AT&T refuses to pay $100 million FCC fine, suggests $16,000 max

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AT&T was hit with a massive $100 million fine by the FCC several weeks ago in response to its throttling of unlimited data customers, but now the carrier is asking that decision to […]

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2015 Chrysler 300S V-8 Tested: Three Additional Gears, Same Big Sedan Goodness

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-Most cars’ journey through a single life cycle—from launch to midterm update to giving way to something newer—can be tracked through the massaging of fascias, tweaks to head- and taillights, and updates to the available color palette. In the case of Chrysler’s second-generation 300 sedan, however, it also includes an ever-evolving tapestry of gearshifters. All 300s once had a meaty shift lever that slid through the typical PRND detents, but when Chrysler’s ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission began trickling into V-6–powered 300s, those models received new, Audi-esque, low-profile electronic shift levers. Now, as part of a mild refresh for 2015, the entire 300 line has adopted the same rotary shift dial as the smaller 200 sedan. READ MORE ››

 

Canadiens Extend Alex Galchenyuk

Thursday night the Montreal Canadiens announced a two-year contract extension for center (or is he a winger?) Alex Galchenyuk.

The team didn’t disclose financial details on the contract, but the contract is reported to be worth a $2.8 million AAV, according to Pierre LeBrun. The deal carries an actual value of $2.5 million in the first season and $3.1 in the second.

That financial breakdown is important because when this bridge deal expires, Galchenyuk will be a restricted free agent with salary arbitration rights. Getting $3.1 million in the second season will help him spring into a bigger contract should he need to go to arbitration for his next contract.

IIHS: 2015 Ford F-150 Crash Tests Reveal Disparate Results Between Crew Cab and Extended Cab

The Ford F-150 aced a suite of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and earned the nonprofit group’s “Top Safety Pick” rating. Of note, however, is that the honor was bestowed only to the SuperCrew body style, the bestselling version of the truck.

The four-door SuperCrew passed all five tests with the highest-possible “good” rating. The reason? Ford installs steel members fore and aft of the front wheel wells (in yellow, below) to prevent those wheels from intruding into the cabin space, but the company doesn’t fit them to SuperCab or regular-cab bodies.

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Ford installed steel reinforcements (above, in yellow) only in its 2015 F-150 SuperCrew trucks—and not the other body styles.

During the IIHS frontal-small-overlap test, which simulates hitting a pole or a car head-on by contacting 25 percent of a vehicle’s frontal area at 40 mph, the SuperCrew’s body cage remained “largely intact” with a “low risk of injuries,” the group said. The smaller F-150 SuperCab pickup (pictured at top) scored “marginal” due to “significant intrusion” of the passenger cabin, as the dashboard and steering wheel came “dangerously close” to the dummy’s chest. Since the A-pillars buckled and other body components “seriously compromised the driver’s survival space,” the IIHS rated this F-150’s structure as “poor,” which is below “marginal” and the group’s worst rating. Vehicles have to earn “good” or “acceptable” ratings in all tests to qualify as a Top Safety Pick.

“That shortchanges buyers who might pick the extended cab thinking it offers the same protection in this type of crash as the crew cab,” said David Zuby, the Institute’s chief research officer. “It doesn’t.”

An Automotive News report on the differing structures published in June prompted the IIHS to test two F-150 body styles instead of the single most popular variant, as it does for every other car it tests. While it’s not unusual to see cars with varying crash structures in the U.S. versus overseas—the U.S. has its own roof-crush standards, as well as other more stringent rules including those for side-curtain airbags—it’s the first time the IIHS has witnessed such divergent results for one U.S.-specified car model. As a result, the IIHS says it’s planning to crash-test several body styles of other full-size pickups this year, and it is investigating whether other manufacturers also are reinforcing vehicle trims it knows the IIHS will test.

Compare the performance of this 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew with that of the 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCab pictured at top.

Ford responded to Automotive News by saying that it will add “countermeasures” to 2016 regular-cab and extended SuperCab F-150s, telling the publication that “the type of countermeasure and structure will vary by cab type.” In a statement to Car and Driver, Ford says, “We addressed the IIHS small overlap front crash in our high-volume SuperCrew first, which accounts for 83 percent of 2015 F-150 retail sales. We are adding countermeasures in the SuperCab and the regular cab in the 2016 model year. Based on the IIHS data, both vehicles offer similar occupant protection levels [as the SuperCrew]. The F-150 program was well under way when this test was introduced in 2012. We are evaluating which specific changes we will make to the SuperCab and regular cab. It is important that any changes do not compromise performance on other crash tests.”

In AN’s June story, Ford said, “We optimize each cab structure based on many factors including cab style, mass, wheelbase, powertrain, and driveline to meet regulatory requirements and achieve public-domain ratings.” Those “public-domain ratings” were clarified by Ford in this week’s AN report to be “crash testing.”

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2015 Ford F-150 SuperCab (left) and 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (right).



The small-overlap crash test, first introduced in 2012, forced automakers to quickly adopt changes after the IIHS revealed that most new cars—including luxury sedans—weren’t strong enough to prevent significant injuries in this common accident type. Toyota, for example, launched a 2014.5 model-year Camry that specifically addressed the body structure in relation to the test, and other manufacturers made similar improvements as quickly as the following model year.

This story was updated to include Ford’s statement to C/D regarding actions it plans to take to update the SuperCab and regular cab F-150 models for 2016.

Capitals Sign 2015 Pick Jonas Siegenthaler

The Washington Capitals announced the signing of defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to a three-year, entry-level contract on Thursday afternoon.

Siegenthaler was the Capitals 2015 2nd Round draft pick (59th overall). Entering the draft, he was the 12th ranked European player, standing 6 foot 2, 220 pounds at age 18.

He played 41 games in the Swiss A league, playing for the Zurich Lions last season, scoring three assists and landing a team-leading 39 penalty minutes.

Siegenthaler played for the Swiss team in the 2015 U-18 World Championships, earning a spot on the tournament All-Star Team. The Zurich-native also played for the Swiss team at the 2015 World Juniors Championship, registering an assist and eight penalty minutes in six games.

Siegenthaler, according to the Capitals’ release, will join Washington for rookie camp and then will return to Zurich, where he’ll play this coming season on loan to the Lions.

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