Automotive

DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

A national database of vehicles is quietly being created by the Department of Justice to help track drivers in the United States. The program has been tipped by both government documents and US officials, and is said to be done in secret with the DEA running the matter. The database is being put to use for numerous reasons, according to the sources, though it was originally created for seizing cars and other possessions in relation to the trafficking of drugs.

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Germany to give self-driving cars a highway test track

Germany to give self-driving cars a highway test track

While many governments are wary of the progress of autonomous, self-driving cars, Germany is taking quite an opposite stance. As a country that is readily associated with the automobile industry, it can't but be interested in the development of the cars of the future. That is why the German government will be setting up the A9 Autobahn highway in Bavaria as a specialized track to be used for testing such self-driving automobiles in the hopes that the country will become a world leader in this market segment as well.

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2014 Kia Forte cars recalled over cooling fan resistor

2014 Kia Forte cars recalled over cooling fan resistor

Kia has joined the list of auto makers initiating recalls in the new year, and this one is over a familiar risk: fire. In this case, the issue revolves around a cooling fan resistor that could end up overheating and, subsequently, melting. When or if that happens, the car will be at risk of a fire. The information comes from documents surfaced by the NHTSA, and it concerns only the 2014 Kia Forte, of which almost 87,000 units are being recalled.

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General Motors halts select SUV sales; tire recall inbound

General Motors halts select SUV sales; tire recall inbound

General Motors has halted the sales of several thousand SUVs due to an inbound tire recall from Goodyear. The auto maker sent a notice to dealers telling them to stop selling nearly 6300 of its Enclave, Traverse, and Acadia models, all of them of the 2015 model year. For its part, Goodyear is going to recall about 48,500 tires due to the risk of developing small cracks in the tread, and once that happens GM will then proceed with its own official recall.

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2015 Jeep Renegade: a youthful and rugged small SUV

2015 Jeep Renegade: a youthful and rugged small SUV

Jeep has introduced its new 2015 Renegade, a small SUV that promises to be fuel efficient while offering all the ruggedness and features Jeep fans have come to know and love. Jeep has targeted the younger drivers out there with a new look that is, while distinctly Jeep, a bit playful and youthful. Those who like to go off-road have nothing to worry about, however, with the Trailhawk variety aiming to please all manner of outdoor driving. The Trailhawk is joined by the Limited, Renegade Latitude, and Renegade Sport, all bringing their own features.

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NHTSA to factor automatic braking into star rating system

NHTSA to factor automatic braking into star rating system

Earlier today, the Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx revealed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will start factoring automatic braking into its star rating system, giving points for having a technology that is believed to be a boon to driver safety. In addition, the regulator will also begin to list vehicles on its website that offer these types of safety technologies, making it easier for consumers to select cars with these additional safety features. These measures will help encourage the further development of such technologies.

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Polaris Slingshot recalled, sales halted over steering loss

Polaris Slingshot recalled, sales halted over steering loss

In the summer of last year, Polaris took the wraps off its three-wheeled beast, the Slingshot. The vehicle is like a cross between a motorcycle and a car, offering an open-top experience with two seats and a mean sporty design. The Slingshot is meant to go fast, and that only increases the dangers posed by a potential issue discovered by Polaris: a loss of steering over a possibly defective part. As a result, the maker has ordered owners to stop driving the vehicles and shops to stop selling them.

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NHTSA investigating Ford recall for possible expansion

NHTSA investigating Ford recall for possible expansion

Adding to the list of vehicles it is investigating, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that it is probing a previous Ford recall to see whether it should be expanded to cover quite a few additional vehicles. Ford has previously recalled 3,000 trucks in October of 2013 over troubles with the exhaust gas temperature sensor, and the NHTSA is looking into whether that recall needs to be boosted to include 200,000 vehicles. The affected model years are 2011 and 2012.

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Jeep Cherokees under investigation following fires

Jeep Cherokees under investigation following fires

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUVs following complaints about fires in the engine compartment. About 50,415 Cherokees are being probed as part of the preliminary investigation, which will look into a possible defect that has caused multiple newer Cherokees to go up in flames for no readily discernible reason. The NHTSA is said to also have some field report data from an Early Warning Reporting program on the matter which will be factored in.

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Google pulling in suppliers for self-driving cars

Google pulling in suppliers for self-driving cars

A Google executive has revealed that the Internet giant has put together a team of suppliers as part of its self-driving car efforts. These suppliers are said to be both "traditional and non-traditional", and have been joined by talks with some of the top auto makers across the globe. All in all, Google is looking to get its autonomous vehicles on the market by 2020, a date that is quickly approaching. Among the companies Google has been talking to are Toyota, Ford, and GM.

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