Chrysler Factory Store In Los Angeles Is Illegal, Says California Dealer Group

The California New Car Dealers Association is accusing Chrysler of operating a factory store illegally in the Los Angeles area. The showroom, dubbed Motor Village L.A., was designed to boost Chrysler’s profile and show off their revised product lineup, as well as the new Fiat brand.

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ADV.1 Wheels Gives Ferrari California a Manly Touch

Ferrari‘s F430 and now F458 Italia has become synonymous with the Italian manufacturer’s moniker; while models such as the California go on living their lives less popular in the public light. Sporting a front-engine 4.3L V8 with 454-hp, many critiqued the California as a girl’s Ferrari, rather than a man’s Ferrari. But the folks over at ADV.1 Wheels don’t think the California is a ‘chick’s car’ and set out to prove it.

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Honda's Test Track For Sale, Would Make A Great Playground For One Lucky Owner

Honda is selling their proving grounds in the Mojave Desert, and if you’re the type that likes to invest between 7 and 8 figures in real estate, then this might be a real treat.

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Custom Pink Ferrari California Delivered to Owner in Shanghai

While most of us relate bright pink luxury and exotic vehicles to Paris Hilton (or perhaps Barbie), the infamous heiress wasn’t the one ordering up this custom Ferrari California.

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Vehicle Break-in Exposes Congress Car-Leasing Racket

On December 1st, Fox 2 News in Detroit reported on a vehicle break-in. While this was nothing significant in itself, said vehicle was a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid and the items taken included two MacBook computers and some concert tickets.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt Emits More CO2 Than Toyota Prius, Won't Qualify For HOV Lane

The Chevrolet Volt missed out on SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) status by a minute margin, emitting 1.3 grams of CO2 per mile. The cutoff is 1 gram of CO2 per mile to qualify for the status.

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California To Mandate Tire Pressure Checks To Reduce Emissions, Score One For The Nanny State

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has mandated that vehicle tire pressures must be checked during routine service and in line with the recommended factory settings.

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California Leads the Nation in Traffic Ticket Tweets

Twitter is great for keeping abreast what’s going on in the lives of the people you follow. You can find out what’s going on in the world, learn what people are eating for breakfast and get the good news and the not-so-good news as it happens. And if you’re in California, chances are you’re going to tweet about the speeding ticket you just got.

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California No Longer Issuing HOV Carpool Stickers to Hybrids

Hybrid cars are a huge hit in California and for a number of reasons. The first reason you might think of is the that citizens of the fine state are concerned about the environment. And while that might be true, there’s also a more self-serving reason, namely, that the California DMV issues 85,000 “Clean Air Vehicle” stickers to hybrid cars owners allowing them to drive in the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) or carpool lanes.

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California Considering Selling Ad Space on License Plates

Where do you advertise when you’re running out of space? Well, California has an idea – why not advertise on license plates?

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Tesla Releases IPO Details, Expects To Raise $185 Million

The end goal for most venture-capital financed start-ups is to issue an IPO and help get some money into the hands of those investors brave enough to give the company money at the early stages. Tesla Motors, perhaps the first Silicon Valley car company(and headed by Elon Musk, a former dot-com executive), is about to do just that, after filing papers with the Security and Exchange Commission, detailing terms of their IPO.

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Staged Accident Claims Up 46% Says National Insurance Crime Bureau

With so many people falling on hard times in this economy, some folks will do anything to earn a buck. That includes faking a car accident to make ends meet.

According to a recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), questionable claims (QC) resulting from staged accidents have increased 46 percent from 2007 through 2009. On a somewhat positive note, legitimate insurance claims have shrunken a bit, but this is only because there are fewer cars on the road, a by-product of fewer jobs.

What makes this type of crime so popular is that unless someone becomes suspicious, many of these staged accidents go undetected. Along with the fact that it’s a criminal offence and they defraud insurance companies out of millions of dollars (which in turn raises the premiums for the rest of us), staged accidents often involve innocent victims who are obeying the law, and can result in serious injury and death.

Florida takes the lead in all states with 3,006 QCs in 2009, with New York following in second with 1,680. Rounding out the top five are California (1,619), Texas (792) and Illinois (433). Out of the top offending cities, New York City leads the way, but Florida comes in strong with three offending cities (Tampa, 562; Miami, 511; and Orlando, 422). Houston closes out the list with 376 QCs.

The NICB has created a series of videos that get the message across by demonstrating some of the most common types of staged accidents. You can watch them at www.nicb.org.

Official release after the jump:

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Report: Toyota Closes California NUMMI Plant in Bid to Cut Production by One Million Units

Toyota has confirmed that, for the first time, it will close one of its U.S. plants. The facility is the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) plant in Freemont, California.

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Maserati Bringing GranTurismo Drop-Top to Market

It doesn’t exactly take the foresight of a Nostradamus to predict that Maserati will bring a drop-top version of the GranTurismo to market, but the gents over at Car & Driver seem to have the inside scoop.

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UNVEILED: 2009 Ferrari California

Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari California is designed to appeal to a broader market. This is due, mostly, to the fact that is has been designed to be better suited to regular use. It is still an exotic, however, and the proof is in the engine, a high-revving 4.3L V8 that makes 460hp at 7750 rpm and 358-ft-lbs of torque at 5000 rpm. It’s the same engine found in the F430 but with direct injection and tuned for slightly less hp and slightly more torque.

The California also has tons of creature comforts including a stunning interior and a 6.5-inch display screen. All the interior amenities, combined with the retractable hardtop (which takes just 14 seconds to open or close) make for a hefty curb weight of 3,825 lbs. Still, the California can hit 60 mph in four seconds and race on to a top speed of 196 mph. This is all achieved through a new (and more user-friendly) seven-speed double clutch gearbox.

Official release after the jump:

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