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Consumer Car News: 6/17/02 Page 2


TOYOTA PRICES ’03 AVALON
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. says the ‘03 Avalon will cost from $25,845 to $30,405 as it goes on sale today. The base XL now gets an air filtration system, and rain-sensing wipers. The XLS adds an auto-dimming driver-side outside mirror and a remote control DVD navigation system. Other packages available on the 2003 model, built in Kentucky, include remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, power leather-trimmed seats, leather steering wheel and shift knob and a JBL audio system.

ISUZU TO WORK ON BRAKES
Isuzu says it’s going to upgrade the brakes on some 1998-1999 models without being asked for a formal recall. Those model years of the Isuzu Rodeo and Amigo and Honda Passport — some 215,000 vehicles — can suffer from longer braking distances that Isuzu attributes to programming in a computer chip governing the anti-lock control; similar 2000 models with an upgraded chip offered better braking performance, Reuters reports. The action is not an official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall.


CHRYSLER GETS SIRIUS
Chrysler says the Sirius digital-radio system will be standard on the 300M sport sedan — and now, the radio gear will be a $299 dealer-installed option on more of its ’03 lineup. The vehicles to be Sirius-ready include the following:
Chrysler: PT Cruiser, Sebring Sedan and Convertible, 300M, Concorde, Voyager, Town and Country;
Dodge: Stratus Sedan, Dakota, Durango, Ram, Intrepid, Neon, Caravan, Grand Caravan;
Jeep: Liberty and Grand Cherokee.
In addition to the $299 hardware, Sirius Satellite Radio requires a monthly subscription of $12.95.

 

BMW GIVES NOD TO MORE MOVIES
BMW says it will follow up its hip series The Hire by filming a brace of new spy-thriller ads for the Internet and elsewhere. Clive Owen will return as the driver who memorably slung Madonna around the back seat of a 5-Series until she wet herself. BMW says three new films will be released at bmwfilms.com in 2002; the films most likely will coincide with the release of the new Z4 roadster this fall.

 

ONSTAR GOES MOBILE — HOME, THAT IS
Owners of recreational vehicles can drive more secure in their knowledge, now that OnStar will be made available on future new RVs. GM announced on Thursday that its popular in-car concierge and mapping service would be adapted by RiverPark, Inc. of Elkhart, Ind., for use by RV manufacturers in new motorhomes. RiverPark, a supplier of electronics components and products to the RV industry, will facilitate design and vehicle integration of the OnStar RV Special Edition.


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