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Strategic Vision has announced the winners of its 2013 Total Quality Index (TQI), with American automakers reinstating their position in some very competitive segments.
J.D. Power and Associates has released its 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, listing the top-rated SUVs from their segments.
Often times we only hear the bad side of the story: cars getting stolen, thieves running off with your precious property, etc. But sometimes it’s nice to hear that there’s a happy ending to some of thefts thanks to Lojack.
Lojack helps retrieve countless vehicles a year, but some of the incidents are more peculiar than others. In Atlanta, a thief successfully disabled the OnStar GPS system on a stolen Cadillac Escalade, but that didn’t affect Lojack. The company, with the assistance of the local police, were able to recover the stolen vehicle.
Another interesting one was a thief that had stolen a Lexus at gunpoint from a salesman, which Lojack had no troubles finding. Or even better yet, one man was smart enough to have Lojack on his Honda Civic, but wasn’t smart enough to say no to taking a check when he sold it. Thankfully, Lojack was able to get the car back once the check bounced.
Lojack in 2011 even helped recover 30 cars that were stolen from a Southern California used car dealership. Even though only one of the vehicles was equipped with Lojack, they were able to recover all 30. Similarly, a Honda Accord Crosstour was found through Lojack, revealing a ring of stolen cars that were on their way in shipping containers to other countries.
In closing, this year was a good year for those that have Lojack. The company was vital in closing chop shops, breaking up an international car theft ring, tracking down a murder suspect in a stolen car, and even deterred the kidnapping of a four year old girl.
[Source: Motor Authority]
It doesn’t take a genius to know that Honda‘s Odyssey is destined to be a brisk seller. As the undisputed king of the minivan segment, the Odyssey is still popular even with an onslaught of new competitors from Chrysler, Dodge, Kia and Toyota.
The rest of the lineup isn’t so hot. The Insight is being outsold by an 8-1 margin by its arch rival, the Toyota Prius, while the Crosstour’s projected 40,000 sales aren’t materializing, with the car selling closer to 20,000 units. The CR-Z also appears to have slowed after a promising start, although sports car sales are always dismal in the colder months.
Honda faces a predicament, since the rest of their lineup, like the Civic, Accord and CR-V are all fairly old, and due for replacement. But with only stagnant or unappealing products in the showroom, 2010 will be a dismal year for the big H. Hopefully the company can pull out of their nosedive, but their legendary maverick attitude (and accompanying arrogance that their way is the right way, market desires be damned) may see a number of lean years before their once faithful customers return.
Honda will recall 3,340 Accord Crosstour models over a fault passenger airbag, including 700 units in Canada. The recall is said to have stemmed from the airbag not meeting safety requirements when tested with an unbelted crash test dummy the size of a child.
Honda has advised parents to refrain from putting children under 12 in the passenger seat, but says that no incidents have been reported. Customers can call Honda at 1-888-946-6329.
Hit the jump to read the press release
[Source: Canada News Wire]
The results are in and a host of new SUVs have made the cut. Joining the list for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Award recipients are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2011 Kia Sorento, and the 2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza.
It takes a sturdy vehicle to become an IIHS Top Safety Pick. To drive off with one, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in front- and side-impact tests, as well as head restraint design for rear crash protection, and roof strength. As well, it has to come standard with electronic stability control. Vehicles are rated on a scale of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor.
Roof-strength is the most difficult test to pass, and the SUVs tested at this time demonstrated a roof strength-to-weight ratio of 4-to-1 or greater (meaning roofs held up under more than four times the vehicle’s weight before the top is compressed five inches). Some examples of outcomes for this test: the Toyota Highlander roof withstood a force equal to 4.74 times its vehicle weight, while the Toyota Venza’s roof withstood 4.70 times its vehicle weight.
Some SUVs that didn’t make the cut were the Ford Edge, Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano. The Edge earned an Acceptable roof-strength rating, while rest were rated Marginal.
The IIHS is an independent non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurance companies.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
When we reviewed Honda‘s new Accord Crosstour model, one of our few gripes was in the fuel economy department. Rated at 18/27 mpg (FWD), its not bad, but the lack of a six-speed transmission makes getting the most out of each gallon a bit hard.
Honda appears to be ready to announce the addition of a six-speed auto-box for the 2011 model year car, which will go on sale before the end of the year. This is well-ahead of a mid-cycle update, which should take place in the 2013 model year. The new transmission will likely deliver a slight improvement in city fuel economy and as much as 2 mpg out on the highway, making the CrossTour more competitive with the Toyota Venza when it comes to fuel economy.
Honda still has yet to announce any plans on if the CrossTour will be offered with a 4-cylinder.