We recently recapped for you our 10 most-read first-drive reviews of the past year, and reviews of course are a big reason we’re here. But news matters, too, so in case you missed them, here are the stories that were most-read this year. Readers are pretty good about clicking on the things that are truly important — traffic safety and reliability, for example. The biggest clickers, though, were those that definitely fall in the “weird and wacky” category. So ICYMI, here’s a quick look back at 2022:
20. Oregon cops make arrests in thefts of 44,000 catalytic converters
Putting one big dent in a nationwide scourge we all heard a lot about this year, especially Prius owners. The scope of this operation was impressive.
19. GM threatens predatory dealers with order cancellations, non-transferrable warranties
Dealership chicanery is always a hot topic, and 2022 had lots of it.
18. Drivers continue to behave badly as fatalities rise, AAA says
The pandemic years have been deadly in more ways than one.
17. SUVs and trucks more likely to hit pedestrians than cars
The latest IIHS research leaves little doubt that there’s a high price being paid for our love of pickups and SUVs.
16. Nearly half of drivers use potentially impairing medications, AAA study says
That’s three grim safety stories in a row, but it’s good to see that reader interest in these important topics is high.
15. Least reliable car brands in America
Is yours on the list?
14. NHTSA opens investigation into engine failures in some 2021 Ford Bronco models
The Bronco is immensely popular but had a difficult first year, including reports of “catastrophic engine failures.”
13. The most and least popular car colors
A perennial favorite, which is funny considering that every year nearly 80% of cars sold are white, black, gray or silver. Boring!
12. Wheel maker Dicastal’s Michigan plant raided by FBI
Five months later, we still don’t know what was going on in this Chinese company’s U.S. factory, but former employees made it sound bad.
11. GM announces $7 billion Michigan factory investment, most going to EVs
This, along with other big EV investments such as Ford’s plans for Blue Oval City and spending on existing plants, were a big story this year — all marking a big upswing in U.S. manufacturing.
10. Rivian recalling nearly all 13,000 of its vehicles over steering hazard
Rivian’s had an otherwise charmed year, and we’re seeing lots of its vehicles on the streets now. But when a success story has a stumble, people are interested.
9. Buttigieg announces strategy to turn tide of U.S. traffic deaths
The Safety System Approach, part of the Infrastructure Act, promises to be a big story in the years to come as our roads start to be modeled after designs in Sweden, Norway, Australia and New Zealand that have saved lives.
8. Stellantis urges owners to fix Takata airbags after another fatality
Many years into the massive Takata airbag recall, people are still dying. Please, check NHTSA’s website to see if you own one of the millions of cars that still need to be repaired.
7. Flash-bang rigged in truck interior stops car thief in video
6. Carvana’s Illinois dealer license gets yanked again
Carvana floated along for a time on the bubble of pandemic used-car prices. But now the company’s more than $6 billion in debt. Its stock started the year at over $235 a share but is now trading at around $4.
5. Best and worst car brands of 2022, according to Consumer Reports
It’s always interesting to see what CR’s huge pool of survey respondents say about their brands. Interesting if you’re Subaru, that is. Less so if you’re Jeep.
4. These are the 10 longest-lasting vehicles on the road today
And here’s a list, compiled from 2 million cars, that is Toyota-heavy but with a few surprises.
3. Dozens of commuters get flat tires on California highway
A bad day was had by all.
2. Florida man and woman crash into FedEx truck during sex act
Not hard to understand the appeal of this one. And we all spent quite a bit of time studying the photo.
1. Geico ordered to pay $5.2M to woman who got HPV from car sex
Also about sex, but with a truly strange insurance and sexually transmitted infection angle.