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Nutson' s Weeky Auto News Wrap-up November 6-12, 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 Auto News Weekly-wrap-up November 6- 12, 2022

Here are Larry's picks among 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.

* The average price paid for a new vehicle in the United States in October 2022 was up from September and remains above the $48,000 mark, according to data released by Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive company. The Kelley Blue Book new-vehicle average transaction price (ATP) increased to $48,281 in October, slightly lower than the revised all-time high of $48,301 set in August. October 2022 prices rose 0.2% ($187) month over month from September and were up 3.8% ($1,775) year over year from October 2021. According to Kelley Blue Book calculations, October marks a record 17th straight month that new-vehicle ATPs were higher than the average manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), also known as the sticker price. The average price paid for a new EV declined in October by $2,286 (or down 2.3%) compared to September but was up by 7% compared to a year ago in October 2021. The average new EV price was $64,249, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates, well above the industry average and aligning more with luxury prices versus mainstream prices.

*Although the pandemic may be over, vehicle buyers are still suffering from its effect on new-vehicle production. With new-vehicle inventory remaining very low, transaction prices have significantly increased—and consumers are not happy about it. Customer satisfaction with the vehicle purchase experience has declined for the first time in more than 10 years, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM released today. Overall sales satisfaction has dipped to 786 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 789 in 2021.

* Small Car Side crashes account for about a quarter of car deaths in the U.S., according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For the first time, the independent safety organization crash-tested small cars with a newer, heavier barrier in order to determine how safe some models are in collisions with today's bigger and faster vehicles. Experts say the results surprised them. Eleven small cars were put to the test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to see how well they could stand up to a side impact crash. While all 11 of the same car models received good ratings using the old barrier, this time only seven cars received a good or acceptable rating, with the Mazda 3 topping the list. The Kia Forte and Subaru models were rated poor.

* U.S. DoE factoid of the week: Fuel Economy Improvements in Low-MPG Vehicles Yield the Greatest Savings. The relationship between gallons used over a given distance and miles per gallon (mpg) is not linear. For example, replacing a truck that gets 10 mpg with one that gets 15 mpg will save 33 gallons of fuel for every 1,000 miles driven. In contrast, replacing a 30-mpg car with a new car that gets 35 mpg will save 5 gallons of fuel for every 1,000 miles driven.

* After months of being a tease Honda gave us an on-line unveiling of the fourth-generation 2023 Pilot, its largest and most powerful Honda SUV ever. New on the outside and new on the inside the Pilot has a new more powerful 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine. A new Pilot TrailSport has special off-road features including a raised off-road tuned suspension, all-terrain tires, steel skid plates and expanded all-wheel drive system capabilities. This fourth-generation Pilot goes on sale next month in five trim levels: Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring and Elite.

* MINI USA is bringing back the fun of driving a manual transmission by launching a new MINI Manual Driving School at the BMW Performance Center in Thermal, Calif. The announcement came shortly after MINI USA confirmed the manual transmissions would return to specific MINI models for November production. To expand the accessibility and fun of driving a manual, MINI USA is offering a manual driving school that is open to ANY drivers looking for the opportunity to learn to drive manual in an engaging and safe atmosphere. The BMW Group Performance Center West will be the exclusive location for the MINI Manual Driving School. Through the team of their experienced instructors, the school will incorporate both a classroom portion and a hands-on driving experience at the on-site test track. The curriculum that focuses on vehicle controls, finding the friction point, practicing smooth starts, stops, acceleration, and more. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be tested on a timed course to assess the driver's knowledge.

* The all-new 2023 Toyota Crown won Green Car Journal's prestigious 2023 Green Car of the Year award. Additional Green Car awards winners were announced here:

* Bloomberg reports General Motors will be able to meet all requirements in three years for buyers of its electric vehicles to get the full $7,500 federal tax credit, Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra told Wall Street analysts. That’s pretty quick work. To be eligible for the full credit under the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August, EVs must be assembled in North America and contain batteries made from raw materials sourced in countries where the US has free-trade agreements. Automakers have balked at the plan and asked the US Treasury for leeway, saying it will take time to secure materials. Barra said GM has been working on battery materials and supply contracts to meet the automaker’s goal of selling 1 million EVs in the U.S. in 2025. “We think, out of the gate, we’re going to be eligible for the $3,750, and we’ll ramp to have full qualification in the next two to three years, getting up to the $7,500,” Barra said. “It just takes a couple of years to ramp up based on our expectations with the supply moves that we’ve already made.”

* In reference to the GM report take note: Vehicle price and type also matter. Vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs with a manufacture’s retail suggested price (MSRP) of more than $80,000, won’t qualify for the credit. For clean cars to qualify for the EV tax credit, the MSRP can’t be more than $55,000. Also note there are personal income limitations to qualify for the EV credit.

* Joe Szczesny writing for The Detroit Bureau reports Tesla’s controversial Full Self-Driving software has come under withering attack again — this time from a computer industry watchdog claiming the tests of the software indicate it fails to stop for child-sized mannequins crossing a street. The Dawn Project, in a full-page ad in The New York Times, states Tesla’s Full-Self-Driving system fails to detect children and fails to stop, striking the small crash dummy (used to simulate a real child). Tesla has been hit with a class action lawsuit for deceptive advertising around the FSD system, which is also under investigation by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has yet to order a complete recall. Ralph Nader, the midwife of the modern automotive safety system, also has attacked Tesla for putting the system on the road, The Dawn Project noted in its ad, which appeared over the weekend.

* Reuters reports a U.S. judge granted final approval to a class-action settlement worth at least $80 million to resolve claims Volkswagen AG and its Porsche AG unit skewed emissions and fuel economy data on 500,000 Porsche vehicles in the United States. The settlement, first reported by Reuters in June, covers 2005 through 2020 model year Porsche vehicles. Owners accused the automaker of physically altering test vehicles that affected emissions and fuel economy results. Owners of eligible vehicles will receive payments of $250 to $1,109 per vehicle.

* Automotive News reports the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, the organizer of China's most important auto fair said in a notice. The organizers had previously postponed the auto show, which was originally scheduled to be held in late April, due to a flare up of COVID cases in China. The trade show in the world's largest auto market alternates each year between Beijing and Shanghai, and traditionally attracts both international and domestic automakers, including Volkswagen Group, General Motors, Toyota and Geely.

* GM is recalling nearly 340,000 full-size SUVs in the U.S. because their daytime running lights may not shut off when the regular headlights are on. The NHTSA says in documents posted on its website that having both lights on at the same time could cause glare for oncoming drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.The recall covers certain 2021 Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, as well as some GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades.

* Volkswagen and Audi are recalling almost 225,000 vehicles that may have faulty tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). Because that’s a common part used in many VW and Audi models, the list of recalled vehicles covers thirteen models. The vehicles’ TPMS functions work fine in most circumstances but may not notify the owner in time if all four tires lose pressure at the same rate simultaneously. Dealers will fix the problem with a software update.

* Tesla is recalling 40,000 Model S and X vehicles in the U.S. over potential loss of power steering assist The EV maker has released an over-the-air software update to recalibrate the system after it began rolling out an update on Oct. 11 to better detect unexpected steering assist torque.

* At the Hilton Head Concours d'Elegance & Motoring Festival the 2022 Best in Show and Best Rolling Art was awardded to the 1936 Horch 853A Special Roadster owned by Robert S. Jepson, Jr. of Savannah, Georgia. Best Production/Performance winner is the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible owned by Robert and Suzanne Thomas of Indianapolis, Indiana. Best Road & Track car is the 1939 Lea-Francis Corsica Super Sports owned by Jim and Sue Wulf of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Best Motorcycle is the 1936 Brough SS80 owned by Andrew Meislin of Camas, Washington. The ACE Hardware of Hilton Head People’s Choice Award is the 1956 BMW 502 owned by Paul and Jayne Queck of Indianapolis, Indiana.

* The McLaren Senna has set a new circuit record for street-legal production cars at the Interlagos circuit in São Paulo, Brazil, with driver Ricardo Mauricio covering the 2.677 mile track in 1:37:856. The feat was achieved during a UK Motors Academy Porto Seguros event, organized by the McLaren importer in Brazil. With production of the original version limited to 500 units, the McLaren Senna is one of the most extreme street-legal cars ever produced by McLaren Automotive. Its V8 4-liter twin-turbo engine delivers 789 bhp and 590 lbs-ft of torque for race car performance: acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in 6.8 seconds and 0 to 186 mph in 18.8 seconds, with a maximum speed of 208 mph.

* NASCAR's 2022 champion is Joey Logano with his win in the finale at Phoenix Raceway. Logano won the pole and was never really challenged in the race. Driving the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, this is Logano's second championship. He took the title in 2018.

* Team Penske had a strong 2022 season. In addition to Logano's NASCAR title, Will Power won the IndyCar championship in September. Roger Penske, the Captain, turned 85 this year which was capped with a win at the Daytona 500 by Logano teammate Austin Cedric on Penske's birthday.

* Coy Gibbs, the vice chairman of Joe Gibbs Racing for his NFL and NASCAR Hall of Fame father, died unexpectedly last Saturday night just hours after his son won the Xfinity Series championship. He was 49 and died in his sleep. Coy Gibbs played linebacker at Stanford from 1991 to 1994 and served as an offensive quality control assistant during his father's second stint as the Washington NFL coach. Gibbs had a short racing career, including two years in the then-NASCAR Busch Series and three in the Trucks series before helping his father launch Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross in 2007. Joe Gibbs has lost both of his sons. J.D. Gibbs died in 2019 of degenerative neurological disease; he was also 49 at the time of his death. Coy Gibbs succeeded his older brother as vice chairman of the family-run NASCAR organization.

Stay safe. Be Well.