Category Archives: Automobile News

Whatever Became of the Rinspeed sQuba?

Flashback to 2007. The world got its first glimpse of the Rinspeed sQuba; an electric car which could drive on the land, then splash into a lake and dive underwater. Granted, the driver had to flood the cabin to submerge the car, but if was ok for James Bond (if you don’t know what we’re talking about go rent The Spy Who Loved Me right now.)

Anyway, the car was supposed to hit the market in 2008, with a base price of around $1.5 million (that was the cost of the prototype.) Well, 2008 came and went and the car is still not much more than a cool video on YouTube and a flight of fancy for the engineers, Swiss company Rinspeed.

Itzy Bitzy Spider Costs Toyota Big Bucks

Toyota is recalling 870,000 of its 2012 and 2013 Camrys, Venzas and Avalons, including hybrid versions of those cars, because (get this) a spider may create a web in a small tube which might cause condensation to build up and drop on the airbag electronics causing the bag to unexpectedly deploy.
Just in time for Halloween!
This is really no laughing matter as an accidental airbag deployment can cause injury or an a vehicle collision, but the timing is seemingly eerie, isn’t it?

So far, Toyota is aware of three airbag deployments as a result of this and 35 cases of warning lights coming on, Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said. In the cases Toyota has investigated, the only consistent cause of the blockages has been spider webs. Knight could not say if spiderwebs caused every incident, however.

Muscle Car Customized By Tim McGraw

They call it the ‘Four Wheels to Freedom Car’ and it is one lean, mean, powerful 2013 Challenger SRT machine. And that’s not even the best part. The best part (for many folks) is that the customization of this muscle car by Pennzoil and SRT was inspired by Tim McGraw.

Yes, THAT Tim McGraw. The country music legend known around the world for his good music and good looks (according to some folks.)

And not only can you drool over this mad, customized motor car, you can also win it. That’s right–win it, and drive away one happy SOB.

Chrysler Refuses To Recall 2.7 Million Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration respectfully requested that Chrysler “voluntarily” recall 2.7 million Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee vehicles last week, but the company respectfully refused.

And so the battle begins!

The NHTSA says the vehicles mentioned in the request (built between 1993 and 2007) were designed poorly. The gas tank was placed behind the rear axle which the NHTSA says makes the vehicles prone to fires in the event of a collision. Chrysler, however, disagrees and said as much in a carefully worded newsletter which also stated, matter-of-factly, that they would not comply with the NHTSA requested recall.

No doubt the issue is far from over. When the NHTSA wants a recall they usually already have enough evidence to force a recall. If the automaker refuses to follow the request from the NHTSA the department will simply produce evidence (further damaging the brands reputation in the process) and eventually convince the automaker to capitulate to their “request.”

In this case, if the NHTSA says research shows that there is an engineering issue with the way the gasoline tanks are placed in these vehicles, then all they have to do is release this evidence. When the automaker feels the pressure from owners of these vehicles (who likely won’t appreciate knowing their car might explode or catch fire in the event of a collision) they will then be forced to issue the recall.

Essentially, the NHTSA offers automakers a lose-lose proposition that starts with a “respectful request.”

Look Out Indy 500- Here Comes The ‘Moth Team’

Ok, it was far from an Indy race car, and hardly qualifies as a ‘car’ at all, but the fact is, 14 different male moths showed that they had no problem operating a mechanical vehicle efficiency and accurately, especially when they were using it to pick up chicks.

Ok, so they weren’t actually chasing lady moths, just the pheromone scent of lady moths, but the similarity to young male driving behavior simply cannot be overlooked. Except in these case there were no squealing tires, speeding or drinking and driving. Just male moths, operating a vehicle to arrive quickly at a point where they think a lady moth will be.

Could driver-less cars soon be replaced by professional moths who drove us where we need to go? The future is wide open…