Category: Europe

By on November 27, 2015


While the rest of the world warms up to our Thanksgiving tradition of football and mountains of potatoes and gravy, we must admit that the world goes on without us some days.

Thankfully, the Internet never forgets. So here’s a roundup of the stories we missed in our Tryptophan-induced naps.

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By on November 25, 2015


Volkswagen in Germany announced Wednesday its fix for millions of its 1.6- and 2-liter diesel engines in Europe that are illegally spewing nitrogen oxides and have cost the company billions in a massive worldwide scandal.

According to the automaker, a small “flow transformer” would be fitted in front of the air mass sensor in 1.6-liter, EA189 engines. The small transformer will calm air leaving the air filter before reaching the sensor. Volkswagen says the calmer air will allow the sensor to more accurately measure airflow for combustion. The fix would take less than an hour. For 2-liter engines, the proposed fix would be a software update and would take 30 minutes. Both plans have been approved by the German transportation authority.

Both fixes may be headed to cars in the U.S. However, the announced plan was in Germany for engines only on sale in most of Europe. Volkswagen submitted its U.S. plan last week to the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, but details of that plan haven’t been released.

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By on November 24, 2015


A German environmental group said Tuesday that its testing has revealed Renault’s Espace, when equipped with a 1.6-liter diesel engine, could emit up to 25 times the allowable limit of nitrogen oxides with a warm engine running on roads — or you know, the real world.

According to the New York Times, the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) didn’t directly accuse Renault of including cheating software in its cars — a la Volkswagen — but said the van polluted significantly less when the engine was cold. The results could show the schism between European testing standards — where tires can be over-inflated, doors taped up, batteries disconnected, seats removed — and real-world conditions.

Renault said in a statement Tuesday that its van complied with regulations and that tests done by researchers at the University of Bern “are not all compliant with European regulations.” Read More >

By on November 24, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German investigators are looking into whether Volkswagen executives or engineers broke laws by lying about carbon dioxide emissions in 800,000 cars sold in Europe, the New York Times reported.

Authorities near the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg say they are focused on five Volkswagen employees, but wouldn’t identify those employees. Investigators are determining if Volkswagen employees knowingly provided false information to authorities about those cars and their emissions to qualify those cars for lower tax rates. In admitting that it lied about its emissions levels this month, Volkswagen said it would repay governments for back tax revenue lost because of the bogus claims.

This month, Volkswagen admitted it underestimated carbon dioxide output from 800,000 cars sold in Europe and said the scandal could cost the company more than $2.1 billion. According to the New York Times report, Volkswagen’s admission included a promise to repay taxes owed on owners’ cars it sold with bogus carbon dioxide numbers.

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By on November 23, 2015

Tesla Model S Center Stage

On Friday, Tesla announced a voluntary recall of every single damn Model S on the planet to check the front seatbelt installed on those cars. According to the automaker, one belt in a car that was sold in Europe wasn’t connected to an outboard lap pretensioner. The car was not involved in a crash, nor was anyone injured because of the defect.

According to Tesla, the automaker has inspected more than 3,000 Model S cars for similar faults and found none.

Regardless, the automaker said it would ask owners to bring in 90,000 Model S cars — literally, all of them — for inspection because having a seatbelt that doesn’t work is probably bad.

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By on November 16, 2015


When Jaguar’s latest-and-greatest sedan arrives on American shores next spring, it will do so with an extra option on the order sheet — a manual transmission.

According to Car & Driver, the Jaguar XE will get a third pedal and a stick in the middle of the center console that does things. Apparently, there are still enough people out there that know what to do with that thing in the center console that Jaguar believes it will make up between 10 and 20 percent of overall sales.

“It is enough to be worth the investment, and we are happy with our decision,” North American CEO Joe Eberhardt told C&D.

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By on November 16, 2015

01 vw badge

Officials from Volkswagen will meet with U.S. environmental regulators this week to discuss how it plans to fix nearly 500,000 illegally polluting cars, according to Reuters. Officials from Audi will meet with regulators separately.

According to the report, Friedrich Eichler, VW’s powertrain development chief, will meet with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board to discuss proposed fixes for its cars ahead of its Nov. 20 deadline.

This month, a source indicated to TTAC that Volkswagen would start fixing its cars in February, pending approval from the EPA and CARB.

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By on November 16, 2015


Caparo Industries chairman Angad Paul died Nov. 9 in an apparent suicide just days after the steelmaking company his father founded, and Angad ran, announced massive job cuts and forced administration in Britain, according to The Guardian (via Autoblog).

Caparo Industries is the parent company of Caparo Vehicle Technologies, which produced the Caparo T1 and was planning a higher-end version of the car to go on sale.

The Caparo T1, which was developed with help from McLaren engineers, lived on the fringes of the supercar market with only 16 examples sold in the UK for around $360,000. It was also built at a short-lived plant in the U.S. Prince Albert of Monaco helped unveil the car in 2006 and it later appeared in several racing events around the world, including Goodwood. Read More >

By on November 14, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

Update: A spokesman for Volkswagen of America said U.S. cars aren’t affected. 

Volkswagen announced Friday that more than 400,000 of its cars with “irregularities” in reported carbon dioxide emissions were new cars, which could shed new light on how many more cars the beleaguered automaker would have to pay for.

This month, Volkswagen announced 800,000 cars emitted more carbon dioxide than reported to regulators. Of those cars, Volkswagen announced Friday that 430,000 were 2016 models across many of the automaker’s brands including Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat. It’s unclear how many older models may be added to the list of cars that emit more carbon dioxide. Read More >

By on November 13, 2015

Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced Wednesday that he would resign his position as chairman of Audi’s supervisory board following revelations two months ago that those cars may have been illegally polluting, which threw the automaker into a tailspin.

Winterkorn stepped down from his role as chairman from Volkswagen in September after the scandal broke and resigned his position at Porsche Automobil Holding SE, VW’s largest shareholder, in October. Winterkorn may have stepped down from his position at Audi because what took him so long? Read More >

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