techshake

Honda Civic Hybrid Plaintiffs SHOULD Win
Feb10

Honda Civic Hybrid Plaintiffs SHOULD Win

By Chris Haak

By now you’ve surely heard the story of Heather Peters, a disappointed Honda Civic Hybrid owner who took Honda to small-claims court in California and won a $9,800 judgment against the company.  In California’s small-claims court, neither side may use a lawyer.  Ms. Peters sued Honda because her Civic Hybrid didn’t get anywhere near the numbers posted on her car’s window label (which, for pre-2008 Civic Hybrids, was a whopping 49 MPG city/51 MPG highway/50 MPG combined.  She won her case, but Honda has vowed to appeal, if for no other reason than to stem a tide of copycats who also want a pound of flesh from Honda.

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They Hacked My Ride – Is YOUR Car Next?

By Kevin Gordon

Please forgive the bad pun and the local news scare tactic headline. I couldn’t resist. As electronic control systems and wireless communications technologies proliferate in automobiles, so will the opportunities to exploit them. As a result, expect this topic to become topical and for ratings attracting headlines to make it to the front pages of your local newspaper. After the break, we step through some of the information about what has been done to date, what might be possible, and determine if there is actually anything to fear.

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Complaints About the Names of Cars

By Chris Haak

Ah yes, the “good old days.” Remember when cars had names like Comet, Monterey, Nova, Tempest, Metropolitan, and Zephyr? Though there is more diversity in the auto market today than there has been in decades (though no longer thousands of boutique automakers in the US as there were in the early days of the industry), vehicle names that are actual words found in the dictionary are becoming more scarce. That is not news. Some automakers, though not all, have decided that rather than building better, more sophisticated cars, they might just trick the buying public into believing that a DTS is more upscale than a Deville, that an MKZ is more contemporary than a Zephyr, or that a G6 outshines a Grand Am. Again, this is all old news. Today I’m more concerned about model names that once described engine displacement. If you read on, I have some solutions too.

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Truly a Saab Story
Dec20

Truly a Saab Story

 By Kevin Miller 

I don’t know why it had to be Saab that caught my eye in the late 1980s and made me a fan – and driver- for life. I wrote about it once upon a time for Techshake, that post is linked here. Whatever the reason, I’ve been caught up in my favorite brand’s gut-wrenching decline for two years. Even in December 2009, I had practically written my favorite brand’s eulogy. Although the Swedish brand’s fate was delayed for two years, it now, unfortunately, seems to be for real.

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What Will Be the Future of the Car?

By James Wong

Perhaps in unfortunate coincidence, while writing this article, news spread like wildfire across London over Westminster council’s new plan to scrap free parking on single yellow lines on weekday evenings and weekends. Yet another knot has been tied around the driver’s neck, reducing what is essentially the only reason for driving in London to a potentially profitable venture of the authorities to, as they say, reduce congestion.

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Will GM Again Kill the Electric Car?
Dec01

Will GM Again Kill the Electric Car?

By Chris Haak

There is more than a little chatter over the past week or two in the autoblogosphere about the Chevy Volt.  Normally, in these media frenzied times, that would be good news for GM’s environmental halo vehicle, but perhaps there *is* a such thing as bad publicity.

You see, the Volt seems to have a bit of a problem with catching fire following crash tests.

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