Category: Fuel Economy

By on September 29, 2015


The diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon will be the first to undergo increased scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency after the recent Volkswagen scandal turned emissions reporting on its head.

According to Automotive News, a spokesman for GM said the testing could slightly delay the truck’s fourth-quarter release.

“The EPA and CARB told us they are going to do on-road testing,” Chevrolet Trucks assistant chief engineer Scott Yackley told Automotive News.

Read More >

By on September 28, 2015


Cars were banned from the city center of Paris for seven hours Sunday as that city finds ways to manage its growing pollution and congestion problems, Time reported. A group called Paris sans Voiture organized the event in an effort to bring attention to climate policy.

Buses, ambulances and other public transportation were allowed on city streets during the ban, however private vehicles were forbidden from city streets in a broad swath of neighborhoods and tourist destinations including the Champs Élysées, Place Stalingrad, Place de la Republique, the Left Bank, the Place de la Bastille, the area around the Eiffel Tower and the Bois de Vincennes and Boulogne.

The city will be hosting a UN Climate Change conference in December.

Read More >

By on September 24, 2015


Ford on Thursday rolled out its newest Super Duty truck — 350 pounds lighter than the outgoing model — complete with aluminum-alloy body, high-strength steel frame and new 6-speed transmission for its V-8 engine.

According to Ford, the truck’s frame is up to 24 times stiffer than the outgoing frame, and the company reportedly used high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloys — which are separate from civilian grade because they use more of it before 9 a.m. than we’ll use all day. Or something.

The Super Duty truck can be fitted with either a 6.7-liter V-8 turbocharged diesel, a 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline or 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine, with the latter being mated to a new TorqShift-G six-speed transmission.  Read More >

By on September 24, 2015


German magazine Auto Bild reported Thursday that the diesel BMW X3 exceeded by 11 times allowable limits of nitrogen oxide in a growing scandal started by Volkswagen’s admission it had cheated on emissions tests. BMW shares tumbled 5 percent Thursday morning after the news.

“All measured data suggest that this is not a VW-specific issue,” International Council on Clean Transportation Europe Managing Director Peter Mock told the German magazine.

BMW denied any deception, telling USA Today in an email that it “does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests.

Read More >

By on September 24, 2015


Volkswagen may not be the only one that was cheating on their emissions testing. Reports coming out of the European Federation for Transport and Environment are shining light on other manufacturers which could be putting out dodgy emissions figures. I found the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer on one such report and decided to take a look at the Chevy Cruze Diesel due to related engine technology. I was surprised by what I found.

Read More >

By on September 22, 2015


Many in the Volkswagen diesel community are fanatical about their fuel economy and are understandably angry that a fix for the current emissions scandal may see them lose fuel economy in order to lower NOx output. The aftermarket community has provided modifications for the DPF and Adblue systems in the past, meaning there’s good chance they’ll provide parts and tuning to revert any changes Volkswagen may implement on the affected models.

Read More >

By on September 21, 2015

01 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen in Canada will suspend sales of its Volkswagen Passat, Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3 cars after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the engines in those cars had an illegal device that “cheated” emissions tests.

“We will work with our colleagues at Volkswagen of America as well as our parent company in Germany to resolve this matter in the most timely fashion,” Volkswagen Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff said in a statement.

Audi Canada has also issued a stop-sale of the Audi A3 TDI, stated Audi Canada spokesman Cort Nielson. No details were available regarding Audi’s plan for continued availability of the A3 TDI.

VW hasn’t announced a timeline for fixing its cars and resuming sales. Over the weekend, VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn apologized for the scandal.

Read More >

By on September 19, 2015

Volkswagen TDI

This is hardly the most severe fallout from Volkswagen admitting that it installed “defeat devices” on some of its diesel models to help pass emission tests, but it’s the first of many.

Consumer Reports announced Friday that it was stripping the models of its “recommended” rating until recall repair work was complete on those cars. The publication had bestowed the ratings on Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI and Passat TDI models.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would force VW to recall nearly 500,000 diesel cars for the illegal “defeat device” that could detect when it was being tested for emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 10 to 40 times beyond its normal operations. The EPA could fine VW up to $37,500 for each car that violates its standards, which could tally up to $18 billion in fines.

Read More >

By on September 18, 2015


The Environmental Protection Agency took the rare step of recalling more than 500,000 Volkswagen and Audi cars for using a “defeat device” to force the cars to comply with emissions standards, the New York Times reported.

The California Air Resources Board and EPA slammed the automaker for using the device that can detect when the car is being tested for emissions and implement full pollutant controls to curb nitrogen oxide emissions.

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” Cynthia Giles, the E.P.A.’s assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, said in a statement. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, E.P.A. is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. E.P.A. will continue to investigate these very serious violations.”

Last month, TTAC reader Stephen reported that his newly ordered 2016 Audi A3 TDI was being held at port for months for months for an EPA hold. We reached out to Audi, and they reported the same, directing us to the EPA who reported that the cars had not yet received a Certificate of Compliance. Read More >

By on September 16, 2015

GM Ventures Sees Potential in Fuel Saving Technology

General Motors may use an advanced cylinder deactivation technology, co-developed with Delphi and Silicon Valley startup Tula Technologies, in its SUVs and V-8 cars to shut down up to six cylinders to maximize fuel economy, Automotive News reported.

According to the automaker, GM in 2012 invested in Tula, which specializes in automotive engineering. The automaker announced in January that it would pursue the advanced cylinder deactivation technology for some of its SUVs, which could improve fuel economy by 15 percent in cars with engines with more than four cylinders.

The system, dubbed Dynamic Skip Fire, keeps the throttle open during operation and controls cylinder firing through a special valve that cuts off oil to the deactivated cylinders’ valve lifters. According to the company, the engine computer changes the deactivated cylinders to avoid vibration or noise.

Read More >

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Doug DeMuro, United States
  • Steven Lang, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, United States
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States