Auto News for Feb. 2

Tomorrow automakers are expected to announce that January was a fine time for sales, with maybe the highest total since 2006. Look for all the details right here when the numbers trickle out Tuesday morning.

In what could be called the Super Bowl of recalls, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and Honda will recall 2.1 million older models to address a defect that could cause airbags to deploy unexpectedly. The National Highway Safety Administration said an early fix on a small number of vehicles did not solve the problem. This is not related to the Takata air bag controversy. If you have an older model Jeep Liberty, Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Toyota Corolla, Matrix or Avalon you should check with your dealer about possible repairs. Most of the recalled vehicles date to model years 2002-04.

Fiat’s “Blue Pill” Super Bowl ad for its upcoming 500X Crossover captured my vote for best auto ad. Improbable, but funny. This morning, Fiat said the 500X will carry a   starting MSRP of $20,000, sans the blue pill. If you missed the ad:–super-bowl-xlix–to-celebrate-two-significant-brand-events-global-launch-of-newest-fiat-and-dodge-brands-100th-anniversary-milestone-300028959.html

Yet Kelley Blue Book said the Lexus RC 350 revved up ad had the highest consumer interest in terms of web site searches. I also thought the Jeep “Beautiful Lands” video was a winner and a neat way to introduce millions to the Jeep Renegade that also forms the basis for the 500X.

Coming from New England you can guess who I was rooting for, so CONGRATS this morning to Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and until yesterday, virtual unknown Malcolm Butler for the catch of the year. It’s enough for hearty New Englanders to shrug off -11 wind chills and perhaps a foot of new snow today. Now – It doesn’t matter. And it’s time for some “chow-da” for lunch.





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