Last year was full of automotive news, so we are going to take a look at what stories touched people the most:
- The Toyota Gas Pedal Malfunction and Recall
- The 2009 Tesla Roadster Hits the Market
- China Becomes the New Automotive Superpower
- The Release of the 2009 Honda FXC
- The Dodge Viper is Vapor
When off-duty Police Officer Mark Saylor and three members of his family were killed in a collision as passengers a Toyota Lexus ES 350 sedan that was uncontrollably accelerating down a California Highway, it attracted attention. The cause of the horrible accident was an apparent flaw in the design of the Lexus' gas pedal. This was only one of several stories that, when considered together, painted an eerily similar story of acceleration issues in multiple Toyota models. As horrible as this would be in taken as it is, the story continued to worsen as a former Toyota lawyer reported that the company first ignored the problem when it was reported, and then tried to cover it up. To date, according to one safety research firm, there have been more than 34 sudden acceleration deaths in Toyotas, more than any other car maker.
Tesla put out the two-seater electric powered sports car this year with a single speed a transmission that can do 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, seamlessly, and that has a sleek front end and smooth, and contoured rear end that reach as far as the rear wheel wells.
Trends in auto sales generally tell a great deal about the direction the economy of a country is taking. In 2009, fourteen years ahead of schedule, China overtook the USA in projected car purchases for the year, making it the world's largest car market.
This alternative energy vehicle uses hydrogen as fuel, propelled by an electric engine that runs on electricity from hydrogen powered FXC fuel cell stacks. At 267 miles, it drives a distance of 50 miles more than any other competitor's hybrid equivalent, making it the perfect car for city-to-work driving. Also, as the first practical option of fuel cell cars that is designed to withstand sub-zero temperatures, and that has a top speed of 93 mile an hour, it has been well received by consumers.
Last year saw the end of the Viper, the American sports car icon, and they decided it would go out in style. With the help of Fiat (the Italian carmaker Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) they announced that they would be ending the series with several encore models that would be available to Viper customers. Several of them took advantage of this last chance opportunity to help design their own custom Vipers, with some memorable results. The last one off the line, a 2010 Viper SRT10 Coupe, was the most striking example. It was painted dark gunmetal graphite with copper racing stripes, aluminum five spoke wheels, and bronze leather interior, and ended things with a bang.