A 300-hp turbocharged four cylinder might find it’s way into the next Civic Type-R.
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In recent years, the power of the Internet has had an interesting effect on publications that specialize in car reviews. As more information becomes readily available, opinions in what used to be well-respected publications appear to be losing their influence.
American Honda’s lawyers are hoping to overturn the highly publicized court award to Heather Peters, who netted $9,867 after suing Honda stating that her Civic Hybrid failed to get the promised 50-mpg. As a result of her successful small claims suit, 1,700 Civic Hybrid owners have opted out of a class action settlement, presumably to take Honda to small claims court themselves.
Honda will be heading back to court on Thursday and the court will once again hear testimony from both sides in what is basically a retrial. But unlike the small claims trial, Honda has legal representation and Peters will be presenting new evidence she has discovered. Peters also renewed her law license and has already testified in the first part of the hearing with Honda’s lawyers questioning her.
The Japanese automaker is hoping the appeal will curb other Civic Hybrid owners from filing their own small claims suits similar to what Peters did successfully.
[Source: The Detroit News]
A group of angry customers filed a class action lawsuit against Honda because they say the company manufactured and sold vehicles with defective window mechanisms.
“The right passenger side window fell into the door of my 2002 Honda Odyssey LX in September 2011. It was a startling, loud sound that jolted me,” plaintiff Phyllis Grodzitsky of San Diego said. “I lost use of my Odyssey for two days and it cost over $400 to fix the window. I made a complaint to Honda. Honda said there is no recall for the window systems on my vehicle. I feel that arrogance by a large corporation in response to a safety issue is unacceptable in this day and age.”
The suit claims such a defect poses a hazard to drivers and passengers nationwide. The vehicles said to be affected include Honda Odyssey (pictured above), Pilot, Element, Accord, CR-V, Civic and Acura MDX models from years 1994 to 2007.
According to the plaintiff’s lawyers, there is a defective piece of plastic that is meant to keep the windows in place while the window motor operates. Their claim suggests that piece of plastic breaks under normal operating conditions, causing the defect Grodzitsky described above.
The lawsuit is being filed against Honda by two disgruntled owners who apparently have gone through repeated repairs in an attempt to fix the same issue.
They may need a good bit of luck and patience to win this, though. Power windows in decade-old cars fail routinely and it’s not outrageous to think that after 10 years of weather and friction that such a part may fail. Honda has a crack-team of vicious lawyers who deal with cases like these as if they were insects.
Cases like these also rarely render significant compensation for the plaintiffs. A woman recently took Honda to small claims court over lower-than-expected mileage in her Civic hybrid. She chose that route because even when won, class action suits often offer little more than a coupon for cheaper repairs and minor monetary compensation.
We’ll keep an eye on the case and let you know how it progresses. What are your thoughts? Tell us below.
According to Honda CEO Takanobu Ito, this entry entails creating an all-new engine developed specifically for touring car competition. “We have made a decision to enter into the WTCC with the European Civic. We will develop a totally new engine for this project and we are all excited about starting this new challenge.” Developed alongside Mugen and J.A.S. Motorsport, Honda’s new engine is a racing 1.6 liter, direct-injection, turbo 4-cylinder engine designed within FIA Super 2000 regulations.
Racing as a two car-team managed by J.A.S. Motorsport, the inaugural rounds for the new Civic will be held when the WTCC arrives to Asia, namely races in Japan, China, and Macau. Honda also intends to compete in every race in the 2013 season.
GALLERY: WTCC 2012 Honda Civic
With all the Super Bowl ads finding their way onto the Internet well ahead of the big game, we’ve already had our fair share of head scratchers, like the commercial from Audi, and humorous ones like Acura‘s NSX commercial starring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. And while we understand that most ads are designed to make us laugh or garner our attention, creative ones such as this Civic commercial is just flat out cool.
The description of the video by Honda puts it best, describing what Honda engineers went through when they came up with the design of the new Civic. From just the spark of an idea came the journey of building a vehicle, overcoming challenges until it culminates into the new Civic. Of course this commercial targets their European customers, which shows off the new European Honda Civic hatchback and is narrated by Garrison Keillor who is very popular in Honda’s British ads.
And for those that can really go way back, you’ll see the slight homage this commercial pays to the infamous “Cog” commercial from Honda, where an Accord was built from a single cog rolling down an incline. It’s subtle, but it’s those things that make us not want to push fast forward. Got what Audi? No vampires, no more vampires. Please.
Watch the ad after the break.
The past 20 years were pretty stable in the automotive industry. Mostly predictable releases with a steady rate for manufacturers to introduce new models that seemed like a consistant recipe for success.
Then, suddenly with the start of the current model year, things changed. In fact, it looks like this is just the start of a serious upswing in new releases. According to a story published on CNN Money, the auto industry replaced 16 percent of its fleet annually between 1991 and 2011.
That figure jumped to 23 percent with the 2012 model year, which started in October. Apparently keeping this fresh is the snake oil for successful car companies, because next year that number will grow to 32 percent, effectively doubling the rate new models hit the market. Given this manufacturer mayhem, we decided to round up the new cars you should expect to see soon.
Honda is an interesting case as they’ve recognized that their luxury brand, Acura, is simply being outdone by the competition at every turn. They decided to completely redesign their line to quell complaints that their cars are little more than rebadged Hondas. The first to look for: their new ILX compact sedan. As for Honda, they are already planning to release a new generation Civic after the media chastised them for an uninspired release.
Next up, Nissan. While they don’t hold a big market share in the U.S., Carlos Ghosn, their CEO is making plans to expand the 8.2 percent they have now to ten by 2015. In order to do that, they are revamping half of their entire line. Nissan is targeting the burgeoning EV market with their Leaf, which first became available last year. Look for updated Altimas, Sentras and Pathfinders in the near future.
Toyota suffered after the tsunami, but is coming back with a fury. The automaker is releasing a brand-new sports car, the FR-S, developed in partnership with Subaru and set to sell with a Scion badge. The RAV-4 and Lexus ES sedan will also get updates.
Chrysler will move toward smaller cars, something the brand has historically struggled with. The shrinkage can be attributed to Fiat, their new owners, and how their new 40 mpg Dodge Dart borrows heavily from the Italian engineers.
Ford and GM are trying to hang on to their chunky market shares, 17 and 19.7 percent respectively. Both companies are following the industry strategy: refreshing their popular sellers and releasing redesigned cars in their luxury brands. Look for a re-engineered Lincoln MKZ from Ford and Cadillac‘s new compact ATS and larger XTS sedans from GM.
Finally, there are some changes in the pipeline for German luxury cars. Audi just confirmed that their compact Q3 SUV will be sold in the U.S., along with the re-release of the compact A2 sedan. Mercedes-Benz is opting to offer their smaller B-Series and A-Series cars to remain competitive in the Yankee market.
[Source: CNN Money]
Honda is offering an extended 10-year/120,000-mile warranty to 2006-2011 Civic Hybrid owners due to a possible gas leak. And while it’s a little strange that there’s no recall for the 80,000 or so impacted vehicles, we’re pretty sure owners are going to be just fine with such a nice and lengthy warranty from Honda.
The gas leak issue is a minor one according to Honda. The potential leak is located where the fuel filler meets the tank and it appears to not be anywhere near an ignition source. Regardless, if owners smell gasoline vapors or spot a small amount of gas on the ground, they should take their vehicle in to a dealership immediately so that the gas tank can be replaced.
It’s probably not set in stone that there won’t be a recall on the matter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t made any rulings yet in regards to this matter and are still investigating it.
Just as Honda announced it’ll be refreshing the Civic for next year, hoping everyone will quickly forget about the 2012 model, Consumer Reports goes and gives the 2012 Honda Civic Si a “Recommended” rating in its latest report.
Now let’s keep in mind that Consumer Reports were one of the first outlets to give the 2012 Civic such low ratings. In fact, they reiterated their thoughts on the base model Civic by saying “while other models like the Hyundai Elantra have gotten better after being redesigned, the Honda Civic has dropped so much that now it ranks near the bottom of its category.”
But the base model Civic isn’t the one that sports the 2.4L, 201-hp powerplant. In fact, our review of the Si was favorable – read the review here – and Consumer Reports agrees that the Si offers “terrific acceleration” more low-end torque and a slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox. As a result, the Si model scored much better than the base model awarding it the Recommended title from Consumer Reports.
Funny enough, the publication still believes that while “the Civic Si has a great powertrain, it needs a better car wrapped around it.”
GALLERY: 2012 Honda Civic Si
In a completely unprecedented and unexpected move, Honda has announced to its dealers to expect a new Civic by the end of next year. That’s right, the all-new 2012 Honda Civic that just came out is already getting a makeover.
Honda is clearly doing damage control by saying that the revamp is coming early in order to stay ahead of the competition. But there’s little doubt it’s coming because the all-new Civic was so disappointing. In fact, many believe that it was a step backwards from the previous generation’s offerings and that Honda really missed the mark on their iconic model.
At least Honda is being proactive in recognizing that a change needs to be made, hopefully it’s for the better.
As for what we can expect, Honda recently previewed a new lineup of engine and transmission technologies, including a new direct-injection 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. In addition, Honda has produced a new CVT transmission for use in compact cars and so its possible that will replace the current 5-speed automatic unit. These changes come as a part of Honda’s new Earth Dreams Technology plan where it aims to deliver vehicles that are not only fuel economy leaders, but performance leaders. too.
GALLERY: 2012 Honda Civic Sedan
General Motors halted production of their popular Cruze sedan yesterday after a supplier issue hampered production.
Chevrolet says they plan to resume production as soon as possible, though they declined to disclose what the issue was. Production officially stopped around 1 p.m. EST according to a spokesperson for the Lordstown, Ohio, factory where the Cruze is produced.
Currently the Cruze is the second-best selling small car in the U.S. and the 10th-best overall. Chevrolet has been able to capitalize on consumer demand for more fuel efficient cars, given that the Cruze can achieve up to 42 mpg.
Expect whatever issue is postponing production to be addressed soon, after all the car is a hot seller and one that GM hopes to push beyond current sales to be a market leader. At the moment, it outsells the Honda Civic, though the Toyota Corolla still boasts better numbers.
Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
As the compact luxury car market continues its growth in the United States, Acura intends to join the ranks of the Lexus CT200h, Audi A3, BMW 1-series, and Mercedes A-Class.
Based on the Honda Civic, the Acura promises that the ILX will attract younger buyers that find brand name, efficiency, and styling to be most important. Acura have also found that this particular demographic have a preference to the three-box modern sedan styling, and will deliver the ILX as such, even though Acura briefly considered the possibilities of an entry two-box hatchback as well.
Starting under $30,000, Acura engineers also promised there will be enough hardware to differentiate the more upscale ILX from the plain Honda Civic, as we have seen from the Accord and TL or Pilot and MDX. Powertrains for the ILX include a 2.0-liter inline-4, producing from 150 to 160-hp and approximately 145 lb.-ft. of torque. A hybrid will be available with a 1.5-liter engine producing 90-hp and 97 lb.-ft. of torque and an electric motor delivering 23-hp and 78 lb.-ft. of torque. But best of all, a sportier 2.4-liter engine only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox is available for driving enthusiasts. Delivering 201-hp and 170 lb.-ft. of torque in Civic Si form, Acura has yet to answer whether the 2.4 liter will undergo any changes in ILX form.
The ILX will debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show and will be available in showrooms by early summer of 2012.
Honda is having a pretty tough year compared to its competitors, with an unsuccessful North American Civic refresh and the floods in Thailand hurting their production. Just how tough has this year been for Honda? They’re the only large automaker to post a US sales decline last month, when total sales jumped 14-percent throughout the industry.
Honda is now looking towards the future however, as competitors continue to cut into their sales with their total market share having dropped to 9-percent in 2011 from 10.5-percent. Honda’s immediate goals to turn it all around is to ramp up production on its new Civic and CR-V that will go on sale this month. They’re also aiming to release plenty of new models within the next two years, hoping to gain back its market share.
Next year’s models will be powered by the new powerplants that Honda showed off at the Tokyo Motor Show, claiming that they’ll lead the industry in fuel efficiency. And despite all the negative press surrounding the new Civic, Honda is optimistic that sales will continue to grow for its number one model.
[Source: Automotive News]
Honda‘s airbag woes grew significantly after they recalled an almost 1 million additional vehicles.
The issue involves airbag pressure in 2001 and 2002 Accords, Civics and Odysseys from 2001 through 2003, CR-Vs from 2002 to 2003 and 2003 Pilots. The recall also affects 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TLs and 2003 3.2 CLs.
The latest development primarily includes vehicles sold in North America. Owners can expect to receive notice soon if their car is included.
The recall started three years ago, so far Honda has recalled 2.8 million vehicles.
With the 2011 SEMA Show just around the corner, we’ve been getting fed tons of teasers and sneak peeks of finished projects that will be making their way to the big aftermarket expo in Las Vegas. But forget teasers, here’s the full reveal of Fox Marketing’s 2012 Honda Civic Si, boasting a wickedly clean widebody and packing over 450-hp thanks to Full-Race’s turbo kit.
The custom widebody and body kit is courtesy of carbodykits.com, while Fox Marketing opted to have the entire body resprayed by BASF’s R-M Ultrasonic Blue Pearl. Handling suspension duties are springs from Road Magnet while SSBC contributed a brake upgrade to the Si Coupe. For wheels, Fox Marketing opted for a custom 20-inch setup from Vossen. CV3 wheels adorn each corner of the project wrapped with Toyo Proxes 4 tires.
On the inside, Yonaka Ronin racing seats found their way inside after being reupholstered with factory Civic Si fabric inserts in the front and the rear. AutoGuide.com will be sure to check out the finished project up close in person starting on November 1st.
GALLERY: Fox Marketing 2012 Honda Civic Si
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