Articles Tagged with Automobiles

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How confident are you that your car’s brakes are functioning properly?  If you own a 2013-2015 Toyota Avalon or Avalon Hybrid; a 2012-2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid; or 2010-2015 Toyota Prius or Prius Plug-In, you may want to rethink your answer.  Many owners of these cars, some of which are Toyota’s most popular offerings, have noticed something is not right with their brakes.

Even Toyota has noticed the problem with the brakes on the Avalon, Camry and Prius because it appears Toyota may have implemented a limited warranty extension program, agreeing to provide necessary repairs free of charge or to reimburse consumers for money paid to repair the brake booster assembly on these cars.

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However, Toyota is not as generous as it appears because it is not going to reimburse consumers or perform the repairs unless customers experienced one of five brake system warnings, indicating the Diagnostic Trouble Codes C1391; C1252; C1256; or C1253.  This means Toyota is only going to fix a driver’s brake system after it has failed or malfunctioned, leaving drivers to wonder when their brakes may fail.

Many drivers complain about their car’s brakes being “too soft” or the brake assist and stability control not working when it should or initiating at times it should not.  This brake defect can result in an increased stopping distance or an inability to stop, and has caused accidents. Continue reading

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Generally, when you buy a car and are promised a feature—like air conditioning, satellite radio, or navigation—you expect that feature to continue to work/exist AFTER you take your car off the lot. Well, this expectation seems not to be shared by the people over at Mazda, as 2016 Mazda vehicle owners recently found out.

When consumers purchased a 2016 Mazda vehicle, real-time navigation software was one of the features of the vehicle they were buying (or at least that’s what they were led to believe). In early 2016, however, that very same software stopped functioning for all Mazda vehicles. Or, to hear 2016 Mazda owners tell it:

Wife and I picked up a 2016 CX-F about a month or so ago, I’ve noticed that the navigation is having a lot of problems keeping a lock on the car. I drove about 10 or 15 miles to my doctors office this morning and the whole time the nav was shoing me either 2 or 3 miles off the interstate or it was thinking I was on a different road completely. It did this the whole way there, even going on a long straight on the interstate it would suddenly jump me off the road and took minutes to lock back on. I checked the GPS information and it was showing 7 or 8 locked sats on me and at high accuracy. Continue reading

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Less than 10 years ago, the subprime mortgage lending crisis sent the economy into a tailspin.  Now, a new predatory lending practice has come to the forefront of financial and consumer concerns and has many of the same issues and risks as the mortgage crisis—used car loans at exorbitant rates to consumers with credit scores of 640 or below, also known as subprime auto loans.

There is a proliferation of used automobile dealerships advertising “No credit? Bad credit? No problem!” in an attempt to entice consumers who may not otherwise qualify for, and may not be able to afford, a used car loan.  These dealerships target potential purchasers with credit scores of 640 and below.  In exchange for offering credit to higher risk consumers, the banks financing these loans charge very high interest rates in comparison to those offered to potential purchasers with more favorable credit scores.  Occasionally, dealerships fabricate work history or income to ensure that a consumer qualifies for a loan.  In other circumstances, the dealerships and banks offer loans to consumers they should know do not have the ability to pay back.  In many cases, providing these high interest loans simply sets up car purchasers for failure with monthly payments they are realistically unable to afford.

Owners of vehicles financed through subprime auto loans do their best to make their payments, but often, unfortunately, the high interest rate combined with the large monthly payments lead to an inability to pay.  In some cases, after missed payments, the bank repossesses the vehicles. In other cases, even if the payment is a mere few days late, the bank utilizes remote starter interrupters that render the vehicles unable to start until the balance owed is paid.  This leaves consumers with no way to transport themselves and their families, even in the event of an emergency, or to travel to and from work.  Unfortunately, this often leads to even greater financial woes.

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