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GM Expands Truck Recall

Monday, January 17, 2011

(Detroit -- Jerome Vaughn, WDET) General Motors is expanding a recall of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks because of a faulty part could cause the rear axle to lock up.

The recall includes a dozen different models from 2011, including the Cadillac Escalade SUV as well as the Chevrolet Avalanche and GMC Canyon pickup trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says pins in the rear axle may not have been heat treated…making them more susceptible to fracture. Broken pins could allow the rear axle to lock, increasing the possibility of a crash.

GM had originally recalled 1,200 vehicles last month, but expanded the action to more than 26,000 after finding more trucks with the faulty parts.

The automaker is advising owners not to drive the vehicles until the rear axle pins have been replaced by dealers.

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Transportation Nation

Ford Markets Low Emissions over Toughness

Monday, July 26, 2010

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(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) With some fanfare, Ford CEO Alan Mulally traveled to New York City’s Rockefeller Center to unveil a new a more fuel efficient version of its popular Explorer SUV in 2011. The Explorer was the top selling vehicle in the US for much of the 1990’s. But fuel efficiency, it turns out, can be a relative term, and the new, fuel-efficient Ford is well below the Obama Administration's standards for light trucks to achieve 2016.

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Preliminary Data: SUV Sales Inching Back Up

Friday, June 04, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) For a long time, light truck sales, including SUV's, were about half the retail vehicle market share. In May of 2008, as gas approached $5.00 a gallon in some markets, sales plummeted to 43 percent. But now, according to figures provided to WNYC by Autodata Corporation, they're inching back up, to more than 48 percent of the market share, compared to 47.3 percent in May 2009.

Sales of the tiny Chevy Aveo were up 88 percent from May of 2009 to 2010. But the giant Suburban moved off the lot even faster - 100 percent faster. Sales of the Chevy Equinox were up even more -- from 3,689 in May of 2009 to 13,134 in May of 2010. That's a 256 percent increase.

Toyota didn't fare as well as American automakers, but its Prius sold well -- 41 percent better than this time a year ago. Sales of the The Toyota 4Runner, a large SUV, almost tripled.

Now these numbers are raw, and unadjusted. But they point to an interesting phenomenon. As WNYC Economics Editor Charles Herman reports, Americans are feeling a bit better now then they were in the spring of 2009. The pain of the recession is receding a bit. And so, apparently, is the memory of how much it can cost to fill up the tank of a large SUV.

We'll continue to digest these numbers over the next week.

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