Monday, November 30, 2015

Jury Rules in Michelin’s Favor in $20 Million Tread Separation Lawsuit

A jury in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., gave a unanimous verdict on Nov. 19, that there was no proof of product liability in the $20 million Arizona tread separation lawsuit against Michelin North America Inc., finding the tiremaker faultless on all claims.
The lawsuit against Michelin alleged that a defective Uniroyal tire manufactured at its Admore, Okla., plant was the reason the plaintiff was in a single-vehicle rollover accident on Oct. 8, 2011, in Arizona.
The plaintiff claimed a faulty Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP tire separated, causing the accident that resulted in severe injuries, and sought $20 million in compensatory and punitive damages from Michelin.

During the three-week trial, Michelin showed that the tread separation on the Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP occurred before the accident and was caused by a number of factors, such as an improperly repaired puncture before the accident and chronic underinflation of the tire.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Shopping by the Numbers

In 2014, 133.7 million Americans shopped in stores and online over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
This year, 135.8 million Americans will shop over the Thanksgiving holiday.
183.8 million people will shop on Cyber Monday. One in five will use smart phones to make those purchases.
Online sales are expected to reach $109 billion.
2015 holiday sales represent an estimated 19% of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. Retailers will hire between 700,000 and 750,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.
Holiday shoppers will spend an average $463 on gifts for family members…so make sure you’re on the nice list!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hankook UHP tire OE on Lincoln MKX

The tire maker’s 20-inch ultra-high-performance all season Ventus S1 noble2 supplied for the MKX, in size 245/50R20, was developed for drivers seeking a comfortable driving experience, according to the company’s Wayne-based Hankook Tire America Corp. subsidiary.

The tire features an asymmetric four channel rib design to provide efficient water evacuation while an advanced silica rubber compound offers enhanced wet and dry handling, braking and lower rolling resistance along with higher durability for increased performance and control.

 “The consistent and solid growth of Hankook Tire’s increasing presence in OE supply for premium brands such as Lincoln demonstrates the confidence in product quality and leading technologies of our products,” said Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO for Hankook Tire Co.

“We are pleased with our most recent OE contract for the MKX and look forward to consolidating further partnership with the Lincoln brand going forward — a relationship that began in 2008 with Hankook Tire supplying OE products for Lincoln vehicles.”

Hankook’s new OE pact marks its fourth fitment for Ford’s premium Lincoln brand following previous Hankook fitments for the MKT, MKZ and Navigator.+

Monday, November 23, 2015


The Los Angeles Auto Show which is currently exhibiting now until November 29th has pulled a few surprises out of its sleeve. Some of which have been warmly welcomed, and others less so. A major event for the automotive industry in the United States, this year it featured around 50 new models from various brands that included Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lincoln, Cadillac, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

One of the most buzzed about was the latest version of the Land Rover Evoque, which is fair enough, considering it just had its head chopped off. It is the first luxury SUV to hold the title of also being a convertible. While the unanimous opinion appears to be that it is ‘interesting’, as to whether ‘interesting’ translates to ‘profitable’ is yet to be determined. Auto expert, Bill Visnic offers less conjecture, believing that the “SUV-Convertible mashup” is not a smart move as it did not surface through Land Rover identifying that this was a need in the market that needed to be filled “The 2017 Evoque is coming next summer regardless of the fact that nobody on this planet has indicated a desire for a convertible utility vehicle of any size or stripe,”

Other cars that were appreciated more for their potential, include the Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept that has a sharp and confident design “with no fussy details”; the 2017 Buick La Crosse “a formal but contemporary big car without baggage” along with the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider that he believes might be a ripped off version of the Mazda Miata, but still comes off looking better.

As usual the Lamborghini fuelled much of the excitement, particularly with the launch of the Hurac├ín LP580-2 that boasted a rear wheel drive making it undeniably “the all-time-car for hooligans to shoot up their favourite long freeway on ramp to see if it will slew a little sideways and light up its big tires”. Thrills for dills perhaps, but when one is driving the Huracan you’re pretty much expected to exhibit bad behaviour.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Things to Do in Miami on Thanksgiving Weekend

Lookng forward to a Thanksgiving weekend spent in sunny South Beach, but searching for something to do after turkey and shopping?
Check out these suggestions for fun and festive things to do in Miami to celebrate the season.
If you’re planning on working these great seasonal attractions into a broader touring itinerary, be sure to check out the all-inclusive Go Miami® Card, which provides discounted admission to great local attractions.
Miami Book Fair International
Miami Dade College
November 15 – 22, 2015

This amazing book festival is among “the nation’s finest literary gatherings,” inspiring thousands of guests who come to see hundreds of famous authors participate in this eight-day event.
You also won’t want to miss the street fair, held on November 20 -22, which features tons of kids’ activities plus books and other literary artifacts for purchase. Stock up on some holiday gifts now!
Miami Beach Food Truck & Music Fest
North Shore Park Band Shell
November 25, 2015

This is actually a recurring event that happens the fourth Wednesday of every month, and boy, are we glad it falls just before Thanksgiving this November. Enjoy some of the city’s best food trucks (as well as showings from top local restaurants) as you lay back and listen to excellent music.
Admission is free, although you do have to pay for food. Which is totally fine, because after all, who really wants to cook right before Thanksgiving?
Broward County Fair
Pembroke Pines
November 19 – 29, 2015

A visit to this great local affair is the perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Meet real turkeys in person – along with cows, horses, camels, and many more – and get a feel for life on the ranch (or farm).
There are also tons of games and activities just for kids, plus great fair food and festive carnival rides. It’s the must-see family event for the season.
Winternational Thanksgiving Parade
North Miami
November 26, 2015

Who doesn’t love a good parade? Or even better, a parade with all your favorite all-star athletes and celebrities? The Annual Winternational Parade features bands, dance troupes, professional floats, community organizations, and much more.
The parade starts at 10 am, but arrive early for a good vantage point. As far as the weather goes? No need to bundle up – just enjoy the day!
Christmas Tree Lighting
Bayfront Park
November 27, 2015

Usher in the 2015 holiday season as you marvel at a beautiful Christmas Tree, located in Miami’s own Bayfront Park. This 50-foot-tall tree is bedecked with thousands of shiny white lights and is a sight to see.

Visitors can also enjoy seasonal music and delicious local food trucks (do you like how we’re all about eating this Thanksgiving?), and, of course, the wonderful festive atmosphere. It’s a great family event, and is also conveniently located near the shopping mecca of Bayside Marketplace.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2016 Camaro Wins Motor Trend Car of the Year, Colorado Takes Truck Title

Heading into the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, well known automotive magazine Motor Trend has announced their car, truck and SUV of the year for 2016 – with the Chevrolet Camaro, the Chevrolet Colorado Diesel and the Volvo XC90 taking top honors against some very stiff competition.

Camaro Wins Car of the Year
First and foremost, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro has been named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. The 6th generation Camaro is all new, with a refined interior, a lighter chassis and some new engines making this Camaro the best performing and the most efficient GM muscle car of all time. This new Camaro will be tasked with taking on the 2016 Ford Mustang, which is following up a 2015 model year where sales figures unseen in almost a decade made the Mustang the top dog in muscle car sales.
To win the top car title from Motor Trend, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro beat out the Audi TT, the BMW & Series, the Honda Civic, the Mazda MX5, the Mercedes Benz GT S and the Toyota Mirai. GM also claimed the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 2014 with the Cadillac CTS, while the Volkswagen Golf won it for 2015.

Colorado Takes Back to Back Truck of the Year
The Chevrolet Colorado shocked the world when it was named Motor Trend’s 2015 Truck of the Year, beating out the aluminum bodied Ford F150. Prepare to be shocked again, as the Colorado has piled up another Motor Truck of the Year award thanks to the addition of their new diesel engine option. This super-efficient engine option will give the Colorado the best combination of capability and fuel economy in the rapidly growing midsized pickup segment.
To win its second straight title, the Colorado Diesel beat out the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the GMC Canyon, the GMC Sierra 1500, the Nissan Titan XD and the Toyota Tacoma – which is all-new for 2016 and marketed directly against the Colorado.
Taking home two of the three Motor Trend annual awards for 2016 is obviously a big deal for General Motors, especially considering that the Colorado also won the top truck award last year. This will serve as little more than a feather in the cap of the Camaro team, as that car is going to sell like crazy without any awards, but for the Colorado Diesel, this Motor Trend Truck of the Year award will help draw in more prospective customers.

SUV of the Year Goes to Volvo
Finally, the Volvo XC90 took home Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year award. Yes, Volvo is still in business, and they are making some new, headturning vehicles like this roomy SUV. To win the award, the Volvo beat out the Honda Pilot, the Lincoln MKX, the Mercedes Benz GLE Class and the Nissan Murano.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Morphing tire concept adapts to suit driving conditions

As the point of contact between a vehicle and the road, tires are one of the most important parts of a car. Unfortunately, there's no one size fits all, or rather, one tire fits all surfaces or weather conditions, tire and swapping them over when encountering changing conditions isn't exactly feasible. Kumho has come up with a concept tire that would avoid this problem by changing its tread to suit the conditions.

Taking out a Platinum award in the Futuristic class on the Italian A’ Design Awards, Kumho's Maxplo tire takes the airless tire concept and takes things a few futuristic steps further. Rather than a fixed tread, it is designed to switch between a number of different surface configurations to deal with everything from dry to snow-covered roads.
To pump water away from the contact patch between vehicle and road in wet conditions to prevent hydroplaning, the surface and circumference of the tire features specially-designed three-dimensional grooves. The placement of the grooves isn't just random or for show, with the design team using computer simulations to check the pattern's performance.
If heading off road, the large intersectional tread blocks that make up the surface of the tire move apart, broadening the tire's footprint to increase traction. For snow and ice, the tire has one more trick up its sleeve in the form of spikes that remain hidden beneath the tread blocks in other conditions.
To finish their futuristic concept off, the designers added a hydrogen fuel-powered electric hub motor. The tires would measure 700 x 700 x 250 mm (27.5 x 27.5 x 9.8 in) and weigh 12 kg (26.4 lb).

"While Maxplo may not be hitting our roads in the near future, many of its concepts will flow into tire design over the next few years, and the overall concept will continue to be refined with a view to one-day offering tires such as this to consumers," says David Basha, Kumho Tyre Australia manager of marketing and training.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bridgestone Introduces New Retread Product

New retread promises dependable performance at a reasonable price.

Bridgestone Commercial is introducing the new Bandag TR4.1 trailer retread, which promises affordable and dependable wear life performance for small to medium truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL) and pick-up and delivery (P&D) fleets.
Bandag TR4.1 retread
(Photo: Bridgestone

“When shopping for trailer tread options, fleets often have to choose between low cost and functionality,” said Ben Rosenblum, director of Bandag Marketing, Bridgestone Commercial. “The TR4.1 retread rounds out the Bandag portfolio line for trailer applications, offering a balance of price and performance.”

The Bandag TR4.1 retread features include:

– Smooth and continuous shoulder: promotes uniform wear.
– Bandag’s proven compound: contributes to long wear.
– Circumferential grooves: evacuate water and improves traction in wet conditions.
– Diagonal tread block edges: promote traction on wet and dry surfaces.

The Bandag product offerings from Bridgestone range from advanced designs and compounds that contribute to traction, long life and fuel efficiency to lower-cost options that deliver solid performance, all focused on driving bottom line savings.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When is the Right Time to Make the Winter Tire Swap?

When is the best time to change out summer/all-season tires for  winter tires? The easy rule of thumb to remember is Thanksgiving to Tax Day, which is late November to mid-April. Of course, with the great diversity of climate we have in this country, the more specific answer is going to be a bit different depending on where you reside. If you have summer-only tires on your vehicle, you want to install your winter set before temperatures hit 40 degrees Fahrenheit since that's the temperature threshold for that category of tires

If you have all-season tires, your answer may vary a bit more. While we still recommend getting the winter tires on before average temperatures hit 40 degrees, if you're in an area that won't see snow until much later and you don't have any traction issues with your all-season tires, you can certainly keep them on until snow is imminent. Areas further south such as Kentucky, Tennessee, or Arkansas that will still see some snow but not anywhere near as much as the Midwest and Northeast could potentially take the snow tires back off as early as February or March. Budgeting your time with your winter tires is a good way to help maximize their treadlife, because winter tires wear much faster you drive on them in warmer temperatures. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Chevy's Special Ops Silverado at SEMA sports battleship camo paint

Chevrolet rolled out the Silverado Special Ops concept at this year's SEMA show, a truck that imagines what a rescue vehicle for special operations forces would look like.
If the exterior color scheme looks familiar, that may be because it reminds you of WWI-era battleship camouflage designs from History Channel programs. Called Razzle Dazzle, the camo was designed to disguise a ship's profile, speed and direction to enemy forces. On the truck itself, the colors are rendered in three-tone faded blue, though it looks gray in the lighting conditions of the show.

"We created light, medium and darker shaded areas within camouflage bands flowing down the hood, body sides and tailgate," said Todd Parker, director of design, Chevrolet Accessories. "That effect gives tremendous depth to the Silverado’s body, while reinforcing the nautical heritage of the unique camo design."

Of course, there is more to the concept than a throwback camo scheme -- appropriate here because the Silverado is now the size of a small ship; this 1500 Z71 features a number of heavy-duty components from the Chevrolet Accessories line in keeping with its rescue vehicle theme. There is an underbody shield, LED off-road lights, a sport bar, wheel flares, customer rocker panels, a GearOn tiered storage system and rack package. Chevrolet has also fitted this truck with a new brake package, exhaust kit and air intake.

The Special Ops Silverado wears 20-inch aluminum wheels with off-road tires, in addition to small cosmetic details such as black bowtie emblems, floor liners, waterproof seat covers and embroidered headrests for the interior.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Four New Falken Tires Slated for Early 2016

The WildPeak A/T3W will be available in 54 sizes ranging from 15- to 20-in. wheel diameters and will carry a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty. The tire features an outer apex construction designed to protect the casing at the bead area; large center blocks for stability and on-road feel; and Falken’s 3D Canyon Sipe technology for traction in wet, icy and snowy conditions.
Falken’s first ever mud terrain tire, the Wild Peak M/T, will be available in 25 sizes ranging from 15- to 20-in. wheel diameters. The tire features Falken’s 3-ply DuraSpec Sidewall Technology, developed to endure severe off-road conditions; an aggressive upper sidewall for additional traction at low air pressures; and a split block tread design for added flexibility.

The performance touring Sincera SN250 A/S, which replaces the tiremaker’s SN211 A/S, will come in 54 sizes ranging from 14- to 18-in. wheel diameters. The tire carries an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty in T-rated sizes and a 75,000-mile warranty in H- and V-rated sizes. The tire uses Falken’s Dynamic Range Technology to ensure maximum grip at a wider range of operating temperatures, while strategically placed tread blocks help to balance harmonics for a quiet ride and 3D Canyon sipes add more gripping edges for snow traction.

The Azenis FK450 A/S UHP tire, will be offered in 48 sizes ranging from 16- to 20-in. wheel diameters and carries a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty. The tire’s features include Falken’s Tension Control Technology, which the company said serves to balance handling, high-speed stability and all-weather traction; slightly rounded sculpted-rib edges for prevention of rain groove wandering and enhanced straight line stability; high-dispersion silica for enhanced rubber pliability; and 3D Canyon Sipe technology.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Omni Launches New Radar RW Winter Tires

Omni United has launched a new Radar RW line of winter tires for the North American market.
The new winter tire line-up includes three products: the Radar RW-5, the RW-5+ and the RW-5S.

All of the tires have similar block placement, siping density and construction for winter performance, while both the RW-5+ and the RW-5’s tread compound includes silica, Omni said.
The Radar RW-5 is designed mostly for compact to mid-size passenger vehicles, but includes some sizes for some small CUVs. The tire comes in 16 sizes targeted for the most common winter tire sizes and are mostly H-rated.

The Radar RW-5+ is designed for mid to large sports cars, luxury sedans and mid and full-size CUVs, and its tread design and construction are designed for increased weight, longer wheelbase and high speed handling capabilities, Omni noted. The tire is V rated.