Sat, 30 Mar 2013 08:58:00 EST
The sixth edition of the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards have crowned a wide range of winners - in a couple of cases the recipient of the laurels might say more about KBB users than they do about the actual winner. Compiled from the responses of more than 12,000 shoppers on KBB.com over the past year, there are 13 categories broken into non-luxury, luxury and truck segments "representing the combined wisdom of the American car-buying public."
Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:31:00 EST
The award categories have been revamped this year, with some dropping off, some new ones appearing and at least one other given a new term. What isn't surprising is that Honda won Most Trusted Brand for the second year running, Best Value Brand for the third year in a row and took Best Overall Brand, which wasn't on last year's list of awards.
On our own shores, in the non-luxury categories Chrysler got Most Refined Brand and Buick took Best Value Luxury Brand. Neither one of those marques won anything in last year's Brand Image Awards, while Cadillac, which won Best Interior Design Brand and Best Comfort Brand last year - those awards disappeared this year - went home without a single accolade.
A total of 20 Ford customers are suing the automaker in a class-action lawsuit for selling vehicles "vulnerable to unintended acceleration." According to Reuters, the suit names 30 models built between 2002 and 2010 with electronic throttle control systems but without a brake override system. Those include the 2004-2012 F-Series pickups and the 2005-2009 Lincoln Town Car. Adam Levitt, a partner with the law firm of Grant & Eisenhofer says the plaintiffs in the case want "to be compensated for their economic losses by having overpaid for cars that contained defects." Levitt contends that the plaintiffs would not have bought their vehicles or paid less for them had they known there was no brake override system in place.
Sun, 31 Mar 2013 15:01:00 EST
Ford began installing brake override systems in its vehicles beginning in 2010. In response to the lawsuit, Ford has pointed to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that indicated that unintended acceleration is mostly caused by driver error, saying in a statement that, "NHTSA's work is far more scientific and trustworthy than work done by personal injury lawyers and their paid experts."
Belville et al v. Ford Motor Co. will be heard in US District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia.
Ford is recalling certain 2012 Taurus, 2013 Explorer and 2012 Lincoln MKS models over fuel tank concerns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles built between July 19, 2011 and March 15, 2012 may have been built with fuel tanks that have a "marginally sealed seam" on the side. Those seams may not provide the strength necessary to protect the tank from rupture during a collision. They may also leak. The recall covers a total of 3,037 vehicles. NHTSA says that leaked fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, could easily cause a fire.
Dealers will inspect the tanks and replace them as need be free of charge. Owners can expect to be notified once the campaign begins on or around April 22, 2013. You can read the full NHTSA recall notice below for more information.