Category: Government

By on September 3, 2016

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, Image: FCA

Federal investigators probing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for alleged sales tampering have uncovered a strange phrase that they believe is a code word.

According to the Wall Street Journal, company executives would sometimes call up regional managers and dealers and utter a specific phrase. Investigators believe this was a signal for dealers to go ahead and boost end-of-month sales in any way necessary. Read More >

By on September 2, 2016

breathalyzer DUI (KOMUnews/Flickr)

State lawmakers in Tennessee weren’t expecting to have the financial rug pulled out from under them when they passed a new DUI law earlier this year.

The law, which boosts penalties for younger drivers caught with alcohol in their bloodstream, is in violation of federal standards. Now, the state is scrambling to stop the loss of $60 million in federal road funding. Read More >

By on August 31, 2016

ammonium nitrate explosion (Oregon National Guard/Flickr)

The company behind the massive recall of potentially explosive airbags won’t face a federal investigation after one of its trucks crashed and exploded on a Texas highway.

A transport truck carrying ammonium nitrate propellant and airbag inflators detonated last week, killing the occupant of a nearby home and leaving the truck in pieces. After two U.S. senators demanded a probe, the National Transportation Safety Board now claims that Takata followed the rules. Read More >

By on August 30, 2016

pumping gas

Whoa, slow down a minute. That’s the message from three Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is reviewing fuel economy targets set out for automakers.

The members want more time for car companies to respond to a key report about the 54.5 mile per gallon corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target, The Detroit Free Press reports. Read More >

By on August 30, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (3 of 8)

Faced with the option of waiting to see if their cars can be fixed or accepting a hefty cash payout, diesel Volkswagen owners are opting to take the money and run.

Once-fierce loyalty to the dirty “clean diesels” seems to have evaporated, as most owners who’ve registered for the settlement want the automaker to buy back their car, Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on August 30, 2016

traffic highway (Bryce Watanabe/Flickr)

Traffic deaths skyrocketed last year by the largest amount since 1966, erasing safety gains made in recent years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released raw 2015 data yesterday, revealing that 35,092 people died on U.S. roads — a 7.2 percent spike in fatalities compared to the previous year. The data shows the deaths weren’t confined to any particular demographic. Read More >

By on August 27, 2016

semi trailer (raymondclarkeimages/Flickr)

The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to mandate speed-limiting devices on all tractor-trailers and buses in the country in a bid to save lives and fuel.

Announced yesterday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the proposal would limit vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more to 60, 65, or 68 miles per hour. Other speed limits could be considered, but that’s up to the public to debate. Read More >

By on August 26, 2016

Audi A7 Sportback

Volkswagen continues to claim that with enough time, it can figure out a way to fix 85,000 high-end diesel vehicles in the U.S. without having to buy them back. There’s a problem, though. Time is running out.

After the presiding over yesterday’s settlement deal between Volkswagen and its dealers, a U.S. District Court judge gave the automaker two months to submit a fix for its 3.0-liter TDI models, Reuters reports. Read More >

By on August 26, 2016

gas-pump-save-ftr

Low-octane gasoline. It was great for the detuned boat anchors found under the hoods of 1970s Malaise-era barges, because you weren’t having fun, anyway.

The future of gasoline-powered vehicles is all about high-compression engines and ever-stricter environmental regulations, meaning gasoline with higher octane than today’s pumps can provide could be on the horizon. Read More >

By on August 25, 2016

1-Ethanol-Gas-006

A new study from the University of Michigan adds (bio)fuel to the growing backlash against supposedly clean and green fossil fuel substitutes.

The study claims that the environmental benefits of ethanol and biodiesel — championed by both the federal government and the lucrative biofuel industry — are based on completely false assumptions, the Detroit Free Press reports. Read More >

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