Category: Government

By on October 26, 2015

Rodney SlaterThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration selected former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater as an independent monitor over Fiat Chrysler Automobiles safety compliance, the automaker announced Friday.

Slater was transportation secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. After his federal post, Slater has held a slew of automobile safety-related posts including his recent appointment as special counsel to Takata.

Slater was the first black director for the Federal Highway Administration and the second black transportation secretary.

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By on October 20, 2015

Oslo Norway

Government officials in the capital city of Norway said Monday they would like to ban vehicles from a region in its city center by 2019 to reduce greenhouse gases, according to The Guardian.

The plan has had mixed reaction according to the newspaper, Verdans Gang. There are only about 1,000 residents in the zone where vehicles may be banned, but roughly 90,000 workers commute there everyday, according to the newspaper. Residents have said that a ban on vehicles could add up to 45 minutes to their daily commute.

In its statement, the Oslo city government said the city would be free from fossil fuels by 2030.

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By on October 15, 2015


Volkswagen Group will recall 8.5 million vehicles in the European Union’s 28 member states, including the 2.4 million vehicles it is already being forced to recall by the KBA, Germany’s transportation authority, the automaker announced Thursday.

Vehicles from the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands are included in the recall. The latest EA 288 diesel engine is not part of the recall.

Volkswagen said it will begin to rollout fixes in January 2016.

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By on October 15, 2015

TDI Clean Diesel

The Federal Trade Commission will join the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency in investigating claims that Volkswagen cheated consumers and regulators with bogus emissions claims of its diesel cars, Politico reported (via Bloomberg).

The FTC’s inquiry will focus on whether the German automaker lied to consumers about “clean diesel” claims in its advertisements when, in fact, the cars were engineered to deceive emissions tests.

The FTC, Justice Department and EPA’s investigations also joins an investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance committee on whether the automaker illegally obtained $50 million in federal subsidies through car buyers who purchased its cars and received the lean-burn technology motor vehicle credit.   Read More >

By on October 15, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI white

German transportation authority KBA on Thursday ordered the mandatory recall of 2.4 million Volkswagen cars with illegally polluting diesel engines, in part, because the German automaker’s proposed timetable wasn’t fast enough, Automotive News reported.

The forced recall will mean Volkswagen would likely spend more to fix its cars faster and German officials have told the automaker to submit a proposed fix by the end of November. Volkswagen initially planned for a voluntary recall to begin next year.

Authorities in Switzerland and Austria followed Germany and announced the forced recall would apply to those cars too, Bloomberg reported.

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By on October 14, 2015

Teddy Lee

Ontario announced this week that it would be the first Canadian province to allow autonomous driving on its roads (although maybe not autonomous Volts) and it would make insurance companies discount policies for owners who have winter tires.

The programs were announced Tuesday and Wednesday by the ministries of finance and transportation in the province.

Ontario would join a handful of U.S. states that allow autonomous cars, including California and Michigan, on its roads for testing. According to the statement announcing the program, companies developing autonomous cars can begin applying for permits next month.

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By on October 12, 2015


A study commissioned by Bloomberg, conducted by Stout Risius Ross, revealed that Volkswagen’s rate of injury or fatal crashes reported by the automaker was significantly lower than 11 other automakers and nine times less than the industry average.

“The data demonstrates that even on a fleet-adjusted basis, the number of reported incidents by Volkswagen is significantly below what one would expect based on those reported by other automakers,” Neil Steinkamp, a Stout Risius managing director, told Bloomberg. “They are also significantly below the reporting of automakers that have already been cited for non-compliance.”

The report calls into question whether Volkswagen has been accurately reporting crashes, as required by law. Volkswagen didn’t comment on the report. Read More >

By on October 12, 2015

Paul Willis

Volkswagen’s chief in the United Kingdom told representatives Monday that cars in that country likely wouldn’t need expensive urea tanks retrofitted to those cars to comply with emissions standards, AutoCar reported.

Volkswagen UK managing director Paul Willis told members of parliament that most of the 1.2 million cars in that country fitted with illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests would only need a software fix and not an additional urea tank that is widely believed to be needed in U.S. cars. About 400,000 cars would need a fuel injector replacement instead of the costly tank.

It’s likely that many of the cheating Volkswagens in the U.S. would need all or a combination of three fixes — software update, fuel injectors and a urea tank — to bring those cars into compliance.

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By on October 10, 2015

IntelliSafe Auto Pilot interface

Volvo Cars President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson announced Thursday in Washington, DC, that the automaker would “accept full liability whenever one if its cars is in autonomous mode,” making Volvo one of the first automakers to solve one of many important legal issues that face autonomous vehicles.

Volvo made the announcement just days after launching a project in Sweden that will see 100 Volvo XC90s with autonomous functionality hitting the roads around Gothenburg in 2017.

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By on October 9, 2015

Michael Horn

Update: Official statement from EPA.

During his voluntary testimony for a congressional committee Thursday, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn announced the company would withdraw their application for emissions certification for 2016 model year Volkswagens powered by 2-liter diesel engines.

However, the reason for that withdrawal is not directly related to the “defeat device” that’s been at the center of the ongoing diesel controversy.

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