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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.
 |  Jun 29 2012, 9:02 AM

A mere two years after it opened, Stadium Nissan in Seattle will close its doors for good as a short-lived attempt to break the mould.

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 02 2011, 12:20 PM

It’s happened to you before. You try your best to keep your car in great condition by parking away frmo the pack in parking lots to prevent dings and scrapes. Then some jerk squeezes his car right up beside yours, ramming his driver door into your paintjob. Its the most frustrating moment for anyone who cares about their car, but you take a deep breath and get over it.

This can’t be said for one Seattle attorney Ronald Clarke Mattson, who allegedly grew so tired of people’s terrible parking skills, that he took matters into his own hands. He would leave angry, anonymous letters on the offenders windshields, ridiculing them for their low intellect and non-existent parking abilities.

Things got a little out of hand from there. Mattson allegedly decided to key their cars after leaving notes. After garage security set up a “sting operation” with a planted, poorly parked car, Mattson was caught red handed and eventually charged with second-degree malicious mischief. This charge is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and he has to pay for $6,150 worth of repairs.

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]

 |  Dec 08 2010, 4:11 PM

Police in Seattle, Washington are using Twitter to help fight auto theft by making it easier to publicly broadcast stolen vehicle reports, and allowing citizens to keep an eye out for the cars in question.

The account, imaginatively titled “Get Your Car Back”, will allow 911 operators to enter the vehicles details and location into a twitter post, that will be immediately broadcast to the account’s followers. Stolen cars that have been recovered will not be tweeted, however.

“I believe that this program will integrate seamlessly into our strategy to prevent and reduce auto theft in Seattle,” said Police Chief John Diaz. “It will also serve to increase public awareness on the subject.”

[Source: Seattle PD via the New York Times]

 |  Aug 18 2010, 12:58 PM

Here’s a novel idea:  Seattle have started posting different speed limit signs along I-5 now, depending on traffic volume.

Dubbed the Smarter Highways project and brought to you by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), these new signs serve multi purposes: to relieve congestion; to indicate when motorists should merge; or when a lane is closed due to construction or an accident.

“This type of information helps prevent the panic braking that causes collisions,” said WSDOT Toll Division Director Craig Stone. “This section of I-5 has a collision every day on average and we expect Smarter Highways to help reduce that.”

These types of signs have made an appearance on interstates around the country, but Washington’s system has regulatory power. That means if you don’t follow the instructions on the sign, you’ll get pulled over.

The project has been going strong for a week and the WSDOT is calling it a success so far. After the system was activated on August 10, speed limits changed right away, telling motorists to slow down as they were reaching a patch of slower traffic.

Not long after, the signs displayed merge arrows to move traffic around a medical emergency. The WSDOT said, “traffic flowed past the incident without sudden braking, last-minute lane changes, stops and collisions.”

Have you come across these types of signal in your travels? Let us know what you think of them, regardless if you have or not.

[Source: Wired]

 |  Oct 08 2009, 8:56 AM

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While news and photos of the Nissan Leaf have been around for several months now, the electric car will get its official debut at the Tokyo Auto Show on October 21st. Nissan describes its functional five-door, five-seater compact hatchback as having a “high-performance, zero-emission” powertrain.

Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.

Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.

The fully-electric Leaf, which is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year, will be priced from $25,000 to $33,000.  Initially, 5,000 vehicles will be available in five U.S. markets: the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee. Fleet sales will also be offered in 2010, while full retails sales are planned for 2012.

Ahead of its official debut, Nissan also released a full gallery of new photos of the Leaf (including numerous interior shots), so be sure to check them out below.

GALLERY: Nissan Leaf

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 |  Aug 10 2009, 11:54 AM

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The fully-electric Nissan LEAF, which is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year, will be priced from $25,000 to $33,000. Word comes from Nissan North America product VP Larry Dominique.

“Competitive pricing is going to allow mass-market appeal, which is going to set Nissan apart,” said Dominique, commenting that the LEAF will be less expensive to own and operate than a gasoline car, even if gas cost just $1.10 a gallon.

Importantly, this price comes before any government tax incentives, which are certain to reduce the total cost by several thousand dollars.

Comparatively, the 2010 Toyota Prius starts at just $22,000.

The LEAF is powered by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery packs. Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.

Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.

Sales of the LEAF will begin next year with 5,000 vehicles available in five U.S. markets: the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee. Fleet sales will also be offered in 2010, while full retails sales are planned for 2012.

[Source: Automotive News]

Report: Nissan Bringing LEAF EV to Five U.S. Markets First

Automaker reveals infrastructure plans for electric car recharging stations

 |  Aug 06 2009, 9:27 AM

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Before sales of Nissan’s new electric car go full-tilt in the U.S., the Japanese automaker will start with 5,000 units in five different markets. The targeted areas include the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee.

Nissan’s product planning boss Mark Perry says that this is just the first step in a larger plan.“This is not a test to determine whether or not it’s going to work. This is the beginning of mass marketing,” he said.

Full retail sales are planned for 2012, but Perry says they will begin sooner if a market has the infrastructure ready to support the vehicles. Nissan also plans to offer the LEAF for fleet sales in 2010.

An infrastructure network of 12,500 recharging stations will be built throughout the five markets by Phoenix-based Electric Transportation Engineering Corp., which has received a $99.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. An additional $199.6 million necessary to built the infrastructure will come from the individual cities and states.

Owners of the first 5,000 cars will be able to purchase the at Nissan dealers but will have to sign on to allow Nissan to monitor the car’s performance over the first two years. Nissan says it wants to see how electric vehicle recharging habits play out in the real world. Owners will also be “chosen” by Nissan as the automaker wants to make sure the information it obtains is relevant. “We don’t want these first cars going to somebody who commutes 150 miles a day or who lives a great distance from a recharging station,” he said.

As for the price, Nissan hasn’t release specifics but did say that it would be comparable to a fully-loaded compact car.

[Source: Automotive News]