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The 5 Best, Worst Car Brands in US

Can Ford thank Matthew McConaughey?

(Newser) - It's not clear whether Matthew McConaughey's commercials have anything to do with swaying customer opinion, but a nationwide survey of nearly 4,000 people regarding 24 major car brands has found that Americans love their Ford Lincolns the most, 24/7 Wall St. reports. An American Customer Satisfaction Index... More »

'Happy Manipulating!': Takata Emails Depict Tampering

'New York Times' reveals recently unsealed communications

(Newser) - Nearly 20 million vehicles have been recalled thanks to Takata airbags , which can explode and have been connected to eight US deaths. Now, the New York Times reveals internal emails that show Takata employees were manipulating testing data as far back as 2000—around the time the company introduced a... More »

Mom of Crash Survivor: I Thank Honda, Not God

Lynn Beisner: federal regulations more important than higher power

(Newser) - Lynn Beisner's son was driving last week when a semi-trailer wheel landed on his hood and shattered every window in the car. Amazingly, the Honda vehicle "formed a cocoon for his body" and he didn't have "a scratch on him," she writes in the Washington ... More »

Obama in Japan: Diplomacy, Sushi, Soccer With a Robot

Obama pledges to defend Japan in dispute over 'rock'

(Newser) - President Obama guaranteed that the US would protect Japan if its dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands comes to blows, a serious moment in a conspicuously fun Tokyo trip. Obama said the islands have historically been administered by Japan, and that a US treaty "covers all territories administered... More »

CES' Hot New Gadget Is Your Car

New vehicles sprout 4G; Google announces Open Automotive Alliance

(Newser) - The big news from the Consumer Electronics Show—where the expected theme is "the connected car"—is a plan to make your new vehicle a little more like your smartphone. General Motors and Audi tell the Wall Street Journal they have plans to give their vehicles built-in 4G... More »

Honda Recalls 405K Vehicles Over Air Bags

Most are Odyssey minivans

(Newser) - Honda is recalling more than 400,000 vehicles because of a malfunction in its air bag system. The recall largely affects its flagship minivan, the Odyssey, with 342,000 models sold between 2003 and 2004 affected. It also applies to 63,400 Acura MDXs sold in 2003. A glitch can... More »

Toyota, Honda Recall 3.4M Vehicles in Airbag Failure

Nissan, Mazda are also involved

(Newser) - An airbag issue is prompting Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda to recall some 3.4 million vehicles. Passenger-side airbag inflators are at risk of exploding and blasting out plastic pieces, the AP reports, while a rep for Japanese airbag maker Takata warns Reuters that driver-side airbags may fail to inflate.... More »

Meet US' Most Efficient Car: 118MPG

Honda Fit EV wins EPA title

(Newser) - The 2013 Honda Fit EV is the most efficient car sold on these shores, according to the EPA—and it's been awarded the highest fuel efficiency equivalency rating ever, at 118 MPGe. That figure beats Mitsubishi's iMiEV, at 112 MPGe, as well as the Ford Focus Electric, which... More »

Honda Unveils Segway Competitor: the Uni-Cub

It's designed to ride indoors

(Newser) - Watch out, Segway, there's a new player in the high-end scooter game. Honda has revealed the Uni-Cub, a personal mobility device that, like the Segway, is driven by shifting one's weight. It "looks like a trash compactor on wheels," reports the Los Angeles Times . (The Wall ... More »

The Awesome Ferris Bueller Ad Is Here

Matthew Broderick stars in 'Matthew's Day Off' for Honda

(Newser) - The full-length Ferris Bueller-inspired Super Bowl ad is here, and AdWeek dubs it "awesome." Matthew Broderick stars in "Matthew's Day Off," a Honda ad in which he calls in sick to a film shoot in order to do all sorts of fun stuff in his... More »

Car Owner Spurns Lawyers, Takes On Honda Herself

She's going to small-claims court over hybrid mileage

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Times says it has the potential to become a "small-claims flash mob"—and a major headache for the auto industry along with attorneys looking for a fat payday: A California woman is spurning a proposed class-action settlement and instead taking Honda to small-claims court because... More »

Car Sales Jumped 14% Last Month

Chrysler, VW saw huge gains

(Newser) - Americans may be worried about the economy, but they still need to get where they’re going. Auto sales beat expectations last month, rising 14% to 994,721, their fastest sales pace since August 2009, reports the AP . Chrysler led the pack: The automaker’s sales jumped 45%, Reuters reports.... More »

Honda Recalls 384K Vehicles

Faulty ignition locks can cause cars, SUVs to roll away

(Newser) - Honda recalled 384,000 vehicles today over a malfunction that could cause the cars and SUVs to roll away while parked, the Detroit News reports. The recall applies to all 2003 Accords and Civics as well as Elements from 2003 and 2004—all of which have problems with their ignition... More »

Honda Plans Electric Cars for 2012

Company trying to regain ground on green vehicles

(Newser) - Honda is looking to make up lost ground in the market for energy-efficient cars and plans to have a plug-in hybrid and a battery-powered electric vehicle on American streets in 2012, reports Reuters . The company announced no specifics on models, other than to say the EV will be a small... More »

China Strikes Hit Toyota, Honda

Labor disputes test country's stability

(Newser) - In the latest in a string of labor disputes at factories across China, Toyota was forced to halt production yesterday at an assembly plant because of a strike at Denso, a parts supplier in southern China. The Denso plant also supplies Honda factories, which may also run out if the... More »

The 9 Cars Most Popular With Women

VW Beetles, small SUVs most popular for women

(Newser) - Women seem to agree on the cars they want to drive—just nine vehicle models have more female registrants than male, according to a survey of vehicle records. The top pick for women is the Volkswagen Beetle, and after that, a strong preference for small sport-utility vehicles emerges, the LA ... More »

Craigslist Thieves Stealing Cars on Test Drives

Also: Beware the jiggler!

(Newser) - Another Craigslist warning: New York City cops says bad guys are inquiring about cars for sale on the site, taking them for test drives—and never returning. No details on how many cars have disappeared this way, but the NYPD issued a warning memo across the five boroughs obtained by... More »

Brake Issue Forces Recall of 412K Hondas

Go soft over time in Odyssey minivans, Element SUVs

(Newser) - Honda is recalling some 412,000 vehicles after complaints that their brakes go soft over time as air gets into the braking and stability system. The move affects 344,000 Odyssey minivans and 68,000 Element SUVs for the 2007 and ‘08 model years, Reuters reports. Only minor injuries... More »

Nostalgia Rules in Super Bowl Ads

From Betty White to Stevie Wonder, these ads bank on the familiar

(Newser) - Yes, there were still the requisite ads using slapstick violence to get a laugh, or objectifying women—but the reigning theme of this year's Super Bowl commercials was nostalgia. Thanks to the economy, many advertisers used familiar faces to pitch products, writes Stuart Elliott in the New York Times . A... More »

Japanese Mull Noisier Hybrids to Protect Blind

Survey finds blind people are unnerved by silent vehicles

(Newser) - Japanese automakers are looking into ways to make their super-quiet hybrid cars a lot louder after more than half of blind people surveyed said they were terrified of the vehicles, AP reports. The automakers are considering equipping the vehicles with radar to sense pedestrians and make sounds like engine noises... More »

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