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Evija: Lotus Unveils World's Most Powerful Production Car

HETHEL, England, July 17, 2019 -- Resurgent British sports car maker Lotus has unveiled the Evija, the world's first all-electric British hypercar, at an exclusive event in London.

A technical tour de force, the Evija is illustrative of the innovative thinking and ingenuity that has always been part of the Lotus DNA.

With a target output of 2000 PS, it is the world's most powerful series production road car. It has been designed and engineered in the UK, and will be produced at Hethel, UK, the home of Lotus since 1966. A maximum of 130 will be built.

Full technical details can be found on the Lotus media website at

Hosted at the Royal Horticultural Halls, London, more than 350 VIP guests attended the unveiling. They were made up of international automotive, business, technology and design media, plus a host of UK business leaders, corporate and commercial partners, government officials, Lotus employees, racing drivers and other distinguished friends of the brand.

Also in attendance was a delegation of senior figures from Geely Auto, the world's fastest growing automotive group and majority shareholder of Group Lotus.

Vehicle Escape Tools are a Lifesaver – in the Right Situation

New research finds vehicle escape tools effective in breaking tempered side windows, but not laminated

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 16, 2019) – New research from AAA reveals that most vehicle escape tools, intended to quickly aid passengers trapped in a car following an accident, will break tempered side windows, but none were able to penetrate laminated glass. Motorists may not realize it, but an increasing number of new cars – in fact, 1 in 3 2018 vehicle models – have laminated side windows, a nearly unbreakable glass meant to lessen the chance of occupant ejection during a collision. AAA urges drivers to know what type of side window glass is installed on their vehicle, keep a secure and easily accessible escape tool in their car and have a backup plan in case an escape tool cannot be used or doesn’t work.

In its latest study, AAA examined a selection of vehicle escape tools available to consumers to determine their effectiveness in breaking tempered and laminated vehicle side windows. Of the six tools selected (three spring-loaded and three hammer style), AAA researchers found that only four were able to shatter the tempered glass and none were able to break the laminated glass, which stayed intact even after being cracked. During multiple rounds of testing, it was also discovered that the spring-loaded tools were more effective in breaking tempered windows than the hammer-style.

“To improve safety, more vehicles are being equipped with laminated side windows – but a majority also have at least one window made of tempered glass,” said John Nielsen, managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair for AAA. “Our research found that generally vehicle escape tools can be effective in an emergency, but only if drivers know what type of side windows they have, otherwise they could waste precious seconds trying to break glass that will not shatter.”

Drivers can determine the type of glass installed on their vehicle by first checking for a label located in the bottom corner of the side window, which should clearly indicate whether the glass is tempered or laminated. If this information is not included or there is no label at all, AAA advises contacting the vehicle manufacturer. It is also important to note that some vehicles are outfitted with different glass at varying locations in the car (i.e. tempered glass on rear side windows versus laminated on front side windows).

The increased use of laminated glass is in response to federal safety standards aimed at reducing occupant ejections in high speed collisions. In 2017, there were an estimated 21,400 people who were partially or fully ejected during a crash, resulting in 11,200 injuries and 5,053 deaths. While these types of crashes are more prevalent, there are instances where vehicles may catch fire or become partially or fully submerged in water, forcing drivers and their passengers to exit the vehicle through a side window. In situations like this, vehicle escape tools can assist ahead of emergency responders arriving.

National Gas Price Average Jumps Eight Cents in Two Weeks

The national gas price average is $2.79, which is an eight-cent increase since the beginning of July. Gas prices have increased amid more expensive crude oil prices, robust demand and decreasing gasoline stocks.

Since last Monday, 18 states have seen their gas price averages increase by at least a nickel. Hurricane Barry, which made landfall in Louisiana this past weekend, seems to have had little impact on the national average.

“Gas prices continue to increase for the majority of motorists east of the Mississippi, while those filling up in the West Coast and Rockies regions are seeing a bit of a reprieve at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “While the national average is up, only seven states have gas price averages of $3/gallon or more. And notably, compared to the same time last year, the average is still eight cents cheaper.”

Today’s average is four cents more than last week and a dime more expensive compared to a month ago.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.40), Alabama ($2.42), Louisiana ($2.43), Arkansas ($2.43), South Carolina ($2.48), Oklahoma ($2.50), Texas ($2.50), Virginia ($2.51), Kansas ($2.52) and Tennessee ($2.53).

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Indiana (+15 cents), Illinois (+14 cents), Missouri (+10 cents), Ohio (+10 cents), Oklahoma (+9 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents), Nebraska (+7 cents), South Carolina (+7 cents) and Georgia (+7 cents).

Automakers Confront an Uncertain New Vehicle Market in 2019

The strong economy keeps new car sales at historic highs, but analysts question how long this will last in the face of higher interest rates, shifting government policies, and a used vehicle market with more attractive options than ever

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 26, 2019 -- So far 2019 has been a year of contrasts for automakers as they struggle to find a new normal amid rising interest rates, waning demand, dramatic growth in the used market and uncertain government policies. Edmunds analysts break down these issues and the major factors influencing the new vehicle market this year in the Midyear Update of the Edmunds 2019 Automotive Trends Report.

"Automakers are fighting a war on multiple fronts right now: Old cars are piling up on dealer lots, a glut of affordable off-lease vehicles are luring shoppers into the used market, and even with the Fed anticipated to lower rates in July, higher interest rates are here to stay," said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis. "Strong economic indicators such as consumer confidence and low unemployment are keeping sales at historically elevated levels, but automakers have also been relying a little too heavily on fleet sales to keep these numbers up as well, which isn't a sustainable model."

According to Edmunds data, new vehicle sales are down 2.4% year-over-year through May, and Edmunds analysts maintain their forecast that 16.9 million new vehicles will be sold in 2019. In addition to a deeper dive into sales figures, the Midyear Report also reveals:

FCA to Launch New In-vehicle Uconnect Market Commerce Platform

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 24, 2019 --

Uconnect Market is a new platform that allows FCA customers to make on-demand reservations and to purchase products and services directly from the vehicle touchscreen

Customers interact directly with a variety of merchants, including Shell, Domino's, ParkWhiz and Yelp Reservations

Uconnect Market platform will deploy in the second half of 2019

New platform, developed in partnership with Xevo, follows recent announcement of new connected system for FCA vehicles

FCA continues to advance its in-vehicle technology, announcing today the launch of Uconnect Market, a new in-vehicle commerce platform that gives customers the opportunity to conveniently order food, find the nearest gas station, save money on fuel purchases and make dinner reservations, all from the comfort of their vehicles.

With the new platform, FCA owners will be able to skip lines and save time by ordering (and paying for) food and beverages, reserve a table on the way to their favorite restaurant or locate and securely authorize pump-and-pay fuel at participating locations. Drivers can also locate and pay for nearby parking and schedule service appointments at FCA US dealerships, all while in the vehicle without having to reach for a physical credit card.

"Our customers live busy lives, and our goal with the Uconnect platform is to provide an advanced portfolio of services to make their daily drive more convenient, productive and enjoyable," said Alan D'Agostini, Global Head of Connected Services, FCA. "This is why we are launching Uconnect Market, as we continue to ramp-up our connectivity efforts around the world with the goal of having all new FCA vehicles connected by 2022."

The lineup of brands participating in the Uconnect Market platform at launch includes Shell, Domino's, Park Whiz and Yelp Reservations.

Uconnect Market includes the following services:

Going Against Usual Trends, Demand Drives Gas Prices Down Even Lower

U.S. gasoline demand hit its highest level at 9.93 million b/d, for the week ending June 14. It is the highest level ever recorded since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) began publishing data in 1991. Counterintuitively, as motorists drive demand to new heights, pump prices pushed even cheaper across the country on the week. This is due to the recent trend in cheaper crude pricing and because crude comprises roughly 60% of the costs people pay at the pump, drivers are seeing summer savings. When compared to this time last year, domestic crude prices are cheaper by approximately $12 per barrel. Today’s national average is $2.66, which is two cents less than last week and 18 cents less than a month and year ago.

“Filling-up at the pump this summer could mean savings as much as a quarter a gallon,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Cheaper prices could entice motorists to travel more and even take some last minute road trips.”

At the end of last week, a massive fire took Philadelphia Energy Solution’s (PES) Philadelphia, the largest on the East Coast, offline, causing concern of what this could do to gas prices this summer. The incident will likely lead to reduced gasoline production at the refinery. However, gasoline from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline are likely solutions to help backfill supply, meet demand and relieve any tightness in gasoline supplies as a result of reduced gasoline production at PES’ refinery and keep gas prices cheap throughout summer.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Indiana (-30 cents), California (-26 cents), South Carolina (-24 cents), Michigan (-23 cents), Oklahoma (-21 cents), Arizona (-21 cents), Mississippi (-21 cents), Maryland(-21 cents), Nebraska (-21 cents) and Delaware (-20 cents).

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.24), South Carolina ($2.24), Alabama ($2.26), Louisiana ($2.26), Arkansas ($2.31), Oklahoma ($2.34), Tennessee ($2.35), Texas ($2.35), Missouri ($2.37) and Virginia ($2.40).

Porsche Financial Services Introduces Porsche Auto Insurance

ATLANTA, June 20, 2019 - A new breed of insurance is available to Porsche drivers. Porsche Auto Insurance delivers tailored insurance rates matched with exceptional customer service – all without compromising privacy.

The innovative solution meets the unique needs of Porsche drivers by limiting costs to actual miles driven, plus a low base rate. In addition to tailored rates, customers can expect an added layer of privacy: simply take a photo of your odometer to submit your mileage instead of using invasive tracking devices or always-on smartphone apps.

Porsche Auto Insurance customers will also receive exceptional service and have access to an exclusive collection of benefits that complement their Porsche vehicle. Pay-per-mile rates, non-invasive data collection, Porsche Genuine Parts, claims concierge, and agreed value coverage are just a few benefits you've always wanted and can now obtain.

Porsche Auto Insurance is offered in partnership between Porsche Financial Services, Inc. (PFS) and Mile Auto, Inc. (Mile Auto).

"Innovation has been at the core of Porsche's success story for the last 70 years," said Ross Dupper, President and CEO of Porsche Financial Services, the dedicated provider of leasing and financing products for Porsche in the United States. "The launch of Porsche Auto Insurance marks another innovation adding to the success of the next 70 years."

"Porsche customers deserve an insurance product that fits their lifestyle and their Porsche. Mile Auto is excited to partner with PFS in delivering a product worthy of the Porsche Crest," said Fred Blumer, CEO of Mile Auto, the pay-per-mile insurance provider of Porsche Auto Insurance.

Americans Don’t Think They’ll Get Arrested for Driving High

New AAA Foundation research shows an estimated 14.8 million Americans report driving within one hour after using marijuana in the past 30 days

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 19, 2019) – Nearly 70% of Americans think it’s unlikely a driver will get caught by police for driving while high on marijuana, according to a new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey. An alarming finding shows that an estimated 14.8 million drivers report getting behind the wheel within one hour after using marijuana in the past 30 days. The impairing effects of marijuana are usually experienced within the first one to four hours after using the drug.1 And marijuana users who drive high are up to twice as likely to be involved in a crash.2

“Marijuana can significantly alter reaction times and impair a driver’s judgment. Yet, many drivers don’t consider marijuana-impaired driving as risky as other behaviors like driving drunk or talking on the phone while driving,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “It is important for everyone to understand that driving after recently using marijuana can put themselves and others at risk.”

In the AAA Foundation survey, 7% of Americans reported they approved of driving after recently using marijuana – more than other dangerous behaviors like alcohol-impaired driving (1.6%), drowsy driving (1.7%), and prescription drug-impaired driving (3%). Other survey findings show that:

It’s Nearly Summer, But Pump Prices Are Dropping Fast

The national average dropped six cents on the week, following a consistent downward trend since Memorial Day. The decline is unusual for this time of year. Pump prices usually trickle higher during the summer months due to increased demand. However, the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report reveals that total domestic gasoline inventories jumped a million bbl last week, helping to push pump prices lower. According to OPIS, strong production output and increased imports have helped gasoline storage levels grow consistently over the past four weeks.

“Growing gasoline inventories are contributing to relief at the pump as we head into summer,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA Spokesperson. “Current U.S. inventories sit at nearly 235 million bbl, which is helping to feed growing demand.”

According to the latest EIA report, gasoline demand reached 9.877 million b/d last week – the 6th highest weekly count on record. Current demand levels are on par with volumes seen this same time last year (9.879 million b/d). Today’s national average is $2.68, which is six cents cheaper than last week, 17 cents less than last month and 20 cents less than the same time last year.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Ohio (-29 cents), Michigan (-28 cents), Indiana (-26 cents), California (-23 cents), Mississippi (-21 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Illinois (-21 cents), Tennessee (-19 cents), North Carolina (-19 cents) and Oklahoma (-19 cents).

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($3.81), Hawaii ($3.64), Washington ($3.41), Nevada ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon ($3.28), Idaho ($3.10), Utah ($3.09), Arizona ($2.97) and New York ($2.86).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with all seven states landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.81) and Hawaii ($3.64) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.41), Nevada ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon ($3.28) and Arizona ($2.97) follow. Pump prices in the region have mostly decreased on the week, with Arizona (-6 cents) seeing the largest drop.

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on June 7 showed that West Coast gasoline stocks increased slightly by 90,000 bbl from the previous week and sit at 30.8 million bbl. The current level is 700,000 bbl less than last year’s level at this time, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply disruption or gas demand surges in the region this week.

Why You Should Not Ignore Squeaky Brakes | Virginia Auto Service

Most of us are familiar with the sounds associated with starting and running a car. A car that is in perfect condition runs smoothly and silently.

The very first indications that something might be wrong is when you hear unnatural sounds either when you start the engine or when you are driving your car. One kind of sound which is a clear indication that all is not well with your car is the sound of your car brakes squeaking.

Any noise which is not naturally associated with the running of a vehicle can get very annoying and be a serious warning sign. However, the real danger comes from the potential risks it can pose if the source of the sound is not checked and corrected. Brakes that squeak is something that you need to take very seriously. This is not an issue that you should ignore.

It is not an issue that will just go away by itself.

What Causes Squeaky Brakes?

While it is crucial to note that all brakes will squeak at some point due to natural wear and tear or if they heat up or are under duress, these types of instances are episodic. The number one reason, however, for squeaky brakes are worn out brake pads.

But as mentioned earlier, if the squeaking continues even after the engine has warmed up, if the squeaking becomes consistent, or if the squeaking sounds are replaced by a loud grinding noise, then it is time to visit a mechanic. The grinding noise could be due to extensive wear and tear of the brake pads.

You want to stop driving your car and get your car to a mechanic well before there is any grinding noise. When you hear your brakes squeak repeatedly you need to have your brake pads checked and replaced.

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