It’s something we in the Sunbelt states often forget about, but corrosion is a very serious problem in states that have actual winter weather. This time, icy roads covered in sand and salt have exacted their wrath on the 1998 to 2002 Isuzu Axiom and Rodeo and the 1998 to 2002 Honda Passport, necessitating a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been cracking down on excessive corrosion lately, and it’s engulfed several vehicles in the past year alone. Toyota suffered the worst of it, seeing over 700,000 Tundra trucks and Sienna minivans recalled for corrosion issues while the old Ford Windstar minivan and GM trucks of early 2000s vintage have both been investigated for similar problems. Now, Isuzu/Honda takes their turn under the guillotine as the Axiom/Rodeo/Passport gets recalled for corrosion on the rear suspension. The Problem: 1998 to 2002 Isuzu Rodeos, Axioms and Honda Passports (which are all the same vehicle underneath) are being recalled … [Read more...] about 1998-2002 Isuzu Rodeo/Axiom/Honda Passport Recalled for Corrosion
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The new highway bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP21, has come under some criticism, in part because of a provision that would give the IRS power to strip American citizens of their U.S. passports if they own the federal government enough money. Another provision of S.1813 also has civil liberties implications, particularly for motorists. If the Senate’s version of the legislation survives the reconciliation process with the House, the final bill would make the installation of event data recorders (EDRs) mandatory in all new cars sold in the United States starting in 2015.SEC. 31406. VEHICLE EVENT DATA RECORDERS.(a) Mandatory Event Data Recorders-(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be … [Read more...] about Will the New Transportation Bill Mandate Black Boxes in All New Cars?
If you’re planning to order a new BMW and your passport is up to date, the most exciting option on the order form might be European delivery. Instead of just picking up the car at your local dealership, use European delivery to meet your BMW in its ancestral home. Think of it as a European vacation in your new car with BMW defraying some of the costs of the trip. I went there in October to pick up my 428i xDrive Gran Coupe, and I lived to tell the tale.Vehicle delivery occurs at the BMW Welt exhibition and delivery center, across the street from BMW’s headquarters in Munich. Located next to the Munich Olympic Park, BMW Welt (German for “world”) is a striking piece of cyclonic, space-station architecture that is a must-see for any Bimmerphile. After a snack of white sausage and brown pretzels in the customer lounge, I was ready for the auto show to begin. I walked out onto a large elevated platform and laid eyes upon my Estoril Blue 428i Gran Coupe, … [Read more...] about Mail-Order Ride: We Send Our Resident BMW Slappy to Germany to Pick Up His 4-series Gran Coupe
Wired.com is reporting that the state of California has abruptly tabled legislation that might have allowed RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips to be embedded into the state’s drivers’ licenses. Privacy activists are hailing the suspension of this plan as a victory against government intrusion in people’s lives and believe that these chips, which are actually tiny radio transceivers that can be accessed over the open airwaves without the consent of the person carrying the document, will eventually be used to track people’s movements without their knowledge. Currently, three states, Michigan, Vermont and Washington, already have RFID chips in their licenses and are already sharing information collected by the DMV, including basic identity data and photos, with the Department of Homeland Security via a national database. Scary, right?To understand what the Department of Homeland Security is doing with this data, you need to know that since June 1, 2009 the … [Read more...] about RFID Enhanced Driver’s Licenses: Big Brother Or Brighter Future?
Today’s the day we celebrate an Irish guy who probably isn’t responsible for banishing snakes from the Emerald Isle, usually by guzzling beer tinted with bowel-loosening amounts of green food coloring.Across a tiny sea from that land, a much more vibrant color caused the inhabitants of one historic British town to rebel against the tyranny wrought by a compact hatchback. We’re happy to inform you that order has now been restored.In the medieval Gloucestershire village of Bibury lies the historic Arlington Row, a 13th century street that’s familiar to any UK citizen. The narrow roadway, which winds its way up a gentle slope amidst quaint stone houses, is pictured on UK passports. As such, locals don’t take kindly to anything that disrupts the view. Arlington Road’s heritage status is protected by the UK government.Enter one Peter Maddox, an 84-year-old pensioner who turned the village upside down with a single purchase: a two-door Vauxhall Corsa … [Read more...] about Freaky Friday: Yellow Hatchback Has Entire Town Seeing Red
Automakers are throwing everything they currently have at the wall to see what sticks. The concept of “mobility” is now so broad that it encompasses automation, electrification, vehicle connectivity, alternative modes of transportation, driving aids, ride-sharing, ride-hailing, and even subscription services — and plenty of companies are giving them all a shot.Last week, we talked about Volvo’s new car subscription service. Most of us had difficulties rationalizing the price based on how the product is being offered. A lot of companies are testing those waters right now, especially luxury brands. Lincoln recently launched a subscription initiative that is extremely similar to Cadillac’s, and Porsche has been buzzing about its own “Passport” service. However, mainstream brands like Ford and Hyundai are also trying their hand — albeit very differently. For the premium brands, the concept is to provide customers with a … [Read more...] about Are Car Subscription Services Going to Become the New Normal?
Automakers are not well known for their expertise in embedded security with vulnerabilities surfacing for many models. Nick Bilton of the New York Times decided to investigate a wireless key vulnerability after his Prius was broken into with a mystery black box. The investigation sounded somewhat promising at first, but quickly deflated, ending at a point where he told us to put our car keys in the freezer.The story originally unfolded on Twitter as Bilton posted about the break-in and quickly followed up he’d figured out a $100 broadcasting device allowed teenagers to break into his car so easily. My skepticism was already high based on the fact he was able to arrive at the answer for the device so quickly and his immediate recommendation for a more secure vehicle was to replace the Prius with something made in the ’70s. Unlike the Prius, which has an immobilizer and alarm, many cars from the ’70s can be defeated with a simple lock pick kit and a pair … [Read more...] about The $17 Car Key Hacking Device Does Not Exist
In addition to advice about the long-term benefits of wearing sunscreen, the world’s most famous commencement address included this bit of wisdom: “The real troubles in your life are apt to be the things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” And so it was, true to the author of that essay’s own meandering experience, that I found myself on a sunny, if not entirely idle, afternoon this past June tossing a small rucksack into the back of my well-worn Shelby Charger setting out for Seattle, some 1800 miles away.That my mother was ill was a fact I had long known. Just how serious the situation truly was, however, took everyone by surprise. One day the doctors were telling my brothers and sisters that our mother had as much as a year left to live and then, almost the next day, were coming back to say that she might have just a few weeks. By the time the news reached me in Leavenworth, the prognosis had been … [Read more...] about An Unexpected Lesson: Making the Long Trip Home
One of the best things about haunting high-inventory-turnover self-service junkyards is finding really rare vehicles. Sometimes those ultra-rare machines are ancient European cars nobody remembers, sometimes they are commonplace cars with options nobody ordered, and sometimes they are obscure imported minivans that disappeared without a trace.Today’s Junkyard Find is the third type, with a bewildering badge-engineering subplot that made sense to about a half-dozen suits in Japan.I still haven’t managed to find a Suzuki Equator in the junkyard, but I have been hunting for a junked Isuzu Oasis for many years. Finally, here’s a first-year example that showed up last week in a Denver yard.The Oasis was really a first-generation Honda Odyssey minivan, and it was the result of the deal that allowed Honda to sell Isuzu Rodeos as Honda Passports (confusingly, the Honda Super Cub — most-produced motor vehicle of all time — was sold in the United States with … [Read more...] about Junkyard Find: 1996 Isuzu Oasis
Over a year has passed since my quest to regain my license began. A lot has happened since then.For starters, I left Seattle for Louisville, with a brief stop in Columbus, Ohio. From there, I moved into a resident art gallery called OPEN Gallery as its writer-in-residence. I also wound up as its de facto publicist, then became its administrative director late in October, a post I will hold until March 2017 at the earliest.Another post I’ve acquired? The title of editor-in-chief of an online lifestyle publication called Tab’s View. When I first learned of the publication, I thought all I would ever do was write for them like I do for Dispatches Europe (an online publication aimed at English-speaking expats living in Europe), Insider Louisville (an online news publication focused on business and culture in Louisville) and, of course, TTAC. In fact, I was brought aboard the new publication to contribute a twice-monthly automotive column under the following guidelines:I would … [Read more...] about Highway Star Rising, Act 2: Roadblock in the Bluegrass