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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.
The Kings of the Big Family Haulers
Until the mid-1980s, those with large families usually bought station wagons with a who-cares-about-safety rearward facing third row of seats. But then the minivan was introduced and everything changed. For the next fifteen years, troops of kids were transported here and there in these pragmatic boxes on wheels. As is often the case though, consumer taste’s changed.
Today the three-row station wagons rival the mountain gorilla on the critically endangered species list while the minivan has become more passé than bridge clubs. Now there is a new king of big family transport – the three-row crossover utility vehicle (CUV).
And the Crossover Takes Over
After a brief foray with three-row body-on-frame SUVs in the early 2000s, the vast majority of auto manufacturers have settled on unibody crossovers to handle passenger duties of six or more. Last year, more than 1.7 million of these CUVs were sold in the U.S. compared to less than 525,000 minivans.
With nearly two million annual sales up for grabs, manufacturers are constantly tweaking their products to entice customers. Over the last year alone, all-new versions of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander hit the market while the Kia Sorento and Dodge Durango received significant updates. To see which CUV is the best value for the money, we gathered these five crossovers along with three older models; the large Chevrolet Traverse, the best-selling Ford Explorer and the eight-passenger Honda Pilot. Which one emerged as the victor in this stacked field? Read on to find out.
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As 2012 comes to an end, it’s always interesting to see what vehicles were most popular on everyone’s research list for the year.
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.
The issue came to light three years ago, and has already caused one death and at least a dozen injuries due to airbags in some vehicles deploying with too much force. Earlier this month we reported that Honda announced 600,000 vehicles being added to this large scale recall. This latest development will include 272,000 new vehicles.
The problem incudes 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. Expect notice from Honda if you own a vehicle included in the recall.
[Source: ABC 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.
Honda is recalling 310,773 Pilot SUVs from the 2009-2011 model years for faulty driver and passenger seat belts. There is a possible issue of the seat belt anchor detaching due to an unfinished seat belt anchor webbing during the sewing process. The first issue was reported back in May 2010 with the seat belt anchor detaching and another was made in July, which prompted an investigation for the recall.
Notifications to owners will be sent out next month and if necessary, dealers will replace the seat belts on the vehicles.
The Honda Pilot mid-size SUV will be receiving some minor upgrades for the 2012 model year which includes exterior, interior and mechanical updates.
The most noticeable upgrade to the exterior includes a new grille and front fascia. The outgoing model’s six sided grille insert will be replaced with a distinctive three-bar horizontal design. The interior will feature upgraded materials and a revised instrument panel with new center stack layout. There have also been some minor changes to the audio and navigational systems. Fuel economy has also been improved by one mile per gallon overall to 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway for a combined rating of 21 mpg. The Pilot will still use the 24 valve i-VTEC 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 250-hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. The engine features Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system that allows the V6 to operate in six-cylinder mode for power and four or three-cylinder modes for efficiency.