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2018.5 Nissan Versa adds safety, convenience tech for modest $200 price hike

At the proverbial eleventh hour, the budget-friendly 2018 Nissan Versa has gained $200 worth of additional safety and convenience gear: a rearview monitor paired to a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a USB input.

Cadillac ATS sedan won’t return for 2019

The Cadillac ATS sedan won’t return for 2019, a company spokesman told The Car Connection on Wednesday. The two-door coupe will return for 2019, and likely the high-performance ATS-V coupe, although their futures beyond next year is unclear.

The federal government is pleading with 2006 model year Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup owners to park their trucks unless they’ve had their faulty Takata airbags replaced.

From Motor Authority:

290-horsepower VW Golf GTI TCR road car previewed by concept

Volkswagen’s Golf GTI race car developed for the TCR International Series is about to spawn a road-going version.

Uber to resume testing self-driving cars in “a few months”

Uber believes it will have its self-driving cars back on the roads in “a few months,” as the company awaits a preliminary report from the National Traffic Safety Board.

Zoyte preps a Range Rover Sport clone for the Chinese market

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for western automakers when Chinese brands rip off their designs. The latest copycat car maker? Zotye, which is prepping a vehicle called the T800. It’s an SUV that looks an awful lot like Land Rover’s own Range Rover Sport.

From Green Car Reports:

Audi invests heavily in 20 electrified cars by 2025

At its annual meeting Wednesday, Audi announced an ambitious plan to build 20 new electrified cars by 2025, most of them battery electrics,.

NTSB launches investigation into another Tesla crash after it caught fire and killed two teens in Florida

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Wednesday that it is investigating a crash involving a Tesla that killed two teens and injured a third in Florida.

CFA study shows better gas mileage standards offset cost of modern safety tech

Cars that get good gas mileage aren’t unsafe. In fact, gas savings have more than paid for safety improvements in modern cars, as well as for the technology needed to make the gains in fuel economy.

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rusty cars aren’t as safe as they were when new

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Rust cuts deep—literally, according to a new study conducted in Sweden. Cars that show merely superficial rust may be considerably more dangerous in the event of a crash.

The insurance company Folksam and the homeowner organization Villaägarnas Riksförbund of Sweden performed crash tests on a handful of used Mazda and Volkswagen cars that showed signs of typical rust. The results they released earlier this month show a major degradation in the cars’ safety structures.

MORE: How to be sure you’re buying a safe new car

The Swedish firms subjected Mazda 6 mid-size cars and Volkswagen Golf hatchbacks to the same kind of crash-testing that would have been performed when they were new cars about 15 years ago.

In the videos they released, the Mazdas’ rusty rocker panels crumbled in both the frontal and side-impact collisions. Researchers noted that the cars’ chassis rails separated from the floor, their footwells ruptured, their sills gave way, and the driver and passenger-side seat mountings moved when they should have remained stationary.

Folksam said that the chance of a fatality increased by as much as 20 percent because of the weakened structure caused by corrosion largely invisible at first glance. 

DON’T MISS: Automatic emergency braking to become standard in most new cars

The Golfs fared better in the barrage of tests, in part because of superior rustproofing when they were new. However, they still showed some signs of weakened structures even though their rusty panels were not as immediately visibl..

Folksam pointed out that rust is usually more than a cosmetic concern and should be taken seriously to help assure crashworthiness.

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Chevrolets now available with i-car payment for Shell gas

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Drivers of certain newer Chevrolet vehicles can now tap away at their vehicle’s infotainment screen to pay for gas while they remain behind the wheel, eliminating the need to swipe a credit card. 

Most 2017 and newer Chevrolet vehicles now feature a Shell icon in their infotainment systems’ Markeplace app. A tap of that icon generates a code that lets users activate a fuel pump.

MORE: Meet Chevy’s updated 2019 car lineup

GM began rolling out over-the-air updates in December to 2017 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, but the automaker is currently restricting the expanded Shell Pay and Save widget to Chevy vehicles while it tests the program.

GM’s system in similar to one made available in certain Jaguar vehicles last year. GM plans to make the service available in 4 million vehicles from all four of its divisions by the end of 2018.

The Shell fueling widget is currently being tested in Detroit, Seattle and Houston with a nationwide rollout covering 14,000 Shell Stations planned in the coming months.

The Marketplace app is separate from OnStar, which just went through an overhaul to focus on its original safety and security system that allows customers to call for roadside assistance, contact first responders In the event of an accident, and have their vehicle remotely unlocked via satellite.

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