AD #1344 – Global New Car Sales Up, New EcoBoost Engine, Opel Pulled From China

March 28th, 2014 at 11:38am

Runtime: 8:18

- Global New Car Sales Up
- Another EcoBoost Engine
- Opel Pulled From China
- Mercedes Has Lowest Recall Rate in U.S.
- World’s Fastest R/C Car
- Unintended Consequence of Autonomous Tech.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. Wow, is it Friday already? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! Coming up later in the show we’ll tell you why autonomous cars could cause more urban sprawl, but now let’s get to the news.

Well, here’s a report that ought to put a smile on everyone’s face in the global automotive industry. The latest data from Ward’s shows that new car sales in February were up in every major geographic region in the world compared to a year ago. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region, comprising nearly 3 million units were up more than 9%. In North America, with 1.4 million vehicles, sales were only up 0.1%, but we know that winter weather has held them back. Sales in Europe, with 1.3 million units moving off the showroom floors were up 4.5%, a really good sign after all the troubles that market has gone through lately. In South America sales hit nearly 400,000 units, up half a percentage point. Not bad considering the Bolivar Revolution has essentially shut down Venezuelan car sales. And sales in the rest of the world, which would include places like Africa and the Middle East, topped 380,000 vehicles, but they were up nearly 16%, meaning that’s where the fastest growth is taking place.

1. Asia-Pacific, 2.9 M, +9.4%
2. North America, 1.4 M, +0.1%
3. Europe, 1.3 M, +4.5%
4. South America, 0.4 M, +0.5%
5. Other, 0.3 M, +15.7%

Ford announced this morning that it’s investing half a billion dollars to upgrade its engine plant in Lima, Ohio to build the new 2.7L EcoBoost V6 offered in the 2015 F-150. The plant currently produces the 3.5L and 3.7L Duratec V6 engines. How interesting that Ford is coming out with a smaller displacement Ecoboost engine for its aluminum F-150. I believe Ford is trying to get a 30 MPG highway rating. By the way, if you want to learn more about the new F-150, make sure you check out last week’s Autoline This Week, just click the link in today’s show notes.

General Motors announced it is going to pull Opel out of China by January. The head of Opel, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, says the decision is long overdue and it would have cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars to raise brand awareness in China. Last year, just over 4,300 Opel’s were sold in China. The German automaker also announced that its Ruesselsheim plant will build a new Buick model that will be sold in the U.S. We believe it will be the Buick Regal. That plant builds the Opel Insignia, which shares a platform with the Regal. In fact, that plant used to build the Regal until production was shifted to Oshawa, Canada. Last year, just over 18,000 Regal’s were sold in the U.S. That’s not much volume for Oshawa, but would be a nice bump for Ruesselsheim.

From GM’s ignition cylinder defect to Toyota’s software upgrade for the Prius, recalls have been on everyone’s mind. But who has done the best job of keeping its name off the safety recall list? According to data compiled by from the last 30-years, Mercedes-Benz has had the lowest recall rate in the U.S. at just 41 cars recalled for every 100 sold. Next on the list is Mazda at 55 per 100 and third place may surprise you a bit with GM at 65 recalled per 100 sold. Automakers with the highest rates include Hyundai at 115 recalled per 100 sold, next up is Mitsubishi at 109 and then Volkswagen at 106. The recall rate can be higher than the number sold if an automaker recalls a vehicle for more than one issue.

And don’t blink otherwise this next story may just pass you by. A man is laying claim to the World’s Fastest radio controlled car with this one called the R/C Bullet, which just completed a run at a shade under 189 miles-per-hour. Man is that thing fast, you can just barely hear that thing coming before it flashes across the screen.

Coming up next, a look at how autonomous cars could cause more urban sprawl.

On Autoline This Week, our weekly television show, the topic is all about mobility. In the following clip Chris Boroni Bird, the vice president of strategic development at Qualcomm explains what could turn out to be one of the unintended consequences of autonomous technology. Take a look.

(Clip from Autoline This Week about mobility can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Some of you may recognize Chris Boroni Bird from other shows we’ve done in the past. He also worked at Chrysler and at General Motors. Also joining me on that show are Jean Francois Trembly, from Ernst & Young, and Jim Sayer from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Center.

Well that wraps up another week of Autoline Daily. Thanks for watching and please join us again next week.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog

129 Comments to “AD #1344 – Global New Car Sales Up, New EcoBoost Engine, Opel Pulled From China”

  1. MJB Says:

    How do you even control steering on a 189mph r/c car? That is CRAZY!

  2. MJB Says:

    Not to mention, the wheel bearings must be titanium…

  3. alex wellington Says:

    From (subsription required). Another piece of news TB will not tell you, not being the kind of “fact” his superiors approve…

    It appeared at 8:17 AM today, but did not make it in today’s ALD.

    First the Cobalts and the Ions, now the Cruze…

    “DETROIT — General Motors is requiring Chevrolet dealers to stop selling some 2013 and 2014 Cruze compact cars for an undisclosed issue, marking another setback as GM grapples with the crisis created by last month’s recall of 1.6 million small cars for a faulty ignition switch.

    GM on Thursday issued an urgent stop-delivery order through an e-mailed memo sent to all U.S. Chevy dealers and obtained by Automotive News. The order applies to some Cruze models equipped with a 1.4-liter turbo engine…”

    How soon will the Cruze’s more rounded twin, the Buick Verano, get a stop sell order from GM too? I bet the resident alleged Seawolf (I wonder if he really has any credentials to suport his fake name) will be concerned…

  4. Jon M Says:

    There is a reason I like being the driver and not the passenger in a vehicle: I love driving. I drive about 15 miles one way to work. It’s actually one of my favored times of the day. I don’t answer my phone; I drive and listen to music. That an autonomous car could allow me to have “fun” while I commute is a contradiction to me. But I suppose to the masses it will allow the driver to text the other people riding along with them without worrying.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That must be a really smooth road they found to run the R/C car on. I’d like to know more about it, like how big it is, and what it uses for power.

  6. Todd T Says:

    #3 Stop sale orders happen from time-to-time. GM’s refusal to state the reason for this one is what is troubling. At a time when GM is already under scrutiny for being opaque (some would say deceptive) this new lack of transparency just adds to the fire.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It will be interesting to see how this new Ford engine performs, both in EPA numbers, and it real-word mpg after they are in use. So far, the “ecoboost” name really seems to be selling vehicles. If they can get a 30 mpg EPA highway rating in the F150, it sell product, never mind what the real world mileage turns out to be.

    Most of the current “ecoboost” engines underperform some of the competitors’ non-turbos in both acceleration and mpg. Some of these competitors, like the Accord V6, don’t even have direct injection, but that one beats the 2.0 Ford turbo in both acceleration and mpg.

  8. alex wellington Says:

    #5 Suppose it is 2 feet long (or so it appeared in the video), how would you scale the speed up to a real vehicle? take a factor of 8, say (2 ft vs 16 feet for a real car) ie.. 1500 MPH?

    As for power, did it have a continuous source or did it have a rocket up its posterior that would work for a few secs and then drop dead?

  9. alex wellington Says:

    # 7 Ford was legally OK when it slapped its 47/47/47 EPA on the CMAX, but buyers were not amused, and it had to lower them. (The silly EPA rules allowed it to use the 47/47/47 of the Fusion on the C-max without testing the C-max at all!)

    I’m sure they have a major goal of getting 30 EPA from the alum F-150, but if the real HWY mpg is 25, buyers will not be amused here either.

  10. HtG Says:

    3 AW, I believe ALD’s intention is to cover stories that distinguish it from other auto news outlets. It’s like Jerry Garcia said, ‘ don’t be the best at what you do, be the only one that does what you do.’ The industry types John is talking to and whom he presents to his own advertisers have already read the major news and trade journals. Even the car reviews here are different.

    Commodification is bad for your health

  11. HtG Says:

    RC car

    I guess that car stays on the ground with air pressure, but imagine how fast those little wheels are turning. Was it wheel driven?

  12. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #1: A gyro used to control the steering I’ll bet.I have several that would be suitable for the job.Also more then likely a digital servo.The tricky part is setting the gains so as not to overreact to input.As for bearings,maybe some ceramic bearings from Boca Bearing maybe?

  13. HtG Says:

    RC car cont’d

    john’s link led me to the neumotors website, which says the car is driven by an electric motor and that aero downforce is keeping the car on the road.

  14. HtG Says:


  15. alex wellington Says:

    10 FYI, Automotive News is considered, not just by me, the “Bible” of the US Automotive Industry. Period. Even TB frequently cites articles from there and links, but you got to have a subscription.

    PS I don’t connect to all the other stuff in your post addressed to me. I frequently find it hard to get what you mean. Who the hell is this Jerry Garcia person? (just a rhetorical Q. I don’t know and I sure don’t care. I think there is a mediocre Hollywood actor by that name but I could be wrong)

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Jerry Garcia was the guitarist/frontman for the “Grateful Dead”.

  17. Bradley Says:

    Yes, autonomous cars will allow people to live and work farther away. Part because they can be more productive in transit and also part because autonomous cars will travel faster than today.

    The Yaris hit 100k miles.
    $15,000 Purchase
    $450 new tires @45k
    $50 air filters
    $250 in oil/filter changes
    $1800 in insurance.

    For a total of $17,750 which is approximately $0.18 per mile. Of course, I added about $800 in stereo equipment too.

    Now its time to drop to liability only insurance for the next 100k. I suppose there will be a little more maintenance for the next $100k.

  18. Bradley Says:

    Ugh, it was actually $500 in oil changes. The cost per mile is still the same.

  19. marshy Says:

    If you guys are looking to kill some time, here is one of the websites where they are logging speed runs in an open competition.

    These days you can get some real power out of the brushless li-po powered motors. I’m talking more than a HP. I own some very modest rigs and nothing like this.

    I have no idea how they dial out the steering linkage tolerance or even setup the suspension for this kind of speed. Perhaps with huge caster.

    At scale this must be like doing several hundred MPH over a coarse gravel road. Just consider the surface roughness profile of good asphalt to the wheel diameter.

  20. HtG Says:

    15 you don’t need to help me make my point, AW. I’m quite capable of that, as I’ve shown. ( a tip for anyone who’d like to read the AutomotiveNews is that the first two articles per day are gratis, and after that you can use a different device or just go in ‘private’ session on an Iphone)

    My apology, John

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14, Thanks for the link.

    I kind of figured it had a glow engine, rather than being electric, but today’s electric stuff will really produce power, as long as you don’t need long run time.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11, etc.

    A quick calculation finds the wheels, if about 4 inch diameter, would be turning about 12-13,000 rpm. Normal ball bearings would be fine at that speed. The most impressive thing to me, is that it stays on the ground, and is controllable at that speed. As G.A. says, I suspect a gyro is used to help it go straight.

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: More then likely set in ‘heading hold’.

  24. MJB Says:

    17. Autonomous cars will travel “faster than today”?

    Be afraid. Be very afraid…

  25. alex wellington Says:

    Many in this site have a very negative and suspicious view of the whole “Autonomous Cars” circus. While I am sure there will be many misspent millions of $ in related research, I am sympathetic to the concept, only to the extent it will sure help, not hurt, elderly drivers with much poorer driving skills compared to THEMSELVES when they were 30 years younger,

    and allow them the significant freedom a private auto allows, even in their very ripe old age, and hopefully beyond 100 years old, if they are lucky to reach that age.

    16 Thanks for the info, I have heard about them but as you can see I am not a big exert on these grateful Deceased! (I am more of a classical guy myself, and this includes the Beatles and esp the Stones)

    (Note that is it 100% proven that the “over 100″, while still very small, is the fastest growing segment of the population in all advanced nations.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Bradley I bought a K&N permanent air filter when the car was new, I have been using it ever since thus saving about $10 a pop every time I would have needed to replace the paper one.

  27. alex wellington Says:

    20 I did not know about the 2 freebies. Actually for me all the articles are gratis, because the University Library subscription (electronic) allows all the 50,000 or so faculty, staff and students access to the publication 100% free.

  28. alex wellington Says:

    26 I used to change the air filter in my 1990 Accord, once in a while (no big deal), but was surprised that, every time I change the oil in the big 7

    (always synthetic, as recommended, you pay $100 or so for a considerable quantity the 4.4 lt v8 demands, but you have peace of mind, this is not the place to be a cheapskate and penny wise and pound foolish!)

    I would also ask them to check the air filter, and for 9 years in a row, they never told me I need to change it. I wonder if it is permanent too.

  29. alex wellington Says:

    Boy, “it never rains, but it pours!”


    You bet they need all the advertising $billions they can muster to sell some of these models…

    While in other news, Tesla took care of that fire business and the case is closed at NHTSA!

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The need to change air filters depends completely on where you drive. In the fall, in rural Indiana, there are often huge clouds of dust downwind of crop harvesting operations. If you drive through that very much, you would need to change air filters fairly frequently. If all of your driving is in relatively dust free places, the filters last a long time.

    Quick lube places sell a lot of un-needed filters, especially for cars where the filter is easy to replace.

  31. GaryPaul Says:

    28. Air filters on vehicles are much larger than they used to be and, as you may know, as they get dirtier they tend to work better at keeping out added dirt but worse at air flow! Thus one can keep a dirty air filter in place for years and get acceptable performance because of the size of the filters these days, or if driving needs are moderate (no hi-perf driving which would require greater cubic feet of air required), or if one drives in a clear environment without as much dust, pollen, etc. Of course air volume reduces overall as the filter gets more and more filthy, and eventually this will start slowing the vehicle down and on really dirty filters you will notice! Yep I saw filters just covered with debris at 150-200K miles that had never been changed!—But the engine was OK ’cause the filter stopped the dirt—and the air too–ha!

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30, Would you get a check engine light if the filter is dirty enough to seriously restrict air flow, or would the ECM just reduce fuel flow to give the right fuel/air mixture at the reduced full throttle power you’d have, and not tell you?

  33. GaryPaul Says:

    #29. yes they do sell too many that do not need replacement–agreed. Heck I just used a quick change oil place for the first time last month—never used one before–and I made sure to inform them i wanted ONLY oil change and oil filter because they will change air filters—expensive big air filters—when ya may not need it. And your right—for example here in SE Michigan, Winter is (usually) a whole lot less dusty than in Michigan Summer/Spring with all the junk floating in the air and grass clippings all over…

  34. GaryPaul Says:

    #31: I’m sure (on a modern vehicle) that the ECM would adjust for the severely reduced flow & cause a light on the instrument panel (my bird’s nest caused a warning light–see below) but the result was the same even if it didn’t: just not enough air volume—I was driving cars back and forth for an auto broker and came across stuff like that (neglected air filters and such) and the car will slow down A LOT with things like a bird’s nest on top of the filter!

  35. cwolf Says:

    The Cruze’s 1.4T is not an engine choice for the Verano. The 1.4 is offered in the Sonic, yet this car is not recalled. The action taken, therefore, must be specific to the Cruze. The ELR trouble is another programming glitch. But, if you have one black eye, why not go for a matched set!

  36. cwolf Says:

    The majority if issues with cars today are electrical, for the most part, so does anyone in their right mind think they will feel safe anywhere near an autonomous vehicle? O’hell sell my cars and buy a bus and train pass!

  37. cwolf Says:

    There sure are a bunch of Focus wagons around my new digs, near Cedar Point Amusement Park. Me likes’em!

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37. Two generation ago Focus wagons, I assume, unless CP has some non-US ones that they use on property?

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf, Cedar Point is in my bucket list of places to go!

  40. cwolf Says:

    One last ditty before I get busy and since no one is out to play: I’m not nuts about GM’s plan to follow Ford, by going to smaller turbo charged engines. I’d feel better if there were some data available, but there taint’nun nuff for me. While not turbocharged, these engines are being asked to move weights beyond limits. We already noted mpg’s are not reported to have an advantage in these cars, over many natural asperated ones. Then again, we don’t have much choice. Do we?

  41. cwolf Says:

    Kit, waddya talk’in about? These cars can’t be that old; my gosh they, for the most part, look new! You are scaring me, pal! And none from the Point.

    pedro, let me know when you head north. Buy tickets at Meijer’s…they’re less expensive and time saving.

  42. cwolf Says:

    Hey, did ya get the news that VW is making about $25K off every Porche? Holy cow, this is more than the interest rates on credit cards! I wonder if each dealership supplies a free tube of Vasoline with every purchase?

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Cruze not allowed to be sold is the turbo version, I continue not to trust these engines at all, I don’t care who makes them!

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41, I don’t remember the exact year, but the last Focus wagon sold in the U.S. was around 2007. At that time, I was waiting for a more refined Focus hatch or wagon, which I might have bought. Instead of selling what I might have wanted, they dropped the wagon and both hatches, and sold only a sedan and coupe in the U.S. The current hatch is the next generation after that.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41, 44. I checked, and 2007 was, in fact, the last model year for the Focus wagon in the U.S. That is unfortunate. The “rest of the word” Focus wagon looks good, and would be a very practical car.

  46. alex wellington Says:

    Apparently the Verano got lucky so far, since none of the two engines it comes with is the Cruze’s 1.4 lt Turbo, see below.

    The higher HP version, however, IS a 2.0 lt Turbo, and if the Cruze’s problem was with the turbo itself, as Pedro implies, shouldn’t it also affect the larger turbo on the Verano?

    (2.4 L Ecotec I4 (Flex-Fuel) 2384 cc 180 HP at 6700 rpm 171 lb·ft (232 N·m) at 4900 rpm 6-speed automatic 2012-

    2.0 L Ecotec t/c I4 1998 cc 250 HP at 5300 rpm 260 lb·ft (353 N·m) at 2000 rpm 6-speed automatic
    6-speed manual (optional) 2013-)

    Cwolf is about a week late. I cited and commented the $25 alleged profit on each Porsche sold. It would make sense on $300k Ferraris but not on $50-100K Cayennes and Boxsters and Caymans and base 911s that are the bulk of Porsche Sales.

    It makes even less sense because this is the FACTORY profit, so it is NOT based on the above inflated dealer prices, BUT on the price the factory sells the cars to the dealers, which could be 15-20% LESS than the above!

  47. alex wellington Says:

    And here is a classic Friday Night newsfeed of more bad news, to avoid the busy weekdays. It’s not just your bloated, incompetent Government in Wash DC that does this, Government Motors does it too!:

    “March 28, 2014 – 5:16 pm ET — UPDATED: 3/28/14 9:17 pm ET — new fatality, crash numbers

    DETROIT — General Motors is expanding its ignition switch recall to include another 824,000 U.S. models to ensure that owners of cars that may have been repaired over the years using faulty switches can get them replaced.

    The addition of 2008-2010 model-year versions of the Saturn Ion and Sky, Pontiac G5 and Solstice and Chevrolet HHR, and 2008-2011 Chevy Cobalts, brings the total number of U.S. cars under the ignition switch recall to about 2.2 million.”

    Where’s TB? I bet his Cruze has been recalled without explanation too?

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Porsche would have a very high profit, both factory and elsewhere, on a Cayenne turbo with an MSRP of $110K, but yeah, not so much on a base Boxster at ~$50K.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46, The 1.4 and 2.0 turbos are from different engine families, so might not be expected to have the same problems, or lack thereof.

    I still haven’t heard the reason for the stop-sale on the 1.4′s.

  50. RonE Says:

    As I was pulling out of a parking spot this morning, A Saleen Ford Focus pulled into the next spot. I had never seen one before now and wasn’t aware that they even existed. Pretty sharp looking car though. Canary yellow 2Door hatchback.

    I thought Saleen and Ford had parted ways but this model Saleen was a 2005. The car was equipped with NOS that gave it an additional 75hp.

    I hope to see it again and chat with the owner to find out more about the car.

  51. cwolf Says:

    The hold on the Cruze is for a possible cracked front axle. This problem happened once before for the same issue.

  52. cwolf Says:

    The right front axle shaft, to be specific.

  53. alex wellington Says:

    48 Cayennes are cheap compared to 911 Turbos and even Panamera Turbos. But the bigger point is, as I said, these $25k are not on the high MSRP but on the much lower price the factory sells them to the dealers, so as a % it is huge.

    49 I am aware, but if people do not trust Turbos, why would the Cruze Turbo have problems and the Verano Turbo not have them? To me this means it is not the “Turbo”s fault. Not that I am hot about turbos either, BTW.

  54. alex wellington Says:

    51 did you actually see this in a serious news site or is it a rumor? And if this is it, why didn’t they mention it, which led people think of all kinds of worse possibilities?

    I just checked “The Bible” again ( and still no word about this.

    This was probably the worst week for GM in years, here is another angle (autonews article):

    “Flawed entry-level GM cars, young drivers: A combination with deadly consequences”

    While it was an excellent week for Tesla, not only did they fixed their (minor) fire problem and closed the case with NHTSA, they scored wins in several states, including all-important New York, to keep their non-dealer stores there.

  55. alex wellington Says:

    Barra is testifying next week in Congress. I bet she will spend the weekend being coached to show her emphathetic side and pull a Bill Clinton “Ah feel youh pain” to the families of the 13 fatalities. Except her accent will be far more ear-piercing than Bill Clinton’s soothing drawl.

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48, Cayennes cover a very wide price range, from around $50K to over $140K. My main point is that the expensive versions of that good selling badge engineered vehicle would be very high profit for both the factory, and the dealers. Yeah, 911′s and Panameras also cover a very wide range, both going to ~$200K.

    I’ve read that the turbocharger in the 1.4 is cased in the exhaust manifold, or something like that, making it different from many, or most turbo installations. From cwolf’s posts, though, it looks like the turbo isn’t what’s involved with the stop sale anyway.

  57. alex wellington Says:

    56 If you look at the distribution of models sold, the vast majority are not the $150-250k top end versions but $50-80k low-end ones. (BTW The Cayenne sells really well because they did not price it as greedily as the 911, even tho the Cayenne is twice the vehicle the 911 is). That is what makes the $25k per sale profit claim really hard to believe.

  58. alex wellington Says:

    56 The Cayenne may be based on the Touareg platform, but it is not a dumb rebadge job as was some… Saab SUVs that were just Chevy Trailbazers with just the Saab Logo replacing the Chevy Bowtie. COmparison tests leave no doubt that the Cayenne is quite a different vehicle than the Touareg. Similarly the Rolls Ghost is built on the 7 platform, but even its closest 7 model, the V12 760iL, has differences not only in the interior (of course) but in length, wheelbase, Engine, HP, suspension, the works! And the Phantom is not even built on the same platform, but has its own (yet is based on many BMW Mechanicals too)

    Very different than the FOrd-Lincoln or the Chevy-Buick-Caddy rebadge jobs, where the engines are 100% identical, and so are the all-important tiny wheelbases.

  59. HtG Says:

    Porsche profit

    It’s almost like part of Porsche’s brand is to be ‘the most profitable car company.’ They’ve been saying that line for years, so they’re in good form claiming an average 25K margin. If you online-build a car it’s remarkable how expensive and extensive the option packages are. My personal Cayman only has the 710 dollar metallic blue paint. Big L, Loozer.


    what a week to lead GM. I hope she thrives on pressure

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59 If I were buying a Cayman, or Boxster, I too, would be fine without any options, except maybe color.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    58, I agree that Cayenne is much different from most rebadges, especially most of today’s Lincolns.

    Yeah, I remember the SaaBlazer and the Saabaru.

  62. HtG Says:

    61 Years ago at the NY show I watched a pair of product specialists try doing their mic’d presentations for those rebadges. No one, but no one, was giving a damn what those gals had to say. The cars were being ignored. (in general it makes me cringe, but also stare in wonder when a PS will do their shtick in front of indifferent crowds)

  63. alex wellington Says:

    BMW Keychain Malfunction!

    A couple days ago I had a BMW Keychain malfunction. To be precise, it had nothing to do with my 740iL itself, or the bulky, expensive key I have to use to open the car from a distance. It was just the keychain, which was a chain sold in BMW stores for about $20, very nice looking, very upscale, but apparently a moronic design, since, after barely 2 years of use, it fell apart, and the three keys (office, home, and car), and three supermarket membership tiny cards (Kroger, Busch and Riteaid), all fell on the pavement.

    I collected everything and used a spare key chain that I actually got as one of the promos from that connected car megaproject where I also got $300 in cold cash (actual cash, not check!) for allowing them to wire my BMW to their fleet of thousands of other cars), and went on my business.

    At home, I had saved the box of the keychain, and I put the remains of it in its box and have it with me today when I do my shopping rounds.

    I could go to the BMW store and ask for a replacement or my money back. Problem is, this was one of two gifts they gave me when I brought the car for that free clinic they do every Fall. (The other one was a great-looking aluminum mug that works perfectly and also costs about $20, as the key chain.)

  64. alex wellington Says:

    Committee Hearings next week: Multile Targets! Will the (always against big-gov) Repubs aim at GM or at NHTSA?

    “For years, the U.S. government’s auto safety watchdog sent form letters to worried owners of the Chevrolet Cobalt and other General Motors small cars, saying it didn’t have enough information about problems with unexpected stalling to establish a trend or open an investigation.

    The data tell a different story.

    An Associated Press review of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over a nine-year period, 164 drivers reported that their 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts stalled without warning. That was far more than any of the car’s competitors from the same model years, except for the Toyota Corolla, which was recalled after a government investigation in 2010….”!!!

  65. HtG Says:

    63 that sounds very scary, AW. Good luck ;)

  66. HtG Says:

    64 Why choose? Tag team!

    (Darrel Issa must be beside himself that he’s not on the committee. Maybe he’ll set fire to the building, huh?)

  67. alex wellington Says:

    Almost 5 million GM recalls since last month! (and counting!)- From Autoblog. Now the “tops in their segment” Tahoes and Suburbans, and Pickups too!

    “For those keeping track, General Motors has issued recalls for an alarming 4.8 million vehicles so far since last month.

    The Chevy Silverado 1500, Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Sierra 1500 and Yukon models from the 2014 and 2015 model years are being recalled for a flaw in the transmission wherein loose oil cooler lines may cause a fire. The automaker said in a statement (see below) that it knows of three incidents of loose transmission lines causing problems, but no injuries. We can’t confirm whether it was this transmission issue that caused the widely publicized blaze that consumed a 2015 GMC Yukon that was being test driven in California.

    We had heard previously from GM that it had issued a stop-sale on Chevy Cruze models equipped with the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, and now there’s an apparent recall to match that stop-sale against. A total of 172,000 cars from the 2013 and 2014 model years will be recalled to replace half shafts that could fracture while driving. Several dozen shafts have separated, according to GM, but there have been no crashes or injuries associated with those failures. The stop-sale has since been lifted, meaning compact car shoppers can add the Cruze back to their potential test-drive lists, should they so desire….”

  68. alex wellington Says:

    65 Schrecklich? Warum? (!). I tried to put the two-piece keychain together myself, but apparently something broke, probably a little weld poorly done, and I don’t think it is fixable. Not even sure if they carry the same flawed design any more. The BMW dealer is on the other side of town from me (NW vs NE) but it is a mile or two from a German ALDI supermarket with unbeatable fresh veggie, nuts etc prices (the cheapskate billionaires that own it have it German style, bring your own bags, and pay cash or debit). Also close to a local library branch.

  69. HtG Says:

    I was being facetious, referring to the context of GM’s ignition ignominy.

  70. alex wellington Says:

    66 Issa is a 100% self made multimillionaire ( think he made his fortune from home alarm systems or sth), which precludes him from setting any building on fire. LOL. Made more millions than the drunk Kennedys in Congress, and, unlike them, he did not inherit them from a father that made his millions from (now illegal) stock trading and from (even then illegal) bootlegging!

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m keeping my eyes open for a Cobalt at a used car lot. I want to know what the action of that lock feels like.

  72. HtG Says:

    Again, AW, I was referring to the old stories about Issa having burned down one of his businesses to collect the insurance. Nothing was ever proven. I also understand that he was gifted his seed capital from his wife’s family to buy out the business he later built up. But maybe you know the facts better than I do.

  73. pedro fernandez Says:

    As more and more OEM assembly parts are made in China, there will be more and more recalls, it will become and epidemic and it will hurt the auto industry severely, (perhaps a Chinese plan to eventually move into the US market) go ahead keep trying to save money and keep buying Chinese parts, I’ve experienced the agony and pain myself.

  74. HtG Says:

    71 kit, did you see today’s NYT article on the engineer hired by a plaintiff to investigate the cause of their crash?

  75. cwolf Says:

    Toward the bottom, there will be a comment on the Cruze.

  76. cwolf Says:

    I think GM is just laying out all of their cards on the table to quell any idea they are trying to hide something. Putting a hold on the Cruze without explanation was prolly a preventative measure to buy them more time to investigate further and to form a plan. Remember, GM now uses a new method to I.D. problems quicker. This technique can be seen by the past low numbers of units included in their recalls.

  77. G.A.Branigan Says:

    To me,a GM customer,it looks like Ms.Barra is getting a hold of this,(and more)problems with it’s past and present recalls and is doing it right.I wish Jeep would do the same thing for the garbage they put out.I’m still waiting to see how the pentastar is going to fare.Yes,they still have problems.

  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    74, Hadn’t seen it, but I’ll read it.

  79. HtG Says:

    Barra at the Senate

    Tuesday, Mary Barra will appear before a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection. If you look at the list of members on the panel, you’ll see Boxer and Cruz. I think I threw up a little.

    Automotive News also reports that Cadillac’s Ferguson is in DC doing communications. Presumably, he’s working with the staffers.

  80. HtG Says:

    Also Richard Blumenthal is on the panel. He’s a former state attorney general from CT. And wasn’t Chairwoman Claire McCaskill the same in MO?

    No slouches here

  81. C-Tech Says:

    @ #71 Kit, having replaced a quite a few of these locks under the previous “campaign” before the full-on recall, the ign. cylinder locks do not feel any different until they start to fail internally. They slowly develop a hitch when turning the ignition on or off. In the worst cases the ignition gets stuck in the on or off position when last turned. If your lock was going bad and you had enough keys or accidentally hit the switch while driving and turned the ign. off, you possibly could not turn it on. We also had customers who could not get their keys out so they left the car running all the way to the dealer and dealers would leave the running car in the parking lot until a tech was available. It was a hot mess then, and even more so now.

  82. C-Tech Says:

    As I recall (no pun intended) the Mercedes SLK and Chrysler Crossfire had a similar ignition issue with getting stuck. The Mercedes/Chrysler issue was that you sometimes could not turn the key to start the car.

  83. C-Tech Says:

    Sean thanks for the report on the high-tech tools necessary for today’s vehicles. As I am just paying off my newer high-tech power probe, some customers are going to have to pay for this tool. As for the independent shops, the problem is do they work on enough of a particular manufacturer’s cars and trucks to justify buying the special tools AND access to the systems which are required to run the tools? Just getting new keys programmed is a major investment in system access.

  84. Kit Gerhart Says:

    81, Thanks for the info.

  85. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Testing,1 2 3 7

  86. Kit Gerhart Says:

    81, Did you ever take one apart? I wonder if the failures were because they neglected grease something in the detent when they assembled the locks.

  87. HtG Says:

    85 did you leave out 5, GA?

  88. G.A.Branigan Says:

    LOL,I made that post with my S4 and had a bit of phun ;}>

  89. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How do you like your S4? I make about 3/4 of my posts here with my S4.

  90. C-Tech Says:

    Kit the tumblers were larger in the replacement lock cylinders during the 1st campaign. It made the lock more robust.

  91. alex wellington Says:

    72 You accurately characterized these vicious rumors as “old stories”. To promote them into facts, you need to produce at least some EVIDENCE. But it is a common tactic of the extreme left to demonize their opponents.

    On the contrary, what I said about “The Ambassador”, aka Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Teddy’s father, is 100% proven fact that appears in all, serious, Kennedy Clan Biographies I have ever seen. His stock manipulation was legal at the time he did it but would be very illegal today. His bootlegging activities were illegal even then. That allowed his siblings to inherit vast wealth and be generous with OTHER people’s money (take from the taxpaying middle class and give to their cronies, or their paid voters)

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Issa seemed to have a history of stealing other people’s cars.

  93. alex wellington Says:

    BTW Issa is an Arab-american and his last name means “Jesus” in Arabic.

    Back to serious and relevant discussions:

    One more reason I want far more than 500 mile range in my cars.

    I checked with before I went shopping yesterday afternoon, and found the lowest gas prices within a 5 m ile radius, very conveniently, at the Kroger and Meijer Supermarkets here. (both own their own stations). $3,55 midgrade one, 3,58 the other (but actually identical, since the other gives me at least $3, sometimes much more, discount based on shopping points). In addition, I always used a 5% off (for gas) AAA Platinum Visa.

    I expected these clowns raise their prices later on Saturday, to take advantage of weekly shoppers like me, but did not expect the extent of the difference!

    Both had midgrade OVER $4.00! That did it for me, I gave them both a gigantic middle finger and did not put one cent of gas. My tank is now only 1/3 full, good for about 100 city or 160 HWY miles.

    If I had a 800 mile tank like the Passat Diesel and the E 250 Bluetec, I could wait another month (!) given my low miles done (except for any long trips, but I don’t expect any the next 30 days), until these clowns sober up.

    If prices stay at $4 for long, expect a big increase in Prius sales in April.

    John makes a big point how Prius sales have fallen the last 8 months or so, but then in AAH they themselves gave the reason, it is that Priuses and other simple hybrids cannot be used in fast lanes in CA any more, jost plugins and pure EVs.

  94. alex wellington Says:

    $4.00 midgrade, while the US Now World’s Top Energy Producer

    “Thanks to fracking technology and horizontal drilling techniques, the United States has gone from a large-scale energy importer to the world’s top producer — a development with far-reaching consequences.

    America produced an average of about 12.1 million barrels of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and biofuels a day in 2013 — that’s 300,000 barrels a day more than Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million more than Russia, the two previous leaders.

    U.S. production of crude oil alone rose by a record 991,000 barrels a day last year, according to the International Energy Agency. And oil imports declined by 16 percent, from $310 billion to $268 billion.

    Fracking has enabled shale-gas production in North Dakota, Texas, and the formation that crosses parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York to account for 44 percent of total U.S. natural gas output.

    “The hydrocarbon boom in the United States is driven by fracking,” according to a report from the Hoover Institution headlined “Three Cheers for Fracking.”

  95. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ kit: This is only the second time I’ve posted with my S4,but I do likt it,very much.I was under the assumption one had to have a ‘app’ just to do this.

  96. HtG Says:

    91 You shouldn’t let me wind you up, AW. Just Google

  97. alex wellington Says:

    96 Oh really? Just because there is some flat oith society that claims some nonsense, does that make it a so-called ‘fact’?

    Get serious, real and don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by the usual clowns.

  98. alex wellington Says:

    97 I meant on Google.

    76 “wolf Says:
    March 29th, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I think GM is just laying out all of their cards on the table to quell any idea they are trying to hide something…”

    I disagree 100%. They are 8 years late and too little at that. GM is in really deep doo doo and I guess that’s why TB gave up trying to defend it with his usual selective posting of his so-called “facts”.

    In his case, it goes back to the “Golden Rule” in the Old Testament. He gloated and posted the numbers about Toyota’s recalls in 2013, and now, with only 3 months into 2014, GM has had more than TWICE the recalls, and a ton more deaths due to its negligence.

    And to respond to that rumor-mongering HtG re Issa, If he was one of these unfortunate parents whose teen sons or daughters were killed by GM CRAPPY cars designed by mediocre engineers and approved by ethically challenged CEOs and VPs, he really doesn’t know what he would do.

    He might keep calm and take them to court for all they got (and they got pretty little, being recently and deservedly BANKRUPT), but if this was REALLY his child, especially his ONLY child, who knows if he would take the law in his own hands and set THEIR buildings on fire!

    But then again I doubt it. I have a really hard time to figure out how HtG thinks, judging from his posts the last few months. I think he has changed a lot since a year ago.

  99. HtG Says:

    98 I’m exasperated with all the players, AW. It’s making me snide. I will admit that I desperately want to see GM succeed, and that Chrysler and Ford don’t move me as much. As far as simple DC politics, I miss the normal people from both sides of the aisle.

    (sorry I can’t elaborate. It’s nascar now. Boogitty boogitty, go Kyle! And at 3pm there’s a Indy car race from Florida.)

  100. HtG Says:

    There’s also a good chance that TB will be quiet about the ignition matter, as it’s a serious legal risk for GM. It’s normal

  101. Kit Gerhart Says:

    99, It looks like Brad K. isn’t happy with Kurt B.

    HtG, any thoughts on the F1 season, so far? I haven’t seen any of it, but have checked the results, and it could be an interesting season. Based on the preseason tests, it looked like Red Bull might one of this year’s bottom feeders, but they seem to be competitive.

  102. HtG Says:

    101 I’m pretty disappointed with F1 in general, Kit. I’ve turned off the first two races after about a half hour, as the racing is processional. But following all the political and marketing controversies still interests me. The loudest issue now is the lack of noise from the cars, and it’s making me more aware of how the different audiences are drawn to the sport for different reasons.

    I’m also bemused by people in the sport(talking to you, Niki and Nico) trying to enlighten us doofus fans about the sport needing to be relevant to contemporary efficiency goals of the manufacturers; I seem to recall hybrids coming to street cars almost 20 years ago with the Honda Insight and then the Prius. Let F1 do autonomous race cars, no driver!

  103. Chuck Grenci Says:

    My Formula 1 opinion: seems it is the cars that determine who wins. Drivers, almost never heard of (before), with this years cars, are doing very/fairly well (so far). Mercedes performing the best so far, Red Bull (despite teething problems) still in the mix, but seemingly some of the new guys are right there with historically poor racing chassis’ of old. Ferrari still lagging (the driver talent there, not the car, yet). Interesting stuff; so far. Stay tuned IMO; going to be an interesting season.

  104. HtG Says:

    103 Yeah, let’s hope the power plants ‘get sorted’ as they say. I read it’ll be about six races before that happens. I can’t figure out how I feel about some drivers needing to diet so hard and dehydrate themselves before races, in order to make up for the heavier power units. Every sport has size and weight issues, I think.

    Chuck, how do you look at the RedBull fuel flow limit appeal?

  105. Kit Gerhart Says:

    102, Interesting.

    The only modern era F1 cars I have heard “in person” are the naturally aspirated V10′s and V8′s, and their loudness was not a great appeal to me. It just required ear plugs to preserve what’s left of my hearing. You certainly know the engines are not from your father’s Oldsmobile, given the high pitch scream from the very high rpm.

    While I like high tech, high mpg street cars, it is silliness to claim environmental enlightenment in any kind of racing. The fuel used in the race cars is totally insignificant compared to the fuel used to get the teams and equipment, and the spectators to the races. The hybridization of F1 cars just makes them more complex and expensive, and I doubt it does much to make the next generation Prius better.

    Before the season started, there was talk that just running at the end might be enough to make the podium at the early F1 races. I guess the reliability has been better than that.

  106. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #104 HtG

    I’ve read (some) on the fuel sensor performance and discrepancy issues (with Red Bull) and just don’t know what the answer or the outcome will come down to; this is highly technical in nature and nebulous in execution. Personally, and this is just my opinion, give the teams 100 KG of fuel and tell them that’s what they have to finish the race (don’t know why they wanted to complicate the issue with a flow control (device).

  107. T. Bejma Says:


    Thanks HtG. You get it.

  108. alex wellington Says:

    Another week… four more to go until the end of the semester.

    Googled gas prices again and the mainstream stations were still unreasonably high at $4.00. There was a Venezuelan CITGO station 5 miles from here, which had midgrade at $3.61, so I decided to teach the ExxonmobilShellSunocoMarathonBP Clowns a lesson and went there. Even tho the price was only 4 hours old, when I arrived, midgrade was $3.71. Not a big deal, some stations price midgrade 20 and even 30 cents above regular. Still, I was not amused at the fast increase, so I filled the tank with regular at $3.59. And with my 5% gas discount AAA Visa, $3.42 really. Take that, greedy gas station owners. And don’t worry about the 7 running on regular. Done it several times before, it is intelligent enough to adapt its engine programming and does not run rough.

    In the local library, somebody had left the latest copy of Cons Reports. (May 14!) at the mag exchange, made some interesting reading at home.

    They tested couple Mazda 3s, one at 176 and the other 180 ” long, and got 41 and 45 (!) HWY. Regular gas. Of course the larger Altima got 44.

    Also tested two new CHerokees, the Limited and the Latitude. Did not like them. One got 70 and the other 56, in the road test, note that even the Impala got a… 95! Is a Diesel CHerokee coming any time?

    And on 60′, a show I rarely see any more, one of the clowns (the funnyface who does the CBS evening news too) interviewed ELON MUSK. WOW! and talked about the AWESOME Tesla S.

    0-60 in 4 sec! The Tesla S, with M5 performance and even more room than the M5, proved that Pure EVs don’t have to be smallish, ugly, nerdy and slow.

    I don’t know how many more years I’ll keep the 7, but among new cars, few, if any, attract me as much as the Tesla S. And it makes no sense to buy it used, used prices are as insane as the most popular Ferraris, which APPRECIATED instead of steeply depreciating.

    This week should be very in teresting to anybody interested in the Auto INDUSTRY. TOmorrow Sales for March, Barra testifying (there was a pic of her today with the (natural?) red hair dyed blond. I’d fire her advisers, If I were her… but I am not.

    Finally, I commend several Repub Congressmen and Senators for standing up against the crooked dealers conspiring to forbid Tesla from selling the Model S from their own stores. Rubio and others castigated fellow-Repub (or RINO, even Rhino to some) Christie for his back-door wheeling and dealing with the NJ Dealers to mess with the Tesla stores there.

  109. alex wellington Says:

    The Current Honda Accord

    I see quite a few of them around here. They look Great. Really. And their design is intelligent, not a one-trick dog like the Fusion or the new 200, where you sacrifice interior room to styling, the Accord is able to both be a practical family sedan and look great. Not a small feat for a nose-heavy FWD vehicle.

    I strongly believe the Accord is the best Midsize Sedan by a mile, despite the Altima’s short-lived sales lead for 2014 and the Camry’s top sales in 2013 and before.

    Speaking of the Camry, Toyota has deep pockets and behaves exactly like a domestic whose iron does not move. Camry incentives currently are actually higher than the industry average, while Honda sells all the Accords it can make, RETAIL, NO cheapo rentals and other fleet sales!

    But on April 16 in the NY Auto show, the significantly refreshed Camry, with new sheetmetal and suspension changes among other things, will debut, and will go on sale in the Fall. We’ll see if this does the trick.

  110. HtG Says:

    Yep, that was some photo of Barra in the AN this morning. Maybe she’s been advised to go blond in order to make a more widely appealing screen image. You see so many women on tv doing that.

    Anyway, keeping politics out of it this week looks hopeless. If Boxer doesn’t get in some good shots on GM or NHTSA, I’ll be surprised. We’ll see how big the story gets; maybe Yellowstone will blow up, temporarily taking the pressure off GM, so to speak

  111. HtG Says:

    Prices on Accord are also amazing, imho

    Lot’s to see at the NY show. I’ll prolly make it a day

  112. alex wellington Says:

    111 in what sense? 2 High?

    My town used to be a Civic-Accord-Camry-Corolla place, with poor grad students wheeling around in ugly, beat up Tauruses (Tauri?), not the smooth 1986 originals, of course, but the frog or catfish-like 2nd Gen “Oval” design disasters.

    But now I see lots of new Fusions on the road too.

  113. HtG Says:

    Not high. So much car for so little. Those things look great and hit the market sweetspot. I saw a well appointed one for about 23k. It’s awesome

  114. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You see a lot of Darts on the road in Kokomo, IN where I grew up, and still spend summers.

  115. Kit Gerhart Says:

    113, You can even get a manual transmission in an Accord, if so inclined.

  116. alex wellington Says:

    114 I only saw one dart and that was inside a Mall, when they were promoting it. I saw no Darts on the street, ever! They are selling very poorly, among other reasons because you can get a one-size up more upscale, Chrysler 200 for the same price. (the current, not the new 200)

  117. alex wellington Says:

    113 $23 for a loaded Accord (I bet it is the I4) is quite good. The first owner of my 1990 Accord paid $15,000 for a Coupe 5-speed manual LX (no sunroof, no airbags, no ABS that year, but power windows). The 125 HP, 137 lbft 2.2 lt engine was rather anemic around town when I wanted to climb a small hill fast, despite the modest 2822 lb weight. But for me then it was a huge step up from the 1.8 lt 84 HP, 2400 lb J-car 5-speed manual. With the 282 HP, 317 Lbft of my aging 7, you can accelerate really powerfully, in a sec or two everybody else seems a mile away in the rear view mirror.

    PS we also see lots of Mazda 3s in the parking lots, students like it it seems.

  118. pedro fernandez Says:

    Darts should start selling a bit more since the Avenger is no longer around to take customers away with its “more for the money” theme, even though you were getting 15 yr old technology vs the more updated Dart. I’m just wondering how many more variants they’re gonna get out of that Alfa platform, I don’t suppose they’re gonna extend the wheelbase and give us the next gen 300/Charger as well?

  119. pedro fernandez Says:

    I decided to take the money, junk the Corolla and get myself something diff. looking at late 90′s Camry sedan 4 cyl, I need to stay away from those who show too few miles for the year, it is not realistic that an everyday car should have 5 or 6k miles per year!

  120. alex wellington Says:

    119 I was going to mention this late 90s Camry. I see a lot of them here. And there they should be in much better shape (no rust!), while here they are all bound to have some.

    But re your other comment, there are plenty of cars, including all of mine, 34 out of the 35 years I drive, that never get more than 6k miles every year. And if I did not do long trips instead of flying, I would do even less, I had years where I put only 2 and 3 k miles on the BMW and 1-2k miles on the old civic.

    The key is to know the seller and his habits. if they charge too much for low miles, maybe a car with lots of highway miles will be a better deal. But these late 90s Camrys will be really cheap, $3k or so?

  121. Kit Gerhart Says:

    116, There are a lot of Darts in Kokomo, because Chrysler employs a lot of people at there at the transmission plants.

  122. pedro fernandez Says:

    The one thing that may keep me from a Camry is the fact that gas is going up (Camry uses more gas) and the damn rubber timing belt vs the Corolla’s chain which never needs replacement, otherwise I am kind of tired of driving the same vehicle for so many years, if I get another Corolla it will be like 20 yrs total. That is longer than many marriages.

  123. Kit Gerhart Says:

    119, 120 I drive my MINI only 3-4K miles a year, because my miles are spread over multiple vehicles. Whenever I sell it, which probably won’t be soon, someone will be getting a very good used car.

    If a car has low miles because it has been sitting, unused, for years, you want to avoid it like the plague. It will have bad seals, probably rusted rings and cylinder walls, and other bad things.

  124. Kit Gerhart Says:

    122, If you got the next generation newer Corolla, it would be different, and would probably have a 4-speed transmission, giving better mpg.

  125. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit those 2003 and on are more expensive, I need to stick to 98-02 but some of them have the 4 speed, I will not make the same mistake of getting the archaic 3 speed, reliable, yes but horrible at highway speeds and engine killer as well!

  126. pedro fernandez Says:

    #123 the proverbial “driven by a little old lady on Sundays” is almost impossible to find today, I mostly fear the a-hole who disconnected the speedo and makes it appear like it only drove a bit, while the miles just piled on and on.

  127. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: I only average 6k a year,sometimes a bit more.I maintain my vehicle and it’s very clean on the inside as well.My point,not all low mileage used vehicles are bad,at all.Also,one cannot disconnect the speedos anymore from what I have been told.They are electronic although the dails appear as analog.

  128. HtG Says:

    Go the pre-purchase inspection route like CTech said, Pedro. It’s only about $150

  129. alex wellington Says:

    122 The Camry will do a few less MPG city and not so bad HWY compared to the COrolla. Probably the same MPG overall as your old COrolla.

    However, oil prices go up every year around this time, the refineries change over to the summer fuel. I see no reason that, inflation adjusted, oil will keep going up the next 10 years or so, as we have plenty of supply of unconventional oil and nat gas may replace oil from home heating and industrial uses, even truck transportation.

    I also prefer a high-mileage car even tho I do not believe the owner of the low-mileage was not a crook. In this small forum you already found two owners (me and Kit) that spread low or moderate miles over 2 or 3 vehicles and each of them consequently does not do many miles a year.

    I like high-miles cars of a young age mainly because I put so few extra miles on them myself, AND because a young car with a lot of miles means highway driving, and not much driving with a cold engine which increases wear. HWY means less wear on brakes, transmission and a ton of other systems, engine included.

    But if I put a lot of miles like you do, I might consider lower-miles cars too.