New California driving laws for 2013

LA CAR REPORT—Well, it appears as though we avoided the apocalypse that some seem to think would occur in 2012, but there’s something we can’t avoid – the new laws that apply to California drivers in 2013. Each year new laws are added and some are changed and, like anything else in life I guess, some things you hear seem to make perfect sense while others make you scratch your head and ask “What the heck were they thinking?”

California’s new legacy plates

HOT WIRE—After years of looking to the future with its green-themed license plate designs, California draws on its past to announce that its latest plate designs will emulate those of the 1950s, 60s and 70s—or as close as it can get to those designs (the new ones will have reflective surfaces for better night-time visibility). There’s one catch: The state won’t make them until it receives 7,500 pre-orders. The good news: You don’t have to have a car from the 50s, 60s or 70s to wear them. The DMV issued 28 frequently asked questions (and answers) about the new plates, and we present them here.

Autonomous vehicles discussed in DC

EVENT—What seemed to be billed as a dry seminar on emerging laws and regulations governing autonomous vehicles, turned out to be a fascinating and far-ranging discussion of the future of driving. In late October, a panel of experts from the government, industry, press, and legal fields gathered in Washington, DC, to exchange views.

Audi’s R8 Spyder tops the list

HOT WIRE— This year’s insurance bargain is the Toyota Sienna LE, which ranks as the least expensive 2012 model vehicle to insure, according to a comprehensive resource of consumer insurance information and data. Meanwhile, the 2012 Audi R8 Spyder Quattro, a two-seat V10 convertible, has gunned its way to the top of the rankings as the most expensive vehicle to insure.

Honda loses in small claims over Civic Hybrid

BACK SEAT DRIVING—The occupy movement has come to small claims court. In a blow to both trial attorneys and the American Honda Motor Company, a lone Honda Civic Hybrid owner has prevailed in small claims court. Los Angeles County Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan found that Heather Peters has a legitimate claim against Honda for her 2006 Civic Hybrid that has been averaging less than 30 miles per gallon. The case may open the floodgates for throngs of other owners to do the same.

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