Cars

BMW settles with the FTC over restrictive Mini warranties

BMW settles with the FTC over restrictive Mini warranties

Consumer warranties can be tricky. They are ideally designed to protect the consumer, but are mostly written by companies to protect their own interests and profit margin. BMW's auto warranties were scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which lead to an official complaint from the FTC. BMW of North America is settling with the FTC over their administrative complaint that BMW's Mini car division restricted its customers freedom to choose after-market auto parts and individual repair garages over Mini's official dealerships. In order to avoid a possibly long and drawn out court battle against the regulatory agency, BMW decided to settle.

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New Kia Optima renders betray curves, Sportspace look

New Kia Optima renders betray curves, Sportspace look

In a span of a decade, Korean car maker Kia went from almost a nobody to someone that people took notice of. That success is attributed in no small part to the Optima, which has become Kia's poster boy since then. But the first Optima is five years old and long overdue a refresh. Given it's importance of the name, Kia undoubtedly feels pressured to replicate that success in the successor as well. With these pair of renders of the new Optima, however, Kia might have very little to worry about.

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Jeep is considering a pickup truck version of its Wrangler

Jeep is considering a pickup truck version of its Wrangler

Jeep is toying with the idea of getting back into the pickup truck game, said the company's CEO Mike Manley. If it does, we could be seeing a pickup truck version of Jeep's popular Wrangler model some time in the relatively near future. Alongside talk about the possible future pickup model, Jeep also unveiled a new pickup-based Wrangler concept model, giving enthusiasts an idea of what this potential future model will look like. There's no mistaking it as anything other than a Jeep or a pickup truck, but it deviates enough from both to stand out while, in some ways, appearing akin to a Hummer.

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Honda boosts Takata air bag recall by 104k cars

Honda boosts Takata air bag recall by 104k cars

Honda has announced plans to expand its Takata air bag recall by another 104,000 vehicles. This follows closely after an advertisement campaign initiated by the auto maker that aimed to inform owners about the existing recall and encourage them to get their vehicle serviced, assuming it was covered by the recall. Honda has been hit particularly hard over past months with this particular issue, and at least six deaths have been linked to the faulty air bags being used.

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Local Motors’ 3D-printed car “Strati” up close with NVIDIA DRIVE CX

Local Motors’ 3D-printed car “Strati” up close with NVIDIA DRIVE CX

Today we've gotten the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world's first 3D-printed car, "Strati" by Local Motors. This vehicle is being shown this week with NVIDIA DRIVE CX inside - that's a digital cockpit computer only just announced this January at CES 2015. Before this showing, the Strati used a slightly more traditional dash - today it's using a lovely flat display immediately in front of its wheel with graphics the likes of which a road-ready vehicle's never seen before.

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Android Auto hits the road as Pioneer upgrade options

Android Auto hits the road as Pioneer upgrade options

Android Auto might be a tough thing to find on the dashboard of most modern cars, but the first aftermarket upgrades are finally hitting shelves. Pioneer has the first replacement head-units supporting Android Auto (and, for that matter, Apple's CarPlay), with sales beginning in the US, UK, and Australia. Compatible with Android 5.0 devices, the system takes the regular Android interface and reworks it for use while driving, pushing services like Google Maps and Google Now to the fore with bigger buttons and speech recognition.

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BMW i8 coupe rolls in to GTC 2015 with NVIDIA inside

BMW i8 coupe rolls in to GTC 2015 with NVIDIA inside

NVIDIA made the case this week for an already-strong collection of vehicles sporting their current, previous, and next-generation processor systems. While this particular vehicle doesn't roll with the NVIDIA DRIVE CX system we're seeing on the vehicles of tomorrow, it does work with an NVIDIA GPU, and the infotainment system that directly precedes DRIVE CX. The system in this vehicle was first announced alongside Tesla's Model S team-up with NVIDIA all the way back in 2011. We previously had a look at the convertible version of this vehicle - its BMW i8 Spyder Concept iteration - back at the LA Auto Show in 2012.

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Tesla Model S Autopilot update due in 3-4 months

Tesla Model S Autopilot update due in 3-4 months

Tesla will deliver a bevy of new safety tech for the Model S in an upcoming update, with full auto-driving promised for certain roads in an update that follows. The first update, already in beta with select owners, will add not only the Range Assurance and Trip Planner apps that Elon Musk expects to remove range anxiety, but enable features like automatic braking, blind spot warnings, and side collision warnings as previewed at the P85D AWD launch last year. However, it's software update version 7.0 that's likely to be even more hotly anticipated by Model S owners, which will add Autopilot functionality.

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Tesla’s fix for EV range anxiety is talkative Superchargers

Tesla’s fix for EV range anxiety is talkative Superchargers

Tesla has revealed its answer to range anxiety, though it's not the battery boost many hoped the electric car company would deliver. Instead, a new software update for the Tesla Model S will make hunting down a recharge - and knowing when to do so - more straightforward, adding an always-on app dubbed Range Assurance that will constantly compare remaining range with which Superchargers and destination chargers are nearby. The functionality will also help drivers make smarter decisions as to where to head to get their jolt of free juice.

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Virgin boss teases a Tesla challenger

Virgin boss teases a Tesla challenger

Is the next big battle in automotive going to be Musk vs Branson? Outspoken billionaire Richard Branson isn't exactly coy when it comes to teasing what he's working on, and it seems following Elon Musk into electric cars might be Virgin's next frontier. For the moment, Virgin's EV schemes center on the Virgin Racing team taking part in Formula E, the all-electric branch of Formula 1, but according to Branson that might not always be the case.

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