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Honda’s HR-V Packs a Punch of Versatility

Maker’s new crossover hitting showrooms later this year.

by on Nov.19, 2014

Honda unveiled its new HR-V crossover utility today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new CUV slides in between the CR-V and the Fit.

After a lengthy waiting period, Honda’s debuted its HR-V crossover utility. Designed to fit nicely below the CR-V and above, well, the Fit, the new model creates a clear hierarchy in the maker’s SUV line-up.

Originally hinted at with the 2013 Urban SUV Concept, Honda plans to put the new HR-V on sale shortly after its official debut here.

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The new crossover utility borrows the same underpinnings as the aforementioned Fit and it may deliver nearly as much cargo and passenger space. In fact, Honda officials are counting on it. It has one of the largest interiors in the segment, and is one of the most flexible due to Honda’s “Magic Seats.” (more…)

NHTSA Opens Investigations into Nearly 400,000 Vehicles

Safety regulators looking at Honda, Infiniti steering problems.

by on Nov.10, 2014

The 2013 Honda Accord is the focus of a NHTSA investigation for potential steering problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials opened investigations into 374,000 2013 Honda Accords and 17,000 2008 Infiniti EX35 crossovers for steering problems that led to dozens of complaints and possibly four accidents.

Regulators received 24 complaints about the Accords, claiming the vehicles lose power steering or that a significant increase in effort was needed to steer the vehicle. In the complaints were allegations of four accidents occurring as a result of the problem. The collisions all happened at speeds of less than 30 mph, according to NHTSA.

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According to some of the complaints, the problem was fixed after shutting the car off and restarting it. However, some reports showed that the problem returned after that was done. (more…)

NHTSA Hits Honda with Second Demand for Takata Info

Agency compelling maker to provide documents, testimony.

by on Nov.06, 2014

NHTSA's David Friedman demanded Honda provide documents and sworn testimony about Takata for the second time this week.

Federal regulators continue to demonstrate their renewed commitment to enforcement by demanding Honda produce more information about its use and knowledge of Takata Corp.’s defective airbags.

The push yesterday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the second time this week the agency has pushed Honda “to produce documents and answer questions under oath relevant to our ongoing investigation into defective air bags made by Takata,” according to David Friedman, NHTSA Deputy Administrator.

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On Monday, NHTSA told Honda it needed to provide information about its Early Warning Reports to the federal government. The quarterly reports are used by regulators to spot potential problems with vehicles. (more…)

Honda Earnings Up, but Maker Lowers Full-Year Forecast

Takata and other problems loom for Japan’s third-largest maker.

by on Oct.28, 2014

Honda recently confirmed plans to add the HR-V - shown in concept form - to its line-up.

Honda profits surged during the July-to-September quarter, but the third-largest Japanese automaker nonetheless lowered its full-year forecast reflecting a variety of potential problems ahead.

Helped by a weak yen, Honda Motor Co. reported net earnings of 141.8 billion yen, or $1.3 billion, for the second quarter of the Japanese fiscal year. Sales, meanwhile, increased by 4%, to 3.015 trillion yen, or $27.9 billion.

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Honda is among the Japanese makers to benefit from a weak yen which it credited for boosting revenues by 123 billion yen, or $1.1 billion during the latest quarter. But that exchange rate enhancement isn’t expected to continue, industry analysts warn, while Honda warned it faces a “difficult business environment” that includes sluggish demand in Asia.

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Honda Cuts Executives’ Pay after Fit Recall

CEO stands to lose $70K due to fifth action on new subcompact.

by on Oct.24, 2014

The new Honda Fit cost the maker's CEO $70,000.

Many executives have incentives tied to the performance of the company they work for, but in Honda’s case, senior executives are being docked some pay after the maker’s subcompact Fit was recalled for the fifth time.

The recall involves 425,825 Fit hybrid vehicles and other models in Japan. Honda said in addition to a noise-related issue there is a problem with the ignition coil or power-supply circuit could cause the engine to stop in the Fit and Vezel hybrids as well as some gasoline-powered Fit and N-WGN models.

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The move comes as Honda is facing lawsuits due to accidents involving airbags supplied by Takata Corp. The airbags have been linked to four deaths, which were all in Honda vehicles. (more…)

Honda HR-V Making U.S. Debut at L.A. Auto Show

Slotting below CR-V as new entry-level crossover.

by on Oct.20, 2014

Honda's new compact CUV, the HR-V, was shown during the Paris Motor Show recently and will hit U.S. shores later this year.

We were offered a sneak peek at the Honda HR-V earlier this year, and got a first look at it in Paris, a few weeks back. But if it strikes your fancy and you live in the U.S., you’ll have to wait another month for a look at the actual sheet metal. The good news is that Honda is providing a teaser image of the compact crossover that will become the new entry point into its growing CUV line-up.

Original hinted at with the 2013 Urban SUV Concept, Honda plans to put the new HR-V on sale shortly after its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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The new crossover utility vehicle will be positioned below the CR-V both in price and overall size, but if the Fit is any indication, the new crossover may deliver nearly as much cargo and passenger space. (more…)

Honda CR-V Nabs SUV of the Year Honor

Motor Trend picks small SUV over Macan, X4 and others.

by on Oct.15, 2014

Honda's CR-V captured its second award of the year: Motor Trend's SUV of the Year. It was also named Compact Crossover of the Year by Texas autowriters.

As the leaves on the trees change color it means the new season is upon us: automotive vehicle award season, that is, and Motor Trend kicked it off by declaring the 2015 Honda CR-V is SUV of the Year.

The choice is somewhat surprising given the competition included: the Porsche Macan, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Lincoln MKC, Nissan Rogue, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC60 Subaru Outback and BMW X4 and X5.

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“Some years, a vehicle wins our calipers almost unanimously,” wrote Frank Markus, Motor Trend’s technical editor, in the story about the winning CR-V. “This year our jury entered the final discussion split almost down the middle.” (more…)

Honda, Daimler Make Major Forays into Zero Emissions Energy Sourcing

Daimler backing hydrogen, Honda putting its money into solar power.

by on Oct.08, 2014

A Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell vehicle protoype with a Linde hydrogen gas tanker.

Facing increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy mandates around the world, automakers are looking for clean alternatives, such as electrification and hydrogen. But making the switch isn’t as easy as coming up with a long-range battery or an affordable fuel cell. It also means making available to the public ways to “fill up” with clean sources of energy.

Both Honda and Daimler AG today announced plans to invest millions of dollars in sustainable energy – on top of what they’re already spending to develop clean powertrain technologies. Honda is partnering with U.S. based solar energy company solar city. Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, is, meanwhile, teaming up with Germany’s Linde Group to set up a network of hydrogen fueling stations.

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“There is no question that fuel-cell technology is reaching maturity,” explains Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research & Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG. “From 2017, we are planning to bring competitively priced fuel-cell vehicles to market. So now is the time to build a nationwide fuelling infrastructure.”

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Honda Civic Type R Heats Up Hot Hatch Segment

Japanese maker going for ’Ring record.

by on Oct.02, 2014

The Honda Civic Type R may be the fastest Type R in the 22-year history of it brand.

The chatter about “hot hatches” has been going on for some time, and Honda’s new Civic Type R is only going to add fuel to that fire.

Featuring a few small exterior changes, such as an electric blue paint job to replace the standard red, it still keeps the large rear wing, quad exhausts and racing-style rear diffuser.

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Speculation is that the new iteration is the best performing Type R in the 22-year history of the car. In fact, Honda’s been running the new version around Germany’s famed Nurburgring track trying to set a new record. (more…)

Honda Reveals New 2015 CR-V

New cute-ute hits showrooms in October.

by on Sep.22, 2014

Honda will have more to say -- and show -- about the new CR-V next week.

Honda is giving us a first look at its 2015 CR-V – but not much more – hinting it will have plenty of details to reveal later this month.

But some significant details have already leaked out about this mid-cycle update of one of the U.S. market’s best-selling products, the 2015 Honda CR-V set to go on sale at the beginning of October. Beyond the cosmetic changes, the new CUV is expected to get a new 2.4-liter engine that, when paired with a new automatic gearbox, should deliver a solid bump in fuel economy.

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Honda clearly needs to keep the little crossover on the top of its game considering the hefty competition in the compact CUV segment, with buyers offered alternatives as diverse as the Toyota RAV-4, the Nissan Rogue, the Mazda CX-5, and other options from the U.S. and South Korea.

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