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Is there a point in the US auto industry where companies should start considering the welfare of their customers ahead of selling more cars? American Honda Executive Vice President of Sales John Mendel thinks that level exists, and we may be getting very close to it.

Errors were found on subprime borrowers credit reports

The auto financing company First Investors Financial Services Group was fined $2.75 million on Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for reporting incorrect information to credit agencies that affected thousands of customers.

Auto loans in the US increased 10-percent from a year ago

It looks like Americans are feeling more confident about borrowing money again, at least when it comes to their cars. Credit reporting giant Equifax has released its latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, and the data suggests that auto lending is booming in 2014.

Travelers unable to bring extra weed home ditch it before heading into the airport

Car rental agencies operating at Denver International Airport are reporting tourists with extra pot are frequently handing it off to their employees or stashing their stash in the cars before they return them.

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'Generation N' Will Sap Long-Term Demand

The industry is on pace to sell more than 16 million cars this year ... but don't break out the party hats and champagne just yet.

Delinquency rates have nearly doubled since 2010

More subprime borrowers defaulted on their car loans in the years following the Great Recession than during or before the crash.

Americans are spending far too much money on new cars

A medium-income household can afford the average-priced new vehicle in just one of the 25 largest U.S. metro areas, according to a report from Interest.com.

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It may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the approximately $1 billion in liabilities bankrupt automaker Fisker Automotive has against it, but every bit helps. In this case, it's a smidgeon less than $5 billion. That's how much the maker of the Karma extended-range plug-in is getting approved to borrow from its presumed future owner, Wanxiang Group. It's a start.

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Ally Financial has agreed to pay a $98-million fine to settle an investigation into unfair lending practices overseen by the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In an investigation of lending practices in the year after April 2011, the government agencies determined that Ally Financial and Ally Bank charged roughly 235,000 Asian/Pacific Islander, Black and Hispanic borrowers higher interest rates than their credit profiles warranted and higher rates than white

Official

Since the US government shut down early this morning, more than 800,000 federal employees could be furloughed without pay until a deal is reached to start the government back up. To help affected employees cope with the temporary layoffs, Hyundai is expanding its Assurance program to defer all of their auto loan or lease payments until they're called back to work.

Dealership sell cars, and then take them back when the loan falls through

When dealers allow cars to roll off lots when financing isn't complete, customers can be on the hook for hundreds in extra fees or have their cars repossessed if loans don't come through.

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US auto loans are at their highest level since before the start of the great recession, according to a report from Automotive News. Originations increased 11 percent during the second quarter of 2013, to a combined $91.8 billion for all credit tiers, while overall sales were up nine percent overall.

Official

In the "lightning strikes twice" department, another California company in the green transportation field has said it paid off its federal government loans ahead of schedule. In this case, San Diego-based Sapphire Energy, which specializes in converting plant algae to crude oil, says it has paid off its $54.5-million loan, originally granted by the US Department of Agriculture, ahead of schedule.

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The length of car loans in the US keeps on growing as more and more consumers look for ways to save money every month to pay off obligations and necessities. Extremely low interest rates and more durable automobiles have become key factors in driving these new longer-term car loans, which can last anywhere from six to 10 years.

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We've heard all about the wildfires that have been raging in the western US, and the lengths that normal citizens are going to to fight them. Now, Congress is finally stepping in to deliver some aid of its own. The funds, though, could come at the expense of the auto industry.

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In the "it may be broke, but we ain't fixing it" department, the US government has decided not to shutter the $25 billion Department of Energy loan program geared to accelerate advanced-powertrain technology development, the Detroit News reports. Given the opportunity to cut a mere $6 million in funding earmarked specifically to oversee the $25 billion Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing program, the US House declined and the Obama Administration said that there remains more than $15 billi

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Fear not, Tesla drivers. When you take your Model S into the shop and need a loaner car, you'll get... another Model S.

Longer loans make for smaller monthly payments, but is it a good move?

The percentage of car sales with a 72-month loan (or longer) has hit record levels.

Study

Interest.com has taken a look at the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the US to determine which median-income households in those areas can afford to purchase a new car. As it turns out, only those living in Washington, D.C. can realistically swing the payment on an average-priced model. In 2012, new cars and light trucks carried a median MSRP of $30,550, and Interest.com used the 20/4/10 rule to examine what exactly is affordable in each area.

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