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Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 04/12/2012

Cars.com News Briefs: April 12, 2012


(Cars.com)

Here's what we have our eye on today:

Federal investigators have extended a Jeep Wrangler probe to the 2007-09 and 2011-12 model years, The Detroit News reports . The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the investigation late last month to look into complaints of engine fires in the 2010 Wrangler and the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze . An additional report of an engine fire in the Wrangler prompted NHTSA to investigate all years of the current-generation Wrangler, which has been on sale since September 2006.

Lamborghini will unveil an SUV concept at this month's Beijing Auto Show, German business daily Handelsblatt reports via Automotive News . China is an emerging market for super-luxury vehicles, and Lamborghini, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, wants to expand its lineup beyond the Gallardo and Aventador to attract new customers, CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Handelsblatt. The Italian brand could launch a production SUV by 2017, marking its first SUV since the Humvee-like LM002 decades ago. It may share components with a forthcoming SUV from Bentley , another Volkswagen Group subsidiary.

GM said gases venting from an experimental battery pack at its Warren, Mich., technical center caused Wednesday morning's explosion — not components related to the Chevrolet Volt, according to The Detroit News . The explosion comes months after federal officials closed an investigation on the Volt for isolated fires. The explosion sent one employee to the hospital; a GM spokesman said the employee remained there overnight for observation.

The Detroit News reports the U.S. Treasury lowered its projection Wednesday on auto bailout losses from $85 billion in 2009 to $21.7 billion. That's down about $2 billion from earlier projections. The lower number is thanks in part to GM stock, which has risen 19% this year. Still, the automaker's stock remains down 27% from its IPO price in November 2010 . The Treasury still owns 26.5% of GM, down from 61% originally, and The Detroit News says it's unlikely the government will sell its remaining GM shares until after November's elections. It stands in contrast to Chrysler, which the Treasury spent $12.5 billion bailing out and exited last year at a loss of $1.3 billion.

By Cars.com  |  12:09 PM ET, 04/12/2012

 
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