Archive for August, 2009
Drivers who operate used cars in New York may know that there is a ban on all cell phone use, except for emergency use, similar to regulations in neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
But if they plan on driving out of state, they may soon face a ticket or other punishment on a national scale, if legislators create a new national law based on recent public opinion surveys.
A poll conducted by Harris Interactive found that roughly four out of every five motorists in America support a nationwide ban on texting while driving, and about two-thirds would support a similar restriction on any cell phone use while operating a vehicle.
“In recent months, the debate about the dangers of DWD has intensified as more and more states consider taking legislative action,” said Bill Windsor, safety officer for Nationwide Insurance, which commissioned the study. “It also provides insight into support for additional restrictions policymakers may want to consider.”
The findings come in advance of discussions by governors at their annual summit this week, and before President Obama is scheduled to have a discussion about driving while distracted at the end of September before new laws could be enacted that affect those driving used cars in New York.
The 2010 Nissan Rogue was recently unveiled by the Japanese automaker, but although the car is a recent entrant in the American market, buyers who consider used Nissan Rogues in New York can still save thousands.
That’s because the new model starts out at more than $20,000 for the compact crossover SUV, and many options packages can add thousands to that base price if one is looking for larger wheels, tinted windows, or a chrome grille.
Previous models have similar lists of safety features, and government crash test ratings for the first model, the 2008, ensured the Rogue received high marks for crashworthiness from U.S. News & World Report.
The 2008 used Nissan Rogue in New York is also more inexpensive than its newer brethren, enough to offset the loss of the Cash for Clunkers program according to some industry pricing estimates.
“The 2008 Nissan Rogue is a very good choice for suburbanites who enjoy an elevated driving position and occasionally need the utility and available all-wheel drive of a compact crossover,” note Edmunds.com editors.
Toyota has finally announced that it will no longer be able to sustain production at the NUMMI production facility, meaning that thousands may be out of work and some vehicles may only be available as used cars in New Jersey.
The Japanese automaker had previously built the Corolla compact sedan, the Matrix hatchback and the Tacoma there, but the Matrix was discontinued after General Motors shuttered Pontiac. Corollas will now be produced in Ontario, Canada and Tacomas will be built in San Antonio, company officials announced.
There had been a struggle to keep the facility viable after General Motors backed out of the joint venture that had led to NUMMI’s creation, and now aficionados may want to consider used Pontiac Vibes or a used Toyota Matrix in New Jersey.
“We remain strongly committed to maintaining a substantial production presence in the U.S. and North America,” said Atsushi Niimi, Toyota’s North American head. “To that end, we will consider moving additional Corolla production back to North America over time.”
It can be difficult to get over past impressions of vehicles, and while that may be warranted in considering the Pontiac Aztek, several kinds of used cars in New York went through redesigns that could overturn old opinions.
For example, the Hyundai Sonata went under the knife for 2006 and emerged as a car worthy of note with a laundry list of standard features and styling that make it stand out compared to other midsize used cars in New York, according to a Cars.com report.
The Nissan Altima was another car that had suffered an identity crisis, competing as much against its smaller counterpart the Sentra as it did against offerings from other companies. It became a midsize in 2002, and the new exterior design caught more eyes than many Camrys or Accords, noted the website.
The editors at Edmunds.com agreed that the 2006 Hyundai Sonata was a good choice, writing that “[it] is the best Hyundai car yet, with plentiful features and an excellent highway ride that make it a serious contender in the midsize sedan segment.”
GPS navigation devices can be a good accessory for drivers of used cars in New Jersey that worry about being distracted by maps, or who want to be able to take a wrong turn and be directed back onto their route.
Once a motorist has live somewhere for a while, though, certain turns and areas may become part of a motorist’s mental map, but that doesn’t normally fit into a GPS system’s route planning algorithm.
For drivers who have an iPhone, a program called G-map may allow them to “train” their mobile device to recognize that avoiding frequently slick roadways or highly-trafficked streets is not a wrong turn.
“Everyone who has used a GPS knows that sometimes, the ‘fastest’ or ‘shortest’ route proposed by a navigation system is not always the best route for that individual,” explains Sean Lee, who markets the G-Map.
While it will recalculate routes, the program includes a feature that allows frequent changes to be included as preferred routes for drivers of used cars in New Jersey.
When people like a product, it’s generally not recommended to change it very much. Audi has done little to change its classic logo, and buyers considering used Audis in New Jersey may find that they hold up as well as the automaker’s famous four-ring design.
The logo is still the same four inter-linked metal rings, with the red Audi name beneath, reported AutoCar in the UK. The principal differences are more three-dimensional rendering for shadows in the rings, and justifying the name to the left.
Similarly, used Audis in New Jersey often offer similar quality to their newer counterparts, but at prices much more attractive to those considering a German luxury car.
For example, the Audi A3 was introduced in 2006 as a four-door hatch based on the popular version that had been sold for years in Europe.
And buyers considering the A3 from that year will be able to take advantage of its “wagonlike cargo versatility” in a package that offers “precise” steering and an uncluttered interior, notes a Cars.com review.
The Cash for Clunkers program may have affected the supply of used cars in New York, but dealers nationwide believe that now that the blitz of sales is over, more buyers will be considering pre-owned vehicles.
Jeff Young, the sales manager at one dealership, told the Times-Herald that he expected to focus on discounts for used cars still on the lots, once he gets through the backlog of paperwork associated with the government program.
Fellow salesman Tim Gaither said that the stringent and esoteric rules behind Cash for Clunkers drove many people to his lots, where they left with a used car after finding they couldn’t qualify for the savings needed to purchase a new vehicle, reported the news provider.
But buyers who are now considering used cars in New York may want to act sooner, rather than later. A combination of fewer available trade-ins because of crushed clunkers and decreased production could limit pre-owned choices, according to USA Today.
While there are still deals available, some sellers caution that the effects of taking hundreds of thousands of used cars off the road may soon affect supplies, noted the newspaper.
Today’s new cars are tomorrow’s used cars in New Jersey, especially those that are often auctioned off after short lease periods, so Ford‘s announced commitment to increase production could be good news for buyers considering purchasing used cars.
The automaker announced that it was adding shifts at facilities that produce the compact Focus model as well as the venerable F-150 truck series, meaning around-the-clock construction for both vehicles.
That will also include the compact sports utility vehicles produced by the company like the Ford Escape and the Mercury Mariner, and stands in direct contrast to the capacity exhibited by both General Motors and Chrysler.
“Even with ‘Cash for Clunkers’ behind us, we expect that demand for our fuel-efficient, high quality new vehicles will remain strong,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of marketing, sales and service. “We’re being as creative as we can in pushing the system to meet the demand for our products.”
On the other hand, those interested in the model lines from General Motors and Chrysler may be better served by looking at used cars in New Jersey: both companies posted slower sales growth from the Cash for Clunkers program due to production cuts that have limited the availability of new vehicles.
Buyers often look to Toyota because of a belief that they are reliable, according to some autmotive experts, but a new safety recall could point potential buyers towards used cars in New York instead of some current options.
The Japanese automaker is initiating a recall of nearly 100,000 Toyota Corollas, Matrixes and Scion xDs from model years 2009 and 2010 because of brake issues in freezing temperatures for cars that come with a 1.8 liter engine.
Officials from the company say that a cascading effect of moisture in the crankcase could cause freezing in the brake system, leading to reduced stopping ability for residents in New York and 18 other states.
Used Toyota Corollas have not been the subject of similar concerns, and buyers considering used cars in New York could be attracted to the 2005 model of the entry-level vehicle.
“It delivers a satisfying blend of fuel economy, refinement and reliability,” noted a Cars.com review. “Riding smoothly, Corollas feel solid and are confidence-inspiring”
The website also notes that buyers may enjoy the fact that it’s “long been one of the best compacts on the market,” with a powerful engine in some models.
Many owners are considering holding onto used cars in New York, and even recent buyers don’t want to see their cars off the road because of a breakdown.
A service like DriverSide may help people who want to keep their cars in good shape, but may not have a strong mechanical background. Similarly to some medical websites, owners can input symptoms of car trouble into the database, or begin by choosing what they see, hear or smell.
For some of the repairs, how-to videos may help new owners solve the problem themselves, or the site can provide an estimated cost to fix the problem.
“A hundred dollars spent in proactive car care can save drivers thousands in repair costs down the road,” said Jad Dunning, DriverSide.com CEO.
Whether or not a driver checks out websites like DriverSide, maintaining a used car in New York can save money and frustration. According to a Kelton Research survey, only one in six car owners performs some basic maintenance on their vehicles.
Steve Williams writes for AutoWeek, Newsday and other media platforms covering cars and the automotive industry. In a recent interview he said that used cars in New Jersey are a better bet than new cars or leasing.
“Used cars have more attractive price points initially, of course, and this year a lot of cars are coming into dealers off lease, so larger inventories in used-car lots give dealers more incentive to move them out quickly,” he said in a Minyanville.com interview.
Williams also added that attractive financing options limit the appeal of leasing, since a low interest loan will provide the same affordable initial price to own, but also give buyers ownership of the vehicle rather than having to give it back, according to the website.
New cars could receive another blow in appeal to consumers now that the government’s Cash for Clunkers program has ended and the $4,500 rebates are no longer available. Although some automakers are continuing to give discount, many promotion programs have lost about half of the savings they initially offered.
In a now annual feature, the journalists at Car and Driver have been putting together a list of the best cars they’ve driven that are less than $20,000, and used Honda S2000s in New York come out near the top of the list.
Since they consider themselves enthusiasts, they have stuck with used cars since they are more affordable, and one that struck them as epitomizing affordable performance was the 2000-2006 model Honda S2000.
“In 1999, the S2000 screamed onto the scene and instantly elevated our sports-car expectations,” they noted. “The high-revving four-cylinder engine developed more power per liter than any naturally aspirated powerplant had ever achieved.”
Buyers could consider a 2006 model, which included a more refined engine and “agile” chassis that combined to offer a “high level of performance for the price” of a used Honda S2000 in New York, according to Edmunds.com editors.
“After driving it back-to-back against the best roadsters in its class, our editors couldn’t help but fall in love with [it],” they wrote.
A Hummer dealer in Chesterfield, Missouri has opened a secondary shop at his facility that offers an add-on buyers considering used cars in New Jersey have probably never seen: an in-store gun showroom.
Although the website for Jim Lynch Hummer touts the dealership as the only one in the country that offers Hummers exclusively, that focus didn’t pan out for him.
“[We] didn’t have enough business to keep this big, beautiful building going with the decline, so we decided we needed to do something else,” Lynch told the Belleville New-Democrat. “And the guns fit in with our customer base… a lot of sportsman, a lot of outdoorsmen, and they’ve loved it.”
He says that customers have responded well to the shift in inventory, and some customers explained to the newspaper that they valued the ability to shop for sporting goods at the dealership.
Buyers who are looking for fuel-friendly vehicles unlike the Hummer can look at a variety of used cars in New Jersey, with enough money left over for whatever hunting equipment they like. Many hybrids offer fuel mileage over 40 miles per gallon, and smaller German sedans with diesel engines can also help owners save on gas.
While buyers who prefer used cars in New York may have seen the possible closure of the joint Toyota-General Motors plant, known as NUMMI, as a sign that some cars may stop being offered in showrooms, the impact on local families is also a growing concern.
Advocates with Friends of NUMMI, or New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated, say that shutting down the plant puts 50,000 jobs at risk in California because there will be no future
The plant employs less than 5,000 people, but the organization says that the true scope of the shutdown includes suppliers and other local business that help to put out nearly half a million vehicles each year.
“I’m definitely worried about my future,” NUMMI employee Freddy Martin told the San Francisco Chronicle during a recent rally to keep the facility open. “I’m only hoping that all the tax incentives and business breaks the state is offering will make it possible for Toyota to stay.”
While General Motors has pulled out of the partnership, Toyota is in talks to keep the plant open, which may mean more used Toyota Matrixes in New York for future buyers.
From August 21 through Labor Day Weekend, police departments around the country will be increasing the numbers of sobriety checkpoints and patrols to limit the number of drunk drivers, and motorists operating used cars in New York should take steps to limit their intake before getting behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued grants to more than 11,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide to pay for officers for overtime related to the “Drunk Driving, over the limit, under arrest” program designed to keep intoxicated Labor Day revelers from making poor decisions.
The administration has seen an uptick in the number of female drivers involved in fatal crashes while allegedly driving intoxicated, and notes that will be a focus for police officers monitoring used cars in New York and other states.
“Impaired driving is an issue that cuts across all segments of society and, sadly, the number of arrests of women driving under the influence is on the rise,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This is clearly a very disturbing trend.”
Part of General Motors efforts to revitalize its many lines of vehicles includes updates that come from its design teams worldwide, but the new Regal may not interest buyers who would prefer the American look of used Buick Regals in New Jersey.
The 2011 Buick Regal will be a rebadged Opel Insignia, a sedan sold in Europe that has a higher waistline and a more continental appearance, according to the Detroit News.
Recent speculation from automotive writers suggest that the new car would be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, marking the first Buick Regal in America in six years. Buyers who are turned off by the styling, however, could consider used Buick Regals in New Jersey.
The 2004 model costs less than some new motorcycles, and according to Edmunds.com editors, it is “a competent sedan for the money” with a supercharged V6 available in some trims and a roomy interior.
Updates for that year also included expanded wood trim and dual-zone climate control options, noted the website.
Drivers of used Volkswagen cars in New Jersey may be wondering what’s going on with the prospective merge or sale between the German automaker and Porsche. Authorities are demonstrating the same curiosity, having recently raided Porsche corporate offices.
German prosecutors executed search warrants at Porsche headquarters this morning on suspicions of securities law infractions and market manipulations, reported Bloomberg. Porsche had originally been trying to execute a purchase of Volkswagen, but is now selling its stake to Qatari investors.
“Based on evidence provided by [german regulators,] we have opened a preliminary investigation into suspected market manipulation and unauthorized leaks of insider information,” Claudia Krauth, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, told the wire service.
The saga began when former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking attempted to gain a voting majority of Volkswagen shares, plunging the luxury maker into debt before Porsche turned to the Middle East to sell it’s majority stake in Volkswagen, reported Reuters.
The price of shares during the takeover skyrocketed to more than 1,000 euros each, but the end result was that Volkswagen owns Porsche because of the debt accumulated before the financial downturn, according to the news provider.
It lasted six weeks, but buyers considering trading in used cars in New York for new cars as part of the Cash for Clunkers program may find that funding has ceased for the incentives.
The government is set to stop taking claims after 8 p.m. on August 24, fearing that otherwise, the $3 billion set aside for the program will not cover the rebates already issued as part of the CARS efforts to improve national fuel economy measures, reported the Detroit Free Press.
The federal Department of Transportation says that $1.9 billion has already been issued, and another $500 billion or so in rebate applications are likely to be applied for as dealers process paperwork, the newspaper noted.
Some automakers have stepped up to guarantee that the remaining dealers will be paid if they are not covered by the government, up to the November 1 deadline for the program, according to Fox News.
However, drivers of used cars in New York are unlikely to find the current deals that included matching discounts from dealerships, and may want to consider recent used cars instead of 2009 and 2010 vehicles to fit their budget.