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  • Motorcycle lane-splitting bill moves forward in California

    Motorcycle lane-splitting bill moves forward in California

    A state Assembly bill that would allow motorcycle lane-splitting in California has moved closer to a vote. California’s AB 51, sponsored by Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), intends to create guidelines for safe lane-splitting, a practice the proposed legislation describes as a motorcyclist...

  • Karma comes around again: California's newest car factory aims to rival Tesla

    Karma comes around again: California's newest car factory aims to rival Tesla

    A premium luxury sedan born from the ashes of the Fisker Karma – a Tesla rival that wowed the automotive world before collapsing into bankruptcy three years ago – will soon begin rolling off a production line at California's newest car factory.  When it is up and running, the Karma Automotive factory...

  • After emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen steers toward electric vehicles

    After emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen steers toward electric vehicles

    Here’s one way to atone for the biggest emissions cheating scandal in automobile history: Go all out on zero-emission vehicles. Volkswagen announced Thursday that it would spend $11.2 billion to create more than 30 electric car models by 2025, develop autonomous vehicles and move into the ride-hailing...

  • Tesla opening gallery within the Nordstrom store at the Grove

    Tesla opening gallery within the Nordstrom store at the Grove

    Shoppers can soon browse Tesla Motors' cars while they're at the Grove’s Nordstrom store.  A Tesla Gallery opens Saturday within the upscale department store. The collaboration is the first of its kind for Palo Alto-based Tesla, which operates its own stores and doesn't sell through a traditional...

  • Volkswagen announces an $11.3-million investment in California

    Volkswagen announces an $11.3-million investment in California

    Volkswagen has announced an $11.3-million investment in California as the automaker works to recover from its emissions cheating scandal.  On Tuesday, VW said it would spend $4.5 million on a new training center in Eastvale, a small city near Riverside. It also announced that a new $6.8-million...

  • L.A. Drives: On a beer run with 'Community' man Joel McHale

    L.A. Drives: On a beer run with 'Community' man Joel McHale

    Former "Community" and "The Soup" star Joel McHale likes his brew -- but not just any brew will do. It has to be Pliny the Elder. On a recent weekday morning we joined the actor for a beer run, covering half the city in search of the elusive Pliny, a brand of Russian River suds that is only sold...

  • Side-by-sides, golf carts on steroids, are booming

    Side-by-sides, golf carts on steroids, are booming

    Four-wheeled off-road vehicles known as "side-by-sides" represent the fastest-growing segment of the powersports industry. Once principally a dull but practical work tool used by farmers and ranchers, the rugged machines have become a leisure activity for families and outdoor enthusiasts. They...

  • Tesla introduces a cheaper Model S — starting at $66,000

    Tesla introduces a cheaper Model S — starting at $66,000

    Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors Inc. have long promised the world a more affordable version of their much-admired battery-electric Model S supercar. Now it's here, but it isn't the Model 3 — and it isn't all that affordable. Tesla will begin selling a new Model S 60, a slower version of the four-door...

  • BMW wins LAPD electric car contract, beating Tesla

    BMW wins LAPD electric car contract, beating Tesla

    German automaker BMW has beaten California-based Tesla Motors Inc. by winning a contract to supply the Los Angeles Police Department with 100 electric cars. BMW is leasing 100 of its i3 all-electric plug-in vehicles, which the LAPD plans to use for community outreach and other police business —...

  • Tesla 'working exclusively' with Panasonic for Model 3 battery cells, Elon Musk says

    Tesla 'working exclusively' with Panasonic for Model 3 battery cells, Elon Musk says

    Tesla Motors Inc. is working exclusively with Panasonic Corp. for its Model 3 electric car battery cells, Chief Executive Elon Musk said, adding that news stories reporting otherwise were “incorrect.” Musk made the statement in a tweet Tuesday night. He also said the cells for the higher-end Model...

  • Yamaha goes retro with its new SCR950 motorcycle

    Yamaha goes retro with its new SCR950 motorcycle

    Scrambling for a piece of the motorcycle sales pie that Ducati and Triumph have created with their retro Scramblers, Yamaha has unveiled its SCR950. The company’s new old-looking bike, an attempt to create relevance among young urban consumers, is only new on the outside. Underneath the classic...

  • Car thieves love L.A.: California leads the nation (again) in auto thefts

    Car thieves love L.A.: California leads the nation (again) in auto thefts

    We’re No. 1. Again. California led all states in auto thefts last year, and Los Angeles was the top city. The L.A.-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area saw a total of 57,247 cars stolen last year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, almost twice as many as closest rival San Francisco’s...

  • Doing some drunk driving, stone cold sober

    Doing some drunk driving, stone cold sober

    Automobile accidents are the No. 1 cause of death among American teenagers. Drunk and drugged driving are a big part of that. More than a third of all U.S. automotive fatalities involve alcohol, says the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In California, 33% of 2014 automobile...

  • Ford Transit is still the U.S.' top-selling commercial van, and sales are rising

    Ford Transit is still the U.S.' top-selling commercial van, and sales are rising

    Despite inroads made by Mercedes-Benz’s appealing Metris passenger and cargo carriers, recently reviewed here, the Ford Transit still rules U.S. commercial van sales. Mercedes popularized the large commercial van niche, in the modern era, with the 1995 European launch of the Sprinter. For a while...

  • Mercedes-Benz Metris — the most affordable Mercedes on the road

    Mercedes-Benz Metris — the most affordable Mercedes on the road

    Mercedes-Benz’s Sprinter vans are ubiquitous in Europe, and the luxury cargo carriers have become a more visible presence on American streets as well, where they have robust competition from U.S. manufacturers. Now the German company is hoping to create a new mid-sized van niche – and dominate...

  • GM says its Takata air bag inflators are safe; government disagrees

    GM says its Takata air bag inflators are safe; government disagrees

    General Motors Co. on Thursday announced its largest recall of Takata air bag inflators yet, but said the parts are unique to its trucks and SUVs and don't pose a safety risk. The government's highway safety agency disagrees. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said GM, the nation's...

  • Cars with potentially deadly Takata air bags are still being made and sold

    Cars with potentially deadly Takata air bags are still being made and sold

    At least four automakers continue to sell new vehicles equipped with faulty air bag inflators from Takata Corp., which has become embroiled in the largest automotive recall in history, according to a Senate report. The carmakers – Toyota, Vokswagen, Fiat Chrysler and Mitsubishi – are selling some...

  • No free charging for Model 3? Tesla can explain

    No free charging for Model 3? Tesla can explain

    Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk may have disappointed some prospective Model 3 owners by telling them that his new electric sedan will not include free supercharging at the proposed $35,000 base price. The current Model S and Model X Teslas, which are sold with much higher MSRPs, include free use of...

  • Tesla rival Faraday gets one step closer to building electric cars in Vallejo

    Tesla rival Faraday gets one step closer to building electric cars in Vallejo

    Gardena electric car company Faraday Future is now one step closer to establishing a vehicle manufacturing plant in California. The Vallejo City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to enter into a six-month exclusive negotiating agreement with FF LLC, a special-purpose entity created by Faraday...

  • Elon Musk announces plan to revolutionize factories

    Elon Musk announces plan to revolutionize factories

    Having already upset the traditional automobile industry with his electric cars and the space exploration business with his reusable Space X rockets, Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk will now set about trying to revolutionize the American factory. In a freewheeling talk before shareholders...

  • Largest-ever U.S. auto recall gets bigger: 12 million more vehicles with Takata air bags ordered back

    Largest-ever U.S. auto recall gets bigger: 12 million more vehicles with Takata air bags ordered back

    Eight automakers are recalling more than 12 million vehicles in the U.S. to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators.  Documents detailing recalls by Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Ferrari and Mitsubishi were posted Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety...

  • 2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Return of the American van

    2017 Chrysler Pacifica: Return of the American van

    For the last several years, sport utility vehicles and crossover utility vehicles have been the hottest-selling segments in the automotive world. But a lot of American families are still buying minivans. More than 500,000 of these multi-passenger people movers were sold last year -- and about half...

  • Faraday Future seeks approval to build electric cars in California

    Faraday Future seeks approval to build electric cars in California

    Faraday Future, the Gardena-based electric car company, is eager to begin building its battery-electric vehicles in California. Having broken ground only a month ago on a $1-billion car factory in Nevada, Faraday could add a Vallejo facility to its production plans. Pending the outcome of a city...

  • Ford recalls 271,000 F-150 pickups to fix brake fluid leak

    Ford recalls 271,000 F-150 pickups to fix brake fluid leak

    Ford Motor Co. has issued a safety recall for faulty braking systems in F-150 pickups, the automaker's most popular product and the bestselling vehicle in America for most of the past 30 years. The recall includes about 271,000 pickups in the 2013 and 2014 model years. The Michigan car company...

  • Volkswagen emissions scandal settlement is on track, judge says

    Volkswagen emissions scandal settlement is on track, judge says

    Volkswagen and attorneys for vehicle owners affected by the company's emissions cheating scandal are on target to meet a June deadline for a final settlement proposal, a federal judge said Tuesday.  Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said the parties have made substantial progress in reaching...

  • What's driving vehicle sales in California?

    What's driving vehicle sales in California?

    The car industry's winning streak in California continues. For the first three months of this year, registrations for new cars sold exceeded 500,000, a 3.8% improvement over the first quarter of 2015, marking the 22nd consecutive year-over-year increase in quarterly registrations. The state is...

  • McLaren builds a car for the masses, with a $200,000 price tag

    McLaren builds a car for the masses, with a $200,000 price tag

    The supercar company McLaren, in an effort to boost factory capacity and bring new buyers to its brand, has gone downmarket. The 570S, the exclusive British builder's first sports car, is being advertised as an affordable, daily driver — an attainable McLaren, available to any auto enthusiast with...

  • Motorcycle deaths jump nationwide but fall in California. Why?

    Motorcycle deaths jump nationwide but fall in California. Why?

    Motorcycle fatalities on U.S. roads rose 10% in 2015, according to estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Assn. Those estimates show that more than 5,000 motorcycle riders died in 2015, up from 4,548 in 2014. That makes 2015 the third year in history when the body count was above 5,000. In...

  • Tesla to sell $2 billion in stock to speed up the production of its Model 3 sedan

    Tesla to sell $2 billion in stock to speed up the production of its Model 3 sedan

    Tesla Motors Inc. plans to sell $2 billion worth of stock — $1.4 billion held by the company, and the rest by its chief executive, Elon Musk — to fund faster production of its Model 3 sedan. Tesla said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it would begin “volume production and delivery”...

  • Elon Musk responds to exposé on foreign laborers at Tesla plant

    Elon Musk responds to exposé on foreign laborers at Tesla plant

    Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and his team have issued an explanation and partial apology after a San Jose Mercury News story accused the Bay Area car company of using cheap, imported labor to build its luxury battery-electric automobiles. The Mercury News story said Tesla had employed a Slovenian...

  • Los Angeles Auto Show embraces the future, folding Connected Car Expo into main show

    Los Angeles Auto Show embraces the future, folding Connected Car Expo into main show

    Undergoing an aggressive revamp to prepare for an autonomous-driving future, the Los Angeles Auto Show is eliminating its Connected Car Expo and replacing it with a new pre-show designed to better bridge automakers and technology companies.  When the L.A. Auto Show takes place this fall, it will...

  • Collector Robb Talbott takes top honors at Quail Motorcycle Gathering

    Collector Robb Talbott takes top honors at Quail Motorcycle Gathering

    Having wowed the West Coast motorcycle world with a Saturday sneak peak at his soon to open Carmel Valley motorcycle museum, retired vintner Robb Talbott walked away with top honors at Sunday's 8th Annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering. Talbott's restored 1925 BMW R37 race bike won the Quail's Best...

  • Subaru tells some Legacy and Outback owners: Don't drive them

    Subaru tells some Legacy and Outback owners: Don't drive them

    Subaru is telling owners of some newer Legacy and Outback vehicles not to drive them because the steering can fail.  The company is recalling about 52,000 of the cars and SUVs from the 2016 and 2017 model years. It also has told dealers to stop selling them until they're repaired. About 22,000...

  • The annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering convenes this weekend

    The annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering convenes this weekend

    Eight years ago Gordon McCall started the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, an upscale biker event meant to mimic the automotive-themed Quail Motorsports Gathering that accompanies the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. That was 2008, when the economy tanked, the bottom fell out of the motorcycle...

  • Carmel winery owner turns his personal collection into the West Coast's biggest motorcycle museum

    Carmel winery owner turns his personal collection into the West Coast's biggest motorcycle museum

    Robb Talbott came of age helping his family make a fortune in the luxury necktie business. Then he turned to grapes, and with his father made another fortune with Talbott Vineyards, an upstart Carmel Valley winery that became one of the premier central California labels. Along the way, between...

  • Indian rolls out big bagger Dark Horse Chieftain

    Indian rolls out big bagger Dark Horse Chieftain

    Continuing to expand its line of big-bore highway cruisers, Indian Motorcycle has added a blacked-out bagger variation to its popular Chieftain. The Dark Horse, built on the Chieftain chassis and powered by the same 111-inch Thunderstroke engine, looks like a street-smart version of its big Chieftain...

  • Riding the new Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

    Riding the new Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

    Harley-Davidson's new Low Rider S is a big, beefy, bad-ass bike -- and quite intentionally so. The country's biggest motorcycle manufacturer set out to build an exceptionally light, exceptionally powerful, exceptionally Harley motorcycle. It's good news for a certain kind of biker -- and bad news...

  • Luxurious Lexus RX makes cheaper NX look bad in comparison

    Luxurious Lexus RX makes cheaper NX look bad in comparison

    Interested in a new Lexus SUV? Don't do what I did. Don't drive the best one first. Lexus has done exceedingly well with its utility vehicle line, a family of four models that includes the brand's top-selling vehicle — the Lexus RX, which far outsells the most popular Lexus sedan. The premium Toyota-owned...

  • GM, Ford will lean on tech start-ups for help with self-driving cars

    GM, Ford will lean on tech start-ups for help with self-driving cars

    Ford Motor Co. will invest $182.2 million in cloud-based software company Pivotal Software Inc. as the automaker continues to try and tap into Silicon Valley technological development. The Dearborn, Mich., company said Thursday that the investment will enhance the automaker's software capabilities...

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