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The Week in Reverse

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Toyota and Subaru are so much in love, they're getting together to build a new rear-drive coupe. Because, you know, the world didn't get enough of the Corolla GT-S the first time around.

Honda Pilot pics swept the Web this week, days before all the reviewers posted their opinions. Well, you checked in with your opinions -- and not all of them loved the Pilot's nbew nose. Is it polite to give gift cards for rhinoplasty?

We showed you a bunch of spy pics this week: we uncloaked the Saab 9-4X, the folding-hardtop BMW Z4, Buick's new LaCrosse, the Nissan GT-R Spec V, and of course, the spy photographer's perennial party pal, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.

No one ever accused the Ford Taurus of being a hot mess, but maybe they'll change their mind when the 2010 Taurus has its debut.

On another blue note, Ford says its quality is second to none. Nevermind that they paid for the survey to be done -- the Mustang came out on top of its segment.

One last time: Lamborghini's putting the mods to the Murcielago, and this time they're chucking heavy parts out the window to create the Murcielago SV. Probably, abbreviating the nameplates along would save a kilo or two.

We took our inaugural spin in the 2009 BMW X6 and found more than enough to remind us of the AMC Eagle. Hey, we didn't say it was a bad thing!

Edging down the slope of reality, Fisker says its hybrid Karma sedan is surely arriving late next year, and then heading to Europe. We kind of view it like an Amy Winehouse tour schedule: expect a few date changes and some raw, fascinating episodes until then.

Accidents caused by teen drivers cost us $34 billion a year. Sure, blame the inattentive, undertrained and overstimulated iPod addicts first.

Finally, we'll leave you with word that Disney's Pixar studio is formulating a follow-up to the animated film Cars. Who's going to play the smart fortwo -- Danny DeVito or Vern Troyer?

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  1. Ford so-called quality: From the NY Times Autos Section:

    "Huge Recall, but Many Cars Unfixed
    By CHERYL JENSEN

    AFTER six recalls to correct problems with millions of Ford Motor Company cruise-control switches blamed for almost 1,500 fires, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took an unusual step. In February, it issued a consumer advisory urging owners whose vehicles had not yet been fixed to have the switches disconnected immediately.

    “Vehicles are continuing to catch fire and buildings are continuing to catch fire because the remedy hasn’t been effected yet,” Rae Tyson, a spokesman for the safety agency, said. “This is a defect that could possibly have dire consequences, and we wanted to do what we could to try to make people more aware of the need to get vehicles back to the dealer quickly — if not for the permanent remedy, at least for a short-term remedy.”

    The recalls — which included what the government called a recall of a recall — began in 1999. They covered some 10 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles from 1992-2004, a record number recalled for a single problem.

    Ford had already set the record for the largest recall, which also involved a potential fire hazard. That was for 7.9 million vehicles with ignition switch problems.

    The agency’s February advisory concerned a cruise-control deactivation switch that could develop a short circuit.

    Regulators say that could cause a vehicle to catch fire even while it is parked and the ignition is off. The switch’s function is to cut off the cruise control when the driver taps the brakes.

    The safety administration says it can connect 65 fires to switch failures, but the problem could be far greater: the agency received 1,472 complaints or allegations of engine compartment fires related to the switches before the investigation was closed in August 2006. Because investigators were often unable to contact owners, not enough data could be collected to make a final determination on many complaints. The agency also received 60 more fire complaints since the inquiry ended.

    The agency has not linked switch failures to any deaths, but at least three wrongful death suits have been filed against Ford."

    Can you REALLY Imagine the outcry if HONDA or TOYOTA had SUCH a problem?

    PS this reminded me of the Ford Pinto Fires and the classic rock song by the "Doors"

    "baby, baby Light my fire!"

    Maybe the pitifullosers at Ford can use it in their next commercial, after they pay some millions to the Doors. After all, they did not use these millions to FIX THEIR CARS RIGHT!
     
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