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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up February 5-11, 2023



Auto Central February 12, 2023; 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.

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.

Weekly Auto News Wrap-up Week Ending February 11, 2023.

* The 2023 Chicago Auto Show opened this week with media previews. The show reopened the north exhibit hall of McCormick Place, expanding once again to a two-hall show and reenlisting brands that missed during the pandemic. The 2023 show is positioned to be the most experiential Chicago Auto Show yet, offering outdoor ride-and-drives as well as a several brand-new indoor test tracks including a 100,000 sq.-ft. destination featuring EV test drives, called Chicago Drives Electric.

* The Chicago Auto Show brought us the world premier of the 2023 Toyota Grand Highlander, the 2024 refreshed Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport, the new Ram 1500 Revolution battery electric concept vehicle for the first time at an auto show, the all-new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, the 20th anniversary Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, along with consumer-focusd displays from 20 different auto brands as well as the NASCAR Chicago Street Race display.

* MotorWeek officially awarded the winners of their 2023 Drivers’ Choice Awards, giving honors to vehicles spread across 13 categories, including "Best of the Year." This annual tradition of MotorWeek’s top picks was announced at this year’s Chicago Auto Show.The “Best of the Year” award went to the all-electric Kia EV6. See all winners here:

* Joe White for Reuters reports insuring a vehicle is getting more expensive, with average annual costs up to $2,014 in 2022, or 2.93% of the average U.S. household income, according to an analysis by Both numbers are higher than in 2021. Rates vary widely by state. In New York, drivers pay an average of $3,139 a year to insure a car. In Maine, the average annual premium is just $941. Getting into an accident will boost insurance costs. Suffering a downgrade in your credit score will raise insurance costs even more, Bankrate found.

* The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study reports an industry average of 186 problems per 100 (PP100) vehicles, an improvement of 6 PP100 from 2022. The study examines how 2020 model-year vehicles are currently performing in terms of quality, component replacement and appeal—including those vehicles with new technology. Complaints about infotainment systems dominated complaints. The infotainment category continues to be the most problematic with an average of 49.9 PP100—almost twice as many problems as the next-highest category, which is exterior. Lexus ranks highest overall in vehicle dependability. Kia ranks highest in the mass market segment for a third consecutive year.

* On the heels of its global debut Mazda anounced the 2024 CX-90 will have a starting MSRP of $39,595 and will arrive in dealerships in spring 2023. CX-90 3.3 Turbo S models with the e-Skyactiv 3.3L Inline-6 Turbo engine has an EPA estimated 23 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Standard e-Skyactiv 3.3L Inline 6 Turbo engine provides improved efficiency with an EPA estimated 24 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined, while offering increased power from CX-9. CX-90 is available with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs.

* The WORLD CAR FINALS POWERED BY BREMBO began with the announcement of the Top Ten and Top Five finalists in seven World Car Awards categories. The countdown ends on April 5 when the winners will be announced live at the 2023 New York International Auto Show during an awards ceremony. Vote results have been tabulated by KPMG. A jury of 100 distinguished international automotive journalists from 32 countries selected the finalists by secret ballot based on their evaluation of each eligible vehicle as part of their professional work. See the finalists here:

* has named a number of "bests." The 2023 Kia Niro HEV was named’s Best Car of 2023. Hyundai IONIQ 5 has been named the Best Electric Vehicle. Genesis G90 named Best Luxury Car of 2023. Jeep Grand Cherokee is the Best SUV of 2023.

* UP.Partners, a mobility focused investment firm, released its inaugural Moving World Report: 2023 Macro and Micro Trends in Mobility. Its VC division sees range anxiety, grid problems hampering EV adoption this year. A shortage of battery raw materials, ongoing global supply chain turmoil and an overloaded electric grid are reasons EVs may not catch on with American drivers in the coming years, UP.Partners' mobility division said. Of note, mobility represents 37% of U.S. CO2 emissions, the largest of any sector, with ground transportation representing 78% of that total, sea transportation at 11%, air transportation at 10%, and rail at just 1%.

* Bank of America is offering consumers the option to bundle home EV chargers with auto loans. The banking giant is anticipating demand for the products will increase as buyers turn away from gas-powered cars. A 240-volt Level 2 charger installed in a single family home can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on existing electric infrastucture in the home. Installation in a multi-unit apartment or condo dwelling can cost significantly more.

* To tap billions in U.S. subsidies, Tesla will need to unlock EV chargers. The Department of Transportation next week is expected to finalize a requirement that will pressure Tesla to expand beyond its proprietary charging equipment in the U.S. and add the charger used by its competitors, Reuters reported.

* We read in the Detroit News that Rivian Automotive Inc. is developing an electric bike, the chief executive officer told staff, potentially expanding the EV maker’s product lineup. RJ Scaringe disclosed the e-bike effort at a companywide meeting, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information. A small group of engineers is actively working on it, he said. It wasn’t immediately clear if Scaringe was referring to a battery-electric motorcycle or bicycle.

* Volkswagen has issued a recall for its all-electric ID.4 SUV related to its 400-volt battery’s control module. Nearly 21,000 model-year 2021 ID.4s are affected. Faulty software programming may cause the high-voltage battery management control module to reset or the pulse inverter to deactivate. Either of which could cause a loss of drive power, increasing the risk of a crash.

* Honda is recalling more than 114,000 U.S. vehicles for faulty rearview cameras. The recall affects 2018-2020 Honda Fit hatchbacks and 2019-2022 Honda HR-V crossovers.

* Subaru announced a safety recall on select 2023 Subaru Solterra vehicles. The issue affects 1,182 model year 2023 Subaru Solterras. These vehicles were the subject of an earlier recall requiring the replacement of original hub bolts. Subaru identified an issue with vehicles repaired at two port locations by one particular team of contractors. The teams did not properly complete the repair procedure resulting in the potential for significantly under-torqued bolts.

* Jack Chisenhall’s ’32 Ford is America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. The founder of Vintage Air won big at the Grand National Roadster Show with a car he’s been working on over 25 years. After his decades of work on it, he sent the car to Roy Brizio’s shop in South San Francisco. Brizio’s son-in-law Darryl Hollenbeck handled the body and paint (the Brizio family has had multiple AMBR winners); Sid Chavers built the interior and top; and Brizio provided project support, finish details and final assembly. The car was finally done three weeks ago. Thanks to Autoweek for this news.

* Matchbox, the die-cast vehicle scale model maker from London, is turning 70. To celebrate, the brand is introducing a line of special limited-edition vehicles that pay tribute to Matchbox’s heritage.The anniversary line will be featured in seven different assortments across the Matchbox range. A combination of collector favorites and iconic vehicles from the past 70 years will be offered. By the way, Mattel, who make Hot Wheels, owns Matchbox.

* NASCAR is celebrating its 75th year and will hold its first-ever street race in Chicago. At the Chicago Auto Show NASCAR Street Race president Julie Geise announce a partnership with the Art Institue of Chicago and unveiled the Vincent Van Gogh pace car livery.

* Martin Truex Jr. won NASCAR's return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for its season-opening exhibition race. Truex took the lead with 25 laps to go in the Busch Light Clash, a 150-lap race that was moved from Daytona International Speedway last year to the Coliseum. NASCAR built a temporary quarter-mile track inside the iconic venue in a bold attempt to try something radically different.

* It's Super Bowl Sunday and we hope you all enjoy those high-budget commercials.

Stay safe. Be Well.