GM recalls 111,000 Equinox, Terrain and SRX models to repair seatbelt anchor

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co. is recalling about 111,000 Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX 2011 small SUV models because the anchor to the seatbelt buckle may fail, which could lead to injury in a crash.

The 2011 model-year vehicles were delivered in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Dealers will start notifying owners of the vehicles involved in January, GM said. GM will pay for the work done by dealers.

The buckles were supplied by Autoliv Inc. Hyojin of Korea made the buckles and supplied them to Autoliv, GM said.

GM spokesman Alan Adler said there are no replacement parts involved in the repair to be performed by dealers. The issue came in the assembly of the parts, he said.

Of the 111,136 vehicles recalled, GM said, 67,805 are Equinox models, 29,926 are Terrain models, and 13,405 are SRX models.

In November, GM recalled nearly 200,000 compact pickup trucks due to missing child seat anchors. The two recalls are not related, Adler said.

New Repair Scam: Barely Believable

Apparently there’s a new repair scam making the rounds. It’s another one of those “on-the-street” hustles, but I have to say that this is one of the weaker I’ve heard of. Nonetheless it seems a number of people have been taken by the scam. I’ll let you read it as it appears in the Nyack-Piermont Patch:

A team of con men operating in Rockland County is targeting young drivers and older drivers with an auto repair scam that has cheated several people recently out of hundreds of dollars, according to Clarkstown police.

Two Queens men have been arrested in connection with the scam, but Lt. Anthony Ovchinnikoff said detectives believe several other people are involved and that motorists should be wary of anyone who comes up to them on the street or in a parking lot offering to repair body damage to their car.

“They will take out some tools, pound on the fender and tinker, but they are not really doing anything,” Ovchinnikoff. “They then demand money for the repairs they say they have made. The victims say the men have been quite intimidating.”

This scam is similar to incidents that involve “creating” a repair in order to fix it, such as the loosening of lug nuts by scamsters. There’s a basic rule that will avoid this and similar scams — never pay anyone to fix your car in a parking lot. Seriously, never.


Honda slashes base Insight price by $1,600

LOS ANGELES — Honda, giving itself a $4,610 pricing edge over the base Toyota Prius, has added a base Insight hybrid model for 2011 that starts at $18,950, including destination charges.

That is a $1,600 price cut compared to the current Insight LX, which previously served as the base model.

Honda is counting on the steep price adjustment to reclaim ground with the more popular Prius.

Demand for the Insight has been essentially flat this year, with year-to-date sales of just 17,789, compared to sales of 17,530 units during the first ten months of 2009.

Prius sales have dipped slightly to 115,065 year-to-date from 118,290 during the same period in 2009.

To cut the Insight’s price, Honda removed some features from the LX model, such as standard navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has shifted to less expensive seat fabric and a stereo system that uses just two speakers.

Still, the new base model will include vehicle stability control, remote keyless locks, power windows, automatic climate control and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. No safety features were downgraded, Honda said in a statement.

Pricing for the 2011 Insight LX model will be $20,650, a $100 price increase, while the EX model will be $22,240, a $190 increase. Both vehicles will get additional standard features.