AAA Warns of Misconceptions Regarding Automatic Braking Systems

The automatic emergency braking systems showing up on an increasing number of vehicles may not work quite the way drivers think they do. A study released Wednesday by AAA found that many buyers don’t know that some systems are designed to prevent accidents, while others only attempt to lessen the damage done when a crash occurs. The Florida-based auto club says consumers need to be better educated on these systems, particularly as...

That Vibrating ‘Wub Wub Wub’ That Comes From Cracking One Car Window? It’s Not Just You!

Charles Brownstein ’s annoyance with the “throbbing noise” that invades the cockpit of his Porsche 911 at high speeds became so intense that he turned to an orange juice bottle for relief. Like millions of car drivers, including those with humbler vehicles, Mr. Brownstein couldn’t handle the oppressive “wub wub wub” head-exploding sensation when certain windows are rolled down. He fixed a makeshift deflector—made of sturdy plastic cut from the side of a Tropicana juice container—to the sports c

VW’s Dealers Fume While Waiting for Diesel-Car Fix

Volkswagen AG's effort to reverse its U.S. sales slump will get a jump start with the launch of two new vehicles in hot-selling categories. It is bringing out a small wagon in the next several months and a family-size sport-utility vehicle in early 2017. Their advent follows last month’s court-approved agreement for Volkswagen to pay up to $14.7 billion to settle emissions-cheating claims by U.S. customers and regulators. The moves aim to resolve the lingering scandal and reverse

Tech Companies Still Trusted More on Autonomous-Car Development

A fatality linked to Tesla Motor Inc.’s Autopilot system has done little to dent confidence in Silicon Valley’s ability to do a better job than traditional auto makers when it comes to development of software for autonomous cars, according to a new AlixPartners LLP survey. The consulting firm surveyed slightly more than 1,500 respondents shortly before the late-June disclosure of the Tesla fatality and then followed up with a revised study after the incident attracted significant attention. In

AutoNation Hits Record EPS, But Counsels Caution

AutoNation Inc., benefiting from continued growth in demand for higher margin trucks and sport-utility vehicles, will continue pairing back inventory levels as the wider auto industry braces for a plateauing of U.S. light-vehicle sales after six years of uninterrupted growth. The largest auto retailer in the U.S. said it earned second-quarter net income of $112 million, or $1.08 per share, from continuing operations compared with...

Taxpayer-Subsidized Biogas Plant Underperforms, Asks For Massive Tax Break

(Investigative story on an Oregon energy plant.) A Junction City biogas plant that’s already received millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies is now more than $325,000 behind on its property tax bill and is fighting Lane County in court over making good on what it owes. JC-Biomethane opened its plant in 2013 with the promise it would generate electricity to power homes by burning off gases from food wastes. The plant is the first in Oregon to use wastes from businesses and restaurants to generate power, according to records and interviews.

9 hours a birdwatcher

The Subaru comes to a halt mid-road. Three women look up from within the car at a nearby lamppost where a hawk has perched. The women — June Whitten, Diana Dillenburg and Marilyn Cripe — are trying to nail down how to classify it for their birdwatching checklists. Even though it’s around 6:30 a.m., they’re on top of their game: one of the ladies quickly identifies it as a Swainson’s hawk, named after William Swainson. “Many birds have names of early birders,” explains Whitten, who co-authored a