Tesla-themed ATV recalled with prejudice, Dealership employees happy, Alfas get a facelift


Tesla-themed-and-sold child’s ATV recalled

Intake: The Cyberquad for Kids, styled after the Tesla Cybertruck, is being recalled for safety violations, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Administration. Though built in China by Radio Flyer, 5000 Cyberquads were sold exclusively through Tesla’s website. Owners are being told to remove the product’s motor controller and send it to the manufacturer for a full $1900 refund. If the owner is willing to destroy the entire ATV, there’s another $50. The Cyberquad features a full steel frame, cushioned seat and adjustable suspension with rear disc braking and LED light bars. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery with up to 15 miles of range and a top speed of 10 mph. Though made for kids, there are videos online of adults riding them. The issue, says the CPSA: “The Cyberquad fails to comply with the federal mandatory safety standard requirements for youth ATVs, including mechanical suspension and maximum tire pressure. Additionally, the Cyberquad lacks a CPSC-approved ATV action plan, which is required to manufacture, import, sell, or distribute ATVs.”

Exhaust: Not a good look for Tesla, which could likely be responsible for injury lawsuits resulting from crashing the Cyberquad. Interestingly, Radio Flyer has only one report of an incident, where the single-seat Cyberquad “tipped over when driven by an eight-year-old child and a 36-year-old adult female, resulting in a bruised left shoulder to the adult female.” While the refund is $1900, aftermarket resale is reportedly as high as $3500. Meanwhile, Tesla just had its own recall of 24,000 2017-2022 Model 3s in the U.S. over a seat belt issue. The firm is also facing a criminal probe into the misleading name of its Autopilot assisted driving hardware. —Steven Cole Smith

NADA study: Dealership employees happy, well paid

Customer shaking hands with car salesman buying a car
Getty/FG Trade

Intake: A study by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) suggests that automobile dealership employees are happier than in any time of the 11-year old study’s history, and one reason is that average employee pay at dealerships has topped $100,000 a year, according to Automotive News. Annual turnover at dealerships was 34 percent in 2021, which may sound high but is down significantly over past years, which averaged about 46 percent, which was the rate in 2020. The drop in turnover and the increase in compensation were directly connected, said Ted Kraybill, president of ESi-Q, a research company that conducts the study for NADA, in the Automotive News story. “As much as they may not be happy about certain things about their job, like the hours and all the time they put in and everything, there’s a point at which your compensation kind of outweighs those other negative aspects that normally might cause a sales consultant to leave,” said Kraybill.

Exhaust: The combined effects of the pandemic and the chip shortage led to a backup of available vehicles, and a waiting list of potential buyers. We suspect the 2022 survey, when it’s completed, will show this happy-employee trend will continue, especially if average pay remains a healthy $103,000, as the study shows. —SCS

A facelift for Alfa Romeo’s Giulia and Stelvio

Intake: Alfa Romeo has announced a suite of updates for the Giulia sports sedan and Stelvio SUV. Most immediately noticeable is a new-look front end, which brings the duo in line with the new family face introduced with the Tonale. Adaptive headlights are configured in a triple lens configuration inspired by the SZ, while there are also tweaks to the Trilobo grille and main air intakes. Inside, the biggest change is the introduction of a 12.3-inch TFT screen with three different layouts for its digital instruments. Evolved is a simple, yet futuristic look with both digital and analog speedometers and a rev counter, Relax simplifies the screen to concentrate on a central numeric display of speed, and Heritage recreates the analog dials seen of Alfas of the Sixties and Seventies. Sprint, Veloce and Competizione trim levels are offered, and all are available with an NFT which records the car’s history—a tech trick that Alfa hopes will shore up residual values.

Exhaust: Nothing much changes under the hood with power still coming from a 280-horsepower two-liter turbo motor driving the rear wheels in the Giulia or all four in the Stelvio, so this is essentially a technology upgrade, which is pretty welcome as it’s one area that Alfa was lagging behind. —Nik Berg

BMW adds features and tech to 2023 R 1250 R with no price increase

BMW R1250R 2023

Intake: The R 1250 R is BMW’s naked roadster that often gets overlooked for more specialized machines, but savvy shoppers now have a reason to give it a second look as the bike now comes stacked with standard features that were previously upcharge options. Included in the list are dynamic traction control, dynamic brake control, BMW Motorrad ABS Pro, a TFT display with “Sport” Core Screen and connectivity, three riding modes with a new “ECO” mode, and an on-board power socket and USB socket for powering GPS, phones, or heated gear. All this comes without a price increase over the 2022 model, which is a pleasant surprise.

Exhaust: While it might appear that most of these new standard features are tech-based, that should not to take away from the value proposition as a buyer. This big boxer twin might not have a front fairing, but with standard options that cover a rider like these, the wind is just a little more enjoyable since you have some extra dough still in your wallet to help weigh you down. Pricing is at $14,995 plus $695 destination charge which gives a rider a lot of capability for the dollar. —Kyle Smith

Some assembly required DB5 for sale

1964 Aston Martin resto project
Collecting Cars

Intake: If you’re handy with the spanners you could snap up this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for a song. The car is mostly restored, there’s just the small matter of putting all the pieces back together. The Superleggera alloy and steel body has been stripped back to bare metal from its original Black Pearl, giving the new owner a free choice when it comes to color, new panels have been hand-fabricated where required, and the suspension restored or renewed. Five wire wheels in original unrestored condition come with the car, and the interior will need to be re-trimmed as well. The engine has been upgraded to 4.2-liter specification at Bell Sport & Classic, so that’s one less thing to worry about. If you fancy building your own Bond car, then pay a visit to Collecting Cars to bid.

Exhaust: When everything is reassembled in the right order, this DB5 could be worth up to $1.3 million according to Hagerty’s valuation data. At the time of this writing, bidding had reached $350,000, so if all the pieces are there it could be quite a deal. We do wonder why this potentially very profitable project was abandoned, however. —NB

Dodge offering a “horsepower locator”

dodge horspoer locator

Intake: Dodge continues to keep the 2023 Challenger and Charger in the news, despite it being the last model year for the venerable but popular vehicles. All the builds for the cars have been allocated to dealers, and the Horsepower Locator, found at Dodgegarage.com, lets you punch in your zip code and see what cars your local dealers have in their allocations. We keyed in our zip and checked “Challenger:” Our local dealer will have 43 available 2023 Challengers, from a bunch of V-6 models to some 485-horsepower R/T Scat Pack Widebody 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 cars. Hellcats? Sorry, none en route at this dealership.

Exhaust: Dodge’s marketing team is doing a commendable job in keeping a focus on some lame-duck cars. Yes, the Challenger and Charger have been around forever, but they will be missed more than we know. —SCS

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    In 1968 I got a job washing cars at a dealership, worked in dealerships ever since. The majority of employees at any dealership are NOT Sales Consultants – and darn few make anything like $103,000 annually…..

    Agree, must be some seriously highly compensated f&I and management. None of the grunts in the back made 2/3 of that.

    just retired for the auto industry in Canada was a tech for over 40 years, never made any where close to that money. Most techs are paid flat rate by the job and today with extended warranties sold on most cars it is getting harder every year to make a good living. You cant be working on a 7year old car with 200k on it for warranty with the times based on new cars not allowing for rusted bolts sometimes with no heads left on them and bolts that break of in things you cant heat to help it is only going to get worse and more techs are getting out and fewer coming in The industry is in trouble and the manufactures and dealers are not willing to admit it Who wants to work a 8 plus hr day for 4to 5 hours of pay or less some days

    Were only well-paid sales managers and sales people surveyed? Because most don’t make that kind of money as it seems that any way to deny money to the “little guys” in the dealer is done quite frequently while the top buddy club does pretty well.

    OF COURSE the dealer’s association skews the average salesperson’s pay high, consider the source. Find an unbiased survey for a more honest figure.

    The DB5 is a textbook example of too good to be true. Someone did all the hard stuff and won’t spend a few weekends bolting it together? I’d start by demanding to see the paperwork.

    My buddy has one of the diesel VWs recalled for cheating emissions – he absolutely refused to take it in for the recall and refuses to part with it. I imagine much of the same will occur with the cyberquad

    The world’s ugliest vehicle from Tesla, the maker of many really ugly vehicles, makes a children’s car, which gets recalled as unsafe, which makes it a true Tesla.

    The Model S is “ugly”? Your opinion, I guess…

    To be fair, Tesla didn’t make this, RadioFlyer did.

    Finally, “which gets recalled as unsafe, which makes it a true Tesla” makes no sense since Tesla vehicles are among the safest you can buy.

    “Not a good look for Tesla, which could likely be responsible for injury lawsuits resulting from crashing the Cyberquad.”

    Not a good look for Tesla, because everyone will write this up like it’s their fault. But RadioFlyer is the manufacturer, so it’s really “on them”. However, the whole thing is ridiculous, since it’s a kid’s toy, is clearly marketed as such, and the kid+adult rider were certainly over the weight limit.

    Why do we let such ignorance from one person cause harm to everyone else who is or otherwise would enjoy this product? The adult rider is at fault here, not Tesla or RadioFlyer. And one case out of 5k sold is a ridiculous threshold for a recall of this size.

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