The Truth About Cars » Government http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:30:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Government http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/government-news-blog/ NHTSA Seeking Whistleblowers In Takata Airbag Investigation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/nhtsa-seeking-whistleblowers-takata-airbag-investigation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/nhtsa-seeking-whistleblowers-takata-airbag-investigation/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991194 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking whistleblowers who have knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” about Takata. Reuters reports the NHTSA has set up a hotline for current and former employees of the airbag supplier as part of its ongoing investigation into a number of death and injury cases linked to defective […]

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking whistleblowers who have knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” about Takata.

Reuters reports the NHTSA has set up a hotline for current and former employees of the airbag supplier as part of its ongoing investigation into a number of death and injury cases linked to defective airbag inflators, with the promise of legal protection for those who call. Agency representative Gordon Trowbridge explains:

We encourage all individuals with information about the manufacture or testing of Takata air bag inflators, or who have knowledge of possible defects or any wrongdoing by the company, to make this information available to NHTSA.

The news organization itself received numerous reports from former Takata employees wishing to remain anonymous of hiding or altering data and other information linked to the airbags, as well as two from Mark Lillie and Michael Britton regarding the supplier’s introduction and use of ammonium nitrate at its facility in Moses Lake, Wash. Both expressed concerns about the lack of safety testing and validation for the chemical before Takata pressed forward with its use in the late 1990s.

Takata, for its part, claimed that it was “committed to working with NHTSA and [its] automotive customers to ensure the safety of the driving public,” opting not to comment specifically on the NHTSA’s call for whistleblowers, nor on Reuters‘ own findings.

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General Motors Sticking To Filing Deadline Despite Calls For Extension http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/general-motors-sticking-filing-deadline-despite-calls-extension/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/general-motors-sticking-filing-deadline-despite-calls-extension/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989986 Despite a request from two senators to extend the deadline for its compensation fund, General Motors will still close the filing window this Saturday. Automotive News reports Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra urging her to extend the deadline for filing claims linked […]

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GM ignition diagram

Despite a request from two senators to extend the deadline for its compensation fund, General Motors will still close the filing window this Saturday.

Automotive News reports Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra urging her to extend the deadline for filing claims linked to the February 2014 ignition switch recall, citing a Justice Department investigation into whether or not the automaker broke any laws in handling the issue, as well as a pending federal court decision that could strip GM of its bankruptcy protections established in 2009.

The senators add that notification problems are also an issue, with some claimants never hearing about the fund until another source informs them, such as when the family of Jean Averill — one of the first 13 fatalities linked to the defective part — were notified by The New York Times while working on the story about her last November.

GM, however, says it “conducted extensive outreach about the program,” having contacted over 5 million past and present owners of vehicles affected by the recall, including the Saturn Ion, Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac Solstice:

Our goal is to be just and timely in compensating the families who lost loved ones and those who suffered physical injury. We previously extended the deadline until January 31, and we do not plan another extension.

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Toyota Marketing Mirai With $8K Hydrogen Credit Despite Expiration http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-marketing-mirai-8k-hydrogen-credit-despite-expiration/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-marketing-mirai-8k-hydrogen-credit-despite-expiration/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989970 Despite the recent expiration of the $8,000 federal credit for hydrogen vehicles, Toyota is still marketing its Mirai as if it never happened. Autoblog reports that Toyota is well-aware of the expiration, and is calling upon both houses of Congress to reinstate the credit. Were that to occur, the $57,500 MSRP on the Mirai would […]

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Despite the recent expiration of the $8,000 federal credit for hydrogen vehicles, Toyota is still marketing its Mirai as if it never happened.

Autoblog reports that Toyota is well-aware of the expiration, and is calling upon both houses of Congress to reinstate the credit. Were that to occur, the $57,500 MSRP on the Mirai would fall to $49,500. Other state and local credits would drop the price further, as well; California customers would pay just $44,500 for their FCVs, for example.

The problem, per the automaker’s energy and regulatory affairs director Robert Wimmer, is predicting where the tax process would go:

The two challenges we have now are that both houses of Congress are Republican and also that there has been talk for a while about comprehensive tax reform. If that moves forward, then extenders would probably be put on the back burner as comprehensive tax reform is discussed.

Even if the credit was reinstated, it may only last as long as year or two instead of the three years Toyota wants for the first-gen Mirai. The automaker has been lobbying Congress to act, though Wimmer could not say to what extent.

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German Automakers Rally In Support of US-EU Trade Agreement http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/german-automakers-rally-support-us-eu-trade-agreement/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/german-automakers-rally-support-us-eu-trade-agreement/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989578 Leaders from Germany’s automotive sector held a rally Wednesday in Berlin to lend support to a transatlantic trade agreement heavily facing opposition. Automotive News reports the agreement between the European Union and the United States, which is supported by the likes of Daimler AG’s Dieter Zetsche, Volkswagen AG’s Martin Winterkorn, and even Germany’s chancellor Angela […]

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Leaders from Germany’s automotive sector held a rally Wednesday in Berlin to lend support to a transatlantic trade agreement heavily facing opposition.

Automotive News reports the agreement between the European Union and the United States, which is supported by the likes of Daimler AG’s Dieter Zetsche, Volkswagen AG’s Martin Winterkorn, and even Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, would be the largest such agreement put into play when signed. The deal would deliver a gain of €119 billion ($135 billion USD) for the EU and $131 billion for the U.S. by 2027, which equals an average of €545 ($620) and $910 for a family of four in their respective locations. Eighty percent of the gains would be the result of eliminating duplication costs linked to maintenance of two different bureaucracies and regulations.

However, German union IG Metall and various consumer groups take issue with key parts of the agreement, if not the entire agreement itself. For the union, the investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanism — which grants corporations the right to sue the government if revenue is lost due to government policy — is unacceptable, as are the threats of softening environmental and consumer protections, and hollowed workers’ rights. Other groups fear U.S. companies could force European legislators to draft policies in the former’s favor, and “harmonize safety or product standards downward.”

As for why the German automakers are rallying, the aforementioned harmonization would allow all automakers to focus on one set of safety and emission standards, thus allowing for the possibility of buying a new car from a different market without waiting 25 years first. That said, the agreement could collapse without majority support from all 28 members of the European Parliament.

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Nissan Looking Beyond Federal Credits For Leaf http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/nissan-looking-beyond-federal-credits-leaf/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/nissan-looking-beyond-federal-credits-leaf/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989562 Though Nissan has sold over 77,000 Leafs since 2010, the automaker has plans for when the federal credits end with the 200,000th unit of the popular EV. According to Ward’s Auto, Nissan North America product planning chief Pierre Loing says the automaker is looking to negotiate increasing the limit, proclaiming that the current 200,000-unit limit […]

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Though Nissan has sold over 77,000 Leafs since 2010, the automaker has plans for when the federal credits end with the 200,000th unit of the popular EV.

According to Ward’s Auto, Nissan North America product planning chief Pierre Loing says the automaker is looking to negotiate increasing the limit, proclaiming that the current 200,000-unit limit harms EV adoption:

Being the first ones on the market, we should be among the first ones to reach 200,000, and you penalize those who’ve tried to be first?

That said, even when the $7,500 credit goes away, Nissan has plans to make the Leaf more attractive, from increasing the range to reducing the cost of the EV’s lithium-ion battery pack. Loing admits that the latter’s cost issue hasn’t improved quickly enough, and worries that falling oil prices aren’t going to help much either.

He was pleased with how well the Leaf fared in 2014, however; 30,200 units left U.S. showrooms that year, an all-time record for Nissan.

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ACLU: Drug Enforcement Administration Tracking Plates Since 2008 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/aclu-drug-enforcement-administration-tracking-plates-since-2008/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/aclu-drug-enforcement-administration-tracking-plates-since-2008/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989522 It’s not just auto lenders and police who track plates: The Drug Enforcement Administration has collected 343 million records since 2008. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the DEA’s National License Plate Recognition program has at least 100 license plate readers deployed by the agency in states such as California, New Jersey and Georgia, […]

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License Plate Reader Mounted On Police Car

It’s not just auto lenders and police who track plates: The Drug Enforcement Administration has collected 343 million records since 2008.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the DEA’s National License Plate Recognition program has at least 100 license plate readers deployed by the agency in states such as California, New Jersey and Georgia, with local, state and other federal law enforcement agencies contributing information to the DEA’s database. One collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol brought in 793.5 million license plate numbers at land border crossings between May 2009 and May 2013, the latter agency sharing its information “at regular intervals” with the former, as well as with anyone with a vested interest, such as prosecutors and local law enforcement.

The program, which currently retains “non-hit” data for six months, is meant to target roadways “commonly used for contraband transport,” a statement the ACLU finds unclear, since every roadway could be used for said transport. The group goes further, stating that the DEA may be using this belief “to target people of color,” though the heavily redacted information obtained by its FOIA request leaves such answers in doubt.

Other key findings include the program’s primary goal of asset forfeiture, and the usage of plate data to determine travel patterns. The ACLU believes more information is needed about the program regarding the civil liberties of all who travel in the United States and pass through the country’s borders, and is seeking transparency from the DEA to answer questions about where the agency receives its data, how it collects the data, whether or not it uses private databases to conduct operations, and whether or not the program has actually done its job in ensuring the safety of the American populace.

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Virginia Assembly Bill To Raise Reckless Driving Threshold Tabled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/virginia-assembly-bill-raise-reckless-driving-threshold-tabled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/virginia-assembly-bill-raise-reckless-driving-threshold-tabled/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989066 Those driving in or through Virginia will have to keep it under 80 for now, as the bill to raise the commonwealth’s threshold for reckless driving is dead. Jalopnik reports the bill, authored by Delegate Jeff Campbell of the 6th District, would have raised the limit to 85 mph, after which one could be charged […]

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Virginia Welcomes You To Get Nailed Like A Pedo For Speeding

Those driving in or through Virginia will have to keep it under 80 for now, as the bill to raise the commonwealth’s threshold for reckless driving is dead.

Jalopnik reports the bill, authored by Delegate Jeff Campbell of the 6th District, would have raised the limit to 85 mph, after which one could be charged with a Class One misdemeanor, lose their license for six months, pay a $2,500 fine, and spend up to a year in jail; other Class Ones in Virginia include sexual battery and animal cruelty.

A legislative assistant for Del. Campbell said the bill was tabled by the criminal law subcommittee in the Virginia General Assembly Monday, all but declaring it “essentially dead for the remainder of the legislative session,” set to adjourn February 28, with a reconvened session to take place beginning April 15.

No clear reasons for tabling the bill were given, though it would have expected opposition from law enforcement and insurance companies.

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California University First In State Certified To Sell Hydrogen http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/california-university-first-state-certified-sell-hydrogen/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/california-university-first-state-certified-sell-hydrogen/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988514 Cal State L.A. now has the first hydrogen fueling station in California certified to sell the fuel by the kilogram. The university’s Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility received its approval this month after undergoing and passing “a rigorous state performance evaluation.” The fueling station, which opened in May 2014, is the largest on-campus hydrogen fueling […]

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Audi FCV At Cal State LA Fueling Station

Cal State L.A. now has the first hydrogen fueling station in California certified to sell the fuel by the kilogram.

The university’s Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility received its approval this month after undergoing and passing “a rigorous state performance evaluation.” The fueling station, which opened in May 2014, is the largest on-campus hydrogen fueling station in the United States, and produces hydrogen from solar and wind power.

Cal State president William A. Covino said the station not only plays “a crucial role in helping situate California as a national leader in zero emission vehicles,” but gives the university a chance to work on “cutting-edge research and technology initiatives with government agencies” on its path to improving air quality in Los Angeles and other cities in the U.S.

Visitors to the station include prototypes from the likes of Audi, Hyundai and General Motors, whose tanks can hold up to six kilograms of hydrogen, each kilogram good for 50 miles of travel. The station, located near downtown Los Angeles and Interstates 10 and 5, can fill these tanks in six minutes.

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US Transportation Department Recommends Automatic Braking For NCAP http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/us-transportation-department-recommends-automatic-braking-ncap/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/us-transportation-department-recommends-automatic-braking-ncap/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987866 Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it would add two forms of automatic emergency braking as recommended systems for its New Car Assessment Program. The Detroit News reports crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support will be included as safety feature recommendations for the program’s five-star rating system, though automakers won’t be mandated to […]

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Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it would add two forms of automatic emergency braking as recommended systems for its New Car Assessment Program.

The Detroit News reports crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support will be included as safety feature recommendations for the program’s five-star rating system, though automakers won’t be mandated to have them on all of their new models. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx encouraged them to consider doing so, however:

Today marks an enormous leap in the evolution of auto safety by encouraging adoption of new technologies to keep drivers and their passengers safe on our roads. Making it very clear that the technology will be one of the criteria on which auto manufacturers are graded is a pretty big step. They all want to be a five-star company.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had considered making automatic braking mandatory, setting a deadline of the end of 2013 to decide whether to press forward or to include it in the program. Administrator Mark Rosekind says the agency is still looking over the subject, while Foxx added that he wouldn’t put the idea completely on the shelf down the road.

The new recommendations will come into force 60 days after the public has had a chance to comment, followed by responses from the NHTSA. The 16-page proposal details the testing parameters automakers would need to pass before being listed as having automatic braking.

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Judge Asked To Make Treasury’s Role In 2009 GM Bailout Public http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/judge-asked-make-treasurys-role-2009-gm-bailout-public/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/judge-asked-make-treasurys-role-2009-gm-bailout-public/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=987098 Before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia this week, the Center for Auto Safety asked the judge to make public the U.S. Treasury’s role in the 2009 General Motors bailout. Bloomberg reports the consumer safety advocacy group asked the judge to force the United States federal government into disclosing a number of […]

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Before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia this week, the Center for Auto Safety asked the judge to make public the U.S. Treasury’s role in the 2009 General Motors bailout.

Bloomberg reports the consumer safety advocacy group asked the judge to force the United States federal government into disclosing a number of documents linked to the Treasury’s role in the bailout, suggesting the department told GM to cast aside responsibility for any defects or accidents tied to said defects before receiving $49.5 billion in funding.

On the other side, the Treasury is asking the judge to dismiss president Clarence Ditlow’s 2011 lawsuit for the aforementioned information, warning that being forced to go public would harm the government’s chances to come to the aid of a company whose demise would greatly damage the overall economy.

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Hyundai, Kia $360M US Justice Department Settlement Approved In District Court http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/hyundai-kia-360m-us-justice-department-settlement-approved-district-court/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/hyundai-kia-360m-us-justice-department-settlement-approved-district-court/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 16:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=986762 The $360 million settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Hyundai and Kia for overstating fuel economy figures was approved Tuesday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Detroit News report the approval also rejected a request from the attorneys general in New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, […]

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2013 Hyundai Accent

The $360 million settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Hyundai and Kia for overstating fuel economy figures was approved Tuesday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Detroit News report the approval also rejected a request from the attorneys general in New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, asking the court set aside a minimum of $25 million for their states’ respective electric vehicle programs. The court sided with the Justice Department in its ruling, warning that such a request would threaten the original settlement agreement with more complex and lengthy negotiations.

The agreement includes $100 million in civil penalties, $50 million for independent auditing of the Korean duo’s offerings, and a forfeiture of $210 million in greenhouse emission credits. It also ends the Environmental Protection Agency’s investigation into the overstated figures, and affects 600,000 Hyundai and 300,000 Kia models made between 2011 and 2013.

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Four Former Chrysler Dealerships Could Reopen Following US Appeals Court Ruling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/four-former-chrysler-dealerships-reopen-following-us-appeals-court-ruling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/four-former-chrysler-dealerships-reopen-following-us-appeals-court-ruling/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=986738 After five years of fighting and a U.S. appeals court ruling, four former Chrysler dealerships could have a shot at opening their doors once more. Automotive News reports three Detroit area dealerships — Livonia Chrysler Jeep Inc., Fox Hills Chrysler Jeep and Village Chrysler Jeep — and one based in Las Vegas — Jim Marsh […]

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After five years of fighting and a U.S. appeals court ruling, four former Chrysler dealerships could have a shot at opening their doors once more.

Automotive News reports three Detroit area dealerships — Livonia Chrysler Jeep Inc., Fox Hills Chrysler Jeep and Village Chrysler Jeep — and one based in Las Vegas — Jim Marsh Chrysler Jeep — could reopen after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a federal arbitration law allowing 789 dealers to fight against closure by Chrysler overruled state laws allowing local dealers to legally fight against nearby competitors from opening doors.

The court added the victory wasn’t an unconditional reinstatement, yet “should meaningfully facilitate incorporation of prevailing dealerships back into the network.” FCA US issued a statement praising the district court for its decision, and is reviewing legal options to take regarding the four dealerships.

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EPA: 2016 Honda HR-V Nets 31 MPG Combined http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/epa-2016-honda-hr-v-nets-31-mpg-combined/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/epa-2016-honda-hr-v-nets-31-mpg-combined/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985450 Those shopping for a small, fuel-efficient crossover can now add the 2016 Honda HR-V to the list, thanks to its EPA-certified 31 mpg combined rating. Autoblog reports the HR-V also delivers 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, but only if one opts for the FWD model with CVT. Adding power […]

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2016 Honda HR-V

Those shopping for a small, fuel-efficient crossover can now add the 2016 Honda HR-V to the list, thanks to its EPA-certified 31 mpg combined rating.

Autoblog reports the HR-V also delivers 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, but only if one opts for the FWD model with CVT. Adding power to the back brings the rating down to 27 city/32 highway/29 combined, while swapping the CVT for a six-speed manual in the FWD variant pushes the savings down to 25 city/34 highway/28 combined.

The FWD HR-V’s figures best those from competitors like the Nissan Juke, Kia Soul and Chevrolet Trax at the pump, while Mazda’s CX-5 can keep up on the highway figure; the CX-3, which awaits EPA-certification, may do better than the HR-V, however. Its platform-mate, the Fit, outperforms the crossover at 33 city/41 highway/36 combined.

The 2016 HR-V is due in U.S. showrooms this spring.

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US Justice Department Bans Local, State Police From Using Federal Civil Forfeiture Program http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/us-justice-department-bans-local-state-police-using-federal-civil-forfeiture-program/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/us-justice-department-bans-local-state-police-using-federal-civil-forfeiture-program/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985186 The United States Department of Justice announced Friday that local and state law enforcement can no longer use federal programs to seize the assets of those believed to have committed a crime without conviction. The Washington Post reports the move would “prohibit federal agency adoptions of state and local seizures, except for public safety reasons,” […]

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Fairfax County Virginia Police BMW 3 Series Cruiser

The United States Department of Justice announced Friday that local and state law enforcement can no longer use federal programs to seize the assets of those believed to have committed a crime without conviction.

The Washington Post reports the move would “prohibit federal agency adoptions of state and local seizures, except for public safety reasons,” such as illegal firearms, explosives and property associated with child pornography, per outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Cash and vehicle seizures by said authorities, made under the oft-abused War on Drugs Era Equitable Sharing asset forfeiture program, can now only be made under state law.

The federal program had become a boon to local enforcement over the years, netting $2.5 billion in assets from citizens without warrants or indictments since September 11, 2001. Once the assets were in possession, they would be used to acquire items such as military-grade equipment and premium vehicles, all without much oversight.

Despite criticism from those affected and their supporters — believing the new policy would hinder legitimate efforts to fight drug trafficking and terrorism — Holder says the policy “will ensure that these authorities can continue to be used to take the profit out of crime and return assets to victims, while safeguarding civil liberties,” adding that even the federal government has little use for either criminal or civil forfeiture laws these days. Around 7,600 of the 18,000 police departments in the U.S. would be affected by the changes implemented.

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Toyota Receives Over 1,500 Orders For Mirai FCV In Home Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-receives-1500-orders-mirai-fcv-home-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/toyota-receives-1500-orders-mirai-fcv-home-market/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=984281 One month after Toyota began sales of its Mirai FCV in Japan, around 1,500 have been ordered thus far, well over the 400 the automaker thought it would sell for the entirety of 2015. Carscoops reports the 1,500 orders are split 60/40 in favor of government and corporate fleets. The overall majority of the orders […]

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One month after Toyota began sales of its Mirai FCV in Japan, around 1,500 have been ordered thus far, well over the 400 the automaker thought it would sell for the entirety of 2015.

Carscoops reports the 1,500 orders are split 60/40 in favor of government and corporate fleets. The overall majority of the orders come from four locations in the country: Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture. Due to its popularity, however, Toyota said it may take a while to fulfill those orders.

The Mirai is expected in the United States beginning later this year, and will sell for $57,500 before federal and state tax credits. A 36-month lease will also be available, with $3,649 due at signing, and $499 per month thereafter.

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New York Pedestrian Fatalities Fall To Historic Low In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-york-pedestrian-fatalities-fall-historic-low-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-york-pedestrian-fatalities-fall-historic-low-2014/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 14:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974354 New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan — aimed at ending all traffic deaths by 2024 — appears to be paying off, with a historic low of 132 pedestrian fatalities in 2014. The New York Times reports the low follows a decade high of 180 such deaths the year prior. Meanwhile, overall […]

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Pedestrians on Broadway in New York

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan — aimed at ending all traffic deaths by 2024 — appears to be paying off, with a historic low of 132 pedestrian fatalities in 2014.

The New York Times reports the low follows a decade high of 180 such deaths the year prior. Meanwhile, overall fatalities dropped from 293 in 2013 to 248 in 2014, with bicycle deaths climbing from 12 to 20 in the same period, motorcycle deaths falling from 42 to 37, and automotive deaths remaining stable at 59.

The overall decline follows the recent lowering of the city’s default speed limit of 25 mph, a move that had to go through the state legislature prior to approval; the State of New York’s default for the local speed limit is 30 mph. Increased NYPD enforcement of traffic laws, including new ones like Cooper’s Law — which strips a taxi or livery driver of their license if they kill or injure a pedestrian who has the right of way — are also contributing to the decline.

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Honda Fined $70M By NHTSA For Data Reporting Failures http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/honda-fined-70m-nhtsa-data-reporting-failures/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/honda-fined-70m-nhtsa-data-reporting-failures/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974330 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday that it would fine Honda $70 million “for failing to report death and injury data in a timely manner.” Autoblog reports the fine is based on 1,729 incidents over 11 years that were not brought to the attention of the NHTSA via the agency’s Early Warning Reporting […]

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday that it would fine Honda $70 million “for failing to report death and injury data in a timely manner.”

Autoblog reports the fine is based on 1,729 incidents over 11 years that were not brought to the attention of the NHTSA via the agency’s Early Warning Reporting system. Further, some of the incidences have still yet to be reported, prompting new administrator Mark Rosekind to send investigators to Honda to retrieve the missing information.

The fine, the largest ever delivered by the agency to an automaker, is composed of two separate $35 million fines, one for the death and injury data, the other for missing warranty claims. The U.S. Department of Justice is considering a criminal investigation into the matter, though nothing has been confirmed thus far.

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Obama Visiting Ford Plant Wednesday Amid Temporary Closure http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972082 President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max. The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech […]

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Barack Obama + Connected Vehicles

President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max.

The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech on the recovering housing market. Both Ford CEO Mark Fields and Chairman Bill Ford Jr. are expected to be in attendance; the company received $5.9 billion in low-cost government loans from the U.S. Energy Department in 2009 to help transition Michigan Assembly from SUV production to that of fuel-efficient small cars

Per the White House, his speech at the plant will focus upon “the workers in the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector now that the auto rescue has been completed and the decision to save the auto industry and the over one million jobs that went with it.”

Meanwhile, the plant’s closure is expected to be temporary, with its 5,100 employees receiving most of their standard pay in the interim. The closure is an extension of a two-week Christmas break at the plant, and is meant to help better manage supply as consumers, encouraged by falling fuel prices, look at F-150s and Explorers over smaller cars like the aforementioned Focus and C-Max.

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New South Wales Drivers ‘Block’ Traffic Cameras In Social Media-Backed Protest http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-south-wales-drivers-block-traffic-cameras-social-media-backed-protest/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-south-wales-drivers-block-traffic-cameras-social-media-backed-protest/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 12:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972050 Speed cameras are the bane of motorists, a needed safety measure for road safety advocates, and a boon to government coffers (just ask Waldo, Fla.). Motorists in New South Wales, Australia, however, have decided to fly the two-fingered salute the only way they know how: By popping the hood. According to Autoblog, the social media […]

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Block Their Shot - Strayan For Fuck Da Police

Speed cameras are the bane of motorists, a needed safety measure for road safety advocates, and a boon to government coffers (just ask Waldo, Fla.). Motorists in New South Wales, Australia, however, have decided to fly the two-fingered salute the only way they know how: By popping the hood.

According to Autoblog, the social media campaign Block Their Shot is encouraging drivers in NSW to “breakdown” in front of the state’s 45 traffic cameras, which are mounted in trucks like the one above.

As for the cause of the protest, use of said cameras increased in the last half of 2014, with a total of 7,000 hours of footage gathered over the period, compared to the 5,580 hours gathered during the last six months of 2013. In turn, the fines collected charged upward into the stratosphere, from $310,000 AUD ($250,000 USD) in 2013, to $1.35 million ($1.08 million) between January and October 2014.

Though the campaign is popular with motorists — over 40,000 Facebook likes as of this writing — both safety advocates and government officials would like to have a word or two with those behind it. NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay hopes the “idiots” grow out of this, lest he puts “draconian fines in place,” while University of New South Wales professor of road safety Raphael Grzebieta believes the campaign is putting lives in danger by encouraging speeding.

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US Treasury: Over $9B Lost In Auto Industry Bailout http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/us-treasury-9b-lost-auto-industry-bailout/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/us-treasury-9b-lost-auto-industry-bailout/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=969969 The final tally is in: American taxpayers lost $9.26 billion from the Bush II/Obama-led rescue of the U.S. auto industry. The Detroit News reports the loss comes out of a total investment by the U.S. Treasury of $79.69 billion used to bail-out General Motors, Chrysler Group, Ally Financial and Chrysler Financial. The department recovered $70.43 […]

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The final tally is in: American taxpayers lost $9.26 billion from the Bush II/Obama-led rescue of the U.S. auto industry.

The Detroit News reports the loss comes out of a total investment by the U.S. Treasury of $79.69 billion used to bail-out General Motors, Chrysler Group, Ally Financial and Chrysler Financial. The department recovered $70.43 billion in profit through share sales, loan repayments, dividends and interest.

The reported final figure comes on the heels of the Treasury’s sale of its last 11.4 percent stake in Ally, the automotive lender and bank-holding company formerly known as GMAC Financial. Accounting rules, however, state the government — and thus, the taxpayers — lost $16.56 billion on the bailout, as interest and dividends paid by those rescued were not applied to the principal owed.

The $9.26 billion lost was much lower than the $44 billion projected early in 2009, as well as the $30 billion predicted later that year. Per the Center for Automotive Research and others who supported the bailout, the loss was much preferable over the total collapse of GM and Chrysler, with the former stripping the industry of 1.2 million U.S. jobs, $17 billion lost in Social Security and income taxes for 2009, and $79.5 billion in personal income tossed into the fireplace.

While the government is now out of the automotive business, it still has a small presence in the finance industry: out of 700 institutions who were accepted into the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program in the early days of the Great Recession, 35 are still in the program today. $426.4 billion was invested overall, with the government recovering $441.7 billion; accounting rules, however, state the Treasury has taken $35 billion in losses.

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Uber CEO Indicted By South Korea For Violating Transportation Law http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/uber-ceo-indicted-south-korea-violating-transportation-law/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/uber-ceo-indicted-south-korea-violating-transportation-law/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 12:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=969249 Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has been indicted in South Korea alongside the local branch of the California-based transportation network company for violating the nation’s prohibition on non-licensed livery drivers. Reuters reports the law in question prohibits individuals or companies from operating or providing transportation services without proper licensing. The charge follows a measure passed by […]

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All-American Dirtbag No 1 Travis Kalanick of Uber

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has been indicted in South Korea alongside the local branch of the California-based transportation network company for violating the nation’s prohibition on non-licensed livery drivers.

Reuters reports the law in question prohibits individuals or companies from operating or providing transportation services without proper licensing. The charge follows a measure passed by the South Korean government that would fine those not licensed to be taxi drivers, as well as reward those who report said drivers.

That said, Kalanick et al won’t be arrested under the indictment, which would have resulted in two years’ in prison or a maximum fine of ₩20 million ($18,121 USD).

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EIA: US Average Fuel Savings Climb To $550 In 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/eia-us-average-fuel-savings-climb-550-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/eia-us-average-fuel-savings-climb-550-2015/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=964498 With fuel prices still falling as of this writing, the U.S. Energy Information Administration issued a report forecasting an average of $550 in savings at the pump for a typical family in 2015. The new average cost in gasoline expenditures for 2015 is expected to hit $1,962, the first time said spending fell below $2,000/year […]

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Fuel Price Circa Mid-December 2014

With fuel prices still falling as of this writing, the U.S. Energy Information Administration issued a report forecasting an average of $550 in savings at the pump for a typical family in 2015.

The new average cost in gasoline expenditures for 2015 is expected to hit $1,962, the first time said spending fell below $2,000/year since 2009.

As for what people are likely to do with their $550 that would have gone into the tank, the EIA believes that savings will go into “other goods and services, pay down debt, and/or increase savings.” The agency also noted that demand is “very price inelastic over short time periods,” as consumers will fill their tanks to as much as they see fit despite how much a gallon is priced.

Down on the trading floor, the EIA expects Brent crude to average $68/barrel in 2015, while West Texas Intermediate will land around $63/barrel over the same period. Increases in fuel economy and U.S. oil production, as well as OPEC’s decision to hold the line regarding its own output, are contributing to the forecasted savings, as well.

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113th US Congress Leaves $8K Hydrogen Credit On The Table http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/113th-us-congress-leaves-8k-hydrogen-credit-table/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/113th-us-congress-leaves-8k-hydrogen-credit-table/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=964370 For the few who will be purchasing a Toyota Mirai in 2015, you may be out of luck as far as tax savings are concerned. For now, anyway. Autoblog reports the 113th U.S. Congress has called it a day without renewing an $8,000 tax credit for hydrogen vehicles entered into service after December 31, 2005, […]

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For the few who will be purchasing a Toyota Mirai in 2015, you may be out of luck as far as tax savings are concerned. For now, anyway.

Autoblog reports the 113th U.S. Congress has called it a day without renewing an $8,000 tax credit for hydrogen vehicles entered into service after December 31, 2005, and purchased before the same date in 2014. The credit is among other credits that didn’t get the once-over from Congress, who were busy looking over — and renewing a few of — credits from 2013.

That said, Honda wants the credit brought back in time for its FCV’s U.S. showroom arrival in 2016, the next concept version of which is set to bow at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show January. Robert Beinefeld, assistant vice president of the automaker’s Environment and Energy Policy, says his employer is working with “many partners on the legislative front to address this situation,” in the belief that legisators don’t intentionally pick “winners and losers by providing tax credits to some technologies and not others.”

As for Hyundai, whose Tucson Fuel Cell entered Californian showrooms earlier this summer, a representative didn’t give any further comment on the hydrogen credit as of this writing.

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Ally Leaves Government Ownership, US Treasury Exits Auto Industry http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ally-leaves-government-ownership-us-treasury-exits-auto-industry/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ally-leaves-government-ownership-us-treasury-exits-auto-industry/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=963794 With its GMAC Financial leather jacket burning in the closet while a supermodel lip-syncs in the tub, Ally Financial is at last free from government ownership. The Detroit News reports the U.S. Treasury sold its remaining 11.4 percent stake in the lender Friday, six years to the day the Bush II administration made the decision […]

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With its GMAC Financial leather jacket burning in the closet while a supermodel lip-syncs in the tub, Ally Financial is at last free from government ownership.

The Detroit News reports the U.S. Treasury sold its remaining 11.4 percent stake in the lender Friday, six years to the day the Bush II administration made the decision to rescue the automotive industry from certain doom; the Treasury held 74 percent to start. The sale — 54.9 million shares at $23.25 per share — brought in $1.3 billion, adding to the $19.6 billion recovered from three separate investments totalling $17.2 billion.

Overall, the bailout recovered the $60 billion invested under the Obama administration, though said administration didn’t include the $10 billion lost in that time, nor the initial $25 billion pumped into the ailing industry in the final days of the Bush II era.

The stake sale also follows a similar action a year earlier, when the department sold its last shares in General Motors. The sale drew a loss of the aforementioned $10 billion from a total investment of $49.5 billion.

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US Army Makes $744K In First-Ever Public Humvee Auction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/us-army-makes-744k-first-ever-public-humvee-auction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/us-army-makes-744k-first-ever-public-humvee-auction/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962818 Forget Panthers: Humvees are the new hotness, as so demonstrated when the United States Army held its first-ever public auction for a surplus of the iconic military vehicle. Military.com reports a total of 25 vehicles were auctioned on behalf of the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, with $744,000 brought in for the trouble. Bidding for each […]

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Forget Panthers: Humvees are the new hotness, as so demonstrated when the United States Army held its first-ever public auction for a surplus of the iconic military vehicle.

Military.com reports a total of 25 vehicles were auctioned on behalf of the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, with $744,000 brought in for the trouble.

Bidding for each vehicle began at $10,000, but it didn’t last long at that level; the average winning bid came in at $30,000. The lowest bid was $21,500 for a 1989 model, while the highest was $41,000 for one made in 1994.

That said, the vehicles won’t be hitting the highway any time soon, as the vehicles were sold with the caveat that they would be limited to off-road purposes. Another auction is expected in January, with more likely to follow; the DLA has 4,000 Humvees gathering dust at present.

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