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Automotive and Insurance Industry News


Avis Tries Harder with AARP 

PARSIPPANY, N.J., March 30 / -- Avis Rent A Car System, Inc., the car rental company that prides itself on "trying harder" and providing its customers with a safe, stress-free rental experience, today announced new benefits for AARP members.   

In addition to a special AARP discount of up to 25 percent on car rentals, now through September 30, 2004 members can receive bonus offerings such as a free tank of gas, a free upgrade or $25 off a weekly rental.


Volkswagen Announces Its Largest Teen Seat Belt Campaign Ever 

SAN DIEGO, March 29 / -- In an effort to help thwart the biggest killer of American teens, Volkswagen has announced it is again partnering with Scholastic Marketing Partners in a campaign to encourage teens to buckle up.   More than 5,500 teens lose their lives in car crashes every year. 

Fasten Your Seat Belt ... Go Far! provides teachers with the necessary materials to teach students about using safety belts.  Students can to participate in a national contest to create TV ads that will convince their fellow teens to buckle up.  The most effective ads will then be broadcast on national television later this year. 


Progressive Marks One Year Anniversary of Concierge-Level of Service 

MIAMI, Florida — March 29, 2004 — Almost a year after Progressive Insurance announced its national rollout of a new type of claims service that simplifies the vehicle repair process and saves time for customers, the company has opened its 20th claim center in Miami. 

In April of 2003 – after more than three years of market research and testing – Progressive became the first auto insurance company to take full responsibility for managing the entire vehicle repair process handling everything from selecting an auto body shop where the work is guaranteed to inspecting the repairs and keeping the customer informed of the progress. 


Total Your Car’s Engine?  Repower it! 

BETHESDA, Md., March 30 / -- A "totaled" engine no longer means having to purchase a new car. Today's car owners have another option: purchasing a repowered engine. 

Repowering simply means installation of a rebuilt/remanufactured engine by your local dealer, or the process of taking your existing engine, rebuilding and reinstalling it. Both are alternatives to trading in your vehicle, according to the Engine Repower Council (ERC). 

The cost for a remanufactured part is 30-50 percent of what a new part would cost, and rebuilt/remanufactured engines offer performance, reliability, and a good warranty compared to a used engine. 


Under-Maintained Vehicles Cost Motorists Billions 

ATLANTA, March 30 / -- Once again, the Car Care Council is trying to get you to take better care of your car.  For National Car Care Month (April) they advise that regular vehicle maintenance will save time, money, enhances safety and improve auto performance.  

The Council estimates that more than $60 billion in vehicle maintenance and repair are not performed every year. Last year, 90% of cars checked during free inspections revealed: 

       -- 38% had low or dirty motor oil

       -- 25% had low or dirty power steering fluid

       -- 22% had low, overfull or burnt transmission fluid

       -- 54% had improperly inflated tires



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