First off, a heartfelt wish to you and yours for a wonderful holiday season and exceptional 2017. To those who will be alone over Christmas, consider volunteering at a local non-profit that will be serving dinner to the poor and homeless. I’ll bet that will put you in the holiday spirit.
The auto desk is closing until Dec. 27. But do check back then as tidbits and actual news appear in the run up to the big Detroit Auto show. Press days start Jan. 8 and I plan extensive coverage.
The Saturday Road Test feature will resume Dec. 31 with my pick for Car of the Year, with some new twists added in it. Hey, if the car makers can release “teaser” photos, I can do “teaser” words!
Audi will reveal an A8 concept car in Detroit that “represents a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coupe and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV. With this move, the brand is unlocking a new segment for the full-size category.” Audi will tell all on Jan. 9
Tesla was the runaway winner when Consumer Reports asked owners how satisfied they are with their current wheels, and if they would buy another. A whopping 98 percent of Tesla owners want another one. Porsche, Audi, Subaru and Toyota rounded out the top five. CR said Lincoln climbed to 12th place this year from 21st, and Hyundai rose to 13th from 24th a year earlier. Ram trucks fell from 5th place to 17th, BMW from 6th to 14th, and VW from 16th to 24th. Fiat was at the bottom of the CR list. While Tesla topped the survey, its Model X Sport Utility was included on CR’s list of least reliable vehicles with problems with its falcon-wing doors, power equipment and in-car electronics.
As reported here yesterday, California has banned Uber from using self-driving cars in San Francisco in a dispute over permits. Uber moved the fleet east. “Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads. While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and more regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technology and new businesses,” said Gov. Doug Ducey.
Crankshaft and camshaft sensor problems that could cause a vehicle to stall out have Fiat Chrysler recalling 43,071 vehicles. Involved are 2016 Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass and Patriot models that rolled off the assembly line between May 9 and July 15, 2016.
A federal judge has warned owners of VW diesels not to strip their car before attempting to sell them back to the company as part of the diesel emissions settlement. The web site Jalopnik, said one owner removed doors, seats, hood, bumper, and much of interior from his diesel before the buyback attempt. VW rejected the car according to the Detroit Free Press. The judge said the spirit of the agreement requires the cars to be in the same condition they were in when they were in daily service.