter Jeep Safari. Chrysler’s off-road brand annually preps a small squadron of vehicles for the Moab, Utah, event, and this year—in addition to the obligatory Wrangler concept or three—the group includes a pair of new Cherokees as well as a diesel Grand Cherokee.

Our drive of the Cherokee Trailhawk included many of the same trails as those on the Safari, and, frankly, its factory performance exceeded our expectations. This year’s batch of Moab specials doesn’t include as anything as wild as the retro J-12 pickup or Mighty FC Concept from 2012, instead focusing on making full use of both the Mopar and Jeep Performance parts catalogs. Still, we can think of worse ways to spend spring break. Check ’em out below. (And go here to see the concepts from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.)

Jeep Wrangler Level RedJeep Wrangler Level Red

Jeep Wrangler Level Red
As far as showroom-stock off-roaders go, the Jeep Wrangler is arguably one of the most capable, and turning it into a real trail monster worthy of the “Red Level” moniker—which refers to the rating given to the most difficult trails—can be as simple as perusing the comprehensive list of available Jeep Performance Parts and Mopar catalogs. From the former, this manual-transmission Wrangler gets a two-inch lift kit, Dana 44 axles with a 4:10 ratio front and rear, a Rock-Trac transfer case with 4:1 low range, rock rails, a tire carrier, and last but not least, a locking gas cap. The Level Red’s crawl range is 73:1. Prototype beadlock-capable wheels wrapped in 35-inch BFGoodrich M/T tires sit at each corner. The half-door kit comes from Mopar, and Rubicon 10th anniversary bumpers are mounted front and rear. Other aesthetic touches include TorRed striping, beadlock rings, and HVAC rings. If you’re thinking the Level Red’s “Badge of Honor” emblems might look nice on your ride, you’ll have to earn them the hard way by conquering any of 30 trails designated by Jeep for the program, including five at Moab.

Jeep Cherokee AdventurerJeep Cherokee Adventurer
Jeep Cherokee Adventurer

Start with a Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4, with its factory 48:1 crawl ratio, add some Jeep Performance Parts rock rails, a Mopar roof basket, and a set of prototype 17-inch wheels with BFGoodrich A/T tires, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an recreational vehicle (the picnic lunch is up to you). A two-piece underbody skid plate, a front suspension skid plate, an oil tank skid plate, and a two-piece fuel-tank skid plate further enhance underbody protection. Occupants sit on black perforated-leather seats with embroidered Jeep logos, and the HVAC and door switch bezels, instrument panel, and steering wheel are all color-keyed to the Jeeps tan exterior. The red hooks out front? They come standard on all Cherokee Trailhawks.

Jeep Cherokee DakarJeep Cherokee Dakar

Jeep Cherokee Dakar
Jeep says the Cherokee Dakar is the most extreme Cherokee ever, which, given the new Cherokee’s recent entry to the marketplace, seems like a pretty safe statement to make. To make room for the 33-inch BFG Mud Terrain tires, the wheel openings have been “modified,” which involves some seriously old-school fender plumage via oversized flares held in place with exposed fasteners. A Jeep Performance Parts lift kit combines with a prototype rear fascia to provide for an estimated departure angle of 39 degrees. A Silver Steel Satin gloss exterior finish is set off by Flame Red graphics around the windows, and the color appears in smaller doses on the hood, grill, and wheels. Accessories plucked from the Mopar catalog include all-weather floor mats, doorsill guards with the Cherokee logo, and a cargo tray.

Jeep Wrangler MOJOJeep Wrangler MOJO

Jeep Wrangler MOJO
Jeep gets its Wrangler MOJO working mechanically with most of the same Jeep Performance Parts mods as the Wrangler Level Red: a two-inch lift kit, rock rails, Dana 44 front and rear axles, and a 4:1 Rock-Trac transfer case. Both concepts’ 3.6-liter V-6 engine gets a cold-air intake and low-restriction exhaust. Jeep claims the ‘OJ’ in MOJO stands for Orange Jeep, and, well, OK. For when you’re utilizing the 59:1 crawl range, “shorty” bumpers protect the bright orange exterior, and 37-inch tires sit underneath prototype flat fenders. Preproduction LED headlamps and fog lamps light the way, and prototype two-tone rear half-doors kits round out the package.

Jeep Wrangler Maximum PerformanceJeep Wrangler Maximum Performance

Jeep Wrangler Maximum Performance
The name says it all. The Maximum Performance Wrangler gets many of the same components as the other Wranglers in this year’s lineup, but does so with the hardest-core wheeling in mind. Jeep Performance Parts kicks in with electrically locking Dana 60 axles equipped with 4.88 gearing front and rear, a four-inch lift kit, and a Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case. The “Stinger” front bumper, Rubicon rock rails, prototype flat-topped fender kit, and winch provide protection from trail dangers. Mopar contributes the black front grille as well as the Mopar Blue exterior color, which is echoed on the eight-lug beadlock wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich M/T tires.

Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Trail WarriorJeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Trail Warrior

Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Trail Warrior
This diesel-powered wheeler is jacked up on its Quadra-Lift air suspension, making room for the 20-inch satin-black cast-aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires. The roof basket is a prototype Mopar unit, and the tow hooks and rock rails come from Jeep Performance parts. Satin-black trim accents the Mojave Sand exterior, and Mopar accessories like Jeep logo sills, a pedal kit, and cargo tray dress out the interior. It’d be easy for this GC to get lost surrounded by all the other hard-core off-road hardware detailed here, but this comparatively demure concept still manages to make a statement.
Jeep MOAB conceptsJeep MOAB concepts

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BLOG: Cement Truck vs. Car Dash Cam Video

Courtesy: YouTube

Courtesy: YouTube

A Texas AM professor survives a head on collision with a cement truck. Amazingly, he even walked away without any serious injuries. Dr. Guan Zhu, a veterinary professor, was driving in College Station when the accident happened on April 9th. The dash cam he had installed about a year before  captures the entire incident. Reports show Zhu had the camera installed in case he was ever involved in an accident.

CBS News released a web extra of the video, which can be seen below.

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New York 2014: The 2015 Camry and Our Giant Grille Epidemic

Giant grilles. They started with luxury and performance cars, and for good reason. After all, a big engine requires a lot of air. But as mainstream carmakers have latched onto the big-grille look, the grille has become more about ornamentation and styling rather than performance. Engines are getting smaller and more efficient, so they actually need less airflow to cool the radiator than ever before.

Now, with the 2015 Toyota Camry, it’s official: giant grilles have jumped the shark.

For 2015, Camry dramatically overhauled its perennial favorite to increase interior quality, make handling a bit sportier, and give the car a more exciting look. On the exterior, the only carryover panel is the roof. Everything else is new. Including that giant, unnecessary, soon-to-feel dated grille.

Underneath, Toyota strengthened the chassis and revised the suspension to increase responsiveness. It also tuned the electrically assisted power steering for better handling. The Camry will have the same engine and transmission options as before, but now there will also be two new models: the performance-oriented XSE and the Hybrid SE.

The new Camry also features a host of tech upgrades, including a wireless charging station in the center stack, a 4.2-inch center digital information display in the gauge cluster, and new safety systems, such as lane lane-departure alert and adaptive cruise control.

The Camry is the best-selling car in America. Has been for the past 12 years. So not only is it a big deal when Toyota redesigns its most important car, but it’s also an indication of what our roads are about to look like. In other words, get ready for the big-grille invasion.

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Self-Driving Cars: Are the Safety Features Worth It?

Self-Driving Cars: Are the Safety Features Worth It?

by Gerri Willis

You’ve been hearing about it for a long time now – the advent of the self-driving car – and while it seems like science fiction, the reality is, that we are getting darn close to vehicles that can do all the heavy lifting for you. They call it “Intelligent Drive” at Mercedes Benz, a number of bundled driver-assist features that allow the car to drive itself. There are cameras to augment sensors on the car, steering-assist and even brake assist. Take your hands off the wheel and the car literally drives itself. I recently went to Consumer Reports test track to drive a Mercedes S550 to find out exactly what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a car that drives itself. And, the answer is this: It’s not easy to give up control!

For example, when we tested the brake assist feature, rolling up to a barrier at 20 miles per hour, I found it too irresistible to punch the brake before the car did itself. To me, it’s just a little creepy giving up that much control over to a machine. On the other hand, if I were nodding off at the wheel on a dark and stormy night, I might be glad to have such a feature. There’s also a warning when you stray out of your lane and a park assist feature. The package on this particular model costs $2,800, but you can find other vehicles with some of these features integrated into the overall cost of the vehicle. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee can parallel park you, although I found the experience uncomfortable since it makes the move super quickly and, in my case, would have ended up on the curb had one existed. However, the Jeep’s blind spot monitoring was terrific.

I am not sure I would pay for all these features – not now anyway – but there are two features that all of these cars seemed to have that I would love to see as standard features. One is a back-up camera. I own a crossover and I find the ability to see behind my car is constrained. A rear-view camera would be welcome. The blind spot detection was also a bonus. Bottom line: I’m not sure I’m ready for all this technology yet, but some of it is much appreciated. 


Don’t miss The Willis Report 5pmET on FOX Business

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2016 Mercedes-AMG GT Lacks Benz Name, Has Neat Interior [2014 New York …

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT interior

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT interior

That AMG’s forthcoming sports car would be called GT wasn’t one of the industry’s better-kept secrets. But there was one piece of information about the car that was unexpected: Its official name is Mercedes-AMG GT, which is in contrast to the outgoing SLS, whose full name is Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The new nomenclature signifies the status of Daimler’s performance division as a sub-brand in its own right; the name of company co-founder Carl Benz vanishes.

The Mercedes-AMG GT is the second car developed in Affalterbach, and, in fact, it draws heavily on its predecessor, the SLS. Positioned below the outgoing supercar, the GT will directly target the Porsche 911. It will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 and come exclusively with an automatic transmission.

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT interior

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT interior

While Mercedes didn’t provide any photos of the car’s exterior, the GT has been spied many times, and we have a fairly accurate idea of what it will look like once it is fully unveiled. What we haven’t seen yet is the interior, and today, Daimler released the first official images. Executed in classic red and black leather, it features an impressive layout and array of buttons. The center stack is reminiscent of a NACA duct, and the knobs and buttons surrounding it are arranged to resemble the cylinders of a V-8. Aluminum pedals and carbon-fiber decor underscore the GT’s sporty demeanor.

The Mercedes-AMG GT will be officially shown this fall, before going on sale next year as a 2016 model. Prices will be announced closer to launch, but we expect it to command well over $100,000.

2014 New York auto show2014 New York auto show

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How to stop your child escaping their car seat

Here’s a bit of excitement to add into your life: drive down the highway at 70 mph, glance at your rearview mirror and watch helplessly as your child squirms free of their car seat.

That’s the kind of situation one mother has been experiencing with her son. She turned to Facebook for suggestions: “Anyone else have Maxi Cosi Tobi car seat issues? My boy can escape. My husband’s suggestion of tying his hands together might actually be the only way!”

What followed was a lengthy response from many parents worried about their own little Houdini. Maxi Cosi frequented the comments, but other manufacturers also appeared.

She asked Maxi Cosi for advice, but their suggestion was that “I teach my child not to do it; that it is my responsibility as a parent to ensure my child’s safety and my responsibility to teach him not to.” She didn’t find that helpful – and given what we know of toddlers, I’m not surprised. A further suggestion that she read up on tips online didn’t help either. I also contacted Maxi Cosi, but they didn’t not respond.

So what can you do? Here’s some advice from BabyCenter parents and experts:

1. Make staying buckled fun, suggests Marjorie Leathers, manager of the injury prevention program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital. “You can offer rewards, such as ‘If you stay buckled, when we get home we can play your favorite game.’”

2. You can also turn the belt buckle around so it’s more difficult for your child to undo, says Leathers.

3. Stick some Velcro — the stiffer side — on the button part of the buckle, says Jennifer, mom of two. Your child’s baby-soft fingers probably won’t be able to stand pushing hard enough on the prickly button to undo the buckle.

4. Your child’s favorite characters can work, too. “Whenever my daughter unlatches her chest harness, I say, ‘What does Dora the Explorer say? Seat belts, so we can be safe!’ and she relatches it immediately,” says Holly, mom to 3-year-old Kristen.

5. Finally, pull over and refuse to drive again until she’s buckled safely, says Ann, mom of three. “Give one warning and don’t say anything else until your child complies. Bring a book, and be okay with running late for the week or two it’ll take for your child to learn the lesson.”

There are car seat attachments that can be purchased to help stop your escape artist. But, some of these products may minimize the effectiveness of the car seat itself by making the straps less tight against your child’s body, so test it out first.

What suggestions do you have to stop a child escaping?

You can read more from Stacie at Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby and follow her on Twitter @MamaLewisBlog or via her Mama Lewis newsletter. Photo credits: Flickr/Paul Kobayashi 

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Back to Black: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess” Debuts [2014 …

Back to Black: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess” Debuts [2014 Beijing Auto Show]Back to Black: Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse “Black Bess” Debuts [2014 Beijing Auto Show]

Bugatti brings “Black Bess” back from the abyss for Beijing (say that 10 times fast). Who’s Black Bess? A 100-year-old Bugatti Type 18 roadster—one of seven built—owned by French aviator Roland Garros and powered by a 100-PS inline four-cylinder said to be capable of achieving speeds of over 100 mph, which was unheard of at the time. It is also the inspiration for Bugatti’s latest, and perhaps tackiest, Veyron 16:4 Grand Sport Vitesse–based “Les Légendes de Bugatti” creation: the Black Bess, which Bugatti is showing for the first time at the 2014 Beijing auto show.

Rendered in black paint with gold stripes on the front fenders and 24-carat gold plating on the horseshoe grille, rear EB logo, and elsewhere, the Black Bess edition is striking to behold, yet only four gold wheels away from looking like the most expensive Pontiac Trans Am in history. The interior of the 1200-hp, 255-mph hypercar features beige and crimson leather—nice enough—but the hand-painted, cartoonish “motifs” of the original Black Bess racehorse on the inside door panels and the rear storage compartment cover make us wonder if there might have been a 1978 Dodge van named Black Bess they were channeling instead of the centenarian Bug. And of course, there’s more gilded trim sprinkled about.

Black Bess is the fifth of the six-part Legends Grand Sport Vitesse series, which also includes the prettier Jean Pierre Wimille, and the slick Jean Bugatti edition. Bugatti proudly states that all 12 of the previous Legends cars have already been sold, and we expect that, however tacky this one may be, it’s possible that three wealthy Beijing show goers could plop down the equivalent of € 2.15 million, or $3.19 million to get their very own, perhaps before the show closes its doors.

Bugatti Veyron Black Bess Legends EditionBugatti Veyron Black Bess Legends Edition


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Old Buckenham Village Hall and car parking

Old Buckenham is a small lively village of about a thousand people in south Norfolk.

It has a thriving village newsletter that is published every month. This blog features extracts from past, current and future editions.

We welcome contributions from everyone. Please feel free to leave your comments in the spaces provided, wherever in the world you may be.

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2015 Lexus NX Crossover Twerks for the Camera [2014 Beijing Auto Show]

2015 Lexus NX crossover

2015 Lexus NX crossover

Yes, we know, this is a familiar story: Photo of a highly anticipated auto-show debut leaks onto the internet days before its official reveal—yeah, real original. And so it goes for the 2015 Lexus NX crossover, which was set to be revealed at the Beijing auto show next week, but has instead unceremoniously appeared on Twitter via @AutoFerrière.

This crossover will slot in beneath the RX lineup in size and price, and was previewed by the aggressively styled LF-NX concept. Look for turbocharged four-cylinder and hybrid—that’s the model pictured here with “NX300h” badging—powertrains and all-wheel drive surely is part of the mix. The styling is a big relief, in that it isn’t as overdone as the LF-NX concept’s high-interest bodywork. We’ll bring you full information from the show floor next week, so keep your eyes peeled to this space.

2014 Beijing auto show2014 Beijing auto show

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