Harley recalls 107,000 motorcycles due to clutch problem

By Brandon Turkus

Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic

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Harley-Davidson is getting in on the recall chorus this year, announcing a six-figure callback of its Touring and CVO lines of cruisers. 105,746 Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide Special, Street Glide, Tri Glide Ultra, CVO Limited, CVO Road King, CVO Breakout, Electra Glide Ultra Classic Twin Cooled, Ultra Limited Shrine, Street Glide Shrine and CVO Softail Deluxe are affected.

The problem focuses on clutch master cylinder, which could be prone to failure, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, could reduce the “pressure available to keep the clutch disengaged.” If the clutch engages, NHTSA says the bike could creep forward unintentionally, raising the risk of a crash.

Separately, HD is also recalling 1,384 XG500 and XG750 (better known as Street 500 and Street 750) due to a problem with the neck of the fuel tank filler. Apparently, the neck may be “insufficiently flat,” which could prevent the fuel cap from sealing properly and increasing the chance of a fuel spill.

The Touring line recall only affects 2014 models, while the 1,400 Street bikes are from model year 2015. In both cases, Harley will be notifying owners of the affected bikes, who will …read more    

Rolls-Royce to reach 4,000 units this year

By Noah Joseph

Rolls-Royce showroom

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Rolls-Royce is, by nature, an exclusive auto marque, but it has been steadily increasing its sales to the point that it could be looking at 4,000 units by the end of this year, setting a new record for the German-owned British automaker.

You don’t even need to go back a decade to find Rolls-Royce sales hovering around the 1,000-unit mark. But that was when Goodwood only offered the Phantom saloon. The subsequent addition of the Phantom DHC and Phantom Coupe helped expand its portfolio, enlarged even further by the addition of the Ghost in 2010, by which time total sales were reaching 3,000 units.

The Spirit of Ecstasy marque has been hovering around the 3,500 mark ever since, but with the Wraith now in the mix and its reach extending into growing markets around the world, Autocar reports that global sales could top 4,000 units this year. (Of course that pales in comparison to one-time sister brand Bentley, which topped 10,000 deliveries last year, but Rolls-Royce typically competes at a higher price bracket.)

That’s all well and fine in the abstract, but what that means in concrete terms is that Goodwood stands to generate …read more    

Kia bringing updated Rio, Venga to Paris

By Noah Joseph

2015 Kia Rio

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The Rio may not be the most popular Kia in the United States – not by a long shot – but it was the brand’s top seller globally last year. Little wonder, then, that although the current fourth-generation model was only introduced in 2011, the Korean automaker is already rolling out a facelifted version.

Set to be revealed later this week at the Paris Motor Show, the 2015 Kia Rio has been updated inside, out and under the hood. The front end gets a new grille, bumper and foglights, there’s a new bumper around back, and a fresh array of alloy wheels ranging in size from 15 inches to 17. There are also two new colors on offer, and the interior has been updated with a new center stack and chrome trim.

Powertrain options depend on local market demands but range from 74 horsepower to 107, driving the front wheels through a five- or six-speed manual or four-speed automatic and available with stop/start ignition. The updates were announced for the European-spec model; we’re waiting for confirmation on what, if any, of these revisions will reach US showrooms, so watch this space.

While it’s at it, Kia has also …read more    

Toyota recalls 690,000 Tacoma trucks for rusty leaf springs, fire risk

By Brandon Turkus

2010 Toyota Tacoma 4x2 PreRunner

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Toyota has announced that it will be issuing a recall of 690,000 Tacoma pickups from model years 2005 through 2011. The affected vehicles include both the four-wheel-drive model and the two-wheel-drive PreRunner (but not the standard 4×2 pickups), which may have a rather serious problem with their rear suspensions.

In some cases, corrosion and stress could cause one of the three or four leaves in the rear suspension’s leaf springs to fracture. While the trucks can still be driven with a broken leaf, Toyota is concerned that it could move out of position and impact other components in the rear of the truck, with a particular focus on the fuel tank. Needless to say, but a piece of metal continuously impacting anything, let alone the fuel tank, is cause for concern.

As of this writing, there have been no reports of crashes, injuries, fires or deaths due to this problem, although that won’t stop Toyota from informing all affected customers of the issue. Those 690,000 owners will need to report in to dealers for inspections and, if necessary, repairs.

Scroll down for the press release from Toyota.

Toyota recalls 690,000 Tacoma trucks for rusty leaf …read more