Category: Government

By on October 4, 2015

Toyota Cavalier

A possible partnership deal between North American countries and Pacific countries may include provisions to penalize Asian governments for not opening up their markets enough for U.S. automakers, Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, negotiators are close to concluding talks regarding automobiles, which has been a contentious point during the talks. The CBC reported that talks in Atlanta were at a critical stage over pharmaceutical drugs, and any eventual deal may be delayed by an upcoming G20 meeting in Turkey.

Talks regarding automobiles have been focused on sourcing local content for each car. North American Free Trade Association rules mandate that cars made within the zone have 62.5 percent of its content sourced within the zone. Asian manufacturers have pressed for lower standards for sourced content in a bid for reduced manufacturing costs.

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By on October 2, 2015

German transportation authorities said Friday that Volkswagen can’t phone a friend for help, they’re on their own.

“At this point we have no indication of other manufacturers being involved,” a government spokesman, said according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).

Being the only automaker embroiled in the scandal — for now — means that Volkswagen will have to face alone the wrath from governments tripping over themselves to charge the automaker with just about anything they want. In the U.S., Volkswagen faces a pending congressional inquiry; in France, prosecutors have opened an investigation for “aggravated deception;” in Italy, the government’s antitrust authority has begun an investigation; in Switzerland — you get the idea.

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By on October 2, 2015


While working on a story about some very old cars, I stumbled upon something relevant to the latest big story in the automotive world.

I ran into a Model T collector who’s also a powertrain engineer for Ford. Seizing the opportunity, I asked him if he could tell me what he was working on (sometimes they say no). He said that he was responsible for developing computerized engine controls. Because of that expertise, I started to ask him some questions about the software program that Volkswagen apparently used to cheat on the EPA’s diesel emissions testing.

What he was willing to say and what he wouldn’t say intrigued me. Read More >

By on October 1, 2015


A meeting of Volkswagen executives revealed Thursday that the internal investigation into how the company produced 11 million cars with illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests will take several months, Reuters (via Automotive News) reported.

The supervisory board said in light of the ongoing investigation, the automaker would push back its scheduled meeting in November, where it was expected to name Hans Dieter Pötsch as chairman.

“In view of the time available and the matters to be considered, it would not be realistic to provide well-founded answers which would fulfill the shareholder’s justified expectations,” it said according to Reuters, adding a court would appoint Poetsch to the board, after which he would be elected chairman. Read More >

By on September 29, 2015

Mark Rosekind Circa December 2014

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles admitted Tuesday it hasn’t accurately reported required early warning report data to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The safety administration said that warning data includes “significant under-reported notices and claims of death, injuries and other information.”

According to the automaker, FCA self-reported its violations to NHTSA as part of its increased scrutiny after a record $105 million fine and consent order that FCA agreed to in July. Under the order, FCA agreed to have an independent monitor review its recalls for at least two years. Read More >

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.

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By on September 26, 2015

VW West Distribution Circa 2009

Volkswagen’s pain parade marches on, this time to Switzerland, which has temporarily banned sales of the automaker’s diesels.

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By on September 25, 2015

"Vehicles are piled on top of each other in rows as they wait to be pulverized and shredded for recycling at Rifkin Scrap Iron and Metal Co. on North Niagara in Saginaw , Mich. on Friday, July 31, 2009.  Far more drivers signed up for the "cash for clunkers" program than anyone thought, overwhelming showrooms, blowing through the initial $1 billion set aside by Congress and leaving dealers panicked over when or if the government would make good on the hefty rebates." (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Chris Fryer)

Justin Hyde at Yahoo Autos has fine, fine reporting that U.S. taxpayers paid more than $20 million in incentives for Volkswagen diesel models under the “Cash for Clunkers” program.

According to the report, 4,599 VW Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen diesel cars qualified for the maximum $4,500 incentive under the program. Those cars were equipped with a 2-liter turbocharged diesel engine that the Environmental Protection Agency said used an illegal defeat device to cheat emissions.

The Yahoo report follows a report by the L.A. Times that shows that more than $51 million was paid to Volkswagen by the U.S. for now-bogus “green” claims. Read More >

By on September 25, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

It’s entirely possible that the Environmental Protection Agency could levy the largest ever civil penalty for Clean Air Act violations against Volkswagen after the automaker lied about emissions from their diesel engines.

In 2014, the government agency fined Hyundai and Kia $100 million for spewing 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases above what they reported for 1.1 million cars.

For Volkswagen, using the EPA’s own penalty worksheet (which is apparently a thing), the fine may be substantially more than that levied against the Korean automakers — about $3.15 billion more.

Here’s how we got that number.

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By on September 25, 2015


A recent press release on the completion and success of a three-year program to test biofuels in Volkswagen Jetta and Passat TDI models may hint that two external companies had knowledge of the high levels of NOx produced by the “Clean Diesel” vehicles.

The two California-based companies — Solazyme and Amyris — were given the Volkswagen vehicles to test their fuels. VW announced that the program was a success a few months ago, stating CO2 emissions were reduced when using the biofuels. However, the companies only would have known their fuels produced less emissions if the biofuel companies tested the emissions output using diesel fuel and compared it with their own products.

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
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