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Study: Women more practical when buying cars

The efficient Mini was the car with highest percentage of women buyers. (Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty)

Men prefer their cars beefy or fast, while women go for lower price tags and higher miles per gallon, according to a survey released Thursday., which studied data from 8 million purchases in the United States last year, found BMW AG’s Mini had the highest percentage of female buyers at 48 percent, while 93 percent of buyers for Fiat SpA’s Ferrari were men.

“The study shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle,” TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak said in a statement. Get the full story »

Honda, Mazda to resume some production

Honda Motor and Mazda Motor on Thursday became the latest major automakers to say they would resume some production in Japan after halting plant operations following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11. Get the full story »

Consumers better off buying Japanese cars now

If you’re in the market for a new car, but especially if you’re looking at a fuel-efficient Japanese model, experts say you’re better off buying now because prices will only get higher in coming weeks as the effects of the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in Libya and the Middle East start to be felt. Get the full story »

Toyota, Chrysler, Honda in latest recalls

Toyota Motor Corp. will recall about 22,000 vehicles because a tire-pressure monitoring system might fail to notify drivers of a flat or deflated tire. The recall affects Toyota Sequoia, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Tacoma and Tundra vehicles from 2008-2011.

Toyota has recalled more than 13 million vehicles since September 2009 in the U.S., including one recall of more than 2 million vehicles to correct problems with floor mats and other issues that could cause unintended acceleration.

Meanwhile, Chrysler Group will recall about 20,000 Jeep Wranglers from model years 2010 and 2011 to tighten the fasteners that attach the axles to the chassis. Federal safety regulators said the loose fasteners could lead to a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

And American Honda Motor Co. will recall about 37,000 Civic hybrids from 2006-2007 to replace a voltage converter that can cause the engine to stall and prevent the car from being restarted.

Honda tops Consumer Reports scorecard

The Honda Fit. (Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images)

Honda Motor Co. and several other Asian automakers scored high marks in a series of new studies and rankings of new cars by Consumer Reports magazine.

Ford Motor Co. was the only one of the Detroit Three to make it into the Top 10 in the publication’s automaker score card for 2011, released Monday. General Motors Co.  and Chrysler Group LLC placed 12th and 13th out of 13 carmakers ranked in the April issue of the magazine. Get the full story »

Volt misses Top 10 in ranking of ‘green’ cars

The Chevrolet Volt didn’t rank as one of the 10 “greenest” cars in America, coming at no. 13, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual list.

The fully electric Nissan Leaf ranked second among all 2011 model year cars on the list. First place went to the compressed natural gas powered Honda Civic GX. Get the full story »

Honda recalls nearly 700,000 cars, including Fit

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will recall 693,497 vehicles worldwide due to faulty engine parts.

The Japanese car maker said the recall affects some models of the Fit compact, also known as the Jazz in some markets, the City small car and Freed compact minivan models sold in North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Get the full story »

UAW turns up effort to organize transplants

United Auto Workers President Bob King dialed up the rhetoric this week in his campaign to organize foreign-owned auto plants based in the U.S.

Speaking at the first day of the UAW’s legislative conference in Washington, D.C., King vowed to step up the union’s effort to organize the transplants owned by companies including Toyota, Honda and Nissan and said the union’s future depended on expanding its membership. Get the full story »

Honda recalling snowblowers that leak fuel

American Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 18,500 snowblowers that might be dripping or seeping fuel, which can cause a fire. Though no fires have been reported, Honda has received 90 reports of fuel dripping or seeping from the machine’s fuel tank joint and o-ring. Get the full story »

Honda recalling Accord, Pilot over suspensions

Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 10,800 Accord sedans and Pilot sport utility vehicles to prevent possible front suspension failure. Get the full story »

Honda recalls 35K Passports in cold-weather states

Honda is recalling about 35,000 Passport sport-utility vehicles to inspect brackets on the rear suspension that could detach and lead to a crash.

The recall involves Passports from the 1998-2002 model years and is limited to 21 states and the District of Columbia where road salt is used during the winter. Get the full story »

Honda to recall 734K Fits over headlight defect

Honda Motor Co. will recall 734,392 Fit subcompact cars because of defective headlights, according to a report filed Thursday with Japan’s transportation ministry.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism, Honda will recall vehicles produced between November 2001 and October 2007. It’s the ninth-biggest recall since the reporting system began in 1969. Get the full story »

Honda to inspect 2011 Accords, CR-Vs for oil leaks

Honda Motor Co. will notify about 1,200 owners of 2011 Accords and CR-Vs of possible engine oil leaks due to a manufacturing problem, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

The automaker also has notified dealers that some 5,000  2011  Accords and 4,300  2011 CR-Vs on dealer lots must be inspected for the part involved, spokeswoman Gina Cappelletti said. Get the full story »

Honda to end Element production in April

The Honda Element. (MCT)

Honda Motor said Friday that it would cease production in April of its Element crossover, a slow-selling boxy vehicle that never quite caught on with the target audience of younger buyers.

Honda has only sold about 325,000 Elements in the United States since it entered production in December 2002 and the vehicle will end with the 2011 model year, Honda said.

“This vehicle was positioned as a ‘dorm room on wheels,’ but it never quite got the hip reputation’,” senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said. Get the full story »

NHTSA to look into Accord hybrid acceleration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether to open a full-fledged investigation into possible acceleration problems with the Honda Accord gas-electric hybrid, according to documents posted on the federal agency’s website Monday.

A woman, who was not identified, filed a complaint seeking an investigation and recall of the 2005 Accord Hybrid after a crash in July 2005 that left her injured and a passenger dead. Several people in other cars were injured, the documents said.