Tag Archive | "Chrysler"

KBB Announces 2017 Best Buy Awards


IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book today announced the winners of its 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards. The 2017 Honda Civic was named the Overall Best Buy of 2017, however, 11 other vehicles also took top honors for their respective categories.

“Kelley Blue Book editors went to the unprecedented choice of honoring the Honda Civic as the Overall Best Buy for the second year in a row because of the Civic’s unsurpassed all-around value,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB.com. “It turns in very high marks in objective measures like resale value and cost to own, yet it also is a supremely satisfying car to drive and live with every day.”

Overall, the Honda brand took home four awards, with its new Civic also winning in the small car category. The Honda Accord and Pilot also won in the mid-size car and mid-size SUV/crossover categories, respectively.

The Chevrolet brand received the second-most Best Buy awards, with its Impala winning in the full-size car category and the automaker’s Tahoe winning in the full-size SUV/crossover category.

The 2017 Audi A4 was named the Best Buy in the luxury car segment, while the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster took top honors in the sports/performance car segment. The best electric/hybrid was the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

In the small SUV/ crossover category, the 2017 Kia Sportage emerged as KBB’s Best Buy. In the luxury SUV/ crossover category, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC was honored with the top award. And for the third year in a row, Ford’s F-150 received KBB’s Best Buy award.

Lastly, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica received the best buy award for the minivan category.

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Marchionne Says He Doesn’t Plan to Testify at July Hearing


Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s chief executive officer, said he doesn’t intend to speak at the hearing the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set for July 2, reports Bloomberg Business.

“We have a person who is responsible for regulatory compliance,” he said on the sidelines of an event Tuesday evening in Detroit. “He’s much better briefed than I am.”

NHTSA on Monday scheduled a rare public hearing into how Fiat Chrysler is handling 20 recalls, covering about 10 million vehicles. NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said it was a pattern of potential violations, rather than a specific recall, that brought the unusual action.

NHTSA has become more aggressive after being criticized by Congress for failing to be more active before last year’s revelation that about 2.6 million General Motors Co. cars had a known ignition-switch defect that went unrecalled for years. Regarding Fiat Chrysler, the agency said it has had complaints from consumers about the absence of recall notifications, the lack of parts when people schedule repairs and “misinformation from dealers.”

Marchionne said Fiat Chrysler has tried to comply with the recalls but struggles, like all automakers, to get vehicle owners to care.

“We have worked as hard as we could to try and make the recalls work,” he said. “One of the things I cannot do is somehow force customers to come in and bring their cars. I just can’t. And the repair rates of some of these recalls are either at or above industry average.”

The auto industry, he said, will adapt to the new regulatory environment.

New Phase 

“We’re entering a new phase of regulatory oversight,” he said. “We need to work with the agency to determine the proper level of cooperation. The real issue is that the process of adjusting to this new regulatory environment is going to be painful. We’re not used to this.”

Fiat Chrysler shares rose 0.1 percent to $15.62 at 9:38 a.m. New York time. They gained 35 percent this year through yesterday.

FCA US, the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based unit of London-based Fiat Chrysler, owns the Chrysler and Jeep brands. It was given until June 1 to turn over documents about its recall progress and could face fines of $7,000 a day for failing to cooperate with NHTSA’s special order.

“The average completion rate for FCA US LLC recalls exceeds the industry average and all FCA US campaigns are conducted in consultation with NHTSA,” the automaker said Monday in an e-mailed statement. “The company will cooperate fully.”

Rosekind declined to give an industry average after the FCA statement. He said earlier he was unhappy with the completion rate of recall repairs for a fuel tank defect on some Jeeps.

NHTSA rarely schedules public hearings on recalls. The agency usually negotiates with automakers behind the scenes over the scope of a recall, timing and potential remedies. NHTSA’s last such hearing on a recall was in 2012, for a single fix by Wildfire Motors, a small motorcycle importer.

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Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. Unit Redeems Bonds due 2019


The U.S. unit of carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)(FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N) has redeemed senior secured notes that mature in 2019 with a total face value of $2.875 billion, a filing with U.S. market regulator SEC showed, reports Reuters.

The notes, which carry a coupon of 8 percent, were redeemed at a price equal to their principal amount plus the applicable premium and any accrued and unpaid interests, according to the filing.

Fiat completed the buyout of its U.S. unit last year but needs to refinance all of Chrysler’s bonds and past credit agreements before it can gain full access to the unit’s cash. After this payment, FCA still has to repay or refinance Chrysler bonds due in 2021 and renegotiate other credit agreements.

Having full access to Chrysler’s money will help FCA carry out an ambitious five-year investment plan that includes spending 48 billion euros ($55 billion) to 2018 to boost sales by 60 percent to 7 million cars and increase net profit five-fold.

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Volkswagen Issues Second Recall for Minivan Ignitions


Volkswagen entered into a partnership with Chrysler in 2008 to help the German maker fill its void in the minivan segment in the U.S. Now that partnership is giving VW a headache as it’s recalling nearly 21,000 of the minivans for the second time, reported The Detroit Bureau.

VW is recalling them again to fix faulty ignition switches that can cause the vans to stall.

The recall covers roughly 18,500 Routan minivans from the 2009 model year and another 2,200 from 2010. The switches can unexpectedly slip out of the run position, shutting off the engines, knocking out power steering and brakes and disabling the air bags.

The vans were recalled last year due to the same problem but federal officials determined the repair was effective. Dealers will now replace the entire ignition switch. Volkswagen says parts will be available for 2009 models this month and for 2010 models in August.

Until the vehicles are inspected, owners should remove all items except the ignition key from their key rings. The key fob also should be removed, the filing said. The recall is an extension of two recalls: a 2011 recall of 2010 Routans and a 2014 recall of 2009 Routans.

No injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the problem.

Chrysler recalled more than 700,000 minivan models from 2008 to 2010 for the identical issue.

For the first repair, FCA attempted to bolster the position of the ignition key position with a trim ring, which was deemed ineffective. Fiat Chrysler also elected to completely replace the ignitions in the minivans. It was similar to the problem that General Motors had with its small cars last year that resulted in the recall of nearly 2.6 million cars last year.

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Chrysler to Recall More Than 228,000 Jeep Cherokees


Chrysler will recall more than 228,000 vehicles because their airbags could unexpectedly inflate without a crash, reported the NYTimes.

The company will upgrade software governing side-curtain and seat-mounted side airbags in Jeep Cherokees from the 2014-15 model years, including more than 168,000 vehicles in the United States. Chrysler engineers initiated an investigation after getting reports of “a small number of inadvertent deployments involving drivers who executed extreme maneuvers.”

In these cases, the airbag systems, sensing potential rollovers, automatically activated. The action follows a much larger recall for inadvertent airbag deployments announced on Saturday by regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That recall covers about 2.1 million vehicles made by Chrysler, Toyota and Honda with airbags that might suddenly deploy.

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Government Loses $9.26 Billion on Auto Bailout


WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to a report from the U.S. Treasury Department released Monday, the government lost a total of $9.26 billion on its bailout of the auto industry during the Great Recession. The program closed after the Treasury sold its final shares of Ally Financial on Dec. 19, The Detroit News reports.

The Treasury recovered $70.43 billion of the $79.69 billion it gave to General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and auto lending arms Ally Financial Inc. and Chrysler Financial. While the government actually made $2.4 billion on its investment of Ally, it recouped just $39 billion of the $49.5 billion given to GM; and $10.67 billion of the $11.96 billion that went to Chrysler.

To read the full story, click here.

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