Meanwhile, a new study finds that opting for the fuel-efficient diesel version of some cars or trucks could save you a lot of money. Or not at all. Vincentric, a company that specializes in assessing total cost of ownership, just made those calculations, and found that diesels as a whole cost more over the long run (considering five years of ownership and 15,000 miles of driving per year) than the market-equivalent gasoline versions of the same model. The firm found just eleven models for which the cost of ownership was lower compared to the gasoline counterpart. They include the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class; the BMW 3-Series; the BMW X5; the Mercedes-Benz E-Class; and the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.
Toyota is recalling more than 5,000 Camry and Avalon vehicles from the 2014 model year. According to a letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF), the recall stems from a problem with the cars' suspension -- specifically, the left-side front suspension lower arm -- which could increase the risk of an accident. Should the arm separate from that joint, it could make the vehicle harder to control, increasing the risk of a collision. All told, the recall affects roughly 5,650 vehicles registered in the U.S. Toyota says that it will begin mailing recall notices to owners in mid-December (i.e. now). After receiving that notice, owners can take their vehicles to a Toyota dealer, who will replace the left side lower arm at no charge.
This week in technology, Jaguar Land Rover is testing something called "360 Virtual Urban Windscreen." Essentially, it's a souped-up head-up display that wraps the display around the vehicle's pillars. That allows the driver to see pedestrians and other vehicles approaching from the left and right. Taking a cue from video games, Jaguar is also testing warning markers that appear on the head-up display, highlighting pedestrians, vehicles, and other obstacles. And when using navigation to reach a particular destination, a fuzzy "ghost car" would be projected onto the car's head-up display, which the driver would then follow. That could make finding Point B -- and a parking spot -- much easier. According to Jaguar Land Rover, the goal is to reduce accidents and make driving safer and simpler, especially in crowded urban areas.