Fisker Has a Problem…

Due to the relentless pounding on the Jersey Shore, at least twelve Fisker Karmas became good friends with the ocean last night.  According to an eyewitness report from, these twelve or thirteen Karmas turned into car bombs.  Four other Karmas were caught up in the fire.  Fisker says that the cause of the fire is unknown, yet somebody with a good idea of chemistry (like me!) knows that lithium-ion and salt water aren’t very good friends…Fisker announced that severe damage to the dock restricted their access.  However, this is yet one more string of bad news for Fisker, as the battery manufacturer, A123 Systems, recently filed for bankruptcy.  All I can say is they had some bad Karma (no pun intended…)

The World’s Most Expensive Traffic Jam

News from the racing world.  Even though it was over a month ago, almost one thousand (964 – to be exact) Ferraris took over the Silverstone Circuit, breaking the previous Guinness Book of World Records record of 490 Ferrari’s back in 2008.   Felipe Massa was leading the pack in a 458 Spyder.  Over 1000 cars were registered, but 964 was enough.  Ferrari had announced that for every Ferrari in the parade, they would donate $8 U.S. to the auto industry charity, BEN.  Also, the whole Ferrari lineup was on display.  In addition, Ferrari driving coach, Marc Gene was there to coach owners in the F1 Clientele program (where owners can learn to drive like a pro!).

See all the benefits derived from owning a Ferrari?

Free Gas if You Buy a 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas!

We all hate paying over $100 when we fill up. Gas guzzlers listen up!!  That’s why Toyota has a Prius!  Honda is attempting to get potential owners to buy a Civic Natural Gas by throwing a $3,000 gas card into the mix by January 2, 2013.  This debit card can only be used at Clean Energy branded pumps.  This could mean that owners could save a pretty good amount of cash when they fill up.  Although the Civic Natural Gas needs natural gas, the car is quite similar to its sibling Civic.  Plus, the  DMV has granted the Natural Gas Civic High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV).  It’s powered by a 110 horsepower, 1.8 liter four-cylinder that’s mated to a five-speed automatic.  But, the car is the most expensive Civic in the lineup, starting at $27,095.  If you are considering buying a Civic Natural Gas, remember that only 199 dealers in 36 states are authorized by Honda to sell the car.

What’s Your Mileage Milestone?

How many miles do you have on your car?  How many miles do you put on it a year?  Even if you’ve gone through a car every 10 years, you had to have put on at least SOME miles yearly, or if you are still driving your first car, there’s got to be some way that you racked up the miles to where they are right now.  The miles can be approximate, not down to the last inch!  People are holding onto their car for longer periods.  There should be some amazing numbers out there.

My cars all have varying levels of miles:

1989 Chevy S10:  221,400 miles

1996 GMC Yukon:  161,880 miles

I love being able to say, “My cars…!”

Yet Another Recall Alert!

Sorry I missed a blog post folks.  Most unfortunately, I had the flu.  Yuck.

I know that I’ve been yakking about the various recalls going on in the automotive industry.  When I check all the Motor Trend, Road & Track, Car & Driver blogs, there’s usually yet another recall alert as a headline.  I know that to those of you who don’t own the cars affected can get bored, please bear with me – I’m only trying to help get the word out!  If you have any interesting topics that you hear of in the automotive industry, please leave a comment.  Also, if you know somebody who has one of the affected vehicles, please let them know so they don’t go driving along blissfully unaware!

There are many vehicles affected in this recall alert:  154,604 2011-13 Ford Fiesta sedans and hatchbacks (all models) are being recalled by Ford and NHTSA for faulty airbags.  If the shotgun seat isn’t occupied, the airbag will not go off in the event of a crash, possibly causing serious injuries to the rear-seat passengers.  Ford states that they have no record of this (yeah, right!), but they will cooperate with NHTSA in the recall.  The fix is simple: Ford dealers will reprogram the airbag controller to set off that airbag in the case of a crash, whether the seat is occupied.  Worried owners can contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236.

169 2010-12 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Coupes and Convertibles are being recalled for a faulty bit of software for the tire-pressure monitoring system.  The software does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Standard #138, which states that the TPMS warning light must pop up when the tire pressure falls below 25 percent of their cold tire pressure.  Aston Martin will cooperate with NHTSA in this recall by reprogramming the software for free.  Worried owners can contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236.

80 Lotus Evora S coupes (with the supercharged engine) have a faulty oil-feed line to the cylinder head, which could possibly leak oil all over the cylinder and other hot parts of the engine, causing a fire.  Lotus will cooperate with NHTSA by installing a new, stronger oil-feed line for free.  Worried owners can contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236.

36 Land Rover Range Rovers are being recalled because of a faulty manufacturing process.  This could mean that the windshield might be installed badly, causing it to detach in the event of a crash, causing serious injuries to the driver.  Starting November 5, Land Rover will notify affected owners of this problem and fix the windshield for free.  Worried owners can contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236.

Have a nice few days until Friday (when I will make you salivate with pictures of beautiful cars!).  Remember, notify me of any news you might hear of in the automotive market.

What’s a Carson Top, Grandpa?

We’ve all seen the souped-up 1930’s Ford convertibles with the huge Weiland blowers and Cragar wheels.  The tops that you sometimes see are Carson Tops.  Nowadays, many tops are retractable tops that can be stored in the trunk with the push of a button.  The old school tops are Carson tops.  A Carson Top is a removable, but non-folding padded soft top that is most often chopped a few inches, and is used on many old school heavily customized convertibles and roadsters (my favorites!).  The original Carson Top was developed by Glen Houser of the Carson Top Shop in Los Angeles.  The original Carson top was produced by Carson Top Shop from 1935-1965.  Nowadays, the only way to get one is to buy one via eBay.  The color of the top usually corresponded to the color of the car that it was mounted on.  According to a 1953 issue of Motor Trend, buyers could get the top in:  Blue, green, maroon, tan, black, and white fabric.


The shop is long gone, and the tops a great reminder of another era.

Recall Alert!

There have been a number of recalls in the news lately.  Not a terribly exciting post, I know.  Hopefully, it is helpful.  Just helping spread the word people.

2013 BMW M5 and M6:  The 1,117 BMW M5 and M6’s affected by the recall have a quite serious engine problem.  The engine oil pump will fail at random moments (typically at higher RPM’s), and blow the engine.  BMW is working with NHTSA to get the message out.  If you are an owner of a 2013 M5 or M6, get your car fixed – NOW!  P.S. The 550i and 650i are NOT affected by this recall!!!!  Owners may contact NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236, or BMW at 1-800-831-1117

2007-2009 Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Saturn ION, Pontiac G5, and Pontiac Torrent:  GM is recalling 40,859 2007 Equinoxes and Torrents bought or currently registered in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas due to a faulty fuel pump return port that may crack, causing extensive engine damage.  This can leak oil (a highly flammable substance) all over the engine.  The 2007-2009 Cobalts, IONs, and G5s are being recalled for the same problem.  The Cobalts, IONs, and G5s that are affected are vehicles bought or currently registered in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Florida or Texas.  Owners can contact GM at 1-800-521-7300 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.

2012 Nissan Frontier, Pathfinder, XTerra 2wd (applies to all three vehicles):  Nissan is recalling 2147 Pathfinders, Xterras, and Frontiers due to faulty wheel hubs that were not manufactured to hardness specification.  This could result in a crash.  The vehicles affected were made between June 19 and July 12, 2012.  The hubs are located on the front wheels, and they may crack prematurely, resulting in a crash.  Nissan dealers wil l fix the hub free of charge beginning on or around October 8.  Owners may contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.  4wd vehicles are NOT affected by this recall.

Owners of Ferraris,  Rimacs, Maseratis are all in luck.  No recalls.  BTW, I am currently accepting birthday presents.  Cough cough.

The Most Expensive Eco-Friendly Car Ever!

Croatia has never made cars that wealthy people want.  Why?  Usually, they are cars that are popular in Russia and Eastern Europe.  Now, there is a Croatian inventor who just might be an exception to that rule.

The $980,000 Rimac Automobili Concept_One electric car has FOUR electric motors (one per wheel).  This means that the car is extremely powerful and fast.  The Concept_One can reach 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds.  With a top speed of 189 mph, the ultra-light Rimac is a strong contendor for those who don’t want their noggin smashed on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive.  The Concept_One tips the scales at just over 2400 pounds.   Only 88 Concept_One’s have been built and sold, each at $980,000.  The Concept_One is also a very exotic-looking car.  It’s very sleek, and looks like nothing out on the road.  Inside, a sumptuous leather interior greets the owner (at this price it should…).  The 1,088 horsepower and 2,800 lb-ft of torque are on tap at zero rpm.  Plus, the car is possible of taking you on long interstate lopes (range is 375 miles).

Something that’s also very cool is the four brushless electric motors (one per wheel!) that can accelerate or decelerate at hundreds of times per second, according to road conditions.  It’s similar to Porsche’s torque vectoring system, but it is much more sophisticated than the Porsche system.  Because the transmission only has one gear (instead of seven or eight, like it’s competitors), there are no power blips due to transmission blips.  This driving experience will blow owners out of the water because the car delivers a totally different driving experience than a gasoline-powered car (no howling engine, no gears to worry about shifting), and the gigantic display on the center console is larger and higher-resolution than an iPad 3.  That massive display will entertain the owner with it’s touch-screen display, and also let the driver know just about everything the car is doing at any given moment.

So what do you say Prius drivers – want an upgrade?