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Four different General Motors vehicles from the 2012 model year are being recalled over a potential airbag issue. The driver's side airbag shorting bar in the 2012 Buick Verano and 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Sonic might make contact with the airbag terminals, even during a crash. If so, the airbag won't deploy when it should, possibly increasing injury to the driver.
The recall is expected to begin on February 13 for the 3,896 units that might be affected. GM will notify owners who can then take their vehicles to dealers to have the airbag coil replaced. A bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration below has more info.
What's in a name? This cliched phrase probably gets tossed out at every marketing meeting that happens when a new car gets its nomenclature. We know the answer, though: everything. The name of a car has all the potential to make or break it with fickle customers that are more conscious than ever about what their purchases say about them.
That's giving headaches to marketing folks across the automotive industry. "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," Chevrolet's head of marketing, Russ Clark, told Automotive News. Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen, echoed Clark's sentiment, saying, "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken."
What has that left automakers to do? Get creative. In the case of Infiniti, it made the controversial move to bring all of its cars' names into a new scheme, classifying them as Q#0 for cars and QX#0 for SUVs and crossovers. So the Infiniti G, which was available as the G25 and G37, is now the Q50. The FX37 and FX50 are now the QX70.
The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, having stared at the Impala across the showroom floor for a year, gets nips and tucks all over inspired by its larger brother. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the base car will get a stop-start system and 23 city miles per gallon, 35 highway, each number representing a one-mpg improvement over the 2013 car. Output is 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.
Opt for the 2.0-liter turbo and, while power holds steady at 259 hp, torque goes up by 14 percent to a striking 295 lb-ft (a figure Chevy calls best in the class). The final details include newly programmed transmission shift points and faster shifts, for better engaging and enjoying the added power.
Looks-wise, the grille's been reshaped to be more in line with the new Chevrolet look, a narrower upper grille hovering over a larger lower grille.