Auto News for Dec. 30 – Higher Gas Prices This Year – Travel Ends Early in Maine

 Auto News for Dec. 30

 “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” at least for the Auto News column in 2016. But the year will end with a bang for the weekly Road Test column with my Car of the Year announcement. For the first time there will also be a Truck of the Year, Utility Vehicle of the Year, Crossover of the Year, and a few more.

 The finalists were narrowed from a list of 15 vehicles, aided by many cups of Starbucks strongest, some excellent Mexican beer, (XX), and a couple sleepless nights. For you readers, the curtain goes up tomorrow so please check back.

 As for this morning’s auto news:

 Honda is recalling almost 642,000 Odyssey vans to repair a bracket that could allow second row seats to move unexpectedly, such as in a crash. The bugaboo is a release lever that may unintentionally remain in the unlocked position. Being recalled are model year 2011-2016 vans. Dealers will install another bracket and spring to the seats or take other action in the newer models to fix the problem.

 Taking a road trip for New Year’s? Triple A said gas prices have increased of late with the national average now about $2.29 a gallon. That is up by 16 cents over a month ago and 29 cents more year-over-year. Heading into 2017, gasoline demand is expected to drop drastically during the month of January following the busy holiday travel season. Travel will come to a halt earlier in parts of Maine that just received 25+ inches of snow!

 To start off the year, all eyes will be on OPEC to see if they, along with partnering countries, will stick to their 6-month promise to cut 1.8-million barrels a day of crude production – that is what is driving up prices. If you fill up in South Carolina, you are enjoying the lowest prices in the country, according to AAA. The West Coast leads the nation with four of the top five most expensive states with California again leading the pack.

 I don’t know what this means, but let’s end the Auto News column on a high note. A compilation of 1950 Donald Duck cartoons was Sweden’s most watched TV show of 2016.




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