Just days after Wired wrote about a ride in a hacked Jeep Cherokee, several owners are reporting what they believe to be hacking-related problems on their own vehicles.
“I’m positive my Jeep Cherokee has been hacked,” said Dick Knotter, chief quality supervisor at a carrion packing agency in Disappointment Heights, Idaho. “Just last week, I went to turn up the stereo, and the fan came on. There’s no way I could have accidentally turned the wrong dial because I was distracted by this totally hot crossing guard I drove past. This is just like the unintended acceleration problem I had in my Toyota RAV4 all over again. What a nightmare.”
Teresa VonPassive, a hinge inspector from Cockneck, New Jersey, said her Jeep Grand Cherokee has been behaving strangely in recent weeks.
“The car hasn’t had any problems for nearly a month and a half,” she said. “Nothing! No warning lights on the dash, no strange clunking noises from the front end, no interior pieces falling off in my hands. This is the third Jeep I’ve owned and I can tell you from experience that this is just not normal. No, I’m sure my car has been hacked.”
Owners of other vehicles from other manufacturers have reported what they believe to be hacking-related issues as well.
“I’m positive my BMW 328i has been hacked,” said Henry Butterspanker, a self-employed desklamp operator from Los Angeles, Connecticut. “The other day I went to cut someone off, and I thought to myself, ‘You know what, maybe today I’ll try driving like I’m not a complete prick.’ Where the hell did that come from? Clearly, this hacking problem is bigger than the car manufacturers are letting on, and BMW better damn well do something about it.”
Fiat-Chrysler spokesperson Kathy Graham-Cracker explained the steps that her company was taking to address the hacking-related issues.
“Our software developers were able to develop and roll out a patch to the affected vehicles in just a few days,” Ms. Graham-Cracker told Autoblopnik. “But explaining to our owners that every single fucking thing their car does that seems even remotely out of the ordinary, even if it’s a result of their own stupidity, doesn’t mean their car has been hacked, well, that could take a lot longer. Just ask Toyota.”
Photo © Autoblopnik
Mercedes announces new vans for North America
On the eve of the launch of the mid-size Vito, which has been renamed Metris for the North American market, Mercedes revealed that they would be importing the compact Citan van, which they will badge as the Monkey Kong. Starting with the 2017 model year, the Sprinter will get a new name, either Mrogger or Masteroids.
In related news, asked why the Metris was renamed for the US market, a Mercedes representative said, “Because a guy in New Jersey threatened to break all of our windows if we called it Vito.”
New name for Lamborghini SUV
Lamborghini says they will not call their upcoming SUV the “Urus” as originally planned.
“We’ve learned our lesson from the Ferrari FxxK, that we should find a name that will not, how you say, embarrass us in front of the entire English-speaking world,” said Lamborghini spokesspeaker Len Borghini.
“We know Urus sounds in English like, how you say, some sort of urinary tract disease,” Borghini continued, “so we will not be using this name for our new SUV. Instead, we will call it the Slamtits Hemorrhoidmaster.”
Mitsubishi negotiating pickup deal with FCA
Mitsubishi is reportedly in talks with Fiat-Chrysler Automotive to produce a version of their L200 pickup which would be sold as a Fiat in Europe.
“Everyone knows how well that whole Dakota/Raider thing worked out for us,” said Mitsubishi spokesperson Alex Hatk. “Now it’s Chrysler’s turn to bend over.”
After months of saying only that the upcoming 2016 Shelby GT350’s 5.2 liter flat-plane-crank engine would produce “over 500 horsepower,” Ford today announced the supercar’s official power output.
“Officially, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 will produce over 500 horsepower,” said Ford’s Vice Officer of Ridiculously Powerful Cars, Sheldon Branson “Shel B.” Geeteetreefiddy.
“Because really there’s no point,” Geeteetreefiddy said when asked the obvious question. “A few geekholes are going to actually dyno-test the thing, and they’re all going to come up with slightly different numbers anyway because the outside temperature is to low and the humidity is too high and a squirrel farted on the rollers and they don’t know how to run a dyno and it’s the third Thursday of the fourth month with an R in the name. As for the rest of the buyers, most wouldn’t be able to tell a 400 horsepower car from a 500 horsepower car or a 600 horsepower car or even a seven trillion horsepower car. All they know is that it’s really, really friggin’ fast. So why bother with a number?”
Geeteetreefiddy said that by not certifying a horsepower figure, Ford was able to cut nearly $600 from the Shelby GT350’s development cost.
“That alone will pay for the upcoming Explorer redesign,” he added.
Asked if perhaps Ford did not know the exact power output for the new uber-Mustang, Geeteetreefiddy responded, “What? That’s ridiculous! Of course we – how could you say such a thing? We – yes, we know it, of course we do, I can’t believe you would imply that, um, it’s just that these things are highly technical, you know. Hey, ever see a carbon-fiber hood before it’s been painted?”
Meanwhile, other Ford divisions are considering adapting a similar strategy for model lines. Starting in 2017, for example, Ford plans to say that all of its EcoBoost models are EPA-rated at “over five miles per gallon”.
Ford, Chrysler to build fleet-only CUVs
Ford and Chrysler have announced plans to build low-cost crossovers expressly for the rental market. Currently, General Motors dominates the segment with the Chevrolet Captiva. Ford plans to launch a competing vehicle called the Hostage, while Chrysler will follow with the Dodge It Puts The Lotion In The Basket Or It Gets The Hose Again.
Praise for Faust move
LGBT-rights groups across the country are praising Tanner Faust’s move from Ford to Volkswagen. “We were so pleased to learn that Tanner Faust would be driving a Volkswagen Beetle in GRC,” said Anton Breeder, spokesgay for Freedom for All, Girlfriend. “It’s about time he came out. We knew he was one of us all along.”
Nissan recalls NV200
Nissan has recalled its new NV200 compact cargo van for what it terms “aesthetic-related issues.” Spokesvanner Van Debore told Autoblopnik, “While we did our best to make the NV200 as unattractive as possible, it failed to meet the standards for ugliness set by the larger NV 1500-series vans, a single sighting of which can give a small child nightmares for weeks.” Debore says dealers will correct the problem by fitting the NV200 with the front clip developed for the Chevrolet City Express.
© Autoblopnik – Hat tip to Jay Zee
The automotive community was in shock today after a well-known and well-respected journalist let it be known that he does not like diesel-powered cars.
“I’ve never cared for them, really,” said Jimmy “Jim” Hammer-James, a former syndicated automotive columnist for Knight-Rider News, who asked that he not be named for fear of reprisals.
“There’s nothing inherently wrong with diesels,” Hammer-James the journalist told Autoblopnik. “I just don’t like them, and I don’t understand why my colleagues get so excited about them. Sure, they get great fuel economy if you drive five miles per hour under the speed limit on level ground in a perfectly straight line with the A/C off and the sunroof closed, but they’re noisy and the fuel sticks to your shoes and stinks up your car. When my readers tell me they need a car that gets great gas mileage, I tell them to buy a Prius.”
“This creates a serious credibility problem for our industry,” said Berton Bertonsmyth, president of Consolidated Reporters and Automotive Professionals, a trade group for auto writers. “An automotive reporter who doesn’t like diesels is like… is like…”
“Like a germaphobe who doesn’t like soap,” finished his colleague Bill Fannybatter, president of Consolidated Reporters for Awesomely Slick Similes.
Hammer-James the unnamed journalist says he’s surprised at the vitriol he’s received from his colleagues after voicing his opinions on diesels.
“It’s like there’s some sort of unwritten code,” he said. “If you don’t love diesels, you’re not a real auto critic. People say I must hate cars, or I must not be an enthusiast. I’ve owned three BMWs, I’ve got a showroom-condition ’64 GTO, and I’m helping a friend restore his Jaguar E-Type. I love cars. I just don’t like diesels.”
“He’s worse than a mommyblogger,” said Warry Lebster of Toad and Rrack, who asked that we change his name and his publication in order to ensure his anonymity. “He’s worse than a lifestyle journalist. He’s not one of us.”
UPDATE: Autoblopnik has learned that Hammer-James the subject of this story is unhurt after a failed attack by fellow journalists, who doused him with diesel fuel and attempted to set him alight before realizing that diesel fuel does not burn readily.
Jeep today revealed the 2015 Wrangler, which will be based on Fiat’s European-market Panda 4×4.
“The new Wrangler will make huge improvements in fuel economy and ride quality,” Jeep spokeschanger Tadd Gayer told Autoblopnik, “the trade-off being that it will give up some off-road ability. And by some, I mean pretty much all of it.”
Asked if such a radical change would alienate the existing Wrangler buyer base, Gayer said, “We certainly hope so.”
“Moving the Wrangler to a commuter-car platform will definitely be a huge disappointment for long-time Jeep fans,” Gayer said, unnecessarily starting a new paragraph. “Frankly, if we can get rid of these Moab-obsessed yahoos, we can get on with building SUVs and crossovers that the rest of the market actually wants. The CR-V can’t do jack shit off road, and Honda makes way more money than us.”
Jeep’s shift away from off-road-capable products includes ceasing use of the “Trail Rated” slogan.
“We’re thinking about changing it to ‘Tail Rated,'” Gayer told our reporter. “The implication is that Jeeps are pet friendly, but there’s also the subtext that it’ll help you get girls. We like subtle sexual innuendos like that. Why do you think we named the pickup trucks Ram?”
Gayer said there would be plenty of alternatives for fans of the brand who dislike the new Panda-based Wrangler.
“They can buy a used Wrangler. God knows there’s about a billion of them out there. They could get off their lazy asses and work hard enough to afford a Land Rover. Or better yet, they could just find a different hobby, one that doesn’t require us to rearrange our whole friggin’ product line to suit their whims. To tell you the truth, I really don’t give a shit. Come 2015, it’s no longer my problem.”
Ford Motor Company today announced EPA fuel economy estimates of 35 MPG city and 45 MPG highway for the 2014 Fiesta with the 1.0 liter EcoBoost turbo engine, adding that these figures will be “totally unreachable” for the average consumer.
“When and if it goes on sale, the EcoBoots-powered Ford Fiesta will be the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid non-diesel non-electric non-midsize non-premium non-car in America,” said Ford non-spokesman Say Deepthings. “We also hasten to add that we do not expect our buyers to actually achieve 45 MPG in the new 45 MPG Festiva.”
“The 45 MPG figure will be totally unreachable for the vast majority of our customers,” echoed Ford’s chief EcoBlouse engineer, Ima N. Jineer, “and by ‘vast majority’ I mean every last one of them. But at least they can truthfully tell their friends that they are driving the 45 MPG EcoBooze-powered Ford Fitesta.”
Deepthings pointed out that the three-cylinder turbocharged Fiesta has advantages that go well beyond fuel economy.
“The EcoSnooze Fistata has more torque per liter than a Corvette ZR-1,” he told our correspondent. “It also has more seat belts per fender than an Audi R8 and more transmission speeds per cylinder than a Jaguar F-Type. If you fill it with hats, it has more hats per cubic acre than a Bentley Mulsanne without any hats in it.”
Asked if Ford was manipulating their powertrain calibrations to deliver higher EPA figures than drivers could expect in real-world driving, Deepthings said, “Absolutely not. The EPA tests are a 100% accurate representation of the fuel economy buyers could expect to achieve from their own EcoBoobs-powered Fiestarossas if they were to recreate the EPA tests on their own using Ford’s specially-calibrated equipment. How else could we legally promote the 45 MPG Ford Fiesto as the 45 MPG Ford Festivo?”
© Autoblopnik — Hat tip to Scott Villeneuve