National auto loan rates for Feb. 23, 2012

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Auto Loans

  • 5.16% (60-month, new car)
  • 6.12% (36-month, used car)

There's never been a better time to be auto loan shopping. Auto loan rates set new record lows again this week, racing past the previous record lows set last week. The average rate for a 48-month new-car loan fell 3 basis points to 5.09 percent, while the average rate for a 60-month new-car loan was down 4 basis points to 5.16 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Used-car loan rates also crashed through the record lows they set last week. The average rate for a 36-month used-car loan lopped off another 7 basis points, falling to 6.12 percent.

Federal regulators are investigating components widely used in side-impact air bags that may cause the safety devices to fail in a crash, according to a report in The Detroit News. The components, manufactured by the Americas division of Swedish company Autoliv, contain an ineffective mix of the chemicals needed to rapidly produce the gases that inflate the bags. The faulty parts were used in vehicles produced by Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan, and may also have been used in cars manufactured by Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Kia and Suzuki.





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