California Leads in Thefts of Vehicles With Keys Inside

All the anti-theft technology in the world is no match for the level of boneheadedness it takes to leave one's keys in one's ride. Thus is the source of the latest automotive survey that will have you reposing this blog post on your social media pages, paired with a #SMH hashtag. An analysis by the National Insurance Crime Bureau showed that 126,603 vehicles nationwide were reported stolen with the keys still in them from 2012-2014. While the bureau reports that overall car thefts are declining, the number of vehicles stolen with the keys inside is actually on the rise. In 2012, 39,345 cars stolen had their keys in them - often in the ignition with the vehicle still running. The next year, that figure rose to 42,430, then swelled to 44,828 in 2014. The top five states where the...

April 29, 2015
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Volvo XC90 SUV Concept Takes Automotive Luxury to New Heights

Luxury automobile concepts almost always are impressive. But the new Volvo XC90 SUV concept, unveiled at the recent 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, puts most to shame - particularly on the inside. "We understand that most high-level executives are chauffer driven," said Volvo's Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath in a promotional video about the inspiration behind the development of the XC90. So, designers set out to replicate that experience for others. To that end, most noticeable is the removal of the front passenger seat, replaced with a lounge console that doubles as an ottoman for tired feet and a storage space for kicked-off shoes and features a massive 17-inch multimedia screen. The screen unit also folds down to lap-level and becomes a tray table that opens up for easy...

April 29, 2015
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Movie Cars Take Spotlight At Austin Auto Show

The annual Austin Auto Show is officially underway, showing off hundreds of the latest and greatest in the automotive world offered by members of the Austin Automobile Dealers Association. But the exhibit that's really grabbing headlines is one boasting some of the most iconic cars in TV and movie history, including: The DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future The Ecto-1 from Ghost Busters The Knight 2000 K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo And your kids will no doubt dig the one-of-a-kind Toyota Sienna SpongeBob van. The guy behind the screen cars' appearance is reality star VideoBob Moseley from the Reelz Channel's Screen Machines. He told Austin-area reporters that his obsession with building replicas of TV and film cars began in 2003...

April 25, 2015
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Harley-Davidson Recalls More Than 54,000 Bikes

Hey, Hog riders - take note. Harley-Davidson just announced two separate recalls affecting more than 54,000 motorcycles already on the roadways nationwide. The largest of the two recalls affects 45,901 rides with faulty clutch master cylinders. According to documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "a chemical reaction inside of the sealed clutch system creates gas bubbles which may cause loss of clutch lift." This can cause a bike to lurch unexpectedly when the rider puts the transmission in gear, particularly after it's been parked for an extended period of time. Thus far, the issue has resulted in 313 warranty claims, 31 customer complaints, 27 crashes or other incidents and four minor injuries. Models affected include: 2014 CVO Road...

April 25, 2015
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Insane Chevy FNR Concept May be the Ultimate Ride of the Future

It's a little bit Tron, a tad Batmobile and touch of Alien xenomorph. And that's just the exterior of Chevy' insane new FNR concept car brought to you courtesy of the recent Shanghai Auto Show. It's the stuff of science fiction brought to life and while it's likely far too costly to ever make the production line, we here at E3 Spark Plugs would love to get behind the wheel just once. The car features a sci-fi-inspired capsule design with dragonfly doors that swing up from both the front and back, magnetic hubless wheels, an automatic wireless charging system and a roof-mounted sensor package that can be used to map out the car's route - human interaction not necessary. Inside, you'll find seating that looks more like intergalactic space harps than standard bucket seats. They...

April 24, 2015
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Floyd Mayweather Has Racked Up More than 100 Cars From Same Dealer

It's a known fact in business that it's easier to lure back a repeat customer that to score a new one. Apparently, no one knows that better than dealer Josh "Chop" Towbin, who owns Towbin Motorcars in Las Vegas. Specializing in ultrahigh-end rides, Towbin no doubt boasts a few celebrity clients. But his top bread-and-butter client apparently is famed five-division world champion boxer Floyd Mayweaather, Jr. According to the Washington Post, the 38-year-old fighter thus far has purchased no less than 100 cars from the dealership, including 16 Rolls Royces. "He'll buy a car before the fight. He'll buy cars after the fight. He'll buy cars on holidays," Towbin told reporters of his favorite client, who stands to make upward of $180 million in a single night when he fights ring rival...

April 24, 2015
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Paul Walker's Famed 1993 Toyota Supra Goes to Auction

The 1993 bright orange Toyota Supra driven by late actor and racing enthusiast Paul Walker in the original The Fast & The Furious (2001) film is up for grabs. It's arguably the most famous of the many souped-up muscle cars driven in the multi-billion-dollar film franchise that also stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson and Jason Statham. Several nearly identical cars were built for the film's multiple scenes, but the one on the auction block is the ride that appears in the final dramatic race that features Walker's character, Brian O'Conner, and Diesel's character, Dominic Toretto, nearly getting taken out by an oncoming train. Officials with the famed auction house Meccum expect the car to drive up a selling price of $150,000 to $200,000....

April 24, 2015
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Dangerous Door Latch Prompts Recall of 390,000 Ford Vehicles

Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. today issued a recall of some 390,000 Ford Fiesta and Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models sold throughout North America. Company officials warned vehicle owners of a potential door latch malfunction that can cause the door to become unlatched or even swing open while a vehicle is in motion. The company confirmed that it received reports of two incidents in which latches malfunctioned. In one, the door bounced back and struck the driver. In the other, the door swung open and struck another vehicle. Though no major injuries were involved, Ford warns that there is a risk of serious harm. Models affected by the recall were produced at Ford plants in Mexico and include the 2012-2014 Fiesta, the 2013-2014 Fusion and the 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ. Some 86...

April 24, 2015
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Three Fantastic Debts at the New York International Auto Show

The 2015 New York International Auto Show recently wrapped its annual show - the nation's first and oldest automotive exhibition. We here at E3 Spark Plugs are duly impressed with many of the new rides hitting the production lines. Here are three of our favorites from this year's show. 2016 McLaren 570S: Company officials say this exotic, wing-doored beauty is the first car in its segment to combine rear-wheel drive, a mid-engine layout and a carbon-fiber structure. Plus, most of the body panels, including the doors, are rendered from aluminum for a light 2895 pounds (dry), with 58 percent of that weight over the rear wheels. This 7-speed automatic clutch ride gets 562 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8. It's gorgeous and it's a mean...

April 13, 2015
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Pro Racer Punks Driving Instructors

Remember the video E3 Spark Plugs brought you in February of the beautiful blonde would-be reality show dater who turned out to be a pro-racer and an epic practical jokester? We've got another great behind-the-wheel punk to show you. This time, it's a gorgeous pro drifter Leona Chin and a passel of petrified driving instructors. The Southeast Asian beauty recently was recruited by Malaysia's MaxMan TV to punk a group of driving instructors on their first day of work. The prank began with a bit of a transformation for both Chin and her car. Chin shed her fire suit for a nerd-tastic SpongeBob SquarePants dress, glasses and brightly colored floral hair clips. Her car was stripped of its sponsor branding and a rear spoiler, and a large stuffed bear was posed in the rear seat. "It's...

April 13, 2015
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