By Chris Haak
According to , customers that their firm surveyed reported 351 problems per 100 vehicles with their factory-installed navigation systems. Put another way, every customer that Power surveyed had 3.5 problems with their navigation system. Considering that typical “problem” rates in the J.D. Power survey are close to one problem per car, this is a serious outlier and one that automakers need to investigate.
By Charles Krome
To say the all-new 2012 VW Passat is having a successful launch could be the understatement of the year: Volkswagen’s all-American mid-size sedan reaped a tidy 986.2 percent increase in sales last month, and although that’s partially because VW only sold 464 of them in October 2010, the bottom line here—5,040 deliveries—is a fairly strong achievement. To put that into context, that total is higher than the October sales for cars like the Ford Mustang, Hyundai Accent or Nissan Maxima. Then, just a few days ago, the new Passat added to the sales excitement by being named Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year.
By Kevin Miller
I can’t find the car I want anywhere. At least, not anywhere here in the US. I’ve long been a driver of useful, involving cars – the kind of cars with which I felt a bond, as owning each of them made life somehow more enjoyable. My two black Saab 900 hatchbacks (a 1995 for 8 years/160k miles, and a 1992 project car) both were a lot more fun to drive than they should have been as naturally-aspirated, front-wheel-drive three-doors; both had that certain Saab style that I somehow identified with. Too, my 2004 Volvo V70R was a useful family hauler, with all-wheel drive and a manual transmission to get me most anywhere and have fun doing it. I truly bonded with each of those stylish Swedes. Only when the monthly repairs on the Volvo approached the amount of my home mortgage did begrudgingly decide that it was time for the Volvo to go.
By Brendan Moore
As you may have read, Saab’s slow death rattle was halted last Friday. Two small Chinese firms, and Youngman, offered again to purchase Saab from the floundering Swedish Automobile, a company born from the ashes of the GM abandonment, Spyker’s purchase of Saab, and then, the subsequent divesture of the Spyker supercar part of the business.
The time, Swedish Automobile said yes to the acquisition, staving off what would have been certain liquidation of Saab. So, it now looks like Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. will probably be the proud new owners of Saab, and all for the laughably low price of $142 million USD.
Note: at the bottom of the article is a link to our review of the Snapshot.
I have seen a large number of commercials recently for a new product from Progressive Insurance called Snapshot. Snapshot is a small device that you plug into the OBDII port of your car. Once plugged in, the Snapshot monitors your driving habits. Based on how carefully you drive you can qualify for up to a 30% discount on your auto insurance. Is this when we begin to slide down the slippery slope of allowing our driving habits to be remotely monitored 24/7? How much personal freedom are you willing to give up in order to save money on your insurance? Please read on and use the comments to debate whether this is the beginning of the end.
By James Wong
There seems to a slew of global onslaughts upon car ownership. Undeniably, we are faced almost universally with higher gasoline prices. But in some cities, gasoline is the least of a motorist’s problems: high crime rates and fraudulent claims have driven insurance premiums to unthinkable levels. In others, you are even charged for entering certain zones in town. We at Techshake thought it would be meaningful, tongue-in-cheek, to let our readers know just how draconian some cities can be towards car ownership. So here’s a peek into some of the nastiest places to own a car. The list isn’t exhaustive, of course.