The final full week of July 2012 has come to a close but it didn’t go quietly. We kicked the week off with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration opening an investigation into 335,000 Chrysler Group vehicles; specifically, the Ram 1500 made for the 2009 and 2010 model years for faulty rear differentials, and 2012 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees for leaky power steering lines. On Tuesday, our spy photographer caught the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado as it continues to wrap up testing, snagging even a few photos of the next-gen truck’s interior and center stack. The week closed out as it began, with Ford issuing its own recall involving but over 250,000 Escapes vehicles assembled for the 2001 to 2004 model year over concerns of unintended acceleration. Check out an overview of this week’s biggest automotive stories all in one place below.
Monday, July 23
The NHTSA opened an investigation into 106,803 Jeep Grand Cherokees assembled for the 2012 model year along with another 230,000 2009 and 2010 Ram 1500s over separate concerns. In all, over 335,000 units are being scrutinized: the Ram 1500 for a rear differential that fails and locks up the wheels, and the Grand Cherokee for a loss of power steering. There were also two reports of fires stemming from a leak from the power steering hoses but no injuries have come from it. June marked the best sales month for the Grand Cherokee since 2005 and at the halfway mark, 75,117 units have been sold. The Grand Cherokee only trails the Ram 1500 for the title of Chrysler’s best-selling vehicle for the year.
Tuesday, July 24
By the time it’s all said and done, we will have seen the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado from both inside and out before its official unveil early next year. Our spy photographer has been hot on the next-generation Silverado’s trail with a flurry of photos showing both heavily and thinly veiled exterior shots and, most recently, a few shots of the interior and center stack. Seen in the latest round of spy photos is a honeycomb grille not previously seen along with all of the interior photos. Our colleagues over at Automobile Magazine have a full lineup of the latest round of 2014 Chevy Silverado spy shots.
Wednesday, July 25
Enough messing around. That must’ve been what executives over at Mazda thought as they decided to showcase the 2014 Mazda6 after releasing a teaser video or two. As a result, we have a full-frontal view of the 2014 Mazda6 and we’re digging it. Disclaimer: we’re waiting to see the latest Mazda6 in all of its glory at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show next month before we pass final judgment. Mazda has already confirmed the SkyActiv engine, which is currently serving as the main mill for the Mazda3 and the all-new CX-5, will also power the new Mazda6. The 2014 Mazda6 will also be the first vehicle in the automaker’s portfolio to feature i-ELOOP, or better known as regenerative braking. Stay tuned as more details are made available as the official unveil date creeps closer.
Thursday, July 26
We recently had the chance to drive the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS down in Atlanta and to put it simply- we liked it, a lot. On Thursday, the first ATS frame crawled up onto the production line as assembly for Cadillac’s BMW 3 Series fighter began at General Motor’s Lansing Grand River facility. The facility, which received $190 million in funding from GM to build the new ATS, added 600 jobs for a second shift. The $190 million endowment doesn’t sting as badly when compared to the $500 million Cadillac spent to develop the latest rendition of the ATS. The 2013 Cadillac ATS will begin arriving in dealerships across the country later this year so be on the look-out.
Friday, July 27
Just like the week began, it ended the same way. The only (major) difference from the issues facing Chrysler and the NHTSA’s investigation is that Ford actually went ahead and issued its own recall before things get out of hand. Over 485,000 Ford Escape models and other small SUVs are being recalled by the Blue Oval boys over concerns of clearance between cruise control cables found on 3-liter V-6 engines that power the Escape. Escape models assembled for the 2001 to 2004 model year are being recalled to prevent the dreaded unintended acceleration issue that’s previously plagued Toyota as recently as 2009 and 2010. Toyota was forced to recall 10 million vehicles world-wide for that error and pay $50 million in fines. We think it’s safe to say Ford is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself here.