AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Gasoline producers and automakers are at odds over fuel only this time it’s about sulfur levels instead of ethanol content.
California EV start-up Coda Automotive launched its first and likely last stab at the electric car market this year.
Even though electric vehicles haven’t taken off as quickly as some automakers had predicted, owners in the state of California are enjoying the benefits of owning a plug-in EV and proving that with proper infrastructure an electric car can be an only vehicle.
Tiny electric car manufacturer Coda needs all the press it can get. It’s cars rarely make it into the media and are part of a market segment that struggles on a good day, yet in spite of that it organized a cheerful publicity stunt – the “grass station.”
Got a lazy Sunday ahead of you with not much to do? Interested in seeing classics, resto-mods, luxury, and exotics hitting the auction block? The Barrett-Jackson Orange County, California auction is streaming live online so you can get your automotive fix in today. You know, in case you’re stuck at work or something.
Not long after 9/11, the California DMV started selling memorial license plates under the promise that the proceeds would go toward scholarships for children of the victims, or anti-terrorist initiatives, but the money isn’t making it home.
Venerable pro drift racer Rhys Millen got his first chance of the year to work toward becoming the next Formula DRIFT champion but came in second place.
Electric cars may have arrived, but the search for the perfect alternative fuel is still in progress. There are still a few major issues that keep battery powered vehicles from replacing the internal combustion engine.
April has been designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and it’s no surprise with all the news surrounding distracting elements in our vehicles.
German automaker Mercedes-Benz has already jumped on board with its driving academy offering free safety seminars in the state of California. Now the California Office of Traffic Safety is creating seven anti-distracted driving ads and the first one has hit the Web, featuring none other than zombies.
We’re not really sure what effect this ad is supposed to have on us. Are zombies coming to stop us from being distracted while driving? Are we going to all become zombies if we text and drive? Is the State of California saying we’re just zombies texting and driving? Oh no, now we’re just more confused.
Watch the first of seven anti-distracted driving ads from the California Office of Traffic Safety after the break.
Potential customers are no good to an automaker if they’re dead so Mercedes-Benz is taking steps to help improve the chances that teens practice safe driving in the spirit of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
“Teens are now faced with more distractions behind the wheel, compared to previous generations of new drivers,” said Marc Hemsworth, senior driving coach at Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy and former LAPD officer and chief driving instructor. “Reinforcing the dangers of distracted driving and being a good role model are a few ways parents can help improve driver safety for their teens and everyone on the road.”
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, a California State certified driving school, will kick off the awareness month by offering free programs including a distracted driving demo, Parent and Teen Workshops and driving assessments.
The seminars begin April 2 and will be held at Calabasas High School in Calabasas, Calif. and mark the third year that April has been designated with the awareness campaign.
Distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is more likely among teens over any other age group. Additionally, in the first half of 2011, the number of teen driving deaths increased by 11 percent after an eight-year consecutive decline.
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, as the name would suggest, is observed throughout the country, but California runs an additional “Teen Safe Driving Week,” which begins this Sunday.
There’s always two sides to a story, and earlier we reported about how a Nissan dealership sold a $62,130 Murano Crosscabriolet to a man suffering from dementia. Now North Bay Nissan, the dealership in question, has agreed to take back the vehicle while explaining their side of the story.
Ed Dowdall suffers from Lewy Body Dementia and currently lives in a care facility in San Francisco, California. According to his doctor, Dowdall suffers from “markedly impaired judgment, lack of impulse control, aggressive and compulsive behavior, and an almost total lack of insight into his condition.”
Greg Dexter on the other hand, owner of North Bay Nissan, claims that Dowdall gave every indication of having a sound mind when he purchased the vehicle back in December. Of course we wouldn’t expect the owner of the dealership to say otherwise, but whether it’s an admission of guilt or just wanting all the negative press to go away, Dexter has agreed to take back the Murano, relinquishing the $923 a month car payment. Dexter however did not make a firm statement on whether or not the down payment would be fully refunded.
Dowdall’s attorney, Michael Baddeley has said that both parties reached a mutual agreement on the fiasco and confirmed that the sale has been rescinded. The dealership’s story however is that Dowdall was a returning customer, having purchased his Altima Hybrid there back in 2008. He originally visited the dealership in November inquiring about the Murano before purchasing it the following month.
Two phone messages were played that Dowdall had left the salesman after purchasing the car, sounding coherent and happy about the purchase. There were also notes during the sale that Dowdall was on the phone with family members during the sales process including Amy Dowdall – his separated wife – and her brother-in-law Mike Dowdall. Both Amy and Mike claim that they were at the Petaluma Police Department during the purchase to report that Ed attempted to kill Amy the night before.
“I knew the car should have gone back that day, but Mike talked me into keeping it until (my husband) went to the home because it would have been upsetting for him,” Amy Dowdall said.
Clearly this is a case of he-said, she-said, but we’re glad the matter has been resolved. We personally think Mr. Ed Dowdall really wanted the Murano CrossCabriolet and of course the dealership had no gripes selling it to him. But whether or not he was ethically taken advantage of, well that’s up to you.
[Source: Press Democrat]
Most of the time, bringing a new car home is an exciting occasion. It was quite the opposite for one California woman when her 70-year-old husband with dementia pulled up in a new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.
Ed Dowdall, who is legally separated from his wife Amy, lives in a constant-care facility but back in December when the incident occurred, he lived with his brother. Dowdall left during a discussion about where he would be moved for more constant care and drove to North Bay Nissan in Petaluma, California. Upon arrival, he proceeded to trade his Nissan Altima Hybrid for a Murano CrossCabriolet.
When Dowdall pulled up in the driveway, his wife informed the salesman of his condition and that he was in no position to buy the car, let alone licensed to drive it. Despite that, the sale went through — apparently because Wells Fargo, the lender, had already closed. Wells Fargo denied this.
Options included, Dowdall spent $62,130 on the car. He also apparently paid for about $10,000 worth of dealer add-ons.
His wife, who has power of attorney over him, is trying to have the sale reversed because she can’t afford the $923-per-month payments and is also trying to prove elder abuse in the case.
GALLERY: Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
[Source: Press Democrat]