AD #1379 – Another GM Recall, Ford Opens Racing Tech Center, Scion FR-S Updates

May 16th, 2014 at 11:55am

Runtime: 9:25

- Another GM Recall
- Cadillac ATS Coupe Details
- Ford Opens Racing Tech Center
- Kia Considering Production GT4 Stinger
- Scion FR-S Updates
- Bridgestone’s DriveGuard Ad Campaign
- Autoline This Week Preview

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily and TGIF. I’m Sean McElroy and now let’s look at today’s top stories.

Yesterday GM announced it’s recalling another 2.7 million vehicles, which pushes its total to 11.2 million cars and trucks for the year. 2.44 million of the newly recalled vehicles include previous generation Malibu’s, Malibu Maxx’s, Pontiac G6’s and Saturn Aura’s for a taillamp malfunction. The only major safety concern is for some 2014 and 2015 full-size trucks where the inner tie rod could separate from the steering rack due to improper torque, but that only involves about 500 cases and was caught on the assembly line before more trucks were affected. To me this seems more like GM trying to be transparent as possible and covering its ass from having another ignition switch fiasco.

We got our first glimpse of the Cadillac ATS Coupe at the Detroit auto show earlier this year and now we’re learning some of its details. Despite riding on the same length wheelbase as the sedan, the Coupe is actually longer, wider and lower, which should improve upon the raved about handling of the Sedan. The roof, doors, front and rear fenders, front fascia and rear deck lid are also unique to the Coupe. It comes standard with 18-inch wheels and is the first vehicle to use the brand’s new emblem. Interior appointments and powertrain options carry over from the sedan. Unfortunately, the base price didn’t carry over too. When the Coupe goes on sale this summer it will have a starting price just under $39,000, including destination charges, which is a $5,000 premium over the Sedan.

Earlier this month General Motors broke ground on a new racing facility that will develop engines for Chevy and Cadillac. And now Ford just announced plans to open a Technical Support Center in North Carolina to test its race cars and develop future performance vehicles. The facility is expected to open this summer and will initially focus on NASCAR before branching out to the other series the company competes in.

We’ve got more news, right after this.

Do you remember Kia’s sports car concept that it showed off earlier this year, called the GT4 Stinger? If not, here it is. But according to Kia Motor America’s senior VP of sales and marketing, Michael Sprague, the automaker has gotten so much positive feedback on the car that it’s thinking about bringing it into production. The biggest thing holding it back is finding the manufacturing capacity for what would be a low volume vehicle. Howver, it would be nice if it happens, because we need some more vehicles to go along side Mazda’s MX-5 and the Subaru/Scion twins.

And speaking of the Scion FR-S, one of the best parts of the car is its handling and for 2015 it’s going to get even better. The front suspension is more rigid than before and the rear suspension has been re-tuned, which results in less body roll and better driving feel. On the outside, a shark-fin antenna replaces the pole-style and new exhaust tips are now more flush with the rear bumper. Inside, Scion updated the dash panel with a carbon fiber look and added an auto on/off headlight feature. The updated FR-S goes on sale this June with a starting price of just over $25,500 for the 6-speed manual version and just under $27,000 for the automatic, which includes destination charges. And if you’re wondering what the 2014 model is like, I’ve been driving one all this week and will have my Seat Time review up early next week.

In order to get the word out about its new DriveGuard tires, Bridgestone is coming out with a new advertising campaign that targets women and features actress Julie Bowen from the TV show Modern Family. The DriveGuard tires feature run-flat technology that allows a car to travel up to 50 miles at speeds up to 50MPH with a punctured tire. The new Bridgestone tires can also be used as replacement tires for passenger cars that weren’t originally equipped with run-flat tires.

Coming up next, how lightweight materials, like aluminum and carbon fiber, will impact production quality.

On Autoline This Week, the topic is all about how automakers must adapt their manufacturing techniques to accommodate new materials and technologies. But that can add more complexity to the build process. In the following clip, our guests discuss how quality will be affected by these new materials.

(The ATW preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

Joining John for that show are Michael Robinet from IHS Automotive, Jay Baron from the Center for Automotive Research and Laurie Harbour of Harbour Results. As always you can watch that entire episode right now on our website,

But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

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11 Comments to “AD #1379 – Another GM Recall, Ford Opens Racing Tech Center, Scion FR-S Updates”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Blah, blah, blah, Bridgestone, blah, blah, blah, tires; Julie Bowen………………WOW (big fan since “ED”. Just saying :)

    And I wish Cadillac would knock it off; these huge price increases (for whatever pricing strategy) are not doing sales any good at all (and forget about conquest and market share sales); what are these guys thinking (drinking/smoking, etc.)

  2. XA351GT Says:

    I think Kia would be smart to bring on the Stinger. They need a true sporty car to boost the brand.

  3. XA351GT Says:

    I can understand GM being proactive with the recalls now ,but so many recalls so fast so close together id going to make people really think twice about the brand.

  4. Rudy Boniface Says:

    Hello John,
    I see that you are gradually grooming Sean to perhaps eventually take over from good ‘ole dad. He does, indeed, do a fine job and although I still prefer hearing from the old master your boy is on the right track.
    Good luck, Sean !

    Retired from the car business many years ago after 27 years with GM and 15 with Ford–mostly abroad. RB

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    Chuck- Cadillac had a large price increase for the CTS because the car grew in size and segment, other than that what huge increases are you referring to?

  6. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #5 Buzzard

    And this is just my opinion: CTS, grew slightly, much better handling…………$6,000 increase from the replaced model; ELR, introduced at $76000, gorgeous car, better (but very similar to the Volt)…….just too much money (for a nice interior); special final 500 CTS-V Coupe offered for 2015 at @72,000 (same old platform as the ’14) now available at a starting price of $64,900 and finally the aforementioned ATS Coupe ($5,000 increase). Don’t get me wrong, I am a Caddy fan; currently own an ’11 STS (previously owned an ’06 STS. Just seems that Cadillac is too aggressive in their pricing.

  7. Duke Says:

    Speaking of recalls, it will be interesting to see if Toyota and Nissan will begin to address a growing problem for them – melting dashboards

    I know a couple of Lexus owners whose dashboards melted to such an extent that it was like duct tape (sticky side up).

  8. Steve Weintraub Says:

    The ATS price increase is not accurate. The sedan’s standard engine is a 2.5 4 cyl whereas the coupe’s standard engine is the optional(on the sedan) 2.0 turbo. Frankly, I’m more concerned about when GM will get their act together and produce vehicles with less flaws! I’m glad that I lease my Cadillac and don’t have to worry about diminished value due to the poor manufacture of these cars! GM’s number of recalls make the Ford Escape with it’s never ending recalls look like a quality vehicle!

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, I suppose the turbo is standard, to be more like a 3 series or 2 series. Still, that’s too much money. Cadillac needs to sell these cars at relatively bargain prices, to get more of them on the road. I like the ATS, and will probably like the coupe better, but I wouldn’t buy one. I’d be more likely to save a few thousand and get a 2 series. I’d like it just fine with zero options.

  10. jack878 Says:

    Ford does not want to be left out when it comes to a racing center or who was first? GM or Ford?

  11. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Who was first (probably) doesn’t matter; now, what the current condition (of support) for racing, that would be the most germane (at the present time).