Auto News for Jan. 22 – Blizzard Coming!

A growing awareness of safety defects and increased government enforcement led to a record number of vehicle recalls last year of more than 51 million, according to transportation experts. Yet, every year, 25 percent of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired. So the National Highway Safety Administration is launching a program to encourage more owners to bring their vehicles to dealers for the required repairs. “The campaign makes a simple point: Taking action on a safety recall keeps you and the people you love safe,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.

Readers please note: The greater Washington, D.C. area is about to be hit with a possibly record setting blizzard that could leave behind 30 inches of a white stuff topped off by rather large snow drifts. This leaves open the question of whether connectivity and even electric power will be available here at the home office. So the Saturday Road Test feature will be filed later today, and the Auto News feature may be delayed next week depending on conditions. Sure wish I had made a bid on an old Army deuce and a half that I saw for sale last summer!

General Motors global sales totaled 9.8 million vehicles last year, the company’s third consecutive year of record sales. North American deliveries were up six percent while sales in China came to a record 3.6 million vehicles.

With gas prices nationwide now under $2 a gallon, comes word that Toyota Prius sales fell nearly 11 percent last year. Sales of the Ford C-Max were also lower as people shun hybrids.

Ford announced it will put automatic stop-start technology on thousands of its F-150 trucks to increase their gas mileage. Starting in 2017, it will be standard equipment on trucks with the turbocharged EcoBoost engines.

Want to wow ‘em around the coffee pot at work this morning? Tell them about a new study that concluded that the global automotive rubber hose market will grow 4.2 percent by the year 2020.



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