Auto News for May 26 – Gas Buyers Beware!

 Some tips for holiday weekend travelers from the AAA of Northern New Jersey when they stop to fill-up.

 Make sure that the price-per-gallon displayed on top of the gas pump matches the price-per-gallon label within the pump dispenser.

 Make sure that the sale amount on the pump reads “zero” before fuel is dispensed into your vehicle. (I have seen pumps that start at the 4 cent level.)

 Check the sale price to ensure that the correct amount of fuel has been pumped into your vehicle before paying for fuel.

 In the case of a fill-up, pay the total sale price on the pump, not what the attendant tells you what you owe and if paying by credit card, check that the number of gallons, the price per gallon, and the total amount being charged to your receipt matches the numbers on the pump.

 And AAA called on regulators to crack down on any “unscrupulous fuel merchants.”

 Gas prices this weekend are expected to average eight cents more than a year ago at $2.36 a gallon, the club said.

 Incentive spending by automakers to drive up slowing sales continues to rise according to J.D. Power & LMC Automotive. Through the first 11 days of May it was $3,583 per unit, the highest level ever for the month of May and up $241 from May 2016.

 “While consumers will see substantial discounts this Memorial Day weekend, they are not expected to overcome the slowing demand in auto sales,” said Deirdre Borrego, senior vice president of automotive data and analytics at J.D. Power.

 “The holiday weekend is one of the heaviest trafficked car-buying periods and, in 2016, the Friday-Monday selling period accounted for more than 20% of May retail sales,” she added.

 Despite maintaining record incentive levels, the average days to sell a vehicle is above 70 for the first time since 2009. Trucks account for 61.7% of new-vehicle retail sales so far in May—the highest level ever for the month.  

 A class action suit filed in Detroit alleges that some GM pickups emit two to five times the levels of nitrogen-oxide allowed by law. Plaintiffs allege that software allowed the trucks to pass pollution tests but then turn off emissions controls on the road. GM called the claims “baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. The Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations.”

 The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place next year on Sunday, August 26, 2018. The one-time move from the third to the fourth Sunday of August makes room for the United States Amateur Championship to be held at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course from August 13 through 19.

 The Auto News column will resume on Tuesday May 30th.


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