We’re just one week away from the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, so Subaru’s latest teaser will probably be one of the last you’ll see before actual cars take the stage.
Subaru gave the public a peek inside the forthcoming 2019 Subaru Ascent three-row SUV, ahead of its debut on Nov. 28. There isn’t much in the way of surprises here — there are, in fact, three rows of seats, four doors, some windows and some nice-looking brown leather. It’s a car. Subaru isn’t reinventing the wheel here.
This seven seater is believed to use a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four engine, and it’s unclear if the flat-six from the Outback and Legacy will eventually make an appearance. Like every other Subaru on sale today (with the exception of the BRZ), the Ascent will pack standard all-wheel drive.
The teaser also gives us a peek at the Ascent’s headlights, which look the same as other new Subaru models. It’s pretty close to the Ascent concept that debuted earlier this year at the New York Auto Show, which was itself an evolution of the gnarly Viziv-7 concept that first heralded this SUV’s arrival. We’ll see the whole shebang in just about a week’s time, so you won’t have to wait much longer.
When you sell a hell of a lot of one kind of vehicle, recalls can cover an astounding number of vehicles simultaneously. That’s why Honda is recalling nearly 1 million minivans.
Honda issued a recall for approximately 800,000 examples of the previous-generation Odyssey, carrying model years between 2011 and 2017.
The issue stems from the minivan’s second-row outboard seats. The seats may not latch securely to the vehicle body when reinstalling a removed seat or adjusting it side-to-side. If that happens, the seat may tip forward under “moderate to heavy” braking, which increases the risk of injury to passengers. In fact, Honda has received 46 reports of small injuries related to this problem.
Honda is still working on a permanent solution, and it will inform both owners and dealers when it finds one. In the meantime, the automaker created an instruction sheet, giving explicit details how to securely latch the second row seats. It will also post a video to Honda’s owner site in the near future to ensure that owners are latching seats in the correct manner. If the seats are, in fact, latched correctly, tipping won’t be a problem.
Even though nearly every state in the US requires a seatbelt, automakers must still recall vehicles for problems related to unbelted passengers, which is what BMW is currently doing.
BMW has issued a recall for every i3 electric city car that has been sold in the US since its introduction in the 2014 model year, which comes out to approximately 30,542 cars. BMW also issued a stop-sale for i3 models currently in the pipeline, whether that’s new 2018 models in the factory or 2017s currently at dealers.
The problem relates to the vehicle’s crashworthiness. Apparently, women in the fifth percentile of body size (approximately 5 feet tall and weighing 110 pounds) are slightly more likely to suffer a neck injury during a frontal collision if they’re not wearing their seatbelt. It’s a very small edge case, and it requires a person to not be wearing a seatbelt, but either way, the vehicle is ever so slightly outside of federal regulations.
It’s important to note that seatbelts are mandatory in 49 out of 50 US states — New Hampshire is the only state without an adult seatbelt law on the books, although there is a law that covers drivers and passengers under the age of 18.
It doesn’t appear that there is a clear-cut solution available. Problems with crash tests generally require adjustments to more than a car’s body panels, which means remedying this issue might be complicated — and expensive. In a statement, BMW said a remedy is forthcoming, but it did not elaborate on what the fix is, or how long it will take to implement.
In the meantime, if you happened to be looking forward to picking up a refreshed-for-2018 i3, you might be waiting a little longer than expected. If you happen to own a BMW i3, be smart and buckle up, no matter what percentile you fall into.
BMW’s full statement is below:
BMW has a long, well-documented history of pursuing the highest levels of active and passive safety. In a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test of the BMW i3 — specifically the unbelted small adult rigid barrier test (NHTSA’s 5th percentile female), the driver seat occupant sustained loads marginally above the limit.
While BMW’s compliance testing showed results well below the required limits, more recent testing has shown inconsistent results. Consequently, BMW has issued a recall and is working with the agency to understand the differences in the test results. A remedy is forthcoming.
The BMW passive safety systems are optimized for safety belt use. BMW i3 owners should feel confident that their vehicle will perform well in a real world crash when the safety belt is used. BMW recommends that all vehicle occupants fasten their safety belts before driving, and keep them fastened for the duration of travel.
Customers with questions may contact BMW Customer Relations at 1-800-525-7417, or email CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.
The 2017 Los Angeles auto show is just around the corner, which means it’s teaser time! Mercedes-Benz is the next automaker on the teaser train with a shadowy looks at its upcoming 2019 CLS.
Here’s what we know: This is an all-new CLS, updating its luxury four-door coupe format with a new look that borrows styling cues from E-Class and S-Class Coupes that bookend it in Mercedes-Benz’s lineup, both on the outside and within. Beneath, it will be underpinned by the new MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform, which it also shares with the E-Class. And in the cabin, we’re looking forward to an update to Benz’s new-generation cabin technology suite with the automaker’s mbrace connectivity suite.
Benz recently showed off a CLS prototype in San Francisco, where we learned that the new model will debut in the U.S. as the CLS450 or CLS450 4Matic, the latter boasting all-wheel drive. Both will be powered by Benz’s inline-six cylinder engine that makes 367 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and makes use of the automaker’s 48-volt EQ-Power mild hybrid system to enable smoother stop-start anti-idling tech to save fuel.
We expect to get a clearer look and to learn more about the CLS at the 2017 LA Auto Show in just a few days, so stay tuned.
It’s hard to tell how quick a car accelerates in a cell phone video, but Tesla’s upcoming Roadster looks unbelievably quick, even at a low resolution.
Only a select few were offered rides in Tesla’s Roadster at the Semi unveiling event on Thursday night. Thankfully, there was no moratorium on recording, so videos from the acceleration test are slowly trickling out, and they look pretty unbelievable.
In this video, the ride doesn’t take place until 55:28 (if the video didn’t automatically skip to that point for you). When “Maximum Plaid” mode kicks off, it both looks and sounds quite brutal, and all those flashing lights certainly bolster that feeling of insanity.
The Roadster, which is reportedly due in 2020, packs some terrifying specs. This all-electric sports car will allegedly hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, blast through the quarter mile in the eight-second range and keep going until its reported top speed of 250-ish mph. Then again, with a price tag around $250,000, it had better do all that while also making me coffee in the morning.
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