AD #1859 – Automakers Cut Back Production, Takata May Not Survive Airbag Disaster, Ridgeline Bed Turns Into Speaker

May 9th, 2016 at 11:46am

Runtime: 6:40

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- North American Production Cuts
- Takata Teetering
- Honda Ridgeline Redefines Pickups
- Ford GT Crashes Heavily
- Don Panoz’s 24-Hour Dream Team

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20 Comments to “AD #1859 – Automakers Cut Back Production, Takata May Not Survive Airbag Disaster, Ridgeline Bed Turns Into Speaker”

  1. David Sprowl Says:

    Ridgeline – still not feeling it. Besides some refinement over Gen1, few will buy a pickup or any car because of audio. And that speaker will work well until the bed gets a few dents. I suspect GM, Ford, Toyota and maybe FCA will continue to fair better in the mid size pick up truck market.

  2. Bradley Says:

    I really like what I see for the Honda Ridgeline.

  3. Brett Says:

    You can purchase surface-mount audio transducers all day long at

    New implementation, but not new technology.

  4. Brett Says:

    I WANT a RAM 700 pickup! If they ship the Brazilian-built ones without powertrain and bolt that in with the front subframe either here or in Mexico, would that circumvent the “chicken tax”?

  5. RumNCoke Says:

    From the images, it looks like the body and the bed of the new Ridgeline are separate. But how can that be if the truck is unibody in construction?

    Spa is an awesome race track but it’s just not safe enough for the speeds that today’s cars can achieve.

  6. Den Mor Says:

    There’s a substantial market for a more refined right sized pickup for non traditional buyers.

    The goofy look of the previous gen is gone. With independant rear and unit body construction, this is a winner.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Brett: The reg cab version isn’t to bad.The 1.6L could be changed out for the 2.4L,a selectable awd system,the electric lockers front and rear,with a 9spd ZF.That’s doable,imho.

  8. Buzzerd Says:

    I’m not feeling the Honda truck either. Looks decent but nothing special. Gives the Honda loyalists something to buy.

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    I’m traveling in Europe now and was a little surprised to see a Cadillac Escalade on the autobahn the other day. Seemed like it would only do 180km/hr but was able to get there pretty easily.

  10. Jon M Says:

    Your Autoline insight, John, I feel is always well thought and carefully analyzed, and this goes for your Takata insight as well. Nevertheless, I think it required nothing more than looking on the wall in which the handwriting had been inscribed!

  11. wmb Says:

    I have always loved the Ridgeline and the idea of a unibody pick up! The thing that gave me pause about the last one, was a couple of the styling elements and the price. The new one looks a lot better then the last one (the wheel rim design could use some work though), but the price is still just a little out of my reach. If Hyundai, though, can bring their beautiful Santa Cruz to market (and maybe ‘borrow’ Honda’s magic trunk and tailgate) and offer a nicely equipped version for about 28K, count me among the first to be in line!

  12. lisk Says:

    As a consumer for a truck, the depth of the bed puts me off on the Ridgeline. I don’t see the value of the lockable “trunk” in the bed not the need to unload it to change the spare tire. Also who wants to lift a mud covered flat up into the bed? Traditional pickups have a cable and crank arrangement to pull the tire to the tire into place under the truck. Did Honda violate any of Ford’s patents for the “3-Way Magic Doorgate?

  13. Ukendoit Says:

    I commented a few days ago that I was surprised we haven’t heard of any autonomous small RVs, since that would be an ideal platform for relaxing whiles letting the vehicle drive you anywhere. I did just see a video of one that was posted the beginning of last month:

  14. George Ricci Says:

    All of the mid size trucks except the Ridgeline are really scaled down versions of the full size trucks and they try to make them do everything (tow, 4 wheel drive, diesel, etc) that full size can do. Problem is that small truck buyers have different needs and priorities than full size buyers. I think Honda is going in the right direction with Ridgeline and I think other companies with have to follow suit as the fuel economy requirements start ratcheting up quickly in the next few years.

  15. Buzzerd Says:

    @lisk- I agree, I own a truck because I need to haul things at times, dirt, lumber, motorcycle…. I really don’t like the idea of the spare being stored under the bed. I seem to have bad luck when it comes to flats so that would be a concern for me.
    On the other side, why can’t manufacturers have some type of light weight cover for your spare, those of us in the rust belt would really appreciate it.
    I’ll stick to the Avalanche.

  16. Drew Says:

    From a styling and function perspective, the new Ridgeline seems to be a major improvement versus the old Ridgeline and nicely capable for people who don’t want the bulk of a full-size pickup. But the price is steep, and I need to experience the interior (the old Ridgeline was acres and acres of cheap plastic).

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most buyers of pickup trucks don’t haul anything, and don’t tow anything. They just want a truck for the “image.” The new Ridgeline will fill the bill for the functionality needs of these people, but it might not have the image they are looking for. A Ram Power Wagon it is not.

  18. Marshy Says:

    A friend of mine who has ties to the ford gt was explaining to me all the subtleties of lemans qualification. How cars are constantly ranked for fuel usage and speed and how weights get added and how drivers have to hold back while not looking like it. All in the name of sandbagging leading up to their qualifying lemans setup. Perhaps a good aah topic. I had no idea what goes on behind the scenes.


  19. Terry Quinn Says:

    I don’t think Takata will go under, at least until the recalls are complete. The car manufacturers are responsible for completing the recalls, and they need Takata’s production capability to pull it off. Put another way, if Takata runs out of money, the auto manufacturers who need their air bags will pay them whatever it takes to get the recall completed.

  20. Ed Says:

    I bought a new ridgeline in 08, had it six months and had to trade it in for an fj cruiser. It seemed good on paper and I liked a lot of the features but living with it was terrible. Service was not good at the dealer. Prices quoted on Honda website did not match what the dealer sold items to me. It was underpowered, got bad mileage for a smaller vehicle, not very robust for off-road. Had wind leaks on the front and sunroof. Just a bad experience over all. Either buy an suv or a real pickup. Is the sortest time I have ever owned a vehicle and I could not wait to get out of it. Lots may say they like but living with is different story. Ed