Car news blog posts

ExxonMobil Executive Perspective: If I ignore electric cars will they go away?

In an article that tries to point out some pros and cons of gasoline and electrical energy as sources of power for a car, Ken Cohen uses some very subtle words and begging-the-question to overstate the benefits of gasoline.

My favorite paragraph is this:

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Car owners more satisfied with independent repair shops

According to a survey published in the June 2011 issue of Consumer Reports, car owners are more satisfied when their car has been serviced by an independent repair shop.

The survey asked what their overall satisfaction was with repairs and whether they were satisfied with the price.

They translated these into "scores" giving dealers an average score of 80 across all vehicle makes vs. 87 for independent shops - a difference of nearly 10%.

Does Toyota have an electrical defect or just a handful of bad drivers?

There's a post on Overlawyered about Toyota Acceleration and ages of drivers.

Some choice snippets:

The median age is 60.5; the majority of drivers are 60 or older; a third are older than 70. And I left out the case of a driver who was the son of a 94-year-old victim rather than guesstimate his age to be 65.

While "the customer is always right" is a prominent business adage, sometimes the customer is wrong.

Audi Greenwashed Car of the Year - Superbowl Commercial Edition

Apparently my post about the hypocrisy of the Audi A3 TDI Diesel as a Green Car wasn't read by the advertising folks at Audi.

Green Car of The Year 2009 - Audi A3 TDI Diesel

The green car of the year is an Audi A3 TDI Diesel, but I'm not so sure this is the best car, really.

Audi A3 TDI Diesel

According to this Wired article:

The A3 diesel is powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine that puts down 140 horsepower. It delivers 30 mpg in the city and 42 on the highway. It starts at $29,950 and is available in all 50 states.

That's not bad at all, and it's exciting to see lots of new cars getting better and better gas mileage. But I think we have to consider the alternative opportunities when we consider a "Green" car.

We're screwed - kind of - on math and fuel efficiency

A freakonomics blog post details a recent study of consumer behavior related to the fuel efficiency of their cars.

Note: the study is from 2006 so the data is probably from then or even earlier. I imagine the data would change a little if it were taken last summer.

The 230 MPG Marketing Lie - Why electric cars are going to be "hot"

Chevy Volt is doing major advertising around a 230MPG theme. They've developed this number, though it's not certified by the EPA (the government body that gives out the real values).

The Volt is somewhat of a hybrid electric car: you plug it in to an electric socket, charge up the batteries, drive up to 40 miles on that charge, and can use a regular gasoline engine after the batteries are dead.

My Take on The 50 Worst Cars of All Time

The Freakonomics blog had an interesting post on the 50 worst cars of all time:

In talking with an auto executive a few years back, I got some insight into how disasters like this happen. I asked this auto executive how his company decided between the 10 or 15 concept cars that the design teams proposed.

His answer: The five most senior executives at the company looked over the possible vehicles and picked the ones they liked best!

That's a scary bit of information.