Auto News for Aug. 25

When it comes to customer satisfaction, 15 auto nameplates lost ground and only two improved over the past year. That’s according to the latest study from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Acura and BMW were the only brands to gain ground with Acura up eight percent and BMW up three percent. At the top of the industry overall, Lexus took the lead from Mercedes by a single point. Considering domestic automakers only, Ford is the sole manufacturer maintaining overall customer satisfaction with a score of 81 percent. GM slipped three percent and Fiat Chrysler was off five percent. “While it is true that all cars are now much better than they were 10 to 20 years ago, it is alarming that so many of them have quality problems,” said Claes Fornell, ACS Chairman and founder. An increase is recalls and rising prices have damaged driver satisfaction, he said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into 14 complaints alleging that after being placed in Park certain models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away. The unintended motion in 2014-15 models with shift-by-wire occurred with both the engine off and the engine running. The investigation involves 408,000 vehicles.

Tesla’s Elon Musk will be one of the guests on Stephen Colbert’s first week as host of the Late Show, according to the New York Times. He is scheduled to appear on Sept. 9.

Mercedes stadium

Mercedes has won naming rights for a new stadium in Atlanta that will house the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons when it opens in 2017. The multi-purpose stadium will also host other major sports and entertainment events, including the NCAA’s Men’s Final Four in 2020. The MB brand will be prominent inside and outside the building including the roof. Inside there will be the “first-of-its-kind” video halo board. Mercedes is headquartered in Atlanta.

GEICO has agreed to pay $6 million to settle a Consumer Federation of California complaint alleging the company violated civil rights and insurance law. It is alleges GEICO targeted low-and-moderate-income women and unmarried motorists with deceptive and inflated auto insurance rate quotes. The settlement required GEICO to change its website to provide all good drivers an initial quote for identical coverage, without regard to marital status, gender, educational attainment, occupation or current insurance status. The company denied any intentional wrongdoing and said it was unaware that its website contained potentially misleading information, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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