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Posts Tagged ‘jeep news’

Buyers Question Value of Trouble-Prone Tech Features

New JD Power APEAL study finds buyers, on whole, less satisfied with latest vehicles.

by on Jul.23, 2014

Porsche dominates APEAL with products like the 911.

Automakers are intent on entering the connected world, loading their latest vehicles up with high-tech features such as 4G WiFi hotspots, voice-operated navigation, and even infotainment systems that can read out Facebook posts. But while these may appeal to young, tech-savvy shoppers, other buyers question the benefits, according to a new report by J.D. Power and Associates.

The quality consultancy’s latest APEAL study finds that, on the whole, car buyers are slightly less pleased with the new cars, trucks and crossovers they are being offered this year. But the survey of recent buyers did find gains in owner satisfaction when it comes to improvements in vehicle fuel economy. Buyers are much more ambiguous about high-tech additions to their new vehicles.

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Porsche was the highest-ranked brand in the latest study, while Hyundai delivered a surprise by landing the top spot among mainstream brands.

“Manufacturers often look to new features and technologies to keep their vehicles fresh and attractive, but designing systems that consumers find intuitive and easy to use has been a challenge,” said Power Vice President Renee Stephens.

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Chrysler Recalling 800,000 Vehicles for Ignition Switch Problem

by on Jul.22, 2014

Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 2005-2007 are part of a larger recall of Chrysler vehicles with ignition problems.

Chrysler is expanding an earlier recall, targeting nearly 800,000 older Jeep models because of an ignition switch problem that could cause the vehicles to stall and disable their airbags and other safety systems.

The move comes as federal safety regulators investigate reports that drivers inadvertently can bump the keys on as many as 1.2 million Chrysler products, causing them to turn from the On to Off or Accessory position. The problem is similar to one that has led to the recall of millions of General Motors products in recent months. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the possibility the problem could occur on products built by other manufacturers, as well.

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While Chrysler and its dealers prepare to notify customers and schedule repairs, the maker is advising owners to remove everything but the ignition key from their key rings to reduce the risk of an unintended stall-out. (more…)

Feds Pushing Chrysler for Information on Jeep Recall

NHTSA force maker to produce documents about fuel tank problem.

by on Jul.02, 2014

Chrysler's Jeep Liberty was recalled to fix a problem with the fuel tank.

Federal safety regulators are shining the spotlight on Chrysler Group in an attempt to get the company pick up the pace on the recall of 1.6 million Jeeps with fuel tank issues.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered the maker to produce more documents about the recall of 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys and 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees. The vehicles were recalled last June due to concerns that the fuel tanks may rupture during rear-end collisions.

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Chrysler’s proposed fix – installing trailer hitch receivers – is taking too long to complete. According to NHTSA, the automaker took more than five months to settle on a supplier to produce the hitches and didn’t start producing the hitches until a May. (more…)

Chrysler the Latest Maker to Add Stop/Start Technology

Fuel-saving system to debut on new Chrysler 200, Jeep Cherokee.

by on Jun.24, 2014

The 2015 Chrysler 200 will be the first vehicle to get stop-start technology with the Jeep Cherokee coming along later this year.

Chrysler will offer the new stop-start technology on two of its newest models for 2015, with more products likely to get the fuel-saving system over the next few years.

Stop-start will become standard on the 2.4-liter version of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan, as well as on the Jeep Cherokee equipped with the maker’s 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6.

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The technology briefly shuts the engine off when the vehicle comes to a halt at a stoplight or on, say, a fast food line, automatically firing back up when the driver’s foot lifts off the brake. Estimates of the benefits vary, though Chrysler predicts stop-start should improve fuel economy by about 3% on the Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokee, while reducing emissions by about 3%, as well. (more…)

Jeep Shows Off Four Beijing Concepts, Plans to Launch China Production

Fiat Chrysler aims to gain momentum in world’s largest car market.

by on Apr.20, 2014

The Jeep Cherokee Urbane, one of four concept vehicles the maker is showing in Beijing.

Beijing Auto Show-goers will get a look at four new Jeep concept vehicles this week, vehicles the maker said are “uniquely designed for China,” the world’s largest automotive market.

But perhaps more significant is the news that parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has finally locked down a long-sought joint venture that will allow it to begin producing Jeeps in China for the first time in nearly a decade. The SUV brand was the first foreign maker into China but lost that Beijing production base after the break-up of DaimlerChrysler AG.

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The tie-up with China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group is a critical step for Jeep which has been pushing to expand its presence abroad in recent years. The maker sold 731,000 vehicles worldwide in 2013 and brand CEO Michael Manley recently announced a target of 1 million for 2014, well ahead of earlier plans.

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Jeep Invading Easter Safari in Utah with Modded 4x4s

Three Wranglers bring Cherokee siblings for first time.

by on Apr.11, 2014

Jeep Wrangler MOJO is one of the six concept vehicles developed by the Jeep and Mopar brands for the 48th Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari.

Jeep is rolling into Moab, Utah, for the 48th annual Easter Jeep Safari with six new concept vehicles, including for the first time two Cherokees and a Grand Cherokee, for enthusiasts to pore over and give a thumbs up or down.

The three Wranglers, two Cherokees and one Grand Cherokee are laden with Jeep and Mopar accessories that are currently available as well as some that are in development.

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The week-long event attracts Jeep enthusiasts across the country who spend their days crawling along several trails in the Red Rocks area of the southwest. The Jeep owners often modify their Jeep Wranglers extensively to meet their needs so it’s perfect spot for Jeep to get feedback on these developmental items. (more…)

Russian Auto Industry Could Be Hurt by Ukraine Crisis

Ford cuts jobs, production..

by on Apr.04, 2014

Workers on the line at the Ford plant in St. Petersburg, where 700 jobs are being cut.

The temperature might finally be warming up after the frigid Russian winter, but the country’s auto industry is suddenly feeling a big chill.

Russia has been the target of increasing sanctions in the wake of its disputed annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and the threat that Russian President Vladimir Putin might send troops into the neighboring country in an expanded land grab.  That has led to a flood of capital leaving the country and signs that the crisis could strike hard the Russian economy.

The crisis is causing “uncertainty in the marketplace,” warns consulting firm Accenture.

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Ford sent a chilling signal this week when it announced plans to trim 950 jobs at its two Russian plants, including 700 full-timers at its primary facility in St. Petersburg – almost one in five of its employees in the country. The maker is blaming an already weak economy, as well as the weak Russian ruble, but observers warn that this could be just the first sign of a serious setback for the country’s auto industry – especially if the Ukrainian crisis drags on, or rose, escalates.

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Fiat Chrysler Hopes to Boost Global Production by 25%

CEO Marchionne aiming for 6 mil target by 2018.

by on Apr.02, 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has big plans in mind for the newly-merged company.

Automakers often talk about economies of scale – a moving target in an industry where industry giants like Toyota Motor Co., General Motors and Volkswagen AG are all shooting to reach 10 million annual sales during the next year or so.

By comparison, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is little more than an also-ran, with a total worldwide sales volume of “just” 4.4 million vehicles last year, and a goal of 4.6 million in 2014. But with the company’s formal merger of its U.S. and Italian operations now complete, CEO Sergio Marchionne has some big aspirations.  He is targeting a nearly 25% increase in production over the next four years.

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“By 2018, Fiat will be able to make more than 6 million cars,” Marchionne said after a shareholders’ meeting in Turin, where the Fiat side of the company is headquartered. “I don’t want to give any details of the plan, but we are going in that direction.”

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Chrysler Recalling Nearly 900,000 SUVs

Service action focused on possible brake problems.

by on Apr.02, 2014

Jeep calls back its latest-model Grand Cherokee due to potential brake problems - especially in colder climates.

The U.S. side of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to recall nearly 900,000 recent sport-utility vehicles because of potential brake problems that could become especially severe in colder climates.

The automaker originally said it didn’t see a recall-worthy problem when it notified federal regulators of a possible issue with brake line corrosion last year, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thought otherwise after learning that the problem can be worsened if the vehicles are operated in sub-freezing conditions.

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The recall involves 2011 through 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, 644,354 of them sold in the U.S., 42,380 in Canada, and another 181,061 delivered to customers in Mexico and other parts of the world.

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Despite Pressure from Public, Lawmakers, Are Unsafe Cars Still Sidestepping Recall Process?

GM ignition switch scandal could lead to crackdown.

by on Mar.17, 2014

A Jeep Grand Cherokee fire. The maker long fought a recall - but critics aren't happy with the final settlement.

Things were supposed to change a decade ago.  After an estimated 270 people were killed in rollover accidents involving Ford Explorer SUVs and Firestone tires, Congress passed the so-called TREAD Act.  Short for the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, it was intended to create a new process by which manufacturers had to reveal known safety-related issues – while encouraging motorists to report their own complaints.

But while federal safety regulators and automotive industry officials alike insist the new process is working, there are plenty of skeptics – all the more in the wake of the recent revelations that General Motors may have known for more than a decade that many of its compact cars were equipped with faulty ignition switches that could inadvertently shut the vehicles off and disable their airbag systems – a problem that last month led to the recall of 1.6 million vehicles and which has been linked to at least 12 deaths.

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What some are dubbing “Switch-gate” has already spawned a series of investigations – including hearings on both sides of Capitol Hill, a preliminary Justice Dept. criminal probe, a query by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and a new internal investigation at GM itself ordered by the maker’s new CEO Mary Barra.

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