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Entries in Hybrid (10)

Tuesday
Apr162013

Cars.com Names Best Value in Hybrid Cars 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With Earth Day less than one week away, Cars.com released a list of its editors' selections for best hybrid cars in terms of value.

Cars.com's executive editor, Joe Wiesenfelder, said, "Gas prices remain volatile, so as shoppers consider more fuel-efficient options, they should know how effectively hybrids deliver gas mileage for their dollar - if they do at all."

Cars.com analyzed each car's fuel economy and sticker price, with the goal being to find the car with the highest fuel efficiency and lowest base cost.

"Our list helps shoppers looking for a cost-effective, efficient car in just about every size and category that can meet the needs of any car shoppers."

You can see Cars.com's editors' selections here.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan252013

Hybrid Air Car Could Get 117 mpg, Says Peugeot Citroen

PSA Peugeot Citroen(NEW YORK) -- With gas in the United States averaging $3.31 per gallon this week and the average car getting about 27 mpg in regular driving, it may feel like you're handing over your life savings every time you go fill up the tank.

Some gas-electric hybrids can do better than 50 mpg, but not a lot of people own them.  And though you spend less on gas, you generally spend more up front on the price of the car.

But what if someone offered you a car that could get up to 117 mpg in city driving and would cost about $1,500 less than typical hybrids?  

Peugeot Citroen, the French automaker, has now shown off a prototype for such a car and claims on its website that it could start selling air-hybrid cars in Europe by 2016.  

The company, according to European news reports, says that on local streets, the cars would mostly run on compressed air, cutting gasoline use -- and costs -- by as much as 80 percent.  There would be a sturdy tank of compressed air in the floor or trunk, recharged by the engine or brakes.  The technology would start in existing subcompact models, the company said, but soon expand to include vehicles of all sizes.

“We are not talking about weird and wacky machines,” a company spokesman was quoted as saying.  “These are going to be in everyday cars.”

Peugeot Citroen says it took on “the challenge of creating an environmentally friendly vehicle,” and expects it would also save its customers money.  It got some backing from the French government, which, like the U.S. government, is pushing automakers to get better fuel efficiency.

But will it be viable?  Peugeot and Citroen, which joined forces in the 1970s, both pulled out of the U.S. market decades ago, and have been losing market share in Europe.  It’s important for them to look innovative.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec062012

Ford Hybrids Not Living Up to MPG Claims?

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Are you a car buyer who trusts what you read on the window sticker?  New findings by Consumer Reports may make you think twice.

The magazine says its tests show the new Fusion Hybrid and C-Max hybrid don’t live up to Ford’s claims that they get 47 miles per gallon.

“We actually just completed our formal instrumented testing of them in fuel economy,” says Jake Fisher at Consumer Reports.  “We got 37 miles per gallon for the C-Max and 39 for the Ford Fusion Hybrid.”

That is significantly lower than Ford’s mileage claim and the biggest discrepancy Consumer Reports has ever found between a manufacturer’s estimate and actual real-world performance.

Fisher predicts, “If someone were to buy these vehicles and see 47 miles per gallon and get 39 or 37, they’d probably be pretty disappointed.”

Despite achieving 10 miles per gallon less than advertised, Consumer Reports finds both vehicles actually get excellent fuel economy, even at 37 mpg.  It’s the best mileage testers have ever seen in mid-size vehicles.

In a written statement to ABC News, Ford responds: “Early C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg.”

Ford insists that different driving styles will yield different results.  The company says there are tools inside the hybrid vehicles to optimize fuel economy.

Despite Ford’s assertion that 47 mpg is achievable, Consumer Reports says it doesn’t believe that is the case in real-world, typical driving conditions.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May092012

Honda Hybrid MPG Suit Tossed By Judge

Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Los Angeles judge Wednesday overturned a small-claims court ruling against American Honda Motor Co. over the lower-than-advertised gas mileage of its 2006 Civic Hybrid.

Heather Peters had sued for $10,000, the maximum allowed in small-claims court, and had been awarded $9,867 on Feb. 1 after telling the court that her car got 30 miles per gallon (mpg), not the 50 mpg the company advertised, costing her unexpected gas money and resale value.

In overturning the ruling, Superior Court Judge Dudley W. Gray found that while Peters had standing to sue in state court, “federal regulations control the fuel economy ratings posted on vehicles” and ads citing them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates fuel economy, and the Federal Trade Commission governs ads. Honda complied with both agencies’ rules, the judge ruled.

EPA ratings “are for comparison among vehicles,” the ruling said, and ignore “many factors that affect mileage at a given moment.” These include speed, length of trip, weather and air conditioning, it said. “Despite these variables,” the ruling said, “the majority of users report mileage very close to the EPA estimates.”

Regarding Peters’ complaint that Honda used slogans such as “sipping fuel” and “saves money on fuel,” the court said these were “non-actionable sales puffery” and “not specific promises of anything.”

“Of course I’m disappointed,” Peters told ABC News via email. “But I’m still glad that I raised awareness that Honda is no longer the great brand that it used to be. They used to go the extra mile in customer service. Now they go the extra mile fighting customers in court. I guess the moral of the story is, buyer beware — especially of Honda!”

Peters said no further appeal is allowed in small-claims court.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr102012

Little Loyalty Exists Among Hybrid Car Owners, Research Finds

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hybrid vehicle owners really love their cars -- or do they?

Consumer Reports says that according to auto industry data provider and research company R.L. Polk, just over one in three hybrid owners -- 35 percent -- decide to buy another hybrid when it comes time to purchase a new vehicle.  The numbers are based on those owning hybrids from 2008 through 2001. 

Meanwhile, if Toyota Prius owners are taken out of the equation, the rate of hybrid drivers returning to an automobile with at least two distinct power sources drops to 25 percent.

While this doesn’t sound too promising for proponents of hybrid cars, those who stick with them are very loyal to the brand they drive.

For instance, six in 10 people who own hybrids made by Toyota will purchase another Toyota while just over half of Honda hybrid owners will buy a Honda the next time around.

Past Consumer Reports surveys have shown that drivers’ ownership habits are increasingly predicated by the cost of gasoline.  Last November, 83 percent said they’d be willing to pay more for a car with better fuel efficiency and from that group, 56 percent said they’d consider a hybrid, although what they say to poll takers often differs from what actually happens when they go car shopping.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb012012

Woman Wins Small-Claims Suit Against Honda Over Mileage

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Southern California woman has won her case against Honda in small-claims court, where she argued Civic Hybrid cars failed to live up to their advertised mileage.

A Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner on Wednesday awarded Heather Peters $9,867.

Peters sued the American Honda Motor Company for allegedly failing to follow through on its advertisements that Honda Civic Hybrid cars would get 50 miles per gallon.

She said her 2006 Civic Hybrid got 30 mpg.

Peters was seeking damages of $10,000 -- the maximum amount allowed in California small-claims court -- for the extra money she spent, plus the car's lower resale value.

Peters started an online campaign consisting of a website, Twitter account and YouTube channel in order to take her suit viral and spark a "small-claims flash mob" of Civic Hybrid owners, her statement said.

Peters' statement said Honda was close to settling five class-action lawsuits alleging the same false advertising.

The proposed settlements would give each class member $100 to $200, and the plaintiffs' attorneys would get $8.4 million.

A San Diego judge will consider the proposed settlements on March 16, Peters said, adding an earlier proposed settlement had been rejected as unfair to car owners.

Peters opted out of a class action out of frustration with the proposed payout, especially considering the millions plaintiffs' lawyers would get.

Peters' campaign urges Civic owners to follow suit, opting out and suing Honda in small-claims court. Given the number of owners of Civic Hybrids -- approximately 200,000 -- and the $10,000 maximum damages, the wave of small-claims suits could cost Honda $2 billion, Peters said last month.

Honda has tried five times to have Peters' small-claims suit dismissed or the trial postponed until after the date by which class members may opt out of the class action, Peters said.

Honda would not comment on pending litigation, according to several earlier press reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan032012

Woman Sues Honda, Mounts Online Campaign Against Class Actions

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) -- Small-claims court, by definition, is a small-stakes, usually humdrum venue for tenant-landlord disputes and the like. But combined with social media, it could challenge class-action lawsuits as a way consumers can seek redress from companies for allegedly faulty products.

That's what Heather Peters, 46, a Calif. former corporate defense lawyer, thinks. Her view takes center stage Tuesday afternoon in Torrance Small Claims Court, in Torrance, Calif.

Tuesday's trial will consider Peters' suit against American Honda Motor Company for failing to live up to its advertisements that Honda Civic Hybrid cars would get 50 miles per gallon, according to a statement Peters released. Her 2006 Civic Hybrid got 30 m.p.g., she said. She is seeking damages of $10,000 -- the maximum allowed in Calif. small-claims court -- for the extra money she spent plus the car's lower resale value.

Peters has started an online campaign -- consisting of a website, Twitter account and YouTube channel -- in order to take her suit viral and spark a "small-claims flash mob" of Civic Hybrid owners, her statement said.

Peters' statement said Honda was close to settling five class-action lawsuits alleging the same false advertising. The proposed settlements would give each class member $100 to $200, and the plaintiffs' attorneys would get $8.4 million.

A San Diego judge will consider the proposed settlements on March 16, Peters said, adding an earlier proposed settlement had been rejected as unfair to car owners.

Peters had herself opted out of a class action out of frustration with the proposed payout, especially considering the millions plaintiffs' lawyers would get.

Therefore, if she loses her small-claims case, she would get nothing.

"I'm willing to bet $200 I'll do a lot better!" she said in an interview on her way to the trial. She felt "very confident," she said.

Peters' campaign urges Civic owners in these suits to follow suit, opting out and suing Honda in small-claims court. Given the number of owners of Civic Hybrids -- approximately 200,000 -- and the $10,000 maximum damages, the wave of small-claims suits could cost Honda $2 billion, Peters said.

Honda has tried five times to have Peters' small-claims suit dismissed or the trial postponed until after the date by which class members may opt out of the class action, Peters said.

Honda would not comment on pending litigation, according to several press reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun292011

Toyota Recalling 82,200 Hybrid SUVs Sold in US

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) -- Toyota announced Wednesday it is voluntarily recalling 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles, citing faulty transistors in the control boards.

The recall applies to model years 2006 and 2007 vehicles sold in the U.S.

The Japanese automaker says some of the transistors in the recalled models were inadequately soldered and could be damaged by heat.  Should this happen, affected vehicles would most likely enter a fail-safe driving mode, leading to a reduction in power.  The vehicles can still be driven, but only for short distances.

Owners of the affected models will be notified by mail in mid-July.  They will then be notified again when the necessary replacement parts become available.  Toyota is currently working on acquiring an adequate number of parts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar092011

Toyota Expanding Line of Hybrid Cars

Toyota(AICHI, JAPAN) -- Toyota is expanding its line of eco-friendly hybrid cars just as news comes that gas prices have reached their highest levels in years.

The Japanese carmaker announced plans to add a five-seat Prius wagon and seven-seat minivan to the lineup of gas-electric cars. The wagon will come equipped with a lithium-ion battery, a first for a Prius. The vehicles are expected to make their debut in the U.S. later this summer.

Toyota plans to add nearly a dozen new models to its hybrid lineup in the next few years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov202010

In the Driver's Seat: Obama Plugs Hybrid Technology Overseas

Photo Courtesy - TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(LISBON, Portugal) -- During a break from sessions on NATO and Afghanistan, President Obama got a look at a plug-in hybrid car on display at the convention center in Lisbon.

The electric/gas vehicle is an Opel Ampera, produced in Detroit where the GM Chevy Volt is made.  It has the same technology as the Volt and both will be marketed in Europe starting in late 2011, according to Guillermo Sarmiento, managing director of GM Portugal, and Volker Hoff, vice president of Opel.

The president sat in the driver’s seat and got an explainer on the car from Hoff. The president noted to reporters watching the demonstration that the engine was silent – “Can’t hear it, can you?” he asked.

President Obama noted that Portugal has placed an emphasis on the vehicles, offering subsidies. He said he hopes that GM will market this car “all across Europe.”

“These gentleman are excited about the prospects,” he said of Sarmiento and Hoff.  “This is the future.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐







ABC News Radio