Ten Tiny Bits Of Automotive News – January 23, 2012

1. BMW is recalling more than 80,000 Mini vehicles including cars built in model years 2007 through 2011. The recall relates to a fire hazard. Mini has also recalled another 165,000 vehicles worldwide.

2. Americans are keep their cars longer than ever. According to Polk, the average age of a vehicle on USA roads is 10.8 years. Everything from better quality cars and trucks to the recession factors into the new record statistic.

3. Mercedes-Benz says it wants to increase USA sales by 20% compared to last year. Mercedes believes this will be possible because of the popularity it expects in its compact-car family.

4. A State Senator in Texas admitted that red light cameras in his state are all about the money and that he knew the cameras had no effect on public safety. So much for the big lie sold by the camera companies seeking to sell these services at a big profit.

5. PSA Peugeot Citroën has announced the French automaker will leave Le Mans racing indefinitely. Reuters reports the manufacturer cites financial issues as the reason for the drastic move.

6. In news that will no doubt anger all those who purely for political reasons – hate GM… GM retook the global sales crown in 2011 with more than nine million units sold. Just 30 months after emerging from bankruptcy, GM made itself the world’s largest auto maker. Meanwhile, the haters are busy trying to find a way to put a negative spin on the news.

7. Kia has announced that it is recalling 145,000 vehicles to address faulty airbags. A total of 95,569 Optima sedans built between 2006 and 2008 and 50,186 Rondo MPVs built between 2007 and 2008 are included in the recall.

8. Nissan has announced pricing on the 2013 GT-R. The base 2013 Nissan GT-R Premium model starts at $97,820, reflecting a $6,870 increase over the outgoing model.

9. A two-year study looking for possible causes behind Toyota’s rash of unintended acceleration issues has put primary blame on driver error.

10. In MORE news that will no doubt anger all those who purely for political reasons – hate GM…The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has closed its investigation into the potential risk of fire hazards for GM’s Volt cars that have been involved in a crash, clearing the carmaker of any wrongdoing.