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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up August 14-20, 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - August 21, 2022; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Auto Channel Executive Producer, with able assistance from senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel's "take" on this past week's automotive news, condensed into easy to digest news Nuggets.

LEARN MORE: Complete versions of today's news nuggets, along with thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, information stored in a million-page library published and indexed on The Auto Channel during the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a headline and inserting it into any Site Search Box.

Nutson's Automotive Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - Week Ending August 20, 2022 Below are the past week's important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as expertly crafted easy-to-understand automotive universe news nuggets.

* President Biden signed the tax-climate bill into law. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 amends the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit (the Federal tax credit), now known as the Clean Vehicle Credit, and adds a new requirement for final assembly in North America that takes effect on August 16, 2022. The law immediately ends credits for about 70% of the 72 models that were previously eligible, said the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. Nineteen vehicles assembled in North America temporarily qualify for the new $7,500 Clean Vehicle Credit.

* Porsche, Audi and Kia said their electric vehicles will no longer qualify for $7,500 tax credits in the United States when President Biden signs (which he now has) the Inflation Reduction Act and its new electric vehicle subsidy (rebate/discount) system into law. The brands urged would-be buyers to place firm orders for models such as the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-Trons or Kia Niro EVs.

* Meanwhile: The J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study reports that despite more public charging stations being in operation than ever before, customer satisfaction with public Level 2 charging declined from last year. Satisfaction with the speedier DC (direct current) fast charger segment remains flat. The need for improvement as EVs gain wider consumer acceptance is critical because the shortage of public charging availability is the number one reason vehicle shoppers reject EVs. The industry needs to do a better job of maintaining existing charging stations. The study finds that one out of every five respondents ended up not charging their vehicle during their visit. Of those who didn’t charge, 72% indicated that it was due to the station malfunctioning or being out of service.

* A new report from CDK Global says charge accessibility is the single biggest concern when it comes to charging an EV. The practical aspect of living in an apartment (rented or owned) without charging options was the single biggest constraint for shoppers; lack of charging networks was a distant second. This concern is echoed by the EV buyers they surveyed: 40% postponed buying an EV until they had their own garage.

* US DoE factoid of the week: Electric Vehicles have the lowest annual fuel cost of all light-duty vehicles. Estimates of annual fuel costs for model year (MY) 2022 light-duty vehicles show that electric vehicles (EVs) can save consumers thousands of dollars over gasoline or diesel vehicles. All EV models had annual fuel costs less than $1,000. The only vehicle types with cost estimates between $1,000 and $2,000 were plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) and hybrid electric (HEV) models. Models with an annual fuel cost estimate of $2,000 to $7,000 were dominated by conventional gasoline models. The small car category has a wide breadth of fuel costs because it not only includes fuel-efficient small cars, but also luxury sportscars with low fuel economies.

* According to the Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index, new-vehicle affordability worsened again in July, with increases in interest rates and new-vehicle prices reaching a record high. The number of median weeks of income needed to purchase an average new vehicle increased to 42.2 weeks in July. The estimated typical monthly payment rose to $733, a record high.

* In the first round of eliminations, so to speak, in this Dodge Speed Week we learned: The Durango SRT Hellcat is returning for one more year. 2023 Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger lineup will include seven new models. For an additional $25K Dodge dealers can make your Challenger into a convertible. For the racers, a Challenger rolling chassis Drag Pak and a Challenger body-in-white can be bought. For the restomod folks, a carbon fiber '70 Charger body is in the offerings--for reference, Ralph Gilles has one.

* In the second round of eliminations in this Dodge Speed Week we got to see the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet, delivering the quickest, fastest, most powerful compact utility vehicle (CUV) under $30,000. The all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet "gateway muscle" was revealed at M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, with three vehicles showcasing the Dodge brand's new entry in the CUV segment: the "Head of the Hive" Dodge Hornet R/T; the Dodge Hornet GT, the industry's quickest, most powerful utility vehicle under $30,000; and the Dodge Hornet GT GLH Concept, which showcases available Direct Connection performance parts upgrades for the newest entry in the four-car Dodge vehicle lineup. The GLH designation is a throwback to the Dodge Omni "Goes Like Hell" terminology.

* In the third and final round of eliminations in Dodge Speed Week the future of electrified muscle, the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept was revealed. Powered by new 800V Banshee propulsion system, the two-door Concept design revolutionizes the look of a BEV while offering subtle nods to Dodge brand’s muscle car legacy. The Daytona Concept features an industry-first BEV exhaust, that can reach 126 dB, making it as loud as a Hellcat-powered Dodge. And, a multi-speed transmission with an electro-mechanical shifting experience that’s pure Dodge.

* The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a new report, “Female Crash Fatality Risk Relative to Males for Similar Physical Impacts,” which updates a 2013 NHTSA study examining female fatality risk relative to male fatality risk in crashes with similar physical impacts. The new report finds the estimated difference in female fatality risk compared to male fatality risk is significantly reduced in newer vehicles, starting as early as model year 2000. The newer the vehicle, the smaller the disparity. The overall gap drops from 18% to 6.3% for 2010-2020 vehicles and to 2.9% for 2015-20 vehicles.

* General Motors is recalling more than 484,000 large SUVs in the U.S. to fix a problem that can cause the third-row seat belts to malfunction. The recall covers Chevrolet Suburbans and Tahoes, Cadillac Escalades and GMC Yukons from the 2021 and 2022 model years. Documents provided by GM to U.S. safety regulators describe that rivets that hold the buckle to the mounting bracket on the left- and right side third-row seats may have been formed improperly. The belts may not properly restrain a passenger in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

* Back for year seven, MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge staged an exhilarating return to Woodward Avenue on Saturday, August 13, drawing a one-day attendance record of more than 40,000 performance enthusiasts to M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, along with more than a million online views, for the popular one-day festival of street-legal drag racing. RoadKill Nights leveled up last year’s Grudge Race with eight automotive personalities facing off for a chance to take on 2021 champion, Alex Taylor, on the drag strip. All nine competitors – Tavarish, Westen Champlin, throtl, Christina Roki, Demonology, Corruptt Builds, Collete Davis, David Patterson, and Alex Taylor— received the challenge of building and running a Direct Connection crate engine that they could modify as they pleased, however, they had the added challenge of competing with a Direct Connection six-speed manual transmission, and within a $10,000 budget. Defending champion, drag racer, mechanic and co-host of MotorTrend’s Hot Rod Garage Taylor matched her 1955 Plymouth Savoy against the 2016 Dodge Challenger of Champlin, who beat out seven other automotive builders in eliminations for the right to face Taylor in the finals. It was Taylor taking the win again, launching strong and outrunning Champlin to the finish stripe.

*’s 2022 Car Seat Fit Report Card helps parents find the best car for their growing family. Did you know 58% of parents say car seats drive their car purchase decisions, leading to 33% of parents bringing the car seat to their local dealership to give it a test drive. Learn more here:

* Autoweek reports New York City is starting a pilot program that will use intelligent speed assistance (ISA) to limit fleet vehicles to posted speed limits. The six-month program will include 50 vehicles from numerous city agencies, ranging from taxis to Department of Corrections vehicles, and data will be analyzed by the US Department of Transportation following completion. ISA software can recognize local speed limits through GPS data and adhere to them strictly. Of note, as of July 2024 all new vehicles sold in the EU must be equipped with ISA.

* This is Monterey Car week with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance today, Sunday. Auto makers showed the Lexus Electrified Sport, Acura Precision EV Concept, the DEUS Vayanne, Lincoln Model L100 Concept and 576-HP all-electric Kia EV6 GT.

* The annual Woodward Dream Cruise, the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and approximately 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe took place on Saturday. In reality, the one day event has grown unofficially into a week or more of cruisers on Woodward Avenue. V8 engines, loud exhaust systems, manual transmissions and not much sophisticated software make the event what it is.

* The one big piece of news expected from the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month is the unveiling of the new seventh-generation Ford Mustang. Ford announced "The Stampede," a debut event just ahead of the Sept. 14 reveal. Ford, in collaboration with America's Automotive Trust and the NAIAS, is inviting Mustang owners and enthusiasts to participate in a cross-country road trip, the annual "Drive Home" event, featuring all six generations of the Mustang. The event will kick off Sept. 6 at LeMay — America's Car Museum in Tacoma, Wash, and cross nine states and include more than a dozen stops. It ends at Ford Headquartes in Dearborn, Michigan.

Stay safe. Be Well.