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Important, if you feel your vehicle has this unintended acceleration issue: If you have noticed any of the following: Your accelerator pedal is harder than normal to depress, not smooth during operation, or slow to return after being depressed the vehicle should be stopped at the nearest safe location, the engine shut off, and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.

Here at RepairPal, we have heard several VW owners complain of Check Engine Lights with a misfiring engine, rough idle and poor acceleration. Well VW has sent out letters to many, if not all VW owners to notify them of a recall on the ignition coils. From the Volkswagen Website:

Now that winter is in full effect, questions have been pouring in from all over the country regarding heater performance issues. In the second installment of the RepairPal Diagnostic Series, we will be providing you with a diagnostic tool to help address heater performance problems, as well as A/C issues for all of you in South Florida! If you are experiencing problems, print out the Heater and A/C Diagnostic Assistant worksheet below, fill it out and take it in to the repair shop and present it to the service writer, they will be impressed with your pro-active approach! If you have a request for a questionnaire that you would like to see in the future, please drop us a line at feedback@repairpal.com

Dan heads up emissions diagnosis and repair at SpeeDee Oil Lube & Tune Up in San Bruno, California.  Emissions-related and California Smog test repair is tricky and closely monitored by the State.  Each test on every vehicle is scrutinized by the state, and all shops licensed to test and repair for Smog are rated and ranked, particularly the Gold Shield-level shops. Dan's shop ranked 13th out of the thousands of California repair establishments being analyzed for their diagnosis and repair work to lower tailpipe emissions.  This ranking is based on the overall accuracy of emissions diagnosis and repair and the quantifiable reduction in tailpipe emissions that these repairs actually achieved.

It looks like Saab's days are officially numbered. Saab has been in discussions with Koenigsegg Group AB, a Swedish sports-car maker, but Koenigsegg has pulled out. There are no apparent buyers for Saab, who just announced earlier this month that they would be closing 81 of 218 their US dealers. Here is a quote from George Glassman, owner of Glassman Saab of Southfield, Michigan which pretty much sums it up: “It is not what I had hoped to hear, but I believe it’s a dead issue. In the interim, if you know of a McDonald’s, Burger King or Dunkin’ Donuts that would like to occupy my showroom, let me know."

In case you missed it, here is the video of the $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron getting pulled out of a salt water marsh in Texas. While the car looks pretty intact, the salt will cause corrosion. Plus water likely went into the engine causing it to hyrdolock. The driver claims there was a low flying bird he was trying to avoid.

A GM/EBay deal went live on August 11th With over 225 California Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers scheduled to post over 20,000 new vehicles on Ebay, GM is hoping that Ebay's 12 million monthly visits will boost sales via its special GM-branded portal and help move remaining 2008 and 2009 model year vehicles from its inventory.  With Ebay's "Buy it now and Best offer" sales formats, GM is making a measured bet on the new channel, and I'm sure other manufacturers will  be watching closely for signs of success. This offer runs from August 11th thru September 8th.  If you're in the market for a new car, it may be worth checking out.

We hear a lot of stories and get a lot of questions from drivers all over the country who are looking to save money by performing a repair themselves on their car.  We've heard everything from changing oil, to brake work, to replacing an intake manifold or fixing a check engine light that's just turned on. At RepairPal, we have spent a lot of time working with master technicians and with auto repair shop owners.  Getting to know the industry intimately is the best way that we can provide consumers with the information and advice that they need, when they need it.  One thing we learned immediately is that modern cars can be tough to fix, and even simple jobs can require specialized tools or special knowledge.  When it gets into emission control, which is what lights up that Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon light, things can get extremely complicated, involving potentially dozens of computers and sensors.

A news story broke in California last week that Jerry Brown, California's Attorney General, and district attorneys in two counties are filing suit against the owner of 22 Midas repair shops, accusing him of defrauding his customers by luring them into shops with cheap brake job specials and then aggressively selling them services.  The suit apparently alleges that these additional services were not needed, and the claims in the suit are $222 million!! We hate hearing about this sort of incident because of the damage it does to the reputation of honest players in auto repair and also how it adds to the angst of customers needing help with service and repair.

Welcome to the sun-drenched Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia, home to world-class vintners and a vibrant wine community, oh and a very pricey Italian BBQ! Thanks to Morgan, hope you weren't renting this for the weekend!