- Best-Selling Brand: Ford (2,168,015)
- Best-Selling Luxury Brand: Mercedes-Benz (295,063 *includes Sprinter)
- Best-Selling Vehicle: Ford F-Series (645,316)
- Best-Selling Car: Toyota Camry (404,886)
- Best-Selling SUV: Honda CR-V (281,652)
- Best-Selling Minivan: Dodge Caravan (141,468)
- Battle of the Pony Cars: Chevrolet Camaro (84,391, -4.4%) beat Ford Mustang (82,995, +17.8%)
- Top Five Midsize Sedans: Toyota Camry (404,886), Honda Accord (331,872), Nissan Altima (302,934), Ford Fusion (241,263), Hyundai Sonata (230,605)
Acura ZDX: The Acura ZDX was never really well-received by the automotive press or the public. The four-seat crossover had a coupe-like roofline and controversial styling, limited utility, and a price tag that made it hard to justify its purchase over the mechanically related MDX.
Chevrolet Avalanche: Unlike other vehicles on this list, the Chevrolet Avalanche isn’t being discontinued because it’s a bad vehicle – it’s leaving us as a result of parental neglect. The second-generation of the innovative Avalanche debuted in 2007 and saw its only real update in 2009, when the four-speed auto was replaced by a six-speed slushbox. Because the Avalanche was never kept fresh, sales dwindled, eventually resulting in its discontinuation.
Lexus HS 250h: First introduced in 2009, the Lexus HS 250h didn’t live up to Lexus’ sales or its customers’ fuel economy expectations. The problem may have been that most customers expected the HS 250h to net fuel economy comparable to the similarly sized Toyota Prius. Since the HS 250h used a modified version of the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s powertrain, that never happened. The end result was a slow-selling unattractive car, discontinued after just three years on the marketplace.
Lexus LFA: The Lexus LFA is the most recent edition to this list; the last of the carbon fiber supercar rolled off its special assembly line earlier this month. The 552-hp V-10-powered LFA was always intended to be a limited edition model, with just 500 made before Lexus closed up shop.
Mazda CX-7: The Mazda CX-7 died for the greater good of the Mazda lineup. The CX-7 was a bit of a tweener that never really had a direct competitor, but worked for Mazda until the CX-5 arrived. Since the CX-5 offers better fuel economy and more interior space, Mazda has dropped the CX-7 from its U.S. lineup.
Mercedes-Benz R-Class: Fact: Americans don’t like minivans. Fact: The Mercedes-Benz R-Class is essentially a minivan, despite the lack of sliding doors. With Mercedes customers buying GL- and M-Class vehicles in droves, the R-Class quietly left the U.S.
Mitsubishi Galant: For the Mitsubishi Galant, its demise frankly couldn’t come soon enough. Here’s hoping Mitsubishi goes back to the drawing board and returns with a groundbreaking midsize sedan in the next five years.
Suzuki: Sadly another automaker announced its departure this year. Suzuki is following in Saab’s footsteps and halting new-car sales in the U.S. Suzuki’s lineup includes gems like the Kizashi and Equator. Though good when they first debuted, models like the SX4 and Grand Vitara likely won’t be missed.
Volvo C30: Volvo was once known for selling stylish hatchbacks and wagons. Last year, it withdrew its V50 wagon from the U.S., and now it’s taking back its last hatchback. That’s a shame too, because with Volvo teasing variants like the C30 Polestar, it was just getting good.
In three years, the number of deaths caused by guns in America is expected to exceed the number of traffic fatalities for the first time in modern U.S. history.
The number of shooting deaths is expected to rise to 32,929 in 2015, according to a 10-year average based on Centers for Disease Control Data. By contrast, the number of traffic deaths is expected to continue its fall and decline to 32,036 thanks to advances in safety technology.
By contrast, “we’ve made policy decisions that have had the impact of making the widest array of firearms available to the widest array of people under the widest array of conditions,” Garen Wintemute, a professor at the University of California-Davis, tells Bloomberg, which compiled the data.
The number of annual traffic fatalities in America peaked in 1979, with more than 53,524 Americans killed on the road. The 10-year average has fallen since.
Gun deaths peaked at 37,666 in 1993, declined to 28,393 in 2000, and have gradually increased over the past decade, according to the Bloomberg data.
An officer with the Utah Highway Patrol was relieved of duty after allegations surfaced that she falsely arrested more than 40 people for driving under the influence. The New York Times reports that a lawsuit stemming from the allegations was filed on December 14 in Salt Lake City’s District Court. The suit accuses Corporal Lisa Steed of arresting drivers who weren’t even drinking. In some cases, those arrested were people who claim they don’t actually drink alcohol at all. Robert Sykes, one of the lawyers on the case, says in many cases, his clients were arrested even after passing a sobriety test.
In those cases, the charges were either dropped or reduced, but not until the accused had paid bail, had their vehicles impounded and racked up court fees in excess of $1,000.
According to the report, Steed had been a rising star within the UHP – she was even named trooper of the year in 2007. But she was fired in November amidst allegations of wrongdoing, though she is currently appealing her termination. Greg Skordas, Steed’s lawyer, said the allegations were overblown, arguing that most of her arrests had stood up in court. Even so, Davis County attorney Troy Rawlings has said he will dismiss any case where Steed was the primary investigator or witness. Three years ago, a Highway Patrol sergeant reviewed 20 of Steed’s marijuana-impairment arrests and found that the drivers had no traces of the drugs in their system.
Apparently, when attempting to diagnose appendicitis, some doctors would ask if pain worsened when driving over speed bumps. It was not exact medicine, but according to Dr. Helen Ashdown of Oxford, it has been “as good as many other ways of assessing people with suspected appendicitis.”
The Oxford study showed that the speed bump test was more helpful at ruling out appendicitis than confirming its diagnosis since other abdominal issues could also cause pain in those situations. So patients with acute appendicitis would experience pain going over a speed bump, but those who don’t feel a jolt can be ruled out entirely as having acute appendicitis. That said, don’t go driving over speed bumps expecting to perform your own diagnosis. Your results may vary!