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Archived Auto News and Events for December 2010

Rising Gasoline May Signal Changed SUV Buying Habits
Over the past week gasoline prices in the United States climbed past $3 a gallon, reaching their highest level since October 2008 according to the U.S.
General Motors Adds Cadillac CTS to Recalls
General Motors is recalling approximately 96,000 Cadillac CTS vehicles from the model years spanning 2005 to 2007 for a problem with a floor mat that alerts the car's airbag system of the presence of passengers in the front seat.
Toyota Agrees to Pay Two Additional NHTSA Fines
In addition to an earlier fine of $16.4 million, Toyota has now agreed to pay an additional two fines total ling $32.4 million, the maximum U.S. law allows, bringing the total the company has paid in civil penalties in 2010 to $48.8 million.
Toyota to Move Lexus Brand Toward
Toyota has announced a new global strategy for its Lexus brand, which it is calling "progressive luxury," focusing on advanced telematics, sportier packages, and hybrids.
Sources Say GM Planning Electric Cadillac
According to a report by Reuters, General Motors is working on the development of a hybrid version of the Cadillac SRX crossover. Although not confirmed, a Cadillac plug-in would transform a name once synonymous with big, ostentation cars into a new, 21st century fuel-conscious version of itself in a form factor increasingly gaining approval with the buying public.
J.D. Power Study Reveals Damage to Toyota's Reputation
According to the 2010 Avoider Study by J.D. Power and Associates more new car buyers are shying away from Toyota in the wake of the company's well-publicized safety and quality control issues.
First Nissan Leaf Retailed in California
On Saturday, December 11, 2010, Olivier Chalouhi, a resident of the San Francisco Bay area, was handed the keys of the first Nissan Leaf to be retailed in the United States at North Bay Nissan in Petaluma, California.
Ford and Honda Surpass Mercedes in Customer Retention
According to the J.D. Power and Associates annual Customer Retention Study, Ford and Honda have outpaced Mercedes-Benz this year, with both brands retaining 62 percent of buyers.
2011 Ford Explorer Seeks Appeal Through Fuel Efficiency
The 2011 Ford Explorer will seek to overcome the major problem that pushed customers away from the previous version of the model -- fuel economy. The newest incarnation of the Explorer will, according to a posting by Ford on December 7, 2010 on its Facebook page, get 25 percent better performance in the arena of gas mileage.
Fiat in Good Position to Capitalize on Natural-Gas Powered Vehicles
In the wake of the much-hyped introduction of the Chevrolet Volt, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler Group LLC says natural gas engines are a better alternative to cut emissions than electric cars, which, in his words present "too many obstacles" including a supporting fuel infrastructure and charging time.
NHTSA Proposes Mandatory Back-up Cameras
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a new rule today, Friday, December 3, proposing the inclusion of backup cameras in all new vehicles by 2014 in an effort to protect pedestrians in the path of reversing cars.
More Engineers, Greater Production Supports Volt Launch
The official launch of the long-anticipated Chevrolet Volt on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 proved to be an opportunity for General Motors executives to comment on the company's future plans in alternative energy innovation.
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