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Auto Central April 23, 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.

Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up Week April 16-22, 2023.

* The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its latest projections for traffic fatalities in 2022, estimating that 42,795 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a small decrease of about 0.3% as compared to 42,939 fatalities reported for 2021. The estimated fatality rate decreased to 1.35 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2022, down from 1.37 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2021. Americans are driving more than they did during the height of the pandemic, almost a 1% increase over 2021. Data showed a 12% increase in fatal crashes involving at least one distracted driver, with 3,522 people killed.

* U.S.DoE Factoid of the Week: The top 10 new electric vehicle registrations in 2022 were models with long ranges. The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 dominated the list of new all-electric vehicle (EV) registrations in 2022. All but two of the top 10 models featured ranges of 300 miles or more, with the lowest model range being 247 miles. EVs are available in a variety of battery pack sizes or configurations that affect vehicle range, but all model configurations that made this list had ranges over 200 miles.

* The Shanghai auto show was this week and a number of new vehicles had global reveals that included Two new electric's from Maserati; the 2025 VW ID.7 electric sedan World Premire; Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV, 2024 Buick Envista sedan-like compact crossover, a new Porsche Cayenne,, Polestar 4, and the all-new 2024 Lincoln Nautilus.

* Finally an end to opinions about blind spots! The Polestar 4 doesn't have a rear window. The rear view mirror is replaced by a high-definition screen that shows a real-time feed from a roof-mounted, rear-facing camera.Polestar says this improves safety.

* Buyers of certain BMW, Nissan, Hyundai and Volvo electric vehicles will no longer qualify for U.S. tax breaks as new domestic content rules took effect on April 18, the U.S. Treasury Department said. However, some of those vehicles could qualify for $7,500 tax credits if they are leased, Treasury said. Certain GM, Ford, Rivian, Tesla and Volkswagen vehicles qualify for the full tax credit.

* Autotrader released its top ten best car interiors priced under $50,000 for 2023. All vehicles on the list are from the 2023 model-year and feature base prices under $50,000; however, buyers can option-up several of the models to drive their prices well above the list’s $50,000 limit. All of the 2023 Best Interiors Under $50,000 vehicles – even in lower-trim levels – are still beautiful, comfortable and feature-laden.

* A consumer survey conducted by MINI USA reveals American consumers’ changing perspectives and considerations regarding electric vehicles (EVs). The survey indicates that almost half of American consumers plan to purchase an electric vehicle in the next FIVE years. Probing the barriers that consumers are facing in the EV purchase journey, factors such as price (44%) and lack of reliable public charging stations (18%) are the main lingering deterrents. Awareness of local charging stations continues to rise steadily over the last four years, from just 26% of respondents in 2019 to 44% in 2023. Alongside this heightened awareness comes greater expectations for charging capabilities, though, with 72% of consumers finding an acceptable charging time to be at or under an hour. Also, 73% of respondents indicating their driving habits fall within 75 miles per day.

* Did someone say Hemi? Stellantis is testing synthetic e-fuels, which are made with renewable energy, on 28 types of its internal combustion engines, a step it said could help decarbonize its existing European fleet. The announcement comes just weeks after the European Union opened a legal route in its phase-out of carbon dioxide-emitting cars from 2035 which would allow those models with combustion engines running on e-fuels to remain on sale.

* Reuters reports: In 2018, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO became the most expensive car ever sold when it fetched $48 million at auction. Last year, that record was flattened by a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé that raced to 135 million euros ($149 million). These kind of megadeals are at the vanguard of billions of dollars of annual spending on classic cars globally in a wave of investment in this alternative asset. Vintage cars have risen 185% in value over the past decade, outstripping the growth of luxury rivals wine, watches and art, and ranking second only to rare whiskies, according to Knight Frank's 2023 wealth report. "Electrification will favour classic cars," said Cristiano Bolzoni, head of Maserati's vintage car unit Maserati Classiche. "Over time they will become cult objects."

* Autoweek brought to our attention that Tesla has set another record, but not one you’re likely to see touted in ads by the company, if the company ever decided to run ads. Turns out Teslas are recalled more than any other brand in America—and by a long shot. There were 400 NTHSA recalls issued in 2022, impacting more than 25 million vehicles. Of those vehicles, Teslas scored four of the top five spots on the list, according to the price-tracking car search engine Tesla might have scored more, but it only makes four models. The brand with the fewest projected recalls is Mercedes-Benz, followed by Toyota and Lexus.

* Mazda is recalling certain 2022-2023MY CX-30 and 2023MY Mazda CX-50 vehicles because the brake pedal travel length may increase due to internal damage in the Anti-lock Braking System Hydraulic Control Unit. When attempting to stop the vehicle, the increased brake pedal travel length may cause a feeling of reduced braking ability, increasing the risk of a crash. Approximately 2,566 vehicles are affected in the US and Canada.

* Michelin is recalling more than 542,000 light truck tires in the U.S. because they don't have enough traction to work in all snowy conditions. The recall covers certain Agilis CrossClimate C-Metric tires that Michelin says don't meet U.S. safety standards. The tire maker says that tires without sufficient traction can increase the risk of a crash.

* Attorneys general in 17 states are urging the NHTSA to require a recall of certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles that are subject to easy theft. The vehicles are not equipped with engine immobilizers. The social media inspired thefts, described on Tik Tok using a USB cable and a screwdriver, have often resulted in crashes, injury and deaths. Hyundai and Kia have taken action with vehicle owners with software updates and anti-theft devices. The vehicle do meet all Federal safety and anti-theft requirements.

* Car dealer and NASCAR race team owner Rick Hendrick, paid $1.15 million for the first electrified 2024 Corvette E-Ray at the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction. The money will go to education nonprofit DonorsChoose, which helps teachers in low-income communities fund classroom projects. Hendrick is one of the world's largest private collectors of Corvettes and now owns a total of 122 Corvette cars.

* The all-new 2023 Honda Civic Type R, the most powerful Honda production vehicle ever sold in the U.S.,has set a new track record for a front-wheel drive car around the iconic 20.8-kilometer Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany—considered the most challenging road circuit ever devised—during testing and performance evaluation. Thge /Civic Type R set an officially measured new lap record time of 7 minutes 44.881 seconds. For the record-setting lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the Civic Type R was fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires, which are available through Honda dealers.

* A new Maserati MC20 Cielo in which all the technological elements of a "robo-driver" have been installed, will travel the entire 1000 Miglia 2023 route, driving in autonomous mode along some stretches of the route. The project named 1000 Miglia Autonomous Drive, conceived and developed by the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with 1000 Miglia srl along with the support and patronage of the National Centre for Sustainable Mobility, takes place June 13 to 17. On portions of the road, the vehicle will drive in total autonomy, respecting the rules of the Highway Code. Inside the car, in order to comply with the authorization requirements for experimentation, the vehicle will be supervised by a human co-driver. Matteo Marzotto, an experienced driver who has taken part in several editions of the historic 1000 Miglia, will also celebrate the 70th anniversary of his uncle Giannino's historic victory.

Stay safe. Be Well.