Auto News for Sept. 6

The best-selling vehicle in the country is being recalled. Ford is recalling 1.6 million F-150 trucks to repair a seat belt defect that could lead to a fire.

Seat belt pretensioners could generate excessive sparks when they deploy, and Ford said it has identified at least 23 reports of smoke or fire, but no injuries from the defect. Apparently those sparks could cause an interior fire below the B-pillar.

The recall covers 2015-18 Regular Cab and SuperCrew cab trucks with front seat belt pretensioners.

BMW announced Intelligent Personal Assistant — a new proprietary in-car AI assistant.


The always on-call technology platform is an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW” and has the ability to serve the driver in a range of ways from controlling vehicle settings, navigation and entertainment systems to explaining vehicle functions and even conducting a conversation.

For instance, “Hey BMW, I feel tired” triggers a vitality program that adjusts the lighting mood, music and temperature, among other things, in order to make the driver feel more awake. I am sure it will direct you to the nearest Starbucks. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will debut in 2019.

Fiat 124

An option on the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider is the Monza Exhaust that is said to provide “unmistakable Abarth growl for $995.” Prices start at $24,995 for the new model.

In the “Make of this what you will” department:

While fueling up this week’s test car, (details on Saturday) I asked a woman how she liked her Toyota Tacoma pickup. She loved it and told me of her first one that went 188,000 with nothing more than routine service! As her daughter turned 16 she gave it to her, and the daughter promptly totaled it. The current Tacoma has been trouble free for about 88,000

Listening to all this at the adjacent pump was another Tacoma owner who with his spouse owns two of them.

One has 125,000 on the clock without any unscheduled maintenance, even clutch replacement, but he did admit it might be ready for a new one! The guy said he virtually lives in the truck during the week for his job and needed reliable wheels.

Thus, the tale of two owners!


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