Auto Car News and Review

ETC: Bernie Ecclestone’s Christmas card pokes fun at his legal issues

December 19th, 2014 0 Comments
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is now poking fun at the settlement he made with the state of Bavaria following his bribery trial earlier this year. His chosen avenue for this jest? A Christmas card.



The card features a masked rider sticking up a cartoonish Ecclestone, who’s holding a bag labeled “$ 100 Million,” referencing the settlement amount from the 84-year-old’s bribery trial. In a word bubble, the rider says, “This is not a robbery. I am collecting for the Bavarian state.” Ecclestone’s settlement saw $ 99 million go to Bavaria and $ 1 million to a children’s charity.



According to Reuters, the inside of the card reads, “Maybe now we can have a Formula One race in the really nice city of Munich, Germany.”



We do wonder if this was the revenge Ecclestone was talking about following the settlement. Take a look at the card’s cover in the tweet up top.

Report: Swedish car mag says Ford Mondeo is dangerously, illegally overweight [w/video]

December 19th, 2014 0 Comments
Ford Mondeo Estate test



Sweden’s Teknikens Värld has a reputation for being very persnickety when it comes to auto safety testing, and its latest catch is the Mondeo Titanium Estate 2.0 TDCi 150 bhp S6 MPS (basically a station wagon variant of the Fusion). In addition to the model’s mile-long name, it has another problem according to the Swedes, because its weight on the scales does not equal the official numbers for the vehicle.



Teknikens Värld claims the wagon is dangerously overweight because it weighs in 4,145 pounds, while Ford officially lists its weight at 3,530 pounds. That 615-pound disparity means that if a family loads it to what they think is the model’s gross vehicle weight, it will actually be too heavy, and therefore illegal to drive in Sweden. According to the magazine, when it tried doing this, the rear wheels scraped against the wells, and the estate failed the mag’s legendary moose test. However, at 220 pounds over the limit, it passed the test.



When reached for comment by Autoblog, Jay Ward, Senior Manager at Ford of Europe Product Communications, explained the reason for the deviation between the official numbers and the magazine’s test:

“We are aware of this, but this is not an issue that relates specifically to the safety of the Mondeo, but is in fact related to the way in which the cars are tested by the authorities. We provided an Ambiente model for the testing but the car that featured in the magazine test was a Titanium model which has a different weight. We are in discussion with the Swedish Transport Agency to change the framework so the real weight of the Titanium model is reported instead of the Ambiente model which will resolve the issue.”

Teknikens Värld is well-known for calling out automakers for perceived transgressions. Most recently it leveled criticisms against the all-wheel drive system in the Honda CR-V, and both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Porsche Macan failed its moose test. Scroll down for the magazine’s video of weighing the Mondeo Estate and the model’s test results.

Auctions: Army’s first surplus Humvee auction brings in $744,000

December 19th, 2014 0 Comments
HMMWV high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle humvee training off road mud ford fording water driving 416 416th Theater Engineer Command TEC Soldiers



The first public auction of surplus US Army Humvees has came and went, and to call it a rousing success would be a major understatement. Auctioneers IronPlanet Inc., unloaded 25 trucks on behalf of the Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency.



Bidding started at a meager $ 10,000 for the privilege of driving home in America’s most iconic military vehicle. With $ 744,000 changing hands, the average Humvee crossed the block for just under $ 30,000, while the highest winning bid was $ 41,000, for a 1994 vintage, and the lowest winning price was $ 21,500, Military.com reports.



If those prices seem a smidge low, it’s because they are. A quick check of AutoTrader revealed that, nationwide, the cheapest Hummer H1 was up for grabs for $ 31,300, while the most expensive, a 2006 H1 Alpha, was going for $ 149,995.



Of course, there’s a good reason you might want to consider the civilian model, as Military.com explains it. AM General, the Humvee’s manufacturer, is pretty unequivocal on its website, saying, “The Humvee was designed for a military mission and was not designed to meet civilian safety standards.” It gets worse, though.

“AM General does not endorse nor support the sale of these military vehicles to the general public or private entities. AM General further opposes any use of these military vehicles by individuals or entities outside of the military context for which the vehicles are designed. AM General does not sell the military vehicle or service parts for the military vehicle to the general public.”

Somehow, though, we doubt that will stop those that are truly interested in the brutish military vehicle. The 25 Humvees sold in this first auction had simply been gathering dust at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, according to Military.com. Considering this auction’s success, and the fact that there are apparently 4,000 more surplus Humvees sitting about, we doubt this will be the last time the military turns to auction houses to unload inventory.